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Help needed to help a friend whos system was attacked

Last response: in Applications
March 17, 2008 3:33:31 AM

A friend of mine has a nightmare laptop issue on his hands I'm tryin to help him with. Needs the computer for work orders with an on the road installation job.

Now to the problem. All i know is it was a virus/spyware type attack symptoms being the net home page was changing at random, web pages jumping around to adds, browser constantly crashing. You know all that fun stuff and to top it off it was loaded with all the junk a retail computer comes with, tons of expired trials, disk clean up and defrag have never been run even once. So i knew it was a mess from the get go.

I installed avast free version and found a couple trojans avast put in the chest and also ran spybot or some program like that was already on the computer which found alot of adware. Then got rid of a bunch of the expired trials and any software or junk not needed and ran disk clean up and defrag. All seemed well after that, computer was responsive again, browser working ok. This was about a month ago.

He bought my old factory computer now about a week ago, just an average gateway, running fine, has had current avast and spydoctor for along time with no major threats or attacks. I guess the laptop had slowly had symptoms i warned them about coming back. As soon as he plugged the comp from me into his routers internet that the laptop had been running on, soon after the computer he got from me goes crazy with the exact same symptoms the laptop is getting.

So tonight I go see if I can help again and find out the laptop had been acting up again shortly after I tried to get rid of the threats a month ago. Both computers are not hooked up to the net at the moment because they just moved. I start by running the spyware and antivirus on both and both find lots of high threats and one type which looked really bad because it's the type that pulls in and sets up more bugs. I got my old comp running ok again, still have some windows settings I need to fix but I pretty sure its cleaned of threats.

The laptop on the other hand is in ruff shape and thats the comp he needs for work because public wireless is a block away the laptop works with. I tried fixing the laptop but it was attacked so bad and is running so horribly that it I don't think I can get it back to normal without some high quality spyware/antivirus and restoration CDs or a complete OS reinstall.

Is this something that can somehow be fixed and if so is it even worth it. It's not all that great of a laptop but it is in great need right now by the owner.

Thank you for reading and any input or advice to get this laptop back on track would be greatly appreciated.
March 17, 2008 3:30:01 PM

tell him to stop looking at dodgy p0rn sites....Seriously

run all these, in safe mode:

Spybot search and destroy
Avast or AVG
download HiJackThis < post the log in here i may be able to help you, but if i cant i can point in the right direction....
also get Spyware Blaster
and install Firefox on both and tell him to use that.

best thing for the laptop, take out the drive, put it in a usb caddy and plug it into another computer to run the programs above, alternitivly lookup Bart-PE and create a bootable disk with all the programs above.
March 17, 2008 6:52:10 PM

Thanks Flakes, I'll give it a try.
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March 17, 2008 7:08:18 PM

Judging by the severity of the symptoms, your best best would be to just delete everything by reinstalling the os.
March 17, 2008 7:30:02 PM

mikekazik1 said:
Judging by the severity of the symptoms, your best best would be to just delete everything by reinstalling the os.

I wish I could but the laptop didn't come with OS disks or even restoration CDs. It has some bogus feature on the HD where you need to make your own restoration CDs as soon as you get it or try restoring directly from the HD.

They never made the restoration CDs and I am worried that if i use the feature in the HD it will leave traces of the threat.

After I run all the programs above in safemode I may have to use the restore function from the HD.
March 20, 2008 4:10:50 PM

What operating system are we talking about here and what is this hd restore function (give me the exact name)?
March 21, 2008 2:38:21 PM

mikekazik1 said:
Judging by the severity of the symptoms, your best best would be to just delete everything by reinstalling the os.

I agree sometimes the best bet is to just backup what you can and reformat.

The trouble and time you would put into fixing the problem, sometimes can be more than the time it would take to reformat the computer.