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Easy question regarding reformating

By infectedpeecee ยท 5 replies
May 9, 2009
  1. I want to reformat because i use my PC for important stuff. If i reformat will it rid me of any backdoor trojans i may have? also does it matter how i reformat? Can i use the built in reformat that came with my dell or do i have to use reformat discs? Thanks.
  2. lopdog

    lopdog TS Maniac Posts: 295

    Boot from any XP CD or Vista DVD and do a FULL format (not quick format). Or even better, get a program that formats and fills your entire hdd with 0.
    That should get rid of any virus, but be sure to remove all partitions and format the entire disk. And don't forget to scan your backup (if you have any), or a virus could hide there.
    I've heard that some boot sector viruses may survive a reformat, but if you use fdisk /mbr (that removes your Master Boot Record) you should be safe.
  3. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    Formatting deletes all your information if you didn't already know.
    There is a Malware Removal forum here, but formatting is safer and easier, especially if your already prepared.
  4. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    This part is related to the Partition(s) where it is possible that corruption or malware can be present

    The only problem is this comment:
    If you run Fdisk anything, or even just remove the Partition(s) you can also remove the Function key prompt (I think it's F10 but could be F11, not sure) that displays when the Dell computer starts up.

    Running the Dell recovery format, would be the best option, although I'm not entirely positive if this also removes the Partition, at least it does it safely ;)
  5. lopdog

    lopdog TS Maniac Posts: 295

    You'll have to consider if you want to keep the restore partition or not. If you remove it, you'll loose all restore options (unless dell ships with a restore DVD, I don't know). But if you leave it as it is, there is a slight possibility that it's infected.
  6. rax1418

    rax1418 TS Rookie


    Yes, be sure to use the discs that (hopefully) came with your PC.

    I'm not sure if a buil-in reformatting would be as safe as one performed using discs since anything in the actual PC is at risk if being infected while the discs are untouchable.

    Hope I added a little.
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