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Will formatting a drive eliminate a virus?

Last response: in Windows XP
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January 23, 2010 10:35:01 AM

Hi, I'm using win xp pro sp3. For the past couple of months I've been having a problem that has simply baffled me. No matter what I try my system keeps getting infected.
I've tried norton, kaspersky, mcafee, zonealarm anti virus, but i dont know from where the virus crops up.
I've tried a clean install, still it doesn't help. In fact I got so frustrated that i formatted my drives. Yup, I forgot to save my music, vids as well as mp3 folders!! But if I can get my machine to run without it getting a virus, it would be worth it.
I install xp in the following way -
1- install xp from the install CD
2- install drivers
3- install anti virus(zonealarm security suite and spybot - search & destroy)
4- install java, dotnet framework
5- install adobe, office, nero, firefox, winrar, itunes, skype
Now can anyone tell me if I'm doing something wrong, because within less than a week I find a virus has crept in.
One last thing, Instead of installing in drive C, I do the installation in drive E.
I'm running the xp sp2 with minimal programs(IE explorer, WMP and ZAsuite) from drive C.
January 23, 2010 11:46:38 AM

If you have tried all those Anti-Virus packages and they show nothing, what makes you believe you have one?
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January 23, 2010 1:54:30 PM

There's not much wrong with the way/order you're installing the programs.

If you think you have a virus, boot into safe mode with networking. Download, install, and update malwarebytes. Do a full system scan.
http://www.malwarebytes.org/

If you do a clean install, try downloading Avira before downloading any drivers. You could be downloading some infected files. Avira has a very good internet security feature to protect from bad downloads.
http://www.avira.com/en/download/index.php

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January 30, 2010 3:11:09 PM

Thanks, the thing is that during the initial run(the AV programs) nothing shows up. After a few days it starts showing that my machine's infected, I check on the log and it starts showing that a virus has got inside my system. And finally I get a message that the virus can't be treated, quarantined or deleted. The only option left is delete on reboot. So I reboot and that particular OS is as good as gone, it goes on a loop and keeps on rebooting. The frustrating thing is that it does even allow me to go into safe mode and do a sys restore.
And can I ask one thing, if I download a program and run an AV scan and it shows there are no infections on the file then is it safe to assume that I can run the program without worrying about getting infected.
Avira and Norton identify spybot as a virus, and till recently I was depending on spybot's teatimer to show in real time if any changes were made to the registry.
@ MrLinux: They don't show anything initially, but after 2-3 days something or the other shows up...it's been a more than a week since my last clean install and I've been running a deep scan daily and so far everything's running smoothly, keeping my fingers crossed though.
@ aford10: Thanks, I will try the malware scan. I have an MSI disk from which I install the drivers.
Yeah, since this has been happening on such a regular basis that I've downloaded standalone packages of Java as well the dotnet installers, since downloading them every time i do an install is rather tiresome.
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February 6, 2010 3:08:38 AM

Best answer selected by ryaned.
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