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Malware / Trojan / Virus Part Two

By Heather - Page 1

Dealing with infections

With luck, you will get a chance to sort out the problems before your PC is knackered.. These pages are based on an occasion when a combination of bad luck, hamfistedness and stupidity wrote off my PC. There will be suggestions about what you can do in a similar situation, in the hope you can save your PC

Signs of trouble

These were some of the indications of infection. They were more or less ignored because virus checker and anti-spyware programs all seemed to find no problems. It was obvious later that these had been the first casualties.

  • The sound card and network were interfering with each other. When there was any significant network traffic, MP3s would suddenly play at about a 20th of their normal speed for a few bars of a song, or would screech at random.
  • The PC started rebooting at will
  • The hard disk would suddenly max out all the CPU capacity when nothing but XP was running
  • Task Manager's network monitor showed a complete lack of symmetry between the traffic on the internet and LAN connections
  • Task Manager showed a lot of unknown processes. However, they all had seemingly reasonable names so there were no obvious rogues. Googled, there was always someone on a bulletin board to identify a particular process as a video driver or a part of Windows for everyone who said it was a Trojan. There was no reason to assume the person who said it was a Trojan wasn't a hoaxer.

Attempts to solve these problems included installing a new network card. This seemed to improve matters for a few days.

The ultimate sign of trouble was a complete failure to boot after a self-propelled reboot. The reboot was in response to a run of an anti-spyware program that alerted that it had found something

As the PC has a couple of hard disks, one of which is very old, I assumed a hard disk failure, but removing the suspect disk made no impact. The motherboard seemed to get power intermittently. I assumed there was a motherboard or CPU failure or a problem with the power supply unit. Attempts to extract the CPU to try it in another motherboard came up against the fact that the Athlon CPU was apparently heat-welded by silicon gel to the heatsink/fan unit - which had itself obviously been designed with the certainty that no one would ever choose to remove it again. Blooded fingers and a mashed fan connector led to the conclusion that the CPU/motherboard were certainly damaged now if they weren't before.

Due to poverty, coupled with a house littered with redundant tech, I had to accept a temporary rebuild of the PC round what was until then an old Linux box. This got the PC running again. The hard disks were OK, and due to the wonders of XP, they just accepted the different environment they found themselves in.

I installed anew virus checker. It found a fair number of viruses and Trojans. (well over a thousand infected files :) ) But it proved inept at getting rid of more than a handful.

Malware, Trojans and Virus Infections - Page 2

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