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Should I reformat my laptop's hard drive?

About a year ago i had spyware, adware and virus issues with my laptop, I tried different spyware & antivirus removal software but still had problems. I stopped using my laptop all together but now i want to use it again. Should I reformat the hard drive and start over or does anyone have any suggestions as to what i should try next??? I have already backed up files that i need. I have the disks to install the microsoft office suite, i just wouldn't know where to begin. If i reformat the hard drive would i need to reinstall the office suite, i know i'll have to add the printer/scanner again but would it reload the programs that were originally on the laptop??? I'd really appreciate some suggestions. :)

6 Answers

  • Yttl
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Your spyware is old and pest control improved since last year.

    Either system restore (that is shortest) else:

    A.) try to remove the spyware and viruses

    Good free virus scanner and there are plenty.

    This step is best done with and external boot cd e.g.

    Barts PE - with scanner run from there.

    next: Start up Your system and. = Ad-Aware SE Personal Edition = Spybot – Search & Destroy

    Best run both through - between the two they should get all spyware. ( // i have a double boot system on hdd // I would only run virus software and then B. and C. - if i were You)

    B.) You can look for unwanted browser helper objects for Your IE with BHODemon 2.0 a free tool by:

    C.) Most spyware and viruses infests autostart. You can check it e. g. with: Autoruns a free tool by Sysinternals - section process tools

    Hint: there should not be many program exes in autostart ( autoruns calls that section "logon" ) that is not by Microsoft except Your firewall ( and a virus scanner if You machine is powerfull enough to run a guard all the time ).

    With that You could try to track down and eliminate spyware not known to Your dedicated spyware hunters.

    If You have located such an unwanted guest/exe.

    1.) Shut it down e.g. with:

    Process Explorer also free at Sysinternals:

    2.) Throw it out of autostart.

    If 1.) is not possible start with 2.) and boot down real fast ( for some You need to shut down energy to be fast enough ;-)

    D. ) You can also reinstall OS without formatting

    (less effort: many progarms can still run after that )

    Delete Windows folder from external boot cd, virus scan the rest and setup Windows again - that is about 1 hour Windows setup plus time for virus scan and repair some programs

    I wish You success with getting rid of the pest.

    Preventive messures for next time.

    Alternative browser and mail progarm that is not deeply rooted

    in system : k-meleon, Firefox or Opera for browser.

    Thunderbird or Opera for mail.

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  • 1 decade ago

    You should reformat the drive. You will have to re-install everything also. If you have a restore disk, that would probably be the easiest route to take. If you do not have copies of the software that is on there now, then you're out of luch if you do a re-format.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    dont format it you dont have da back up drivers cd ? do this

    and defrag your hard drive and disk clean up & update ur drivers from manufacturers website

    AD-aware - personal

    avg antispyware

    spybot search and destory

    anitspyware blocker


    spyware doctor


    you download them . then you run 1 at a time to scan ur pc . use deep scan with them all .when found spyware or addware .malware .trojan in da scan . just hit on delete.also have registry machanic . that will clean up ur pc registry you want to use a good anitivurs .. Kaspersky .antivirus is verry good .when you have scan ur pc .and remove da malware . then start pc in safemode and scan da pc again as in safe mode it will do a even more deep scan for spyware or malware or trojans you will not need to format da pc at all you can remove any spyware or trojan malware in da way i told you how to it is easy

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  • snvffy
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    C'mon Mari, the books you got with the laptop were meant to be read. They contain the information you're asking us for. If you don't have the books, go to the computer maker's web site and search for it. Then see what it says and what your options are. Usually, once you start the recovery cds, you will get several choices, like complete install, repair, etc.

    Good Luck

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  • 1 decade ago

    i suggest you reformat ur laptop...reformatting means erasing everything on your hard disk, so you after reformating, you should install first the OS (operating system) like Windows XP or Macintosh, the so on...MS Office, Printers driver, everything that you needed in your computer.

    Source(s): stock knowledge
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    If data on your hard disk is corrupted it is advisable to format the hard disk and reinstall the operating system More details at

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