My son attained a virus at some point don't know when (he is 11 and not to computer saavy). I went to do some maintenance late summer realized his anti-virus software was expired. I renewed it and a few weeks later the virus alerts started. I kept getting on to him about being careful of where he goes and what he does and I would clean it up again, and again, and again. However in Mid December (I installed a trial of net nanny), there were no virus warning or detections, after that, but odd behaviors started like slowing, but none of the scans produced any kind of virus. Then it started not letting me in vital areas such as control panel. Then wouldn't let anything be installed on the pc (I wanted to install net nanny after the 2 week trial was up). However when I created a new log in, and it would let me in to some of the areas it blocked me from in the main log in (for a couple of weeks). I had decided at that point, I need to reformat the pc. I got everything off it that we needed. However i had to (and still am) waiting until I have the money to buy a new version of Windows to use. The current copy he has on it, belongs to his dad, who doesn't know where it is. Currently the pc is at the point it can not be fully booted. (because my son wouldn't leave it shut off). It loads BIOS then freezes loading Windows. I can get to the screen for options of where to load from but that's it.
Will reformatting get rid of the virus or worm or will I still need to figure out how to? Can I reformat from bios loading screens (not sure the technical term for the screen)?
And lastly Which windows to buy? I have 2 other PCs in the house we both are on Window's XP. Since I have some pc knowledge but not very computer saavy, nor do I have the money to take the PC to the shop for a major issue like this, much less every time a bug pops up. Is it better stick with XP sp3? (I know there is only 3 yrs of support left on it) or upgrade and deal with any bugs as they come via forums like this one.
It will be a lot cheaper to work with what you have and clean it up for future use.
One or two questions first, if you don't mind. Can youstart into Safe Mode if you tap the Function 8 key when you switch on and before WIndows starts to load?
Secondly, can you borrow an XP CD of the same level - Home, Pro?
I should also point out that there are totally free Operating Systems available if push comes to shove. Linux systems are developed as opensource software and these days, they come with the same type of graphic user interface taht you see in XP.
I think the best thing to do is to wipe the computer and do a clean install. It may take some time for a virus to become known and have a solution to remove it.
I would try to back up any important data first before re-installing Windows. Afterwards do a clean install by allowing the Windows Install program format the hard disk.
After Windows have been installed and updated with the latest patches, anti-virus programs, parental control program, etc. Make an image of your C:\ drive so that the next time the PC becomes overwhelmed with viruses you can restore Windows from an image, rather than re-installing everything.
You can use DriveImage XML to create an image. It's freeware and can be downloaded from the following link: