Windows 10: Professional cleaning: what's involved? Solved

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  1. Posts : 523
    Win 10 Home Build 1803, 17133.1,64bit
       03 Jan 2018 #31

    This is an old vid, but may be of help. There should be other info available on the Acer Forum or website.








    Acer Laptop/Computer - How To Wipe and Restore Hard Drive to Factory Default - YouTube
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    12 Jan 2018 #32

    I had a bunch of distractions and got sidetracked with them but now I'm back and ready to work through the instructions I've been given on this thread. But first, I need some clarification.

    I think we've established that my brother's computer is running Windows 10 and that he has UEFI.

    1. I'm looking at the link that talks about creating bootable copies of Windows on flash drives or DVD - Create Bootable USB Flash Drive to Install Windows 10 Installation Upgrade Tutorials - but I'm darned if I'm clear on which of the many variations on that page I should be following. I initially did the instructions in Option 1 but now I'm thinking I need to do Option 2, especially #6 within that so that the UEFI is handled correctly. Is that correct?

    2. I'm still concerned about erasing the hard drive by some method or another but I'm confused about the timing and technique. It seems like there was a concensus reached suggesting how to clean the hard drive when I reported that I couldn't get the computer to boot into DBAN - please correct me if I'm wrong - that included these steps:
    ==========
    Boot from a windows 10 installation drive

    Press shift+f10 to get to command prompt

    Type

    diskpart

    list disk

    select disk n (n is number of drive to be wiped - normally 0 if only 1 drive)

    clean all (all does secure wipe - can take a long time - do overnight)

    exit
    exit
    ======

    Assuming those are the instructions to follow, I'm not clear on the timing. It seems logical that I would need to do those instructions FIRST before attempting to reinstall Windows. Is that correct?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    13 Jan 2018 #33

    Go to this page and download this tool. Execute the tool and follow the instructions. The tool will walk you through creating the media. Have a blank DVD or a flash drive ready, depending on which method you want to use to install.

    Get this out of the way first:

    Download Windows 10
      My ComputersSystem Spec


  4. Posts : 13,509
    Windows 10 Pro
       14 Jan 2018 #34

    RhinoCan said: View Post
    I'm willing to help him clean the computer - I'm reasonably proficient with computers - but before I tackle this, I'd like to know what exactly the bank was implying by a "professional" cleaning. In other words, what would a good computer store do if they had to clean up a computer that had been compromised in this way?
    Many of them will format the drive and reinstall Windows without looking at the pc to see if the infections can be removed without a format.

    Some may actually have a look at what's present, even though they probably have no idea what it actually is.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  5.    14 Jan 2018 #35

    axe0 said: View Post
    Many of them will format the drive and reinstall Windows without looking at the pc to see if the infections can be removed without a format.

    Some may actually have a look at what's present, even though they probably have no idea what it actually is.
    Not to turn this into a debate, but Iím of the opinion that unless youíre an OS engineer or a professional security researcher, you donít have the knowledge or skills to clean malware from an existing OS install and say with 100% confidence that the machine is clean. That goes for me, most people on the net and a lot of computer shops. Thatís a very specialized area of expertise.

    It doesnít take an expert to zero a drive and install an OS.

    Itís all about what level of risk youíre willing to accept.
      My ComputersSystem Spec


  6. Posts : 13,509
    Windows 10 Pro
       14 Jan 2018 #36

    vram said: View Post
    Not to turn this into a debate, but I’m of the opinion that unless you’re an OS engineer or a professional security researcher, you don’t have the knowledge or skills to clean malware from an existing OS install and say with 100% confidence that the machine is clean. That goes for me, most people on the net and a lot of computer shops. That’s a very specialized area of expertise.

    It doesn’t take an expert to zero a drive and install an OS.

    It’s all about what level of risk you’re willing to accept.
    I second your opinion, fortunately there are quite some people that can actually do this the right way for free. I happen to train for this so hopefully one day I will be able to do this kind of tasks.

    Before this goes south ways, please keep in mind I merely answered the OP's question with my opinion and experience with computer stores.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  7.    14 Jan 2018 #37

    axe0 said: View Post
    I second your opinion, fortunately there are quite some people that can actually do this the right way for free. I happen to train for this so hopefully one day I will be able to do this kind of tasks.

    Before this goes south ways, please keep in mind I merely answered the OP's question with my opinion and experience with computer stores.
    Hats off to you. Malware disinfection Is a whole new level of tedium that I care not deal with. You have to really like this stuff to do it.

    Iím all for trying to save an install that isnít related to malware, but if Iím dealing with an infection, itís orbital bombardment for me. Absolutely no patience for it.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  8.    14 Jan 2018 #38

    I realize you two are discussing important issues related to my issue but I'm still struggling a bit with the questions I asked in post #32 in this thread. I've created the media (on a 32 GB flash drive) to recreate Windows 10 on my brother's computer using my own computer. I put the flash drive in his computer and clicked on Restart (I had his computer on to verify that the Windows version was Windows 10 Home), then started pressed F12. I pressed it many many times from a second or two after I clicked on Restart, and it still booted into Windows 10 and presumably NOT from the flash drive.

    I haven't done anything yet about cleaning his hard drive yet so it's undoubtably still full of crap. I'm assuming I need to follow the instructions I cited in post #32 before I actually install the new copy of Windows but haven't seen anyone confirm that. (It makes no sense to me to install the new copy of Windows 10 and *then* wipe the hard drive but then Microsoft does lots of things that make me raise my eyebrows in wonder so I'm not ruling it out.)

    But mostly, I'm stuck trying to get his computer to boot from the flash drive, which seems to depend on getting that boot menu by pressing F12, which isn't working.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  9. Posts : 7,625
    10 Home x64 (1803) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       14 Jan 2018 #39

    RhinoCan said: View Post
    ..mostly, I'm stuck trying to get his computer to boot from the flash drive, which seems to depend on getting that boot menu by pressing F12, which isn't working.
    Apparently, Acer's first instruction in their Help for changing the boot order from the boot menu is,...

    1. Check that the F12 Boot Menu function is enabled on your system: please visit our knowledge base article Enabling the boot device menu.
    https://us.answers.acer.com/app/answ...ing-boot-order
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  10.    14 Jan 2018 #40

    Assuming F12 option is enabled as Bree mentioned, the easiest way to tell people (that Iíve found) is to start tapping F12 repeatedly as soon as you click restart and donít stop until the boot menu is displayed.
      My ComputersSystem Spec


 
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