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Messages - mikep

Linux Support / Re: using linux to fix an xp system
December 18, 2013, 01:03:53 AM
Hello Folks,

Just so you know, I'm still here and I will post back with any progress.  I appreciate your suggestions and will try them asap.  The thing is, I work for Royal Mail, and it's Christmas, so I'm not getting much free time.



Linux Support / Re: using linux to fix an xp system
December 12, 2013, 12:21:01 PM
Thanks folks,

I will try some of your suggestions as soon as I get a few minutes to myself!  At the moment I can't devote enough time to do it properly, which is a pain, since I'm stuck with a slow, old machine in place of my usual one.

No, it's not SAGE, Mark. It's a very old DOS package which she had a hand in designing, so it does exactly what she wants of it.

Ideally, I want to keep an installation of XP for use offline. I'd been thinking of creating a brand new, fully updated one just before microsoft finally pulls the plug on April 8th 2014 and ghosting it, so maybe this virus isn't such an inconvenience anyway - at least now I can't forget about it until it's too late!

I'm going to clean the infected disk one way or another and do that, then I'll create a dual boot with some flavour of linux (assuming I can get one to run on this hardware).  One thing's for sure, I'll do all my surfing in a VM in future to avoid this situation.

I will post back and report progress, as soon as I've made some!

Thanks again for your time.  All suggestions welcome.
Linux Support / Re: using linux to fix an xp system
December 11, 2013, 01:41:54 AM
Thanks Mark,

I know XP's days are numbered (although as I understand it, over 40% of the world's corprations are still using it), but I'm running various Windows-based software I don't want to be without (Truecrypt, to name the most important).  Also, my wife is a self-employed bookkeeper who needs to exchange files with her Windows-based clients.  So it's not quite as simple as swapping Linux for Windows - not to mention the learning curve, which I would enjoy, but don't have the time for....

I've been wondering which way to jump for a while now, and Linux ticks most of the boxes, but there's still hardware compatibilty - I've never managed to get any distro running happily on my main PC, other than in a VM.

My instinct is to ditch Microsoft and move to Linux, but that may not be possible overnight.  I need a period of dual-booting and learning.  Meantime, I need access to my encrypted files and certain Windows/DOS applications.  I've been thinking about Windows 7 but I hate Microsoft's approach to licensing/activation.  Ultimately, I know I'll move to Linux.  The problem is managing the transition.
Linux Support / Re: using linux to fix an xp system
December 10, 2013, 01:18:36 PM
Thanks Chemicalfan,

Considering at the lengthy procedures for eliminating the thing anyway, a fresh start is looking more and more appealing.

How would I completely erase the partitions in question from Linux?

Bear in mind we are talking about a partitioned drive - do I need to worry about the other partitions which haven't so far been found to be infected?  Also, if I nuke the system partition do I still need to nuke the partition table? I assume deleting the latter means losing every partition on the drive.
Linux Support / Re: using linux to fix an xp system
December 10, 2013, 01:58:21 AM
Thanks Emegra and SeZo,

Yes, it's a little charmer isn't it? Bit of keylogging as a sideline just to add to it's appeal. I'm tempted to use that feature to type my opinion of the sleazebag who wrote it..

Avast did originally detect the problem, but failed to clean it.  When I rebooted I got the message 'NTLDR is missing'. I don't quite understand this, since you'd expect a trojan to allow the machine to boot whilst compromising it silently in the background.  The way I spotted this one was suspicious behaviour in Firefox.  All a bit too obvious for the avarage trojan/rootkit/keylogger.

However, even reinstalling XP got me nowhere, since when I installed SP2 and rebooted, the 'NTLDR is missing' message popped up again - presumably the rootkit at work?

I'll look into the SystemRescueCd option when I get time.  Otherwise I might thoroughly erase the windows partition (from linux) and try another reinstall (would this get rid of the rootkit?).  I could then restore from an old image file (Norton Ghost) and bring it up to date.

Happily, most of my important data is on other internal drives, some of it encrypted, and backed up on external drives, so I think I can recover from this inconvenience.  It's just that removing the infection would save me a bit of time reinstalling things, and be more satisfying.  Mind you, trashing the existing partitions (the one containing XP and the one containing the infected Ghosts) might be safer in the long run.  Could I do this from Linux, or would 'boot & nuke' be more effective?

I'd appreciate your opinions.

Linux Support / Re: using linux to fix an xp system
December 07, 2013, 01:01:08 AM
Quick update.

I tried Bitdefender - no luck.  I could barely read the screen, the resolution was so fuzzy, but as far as I could tell, no threat detected.  It did help in one respect though. When I asked it to boot from the hard drive I was able to establish that the virus in question was Win32:Hupigon-onx[Trj].  Nice.

Then I tried the AVG rescue disk. That detected no problems, despite the virus DB being the latest available.

Looks like I'm in for the long haul. I can access my files using Puppy, and I've an old PC I can use for internet access, so I can take my time over this.  The infected machine is firmly offline (except in Linux), so nobody is keylogging anything.  I've got three busy days ahead, so won't be able to spend time on this. I'll report back as and when I have anything to report.

Thanks to anyone who has any suggestions to offer.

Linux Support / Re: using linux to fix an xp system
December 05, 2013, 02:00:34 AM
No, but I will!

Thanks Mark.  Going to bed now (work in the morning), but I'll follow those links tomorrow and let you know how I get on.


Linux Support / using linux to fix an xp system (solved)
December 05, 2013, 01:23:16 AM
Hello folks,

I'm a virtual newcomer to linux.  I've experimented with live cds of various distros, but never really got to grips with linux, for simple lack of time..

I once used Puppy to salvage a disk which Windows said was dead, and I often use Ubuntu in a vm, but I still have a lot to learn about linux, and I'm keen to learn it ( I certainly have no intention of buying windows eight).

Now, the thing is, I have an immediate problem and I would like to use linux to fix it.  My windows XP installation has been infected by a nasty virus.  Normally I'd just revert to a Norton ghost and laugh it off.  Problem is, my ghost files are infected too!

I need to use linux to clean the pc, but when I install AVAST! in Ubuntu (live CD) no infections are found.  Probably because the virus definitions are four years old.  When I update the defs, the AVAST! engine crashes.  Game over.

Can anyone pleeeease suggest a way of using linux to clean my windows pc

Any help much appreciated