Well. All of the formatting was removed from the previous copy of this Post. Let's try again.
My computer has become pretty much unusable due to two pieces of malware (TR/Drop.Pincher.aek and TR/Dldr.Mufanom.ldg) and a damaged DLL (wzcapier.dll). I suspect that I will have to reformat the hard drive and start over. My question is, how do I do this? When my previous computer (IBM Aptiva) needed this procedure, there were instructions with the computer and a Product Recovery disk that reproduced the programs that were on the computer when I purchased it. That appears to not be the case with my Dell Inspiron.
What I do have is the following:
Dell Reinstallation CD for XP Home Edition, Service Pack 2
Dell Drivers and Utilities Already Installed on Your Computer (CD)
Microsoft Works 9 (CD)
Roxio Creator DE 10.1 (CD)
Dell Application (Cyberlink PowerDVD DX 7.0 Software for DVD Playback (CD)
My main question is, what will the Dell Reinstallation CD for XP Home Edition do?
1. Does it only overwrite the existing Operating System? This would mean that all of the data files, etc. that I have added to the compter since I purchased it would still be on there.
2. Does it automatically reformat the hard drive and then reinstall the Operating System? This would mean that all of the data files, etc. that I have added to the compter since I purchased it would be erased and that I would have to get copies from my most recent backup. I should mention that I my backup isn't as recent as what I would like it to be.
To resolve the malware problem you must do a reinstall. Repair mode will do nothing about malware or viruses. Your dell Windows reinstall disc includes basic instructions, just insert it and wait for a menu.
Be sure to understand how to reinstall the drivers first. You can also find instructions for recovery at the Dell Support site.
You may want to try this first. Visit download.com and download and install the free malwarebytes "anti-malware" and free "spybot search and destroy" programs. Run both of them and let them remove any invaders they find. I'd also download, install & run one of the free top- rated registry repair programs ("Glary Registry Repair" is a good one. So is System Mechanic - 30 day free trial). If you still have a problem, then do a complete reinstall.
Just a note of advice; it isn't really necessary to post the same question multiple times. One will generally suffice, but you need to decide where to place it.
The Windows XP CD that you have is a standard Windows installation disk except that it is released by Dell for use with computers that Dell manufactures. It has the System Locked Preinstallation feature that causes it to self-activate when used on the Dell computer that it was delivered with. You can use the CD to perform any installation task for which you would normally use an installation disk; clean installation or repair installation. If you use it to perform a clean installation you have options in Windows setup that allow you to delete partitions, format the hard drive, and install Windows. This action will result in the removal of all data that presently resides on the hard drive.
If your problem is such that a repair installation will solve it, you can use the CD to perform a repair installation. The only catch is that the version of Windows XP currently on your hard drive must be the same or earlier version of Windows XP contained on the CD. A Windows XP Home with Service Pack 2 CD can be used to repair a Windows XP Home installation that uses service pack 2 or an earlier version. If you have updated your hard drive to Service Pack 3, this option will not be available to you. If you are able to perform the repair installation, however, your files and data will be left alone and only the operating system files and certain registry data will be replaced.
You may certainly try either of the options described above, but you have two other choices. You may go to the malware removal forum and see if one of the experts there can help you remove the viruses, or if you decide to back up your files and restore your system, you should be able to use the Dell PC Restore feature. If your computer has the restore feature, you will notice a blue stripe that appears at the top of your display when the self test has finished following a restart of the computer. If you press CTRL and F11, releasing both at the same time while the blue stripe is showing, you should get a menu allowing you to either restore your computer to factory delivered condition or quit. Caution; this option completely replaces the contents of your C: drive with an image of the original contents of the drive as delivered from Dell. Make sure you back up anything you want to keep before attempting this process.
You probably are right about the repair mode. It would fix the damaged DLL but would do nothing about the malware, something that I'll have to take into consideration.
Reinstalling the drivers is one of the things that makes me nervous. I hope that you are right about the instructions at the Dell Support site.
Good suggestions on the anti-malware programs. The problem is that I already have Malware Bytes installed on my computer and I haven't been able to get it to launch for a couple of months. I assumed that there was a virus/malware on my computer that was preventing that program from running but it may be that the operating system is damaged. I hope that I can get this sorted out.
Thank you, thank you, thank you! Great suggestions. I will try them and see how things turn out. I wish that I had more experience resolving this type of problem but that is not the case.
Just an observation, you have posted in Virus & Spyware Discussion form?
As already suggested by JackShack, if you want help to remove Malware you will need to create a new thread in the Malware Removal forum, click here
Before posting there, I suggest you first read the sticky thread by Bugbatter, click here
Edit: If not already seen?
Procedure for using Dell PC Restore, click here
Procedure for using XP Clean Install, click here
Do you think removing sp3 using control panel and then using the reinstallation cd[sp2] to repair would work ? I understand that wont fix the virus problem but just wondering if that would work just to repair the operating system .