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Question How to do make a very deep verification and cleaning on the system?

Jul 21, 2021
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So, here is the thing: I just formatted my old computer and I feel like there must be some kind of malware hidden deeper bellow the system.

The history:

Some years ago, this PC got a very annoying virus from an unofficial streaming service. It installed a fake copy of Google Chrome that would always run it when I boot the computer, no matter what settings I changed. I tried uninstalling but it would always reinstall itself after a while. I even formatted the PC twice and after sometime, the fake Chrome would always come back anyways.

At the same time, my cursor would always have that little loading circle flickering besides it. It would happen all the time as something demanding was running in the background. It was nothing like that before I got the virus.

Also, I used to feel like the PC was running slower after the system got infected.

Because of all that, I reached out some people from a forum asking for assistance and one guy helped me running many different scans and scripts that was giving me very good results. The PC got a bit faster and the fake Chrome never showed up again. But unfortunately I got busy in my life, that guy disappeared and I couldn't finish all the scans and cleaning that would confirm if every part of that malware was removed.

3 years passed and I barely used the PC.

Yesterday I just formatted the system again, reinstalled a fresh version of Windows 10 and I realized that it stills shows the flickering loading circle besides the cursor even when I'm not doing anything. So it makes me think that probably there is still some part of that annoying malware left inside, hidden somewhere bellow the system, because formatting it doesn't solve the problems that it caused.

So, my questions are:
  1. Does anyone knows any way to make a very very deep verification and cleaning on the system and on the things beyond the system? (I am not a hardcore tech user, but I can do it if the instructions are clear)
  2. Does anyone knows any other forums where I can find people to help me run scans and scripts like that one guy did? (I can't access that same forum from before due to internet restrictions where I live now. VPN doesn't solve this problem for some reason)
I appreciate any kind of help :D
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
So, here is the thing: I just formatted my old computer and I feel like there must be some kind of malware hidden deeper bellow the system.

The history:

Some years ago, this PC got a very annoying virus from an unofficial streaming service. It installed a fake copy of Google Chrome that would always run it when I boot the computer, no matter what settings I changed. I tried uninstalling but it would always reinstall itself after a while. I even formatted the PC twice and after sometime, the fake Chrome would always come back anyways.

At the same time, my cursor would always have that little loading circle flickering besides it. It would happen all the time as something demanding was running in the background. It was nothing like that before I got the virus.

Also, I used to feel like the PC was running slower after the system got infected.

Because of all that, I reached out some people from a forum asking for assistance and one guy helped me running many different scans and scripts that was giving me very good results. The PC got a bit faster and the fake Chrome never showed up again. But unfortunately I got busy in my life, that guy disappeared and I couldn't finish all the scans and cleaning that would confirm if every part of that malware was removed.

3 years passed and I barely used the PC.

Yesterday I just formatted the system again, reinstalled a fresh version of Windows 10 and I realized that it stills shows the flickering loading circle besides the cursor even when I'm not doing anything. So it makes me think that probably there is still some part of that annoying malware left inside, hidden somewhere bellow the system, because formatting it doesn't solve the problems that it caused.

So, my questions are:
  1. Does anyone knows any way to make a very very deep verification and cleaning on the system and on the things beyond the system? (I am not a hardcore tech user, but I can do it if the instructions are clear)
  2. Does anyone knows any other forums where I can find people to help me run scans and scripts like that one guy did? (I can't access that same forum from before due to internet restrictions where I live now. VPN doesn't solve this problem for some reason)
I appreciate any kind of help :D
Buy a new disk and do an OS install.
It is possible the virus is/was on your home network. It could be (or could have been 3 years ago) reinfecting the PC.
 
Jul 21, 2021
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Buy a new disk and do an OS install.
It is possible the virus is/was on your home network. It could be (or could have been 3 years ago) reinfecting the PC.
I reinstalled the OS for the third time and the symptom is still there, that's why I think the problem hasn't go away.
And It can't be the network because I have moved twice since that time and the problems persisted no matter what network I connect to.

