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|You probably shouldn't do it yourself, but you can get the PC working |
Syd Midnight 01/01/11, 00:46
Yeah that'll do it, but at least now you know to never do that again. Double-check any program you download, as well as the site you're downloading it from, and ask around if you have any doubts. You'll also want to figure out what went wrong besides the obvious.. if you have good PC security in place, it should try to stop you from running or downloading a trojan.
I downloaded a free trial of some kind of anti-malware program
Call the bank, report the theft, cancel the card, maybe tell the cops etc. all that stuff. Safely rescuing data from the infected drives is going to be a tough job if you're learning as you go, you may just want to call in a favor from a friend who is more computer savvy. If you want to do it yourself, plan on taking a week or more and doing a lot of reading on trusted anti-malware forums on another PC before even touching the infected one. That's good to do anyways!
Unplug the system and set it aside for now. How many hard drives does it have? If possible, remove ALL the drives and set them aside somewhere safe in static-free bags so you can deal with them later, and reinstall Windows on a fresh clean HDD in the meantime. Buy a cheap small one, it's good to have a dedicated system drive anyways, and make sure Windows is fully updated and good security programs are in place before doing anything else.
If you have access to another, clean PC, get a clean flash drive and download all the security programs you're going to need, so you won't have to connect to the internet until they're already in place and you're ready to update them then update Windows (which might take a day or two itself). As for the programs you'll want on hand to install before going online, that's another post (good firewall, good AV, Spybot, etc. and they're all free).
Once the system is alive, clean, and secure, I'd pop the infected ones into an external drive enclosure, and carefully disinfect them and try to rescue irreplaceable data before completely wiping the drive. That's the tricky part, if your antivirus didn't catch it before, it could reinfect the system, so you'll want to be sure your system has good protection before ever hooking up the infected HDDs. This is the part you might want to have someone else do.
It's no help to you here but I put Hiren's Boot CD on a thumb drive and write protected SD card so that if worse comes to worse, I can boot into WinXP and diagnose, fix, nuke from orbit etc. without even involving any HDDs. I wouldn't recommend messing with it, it's just my main toolbox.
The only time a virus slammed me was because I had turned off real time scanning to run a program (never ever do that). I pulled out the hard drives and sat them aside, reinstalled XP on a fresh one, then one by one cleaned and wiped the old drives using an external enclosure, once I had enough security set up to do that safely. It's good to have a small dedicated C:\ drive just for your OS, your system runs faster and if you keep important stuff elsewhere you can consider the system drive expendable in an emergency.
TL;DR - unplug the system, pull out all the hard drives, set them aside as infected, put in a cheap clean HDD to reinstall Windows, make it secure and updated before doing anything else. And when you feel confident doing so, put the infected drives in a USB enclosure and try cleaning, recovering, and wiping them (or ask someone else to) before putting them back in your system.
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thx Syd (lustygoat) 01/01/11, 02:04