Formatting PC the special way
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Thread: Formatting PC the special way

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2002

    Question Formatting PC the special way

    Hi ppl.

    I've got a friend that wants to format his PC. He's got multiple virusses and he already formatted it but most of the virusses haven't been deleted. Now I've heard of a program that formats the harddisk multiple times in one go to make sure that the files on the disk are deleted instead of just "marked writable".

    So, I wanted to ask you guys, do you know any of those programs and where you can download them? I would really appreciate any help you can give.

    Thanx ppl.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    SD Formating doesnt remove data or files It simply moves them elsewhere. The solution is to use fdisk delete the current partition. Then boot to a boot floppy and make another or let the windows install do it for you.

  3. #3
    Senior since the 3 dot era
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    SickDwarf make sure you format from a clean boot medium, otherwise you will still be stuck with the memory resident viruses.

    You can use norton systemworks for your "special" format. It has Norton Wipe Info.
    Wipe Info erases either a file, directory, disk or unused / free space to erase all tracks of earlier progs.

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    redgore is correct. You have to FDISK and delete the partition and delete the DOS partition. You then recreate the partition and DOS partition. Then load your OS. This will clean everything out on the HD

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002

    Re: Formatting PC the special way

    w98 Bootdisk[write protect] + w98 cd reset than fdisk /mbr[1 partition]and reset than setup more boot-virus.

    format c: or format c:/q won t do the job!
    i m gone,thx everyone for so much fun and good info.
    cheers and good bye

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    just to throw it out there if it is a western digital [other probably have the option but i am sure WD harddrives have it] you can use the system tools disk or whatever the hell they call it and write all 0's to the drive
    Violence breeds violence
    we need a world court
    not a republican with his hands covered in oil and military hardware lecturing us on world security!

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Euclid -
    Are you maybe thinking of WD's Data Lifeguard? The writing "0's" to the hard drive is included in the "DLG" package. Maxtor and Seagate also have hard drive formatting tools. I'm not sure if they have anything similar to Western Digital's but I expect they do as well.

    SickDwarf -
    Does your friend know what virii were picked up? It may be that they have infected the CMOS, BIOS or MBR files. From what I've read, some MBR virii can easily avoid the repartitioning/reformatting process even if you have a write-protected floppy.
    If you need programs for a specific hard drive or virus type - let us know and I'm sure we can help you out. I have a growing list of links for all sorts of things as I'm sure others who frequent this forum do. Good Luck!

    All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them. What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Get the low-format utility from your HD manufacture. These so call "low-format" utilities just writes zeros all over your HD. It is quick and the result is a clean hard disk without hidden viruses!

  9. #9
    Sorry, here's a newbie question...just browsing though this post...You can't reformat and try to rid the viruses? You'd be better to just wipe the HD clean? I know when I was infected with Klez, I had to use my complete restore disk, which wiped out everything on my comp and reinstalled back to how I got my computer when I bought it, I couldn't do much of anything that would rid the klez completely. I even tried downloading the remover from my friend's comp and running the disk on my box to no avail.

    And even when I was infected with Klez, I couldn't use any of my backup disks. I don't know...I've just gotten myself confused, can someone clarify this for me...

    Just trying to follow along and learn...

    EDIT: I got really confused with the whole writing the zeros to your harddrive, would this take up unnecessary space? Or would it just overwrite the virii, to be later overwritten by data? (Sorry, never heard of doing that before)

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    I think what people were pointing out is that format c: on its own is not enough to remove a lot of virii, as there will still be traces of it left on your HDD, or even worse in your BIOS.
    By using the fdisk /mbr command first you should be able to reset/clean the MBR record on your HDD. This is important, as if you a virus that has infected your MBR, it will reinfect your machine when you reboot (even if you have done a format c.
    However if the BIOS is infected, even this may not work, and the only option is to re-flash the BIOS, which is fairly drastic, as if it goes wrong you end up with a non working PC.
    The good news on this front is that some more modern motherboards have two copies of the BIOS, so if a virus has affected your primary BIOS, you can tell the PC to boot from the secondary copy - and if everything works OK you can then copy the secondary copy back to the primary one.

    I'm surprised you couldn't use any backup disks, but there is a good chance they wouldn't do you any good anyway! If your BIOS and/or MBR was infected then doing a restore from a recovery disk would restore the main contents of the HDD back to what it was when you purchased it, but not the MBR or the BIOS. Then as soon as you re boot the virus reinfects your machine !!

    Doing a low level format (i.e. writing 0's over the entire HDD) effectively achieves the same result (although it won't solve a BIOS problem) as it wipes all data from your HDD. It doesn't take up unnecessary space. This is often used if you are intending to sell/give your PC/HDD to someone else, as you probably don't want them looking at any personal data you may have left behind.

    To try and summarise, normal formatting will remove the virii from the main part of your HDD. But if the MBR and/or the BIOS is infected, then when you re boot your machine the virii will spring back into action, and reinfect the rest of your HDD.

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