Recovering From a Nasty Windows Virus

by Michael on August 29, 2010 · 0 comments

My son’s Asus Eee PC 1000HE running Windows XP recently contracted a nasty virus. Unfortunately, he didn’t tell me about it right away, and we ended up having to completely restore his system and start over from scratch.

Here’s the story in a nutshell… He was trying to download music and movies from various places on the web when he got infected. He was running Avira with the latest definitions, but that didn’t seem to help.

Instead of telling me what happened, he decided to troubleshoot the problem himself. The details from here aren’t entirely clear, but he ended up installing Avast on top of Avira, which is a definite no-no.

By the time he brought the problem to my attention, he couldn’t get Windows XP to boot, and neither could I. I tried rolling it back to the last known good configuration, but it just went to a blank screen and froze.

I next tried booting into Safe Mode, but it wound up hanging when it tried to load “isapnp.sys” and refused to go any further. Not a good sign. In the end, we decided to punt and wipe the drive.

We ended up booting the System Restore DVD from an external DVD drive, and we restored the factory settings from there. Fortunately, he didn’t have anything irreplaceable on his computer. If he had, I would’ve worked harder to recover the data.

And now… We just need to grab the music and movies off his iPod Touch. We’ll likely have to use something like Senuti on my Mac to do this, and then shuttle everything back over to his netbook from there.

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