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Windows 7: Malware With Clean Install of Windows 7

14 Jan 2015   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
Malware With Clean Install of Windows 7

I recently had some computer work done, and had a computer technician do a clean install of Windows 7 on a new HDD since he already had the machine, and I figured it would be convenient. I'm not saying the computer technician is not trust worthy, but after some recent circumstances that occurred after doing business with them, I want to be cautious. I would like to make sure that malware, key loggers, or other things of this sort were not installed.

Will formatting the HDD and installing Windows 7 again take care of this, or is there other actions that need to be taken?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jan 2015   #2
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

A reinstall would of course be the cleanest solution. Else you can run scanners to see whether there is anything. Start with Malwarebytes. That is pretty good.

Maybe others can chime in with their favorite scanner - there are so many options.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jan 2015   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mikem395 View Post
I would like to make sure that malware, key loggers, or other things of this sort were not installed.
I can't imagine any tool that would "make sure" with enough confidence that I'd accept its results. I would continue to wonder even if I ran a dozen tools.

Which points to a clean install.

You may be the type who doesn't worry about that stuff much, but the fact that you post the question implies that only a clean install would satisfy you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

16 Jan 2015   #4
Borg 386

Win 7 32 Home Premium, Win 7 64 Pro, Win 8.1, Win 10

If you want to take the added measure of protection to be sure nothing survives (some rootkits can survive a clean install & a format), wipe the drive with a disk eraser. Here is a list of tools you can use to do this.

Five hard disk cleaning and erasing tools - TechRepublic
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jan 2015   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
I can't imagine any tool that would "make sure" with enough confidence that I'd accept its results.
Good pointing and very true. No antivirus (or antimalware, antispyware, antiwhatever or anti-AnythigYouWantToCallThem) can ever warrant that the computer is effecitvely clean, at most those can claim that they didn't find anything. That's one of the reasons why antiviruses are becoming increasingly inefective and unreliable.

I would go with a clean install too for extra security. If you don't mind the hassle of reinstalling and configuring everything again, but the result is well worth it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jan 2015   #6
Layback Bear

Windows 10 Pro. 64/ version 1709 Windows 7 Pro/64

Here is a tutorial by Brink that should meet you needs.
Clean All clean install.

Disk - Clean and Clean All with Diskpart Command

This will show you how to use the clean or clean all command on a selected disk to delete all of it's MBR or GPT partitions, volumes, and any hidden sector information on MBR disks is overwritten.

The data on the HDD is not written over using the clean command like it does with the clean all command below. With the clean command, the data on the HDD is only marked as being deleted instead and is only written over when new data is written/saved to the same location on the HDD next.


You could use the clean all command (secure erase) to do the above and also have each and every disk sector on the HDD written over and zeroed out completely to securely delete all data on the disk to help prevent the data from being able to be recovered. "Clean All" takes about an hour per 320 GB to finish running.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Malware With Clean Install of Windows 7

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