Wiping Harddrive

Okay so here is the deal, my father asked me to completely wipe his hard drive, so it’ll be factory settings. However, he does not own an installation disc for the operating system, or a bootable cd, even.
He is running an
HP Pavilion Desktop
Windows XP Media center Edition SP3 build:2600
3.4 Ghz Intel pentium D
2 GB of Ram
300 gb of storage in drive C - this contains all of his software.
300 gb of storage in drive D - For music and videos
9 gb of storage in drive E for back up

So here is the first problem I am having, is that there are a lot of virus’ and trojans on his computer, i cleaned most of them out with Norton 360, however some still linger. Personally i dont like Symantec software but thats just me. I know for a fact that both of his web browsers (IE7 and Mozilla Firefox) have been hijacked, since every time you search in the google toolbar it gives you the titles of the search, but in the actual link its to something leading to something else. I did a test search of Cheese in google and the first link I got was a wikipedia page, however when i looked at the link it was not wikipedia at all, and it did this for about 4 pages until i saw an actual website. It sometimes does this when you type in a website in the address bar, though this happens rarely. I also believe there is another virus in the computer because when he opens Windows Live to check his email the internet explorer browser comes up then shortly after it exits out. I never touch his computer unless he asks me for help with something, so where these came from is beyond me. My only thoughts on to get rid of these attacks on his computer is to wipe the hard drive clean, however I only know how to do this by means of Floppy disk and a ghost partition of the factory settings, or a flash drive. And this opens my second problem, I don’t own a flash drive and his computer does not have a floppy slot. Is there any way i can make my own installation or boot cd by using the files in the computer?
He doesn’t want to order a new install disc cause he thinks its going to cost 100 or more dollars, though im pretty sure its 50 if you order it off of microsoft and less if you go to the retailer.
I would try to download the install cd off of a torrent site, but I don’t want to resort to that. If i have to I will but not now when there are other options.
I would rather not format the hard drive since that will also take the Operating system, and like I said before we don’t have the Installation CD.
Unless there is a way to format the hard drive while saving the operating system that would be great. If not possible then what do you recommend I do since I don’t own the install cd.
Also system restore does not work for some reason, that was my first response to all of this. I apologize if this description comes off as unorganized, as I am trying to get this done asap.

Thanks again.

If he wants the drive completely wiped, why worry about saving the OS?


He still wants to use it, just completely cleaned up.

Is there a recovery partition on the hard drive? Try hitting F10 as you boot into the system.

Or once you are in Windows, see if this gets you to the recovery program: Start>All Programs>HP Tools>HP PC System Recovery.

It shouldn’t be too tricky to accomplish. Here is the steps I would take.

  1. Try to locate a recovery disc. Try calling the manufacturer and complaining that you never got a recovery disc with your unit. Most manufacturers don’t supply any discs with their units anymore as cost has become a factor.

2.If you are unable to get one supplied to you from the manufacturer, then go the the store it was purchased at. I know that Best Buy keeps a few boot disc’s laying around when customers come in complaining.

3.If all else fails, borrow one from someone else. All you need to do is reinstall windows. Registration shouldn’t be necessary.

If you are having serious virus issues I would be hesitant to create a boot disc off that hard drive. There is nothing in the boot settings of BIOS that can help you out. You really need to get your hands on a disc some how or another. Once you have the disc its straight forward and smooth sailing.

[QUOTE=Kerry56;2203963]Is there a recovery partition on the hard drive? Try hitting F10 as you boot into the system.

Or once you are in Windows, see if this gets you to the recovery program: Start>All Programs>HP Tools>HP PC System Recovery.[/QUOTE]
It says no partitions are found. So I think I may go with finding someone with an installation cd.
Two people are telling me they have extra install cds, though its Vista Home Premium, not too sure on putting vista on my dads computer, is it user friendly?

and i guess since I’m still probably going to get more answers from you all i might as well ask about this as well, for some reason a file under the name of [B]152; .NET CLR 3.5.30729)[/B] keeps popping up on my fathers desktop, any idea what this is?

Here is my input stay away from vista that isn’t the O/S that came bundled with your system if you do it probably install correctly and when it does it will not recognize your hardware if it has legacy components in it also the drivers won’t be the same or recognize. You will have to find someone that has the same model and setup as your system to get the exact setup the factory used. Otherwise your left with buying the Factory restore cds from HP or Best Buy if that where you bought it from but the Electronic store you bought it from should be able to provide you the Restore cds if for a small price. When you computer is that infected your last resort is to wipe it clean with the Restore cds to factory settings. But before doing this you should backup all his data onto another HDD or media so you can copy back the data to the HDD. This is why I always recommend people when they buy their computer to purchase or had a second HDD to store their data and file and leave the C: drive as the main HDD in this way if the main HDD goes out you still can restore the C drive and have your data and file intact. That’s what I find out in all my computing days to have a second or more HDD that contains all my important data and files and only leaving the Main HDD as the boot and running program drive. It cost more to do this but it saves more headache when doing recovery or backups. This is my setup and something I would do in the future as well.

Nothing wrong with Vista, but you’ll need a license to use it. Your XP license that came with the computer won’t work unless you had some sort of upgrade path included with purchase which I haven’t heard of. Also, you’ll have to make sure you can get drivers for Vista from HP for this particular computer.

Not qualified to answer you about the popup. Maybe someone else can.

Gee! First choice would be to buy a copy of XP and start from scratch.
You could download and run several anti virus/ malware programs, Spybot, Malwarebytes, AVG, etc., run them in safe mode. Heck, run as many free ones as you wish. If you want to just have the OS, uninstall whatever programs you can from add/remove or use something like Revo Uninstaller. Defrag the hard drive. Use FireFox instead of IE (just an option), import the Favorites. Oops, I see you already have FF, backup the bookmarks, uninstall FF and download a fresh copy and reinstall.
If you really don’t want to spend the money for XP, install a linux distro. Ubuntu is pretty easy to setup and it reads NTFS file systems so your music and videos will be safe. You can play around with the live CD to see what it’s like before you install anything.
If your father is not willing to give up windows, one of you will probably have to purchase a copy of XP or download the beta of Windows 7 and use that until August 1. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the help guys, one of my friends just contacted me saying they found an OS cd for media center edition, i just ran an audit on my dads computer so i have all of the necessary information, serial numbers,drivers, and software list.

From personal experience, Ubuntu is more stable than windows, I ran it on my old desktop before I put it back to a legal copy of XP Pro.

I think i might wait for Windows 7 to be officially released. OS’ are constantly evolving, its like getting an ipod, by the time you get one a brand new one comes out. If i can replace the power box on my desktop ill test out 7

Again thanks for the help.

You could download and run several anti virus/ malware programs, Spybot, Malwarebytes, AVG, etc., run them in safe mode. Heck, run as many free ones as you wish.[/quote]This does not work.

The only way to clean a compromised system is to flatten and rebuild.
–> Help: I Got Hacked. Now What Do I Do?

It is an excellent idea btw to [B]not use[/B] an account with administrative permissions for normal work. Alone this simple measure will prevent at least 95% of all malware from installing. This is a better success rate than any commercial “security software”.

Also, it is mandatory to change the passwords for all online services, mail, messenger, banking(!) etc. from a clean system. A live Linux disc like Knoppix (DVD), Puppy (CD) is an excellent choice for such purpose (and for safe pr0n surfing :bigsmile: ).


[QUOTE=mciahel;2204227]This does not work.

Es haengt ab. :slight_smile: