Factory reset or could this be fixed?

By Tuyen
Apr 12, 2016
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  1. This is where it all started. So after when I tried to install a program, turned out that it was a virus. this program instead installed around 10-20 different unwanted programs and apps that are slowing down my computer, creating lots of malwares and viruses, replacing all my systems files etc.

    When this happened, I tried to uninstall these programs but was unable to uninstall so I deleted them manually. Some could not be deleted manually so I went into safemode to delete them.

    Although this will no way in hell delete all viruses. I ended up using malwarebyte anti malware to remove them, I did these scans about 5 times in total removing about 300-400 potential infections in total. So I went a head remove it all. Restarted my computer, only to find that the checkdisk is saying that I have got missing files, so I let it run.

    After when it was finished, I logged on to my window and a lot of the system programs was unable to load, all my games was unable to load, things like

    - Personalize and Screen Resolution
    Couldnt load. Error message: Server execution failed

    - Steam
    Couldnt load. Error message: there was a problem with your steam installation please reinstall.

    - Sound and internet
    At first I could still surf on the internet, I went on youtube, sound was not working at all, but windows sound still works; like the clicking sound etc. then after chrome wont even load internet, even thought computer still connected to the internet, so I tried to load Internet Explorer, it instead crashes on me evertime before even loads up.

    - Dxdiag

    I tried to load this up and it says Error: Could not load DXDIAGN

    And almsot 60-70% of the things in control panel will not load, such as file wall, mouse, system security, display calibration etc...

    So I assumed that the malware must have replaced or messed around witth my system files, because when I tried to delete them, alot of them were located in my system folders hiding under names that are sinilar to system files.

    I tired to use sf /scannow, was useless I tried both in windows and safemode, it gave me the same message that corrupted files were found but unable to fix some of the problem, it can be fine in some logs that was saved.

    Then tried system restore, and theres no restore point. So I restarted my computer. The chkdisk runs saying ive got missing files it tried to delete a lot of **** and replacing and correcting shits. Then restarted by itself, only to go into a ****ing computer repair, it said it found problems, it fixed it. Logged back in, everything was still the same. Scanned for malware, nothing. restarted, again chkdisk popped up, so I cancelled it, but it loads into a blue screen of death. So I had to restart for the chkdisk to run but its not only the chkdisk that randomly pops in, its also the windows repair that says ive got problems. It inly fixes so I can log into my window, but it doesnt actually fix all the files that were corrputed or missing otherwise my system programs would be able to load.

    Im thinking of doing a factory restore, but if you guys can help, that would help me enormously ! Thanks for reading !
  2. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus TS Evangelist Posts: 1,533   +288

    Even though you scanned multiple times, I doubt you are clean.

    You could ask Broni (next forum over 'Malware Removal') if there is any hope you can save something - possibly with a bootable DVD.

    If you are thinking of a factory restore from the same drive, I would not risk it without a 'clean' ticket from Broni.

    Heavy Handed Alternative
    Do your have backup media and your key for a reinstall? If so, you might boot from DVD and wipe your drive (Seagate calls it a zero-fill erasure - ) so get tool from your manufacturer, set it up in a bootable DVD, destroy all data on the HDD and have at it with a reinstall..

    If you don't have a key (you can always borrow media) and it isn't Win10, you may have to buy new OS (about $100).

    Even Heavier
    My son, who is an IT geek, says 'throw drive away, buy new drive, install new OS'. They pay him well to do just that.

    Last word: next forum over, check end of a 'cleaned' case - Broni has really good advice whatever you do.
    Tuyen likes this.
  3. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,213   +200

    I wouldn't trust the drive without wiping it and then reinstalling the OS. Throwing it away and replacing also sounds a good idea.
    Tuyen likes this.
  4. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +116

    Unless I've missed something above, the hard drive will be fine. Chkdisk errors are because of the infected system having wrecked havoc on your Windows install. A freshly formatted and setup system won't have that issue.

    As others have said, you need to use a "clean" OS media to reinstall Windows - the recovery partition at this point should be consider compromised so I recommend strongly against using. Wipe the whole thing and start anew. Sometimes that's the only real way of knowing you have a clean install of Windows. Heavily ingrained and self-replicating malware has a tendency of destroying good files and making the whole system unstable. It would be quicker to do a clean install than spend hours trying to fix as it stands.
    Tuyen and bazz2004 like this.
  5. Tuyen

    Tuyen TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 27

    Ok so I have formatted the drive deleting all 3 partitions and installing windows again. After finish installing...I started installing drivers for certain devices loke inter and gpu etc.. But for some weird reason, my sound driver wont install but instead it gave me failure errors... And the sound wouldnt work... Bare in mind that this happens after the initial windows update. So I restarted my computer only because windows update required me so it can install updates. After these updates, the chkdsk started to occur again and the launch repair constantly appear, not allowing my to log on to windows. I have reformatted and reinstalled couple of times and same thing happened everytime.
  6. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus TS Evangelist Posts: 1,533   +288

    Please clarify: are you trying to re-install from the recovery section on the same disk or are you using a separate DVD?

    I think the concern is that you had such a nasty malware that anything 'on' the HDD is suspect. This is why a 'zero-fill' erasure was suggested.
    Tuyen likes this.
  7. Tuyen

    Tuyen TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 27

    I am a noob :( what is zero fill erasure ?

    I used the Windows 7 installation disk to format and delete partitions and then using the same disk to perform a clean install on the formatted HD. Once I finish installing, I boot into windows and everything works just perfectly fine, except installing the sound driver, it just wont install at all.... And then things just gets worse when the windows updates started installing etc.. My computer would start to load up chkdsk randomly, deleting and replacing loads and loads of things and then it would restart to launch up repair only to fix nothing and giving me random errors.

    OH ! And also, I have used some
    Program to determine whether my hard drive is bad or good, it turns out that my harddrive is actually "healthy" "good" or whatever and I have also tried other methods like using cmd go check up on bad sectors. So do you think its still bad hard drive. Can any one help me directly using some sort of program like team viewer etc ? My email is [email address removed] would be so kind of you !!
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 14, 2016
  8. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus TS Evangelist Posts: 1,533   +288

    Please consider a 'zero-filled' erasure using HDD manufacturer's utility. I am hoping that is enough - I would hate to think that your BIOS has been re-written. Can you access BIOS? Does it look right? You may want to 'clear CMOS' as part of the restoration - then 'load optimal defaults' and adjust to your components.
    Tuyen likes this.
  9. Tuyen

    Tuyen TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 27

    I can access BIOS and have reset it to default, I will try the zero filed thing, but how do you clear the CMOS and what is that anyways. sorry ! Im so noob, bare with me thanks haha !

    The thing is, my computer would boot just fine, everything functions perfectly. But when the windows update installed, things starts to become messy
  10. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus TS Evangelist Posts: 1,533   +288

    Clearing CMOS - involves removing the 3.3v coin battery and changing a jumper. Varies by manufacturer, so get your manual (if you do not have a paper one, most manuals are online at the motherboard manufacturer's website or the system makers website). Also, this is very useful for setting BIOS up correctly.

    I am troubled by the issues with Win7 upgrades. Try to get system stable without connection to internet. Install your manufacturer's drivers. After you have restarted twice without issues and TURNED OFF automatic updates and started firewall and anti-virus, then connect to internet. Start the update process with newest version of Internet Explorer. Then download and install IE updates and restart. If every thing is working 'ok' switch back to automatic updates and restart.

    Force the next updates by doing an update check - should be hundreds.

    This discussion may help...
    Tuyen likes this.
  11. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,213   +200

    Have you tried not installing the sound drivers, that you have downloaded, to check whether you get sound from the default Windows 7 drivers?
    Tuyen likes this.
  12. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +116

    In most cases the manufacturers drivers are not needed by Windows - especially with more recent versions. Unless the sound hardware is some obscure brand Windows should detect and self-install the drivers at setup.

    Also, it's possible you are having issues with some installation agents because you are missing .NET framework. I would recommend you get Windows installed using the Windows 7 CD and then make your first task be downloading the .NET software - immediately after your computer is connected to the network/internet.

    Windows Update will usually pull down any missing drivers and install these for you as well.
    Tuyen likes this.
  13. Tuyen

    Tuyen TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 27

    After I finish installing window, I only installed AMD Catalyst Control and Internet Driver. This seemed to work just fine for 2 days even when I finish updating and installing updates. Sound works, everything work. But Chkdsk still occurs everytime I restart computer and this time it says it cannot start chkdsk cuz of recent installed software. Today, after this 1 final window update, soon as that was done. Computer starts to crash, first BSOD was a registry error, the 2nd was page fault non page something I cant remember. Why does the window update **** everything up ?
  14. Tuyen

    Tuyen TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 27

    My problem here is, I dont know whether its because of my OS CD or its because of my hard drive messing up... Otherwise I might end up buying both items where 1 would be a waste of money. Because all solutions found on the internet etc, did not help at all, ive tried everything... Soon to give up:oops::oops:
  15. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus TS Evangelist Posts: 1,533   +288

    T, it is just a machine.

    Turn off automatic restart on error.

    Examine the error and how it is described when it happens. Keep notes, especially the CAPITALIZED stuff and the stop code. Maybe take a photo of what is 'on screen'.

    Google and read (or watch - lots of help on Youtube). This is Windows 7 so there is a huge amount of information about issues.

    This may help:

    DO consider the possibility that you have not really fully cleaned out all the malware. Did you 'zero-fill' the entire HDD?

    Tuyen likes this.
  16. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,213   +200

    As the sound drivers and AMD Catalyst control centre may be part of the problem how about leaving them out and getting Windows 7 fully updated (which will take a long time because this is an old OS). Once you get to this stage, and hopefully all is functioning as it should, concentrate on the Audio and video drivers. You may not need them or you may be installing the wrong ones. It's not out of the ordinary to be battling with a problem for quite a while. That's part of the fun.
    Tuyen likes this.
  17. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +116

    Do you have any other hard drives connected to the computer, other than the one that was previously infected with malware?

    Are there any partitions you didn’t remove when you wiped the computer?

    If chkdsk is repeatedly coming up it could be possible your hard drive is failing. A bad OS DVD would just cause read/write errors when trying to install Windows.
    Tuyen likes this.
  18. Tuyen

    Tuyen TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 27

    Hi ! I am in the process of performing a low level format ! using "Lowvel" program. Could you have a look to see if this is a decent program ? What I dont understand is.. how does this program format/writting zeroes while windows still running ? but anyways, I will give you an update on this ! Thanks for commenting. I have literally done what you have said, searching up error codes and and watching videos, but still couldn't seem to resolve it. So Low Level Formatting will probably be my last resolution. If this fails.. I will try one more time with a more legit/popular program to perform another low level formatting, if that dont work... then I dont know... maybe new HD or different installation disk or something.

    Hmm.... I will also try this ! =D my whole life I have never experienced this stuff ever.. usually a format will do... but this.. ? not even formatting will fix lool.

    Well I deleted all format and then deleted all partition when I tried to install the OS but I also had an External Hard drive plugged in.
  19. Tuyen

    Tuyen TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 27

    Well, I bought this computer and it came a MSI disc which has all the drivers such as chipset, internet, sound. It worked perfectly fine for me when I first got it.. so I doubt its the drivers.
  20. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +116

    Remove the external hard drive and see if the chkdsk errors disappear.

    What disk is chkdsk forcibly trying to check at boot time?
    Tuyen likes this.
  21. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus TS Evangelist Posts: 1,533   +288

    Remove external drive (and any USB drives, memory cards, etc).
    Determine manufacturer of HDD.
    Go to manufacturer website. (see below)
    Download manufacturer utility.
    Make a bootable CD with utility (typically something like FreeDos makes it bootable)
    Set BIOS to boot from CD
    Boot from CD
    Run utility to truly 'low level' HDD and test as well
    Initialize / partition if all good.
    Confirm disconnected from Internet
    Install OS clean and fresh.
    Turn OFF updates
    Turn on Windows defender and firewall
    Now connect to Iinternet
    Now request and install Windows updates (1st run) - restart
    Now request and install Windows updates (2nd run) - restart
    Now request and install Windows updates (3rd run) - restart, should have almost all at this point.
    Go to MSI site and download FRESH drivers and install those

    If errors along the way. Stop, do not take next step, take notes, share.

    (from above) Lowvel might be really good or awful - don't know - I think it is just zeroing the empty places. I do now that manufacturer knows more about their HDD than just about anyone, so I go there.
    Tuyen likes this.
  22. Tuyen

    Tuyen TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 27

    Hi ! I have used lowvel and currently using windows notmally, but this time... I have a feeling that I have solved the problem ! Everything seem to work in order and no error so far. Man thanks all you guys that tried to help !!!!!! Especially you @Cycloid Torus for mentioning zero filling ! If some how this still messes up, then ill do what you have asked me in this order ! Man thanks alot guys seriously !
  23. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,213   +200

    That sounds positive. If all is OK don't forget how things went wrong initially. Take great care when looking for downloads and the sites that you use. A custom install if offered gives you the chance to avoid "goodies" that you are lots better off without. In some annoying cases where when opt out of everything you are not able to download what you were after in the first palace. Also sometimes a download button on a site is for something other than what you want. As Cycloid advised make some notes so you can manage that zero filling if lightning strikes again. ;)
    Tuyen likes this.
  24. Tuyen

    Tuyen TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 27

    So Ive been using it fine.. chkdsk occurs again ! for **** sake..... 3 times. First time after chkdsk, it loads in to windows... but it shows that CCC.exe file missing or corrupt.. then I deleted AMD Catalyst control.. and ive also tried delete Daemon tools lite.. which I reckoned was the cause for all this corruption.. restarted computer only to fined registry BSOD. the last chkdsk performed and was working on "volume 3734/%234872% something something" I cant remember.. related to memory. now BSOD is gone.. but sound on chrome doesnt work even though windows sound still works fine. same symptom as before, im talking about the very first issue... where all system files become missing... I cant load certain system programs in control panel... I think you guys are also have had enough with this **** too.. im just gona try 1 last time following cycloid instruction thats.. after that dont work. hard drive is going in the bin.
  25. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,213   +200

    You are I hope uninstalling from the Control Panel entries and not deleting things as you did at the start of the thread. CCC.exe is for the ATI graphics card and I suggest you manage without it for the moment. I go for nVidia graphics cards but I vaguely remember having problems with Catalyst Control Centre in the past. It won't do any harm to run CCleaner (free) and tidy things up a bit. I also ditched Daemon tools after having problems and installed Virtual CloneDrive.
    Tuyen likes this.

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