Ok so the details are a little sketchy right now, but my cousin has somehow downloaded a virus. From his explanation he says that he's able to make it past the login screen. Upon entering the desktop this virus is saying certain components are messed up and that he will have to type in his credit card information for some reason. I asked him if he has a windows installation cd, however it appears he did not burn one after purchasing the computer from walmart. I have my own copy of vista that I made after my first time using my laptop, but he doesn't have a vista key so that would do no good.
My question: Is there a way to create an installation cd if I have the product key information? I made him relay the info to me because I know the majority of laptops these days have the product key located on the bottom with a sticker.
Side note: He already took it to best buy and they said his motherboard might need to be replaced. Can a virus erase the mobo data?
I want to help him with this problem since I am more computer savy than most people in the family. I'd rather him not waste 300+ taking it to geek squad. That's around the price of a laptop.
I would boot into safe mode (pressing F8 after powering up) and install malwarebytes... update malwarebytes and do a full scan your cousin's computer. this should remove the virus... then it would be a good idea to make backup DVD's.
The title says Win7. If it is a win 7 os that has the virus, he can try a system restore to a point before the virus acquisition. What AV software does he use? His worst case is to buy an OEM Win7 version and do a clean installation. What version of windows are we talking about here? There are product key finders for all win versions. Why go to Vista if he has Win 7?
I'm just paranoid so I usually like clean installs after obtaining a trojan or something similar. My cousin said he didn't have any information that he would miss. I think he only uses that laptop for SWTOR and maybe facebook. In the past I haven't had much success with windows restore points. You would have to know exactly when you acquired the virus.
I'll try the malwarebytes solution and proceed with other methods if that doesn't work.
With the windows 7 restore isn't there a restore to factory settings feature? I ask because I do not have windows 7, only vista.
System restore works the same for XP, Vista, and 7 with the possibility of some slight changes. A system restore won't get rid of viruses because the system files that get restored will become infected again. In fact, infected system files will get backed up by system restore, so you can actually reintroduce a virus by using system restore. System restore is good at what it is meant for. Virus removal isn't one of them.