The only way to really know the computer is clean is to do a wipe and reinstall.
I wiped everything and reinstalled the system 3 times, it seems like it's not clean yet. This is why I am asking for alternatives.
 
How did you do that? If you used the built in system reset then your may need to create a fresh windows 10 usb, boot from usb, and delete all data partitions and reinstall that way. But as stated if you have other systems on your network they could just be messing up your computer when you get it cleaned.
 
Jul 21, 2021
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How did you do that? If you used the built in system reset then your may need to create a fresh windows 10 usb, boot from usb, and delete all data partitions and reinstall that way. But as stated if you have other systems on your network they could just be messing up your computer when you get it cleaned.
Yes, I did create a USB bootable image, booted from USB, deleted all unessential partitions, cleared all the necessary partitions and installed the system over again.

I didn't do do the factory reset as I am afraid I might mess things up, I just formatted the disk the traditional way. Could the factory reset help me clean things deeper or it wouldn't make a difference?
 
Jul 21, 2021
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Yes, I did create a USB bootable image, booted from USB, deleted all unessential partitions, cleared all the necessary partitions and installed the system over again.

I didn't do do the factory reset as I am afraid I might mess things up, I just formatted the disk the traditional way. Could the factory reset help me clean things deeper or it wouldn't make a difference?
I mean, the original system of this machine is not even Windows, so I would have to install it over the original Linux based system anyway.

I would have to do
factory reset > format HD > install Windows > use

Is it any different from this?
format HD > install Windows > use
 
Jul 21, 2021
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I just checked several websites trying to make a factory reset and it looks like it's not even possible anymore since the installation of Windows destroyed the recovery partition (?)
So yeah, I think that's not even an option and I would appreciate if anyone can help me indicating ways to scan deep down the system and cleaning anything harmful.
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
I reinstalled the OS for the third time and the symptom is still there, that's why I think the problem hasn't go away.
And It can't be the network because I have moved twice since that time and the problems persisted no matter what network I connect to.
Installing the OS vs buying a brand new disk and installing the OS are two different things.
It COULD be the network, because, even if you moved, you didn't throw away every USB drive and flash media you have. You could be using an infected USB installer media. I don't know.
 

COLGeek

Cybernaut
Moderator
...deleted all unessential partitions, cleared all the necessary partitions and installed the system over again.
Did you retain any previous partitions? If so, this could be the source of the re-infection (if that is what is happening).

Then there is the possibility of re-introducing threats/malware when restoring apps. Are you using verified, good, clean legit sources for all apps?
 
Jul 21, 2021
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Installing the OS vs buying a brand new disk and installing the OS are two different things.
It COULD be the network, because, even if you moved, you didn't throw away every USB drive and flash media you have. You could be using an infected USB installer media. I don't know.
The reason I want to use this computer is because I don't want to spend too much money right now. A new 1 tera SSD is not that cheap. This is why I am asking for help to clean this old system.
I used a different flash drive in every time, so it can't be it.
By the way, I didn't throw away my old flash drives, I just didn't bring it with me, this is what happens when you move to another continent by yourself, you only bring what's absolutely necessary or valuable. Flash drive isn't either.

Did you retain any previous partitions? If so, this could be the source of the re-infection (if that is what is happening).

Then there is the possibility of re-introducing threats/malware when restoring apps. Are you using verified, good, clean legit sources for all apps?
No, I deleted every unnecessary partitions.
The symptoms are there as soon as I use it for the first time, after a fresh installation, without installing anything else. But still, I am very careful about the origin of everything I use after that incident.
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
The reason I want to use this computer is because I don't want to spend too much money right now. A new 1 tera SSD is not that cheap. This is why I am asking for help to clean this old system.
The best way to "clean" is to start with known clean. That is why I recommend a new OS disk. A 1TB SSD is not the only way to achieve a new disk. If you want cheap get a spinning disk.
 
At least in the USA as well, a 240gb ssd only runs about 35-40 dollars. On my personal rig at home, I've got a 256gb NVME ssd as boot drive, then a 1tb ssd for storage/games, and then 2 1tb spinning drives for other storage. Though I would like to maybe get another 1 or a 2tb ssd and retire the spinning drives.
 

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