Remove malware step 11 -- When in doubt, reload

Reload files when removing malware. Learn how in this part of our step-by-step guide for value-added resellers (VARs), systems integrators (SIs) and security consultants.

When in doubt, reload. If you cannot get Windows to load -- it is locking up or continuously rebooting at a certain point even in safe mode -- then you may have to take more drastic steps to recover your system. But before you do that, you should try Winternal's ERD Commander to see if you can get back in at least long enough to copy data files you don't want to lose. Beyond that, you can restore from backup, or reformat and start all...

over. As drastic as this may sound, it'll likely take less time than trying to troubleshoot this further, and you'll have a clean system to boot.


Remove malware step-by-step

  Introduction
  Step 1: Use several tools
  Step 2: Try free tools
  Step 3: Check obvious places
  Step 4: Dig deeper
  Step 5: Unload infected software
  Step 6: Disable system restore, reboot in safe mode
  Step 7: Check for software corruption or hardware problem
  Step 8: Don't rely solely on a search engine
  Step 9: Check for vendor-specific removal tools
  Step 10: Hash suspect files
  Step 11: When in doubt, reload
  Step 12: Create a formal security incident response plan

About the author
Kevin Beaver is an independent information security consultant, author, and speaker with Atlanta-based Principle Logic, LLC. He has more than 18 years of experience in IT and specializes in performing information security assessments. Kevin has written five books including
Hacking For Dummies (Wiley), Hacking Wireless Networks For Dummies, and The Practical Guide to HIPAA Privacy and Security Compliance (Auerbach). He can be reached at kbeaver @ principlelogic.com.

This tip originally appeared on SearchWindowsSecurity.com.

This was first published in February 2007

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