Not Able to Remove Virus Even After Format?

Strange but true, there are times when we decide to get rid of some virus or a worm by reformatting the system but even after formatting the PC we are shocked to see the virus back in our computers. This is what happened to my friend who formatted the PC just to get it cleaned but the problem was still there.

I must confess that there is no better way than preventing the virus to enter the system, to protect our PC from viruses but there are viruses (rare but still there) that do not get removed even if we format our disk. It may also interest you to know that these viruses may also infect the BIOS and/or the boot sector. So if you feel that your BIOS is infected then only reflashing it is the option available.

So these are the steps that you can do to ensure the removal of virus after format:

1.    If you are just formatting the PC to delete the viruses then make sure to format the complete system and not a single suspected drive as most viruses come back from other drives.

2.    While formatting the system through the Windows CD, perform “delete all partitions” to clear all data that contained the worm.

3.    If this format still doesn’t work (I don’t think it would happen) then you should perform a Low Level Format on the disk that will surely erase everything stored on it. Read this to know better.

Any of the methods listed will surely solve your problem.

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Posted in Cool Tips and Tricks, Fixes of problems, Virus, Windows/Windows XP
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18 comments on “Not Able to Remove Virus Even After Format?
  1. string says:

    hi there, i had this virus running on my computer even after reformatting, i already done all what you have written but still the virus is still there, any other ways to clean it?

    after formatting and installing sp2 and running AV, it always detect msvcr.dll and jscript.dll as threat.

  2. admin says:

    Surely those files msvcr.dll and jscript.dll are not viruses but some files required by other software like .Net framework.

  3. string says:

    then sir/mam may i ask why does my AV keeps on detecting it as a threat? and healing/moving it to virus vault only results in system crash T_T

    is it a conflict on my AV and Service Pack 2?
    im using the free version of AVG 7.5 and the detection of those files occur after updating it.

    is it ok just to ignore it?

  4. string says:

    oops, my mistake, disregard the last question pls.
    i ignored it last time and when i ran the system scan,
    more than 400 .dll files where infected.

    any alternatives please, thanks.

  5. admin says:

    try scanning your system through a good online scanner, try this http://www.kaspersky.com/virusscanner

  6. string says:

    sir/mam i downloaded and intalled the latest kaspersky AV yesterday morning and had my system scanned and it didn’t detect any viruses or threats but im not satisfied with the result so i low-level format my disk and yet after installing and updating sp2 and AVG (again) the problem is still there. now im using AVG 8.0 free version and like kaspersky, it ddnt detect the threat avg7.5 found.

    still im not sure if my system would be stable for long with some threats lurking in my disk^^

  7. admin says:

    even am not sure if that thing could be rated as “threat”, may be that is a case of conflict with something installed in your system and AVG 7.5 (AVG 8.0 might have fixed the problem).
    If the problem occurs again, try shifting to other AV

  8. string says:

    hello sir/mam, good evening, for now my system looks stable with my current AV and everything installed in it.

    thank you for your assistance^^

  9. admin says:

    No problem buddy!!

  10. harmon says:

    Dear String. I have the same problem. After installing fresh window on my newly purchased computer AVG 7.5 is dettecting these files as threats. I serached on the net and found many peoples are having the same problem. what could be the problem

  11. String says:

    Good day sir, try to reinstall a fresh copy of window and switch to AVG 8.0

    hope this helps^^

  12. lj says:

    u will always get rid of viruses if u do 2 things:
    1. reflash ur bios if u have flash bios
    2. low level format (zero fill) ur hard drive, that will erase and rebuild every data on hd, including paritions and sector information.

  13. Arturo says:

    Virus persist after reformatting. Yes, this happens if we are not thorough. I have been repairing computers of friends for nearly 6 years, and the problem usually lies when we reformat the computer, but forget to clean the other storages like second hard drive, flash disks, and other partition.

    You see even after reformatting a fresh OS, the virus may reside latently on your other partition (Other drive other than your Drive C: or system drive)

    So, the solution would be after reformatting with a fresh OS, is:
    1. Stay at Drive C:
    2. Leave your personal files in the other partition, they will not go anywhere. They can wait. (Peeking at your files is not even allowed, you might activate the hidden autorun.inf in those drives)
    3. Next, Show hidden files and folders, uncheck hide extension for known file types, uncheck hide protected operating system files in the folder options of the Tools in the menu of your folder.
    4. Now, is the time to go the your files. But never EVER double-click on the drive. To get there safely, navigate to your partition using the address bar.
    5. Once there, locate any suspicious file. You should start by deleting any Autorun.INF, all folders that have an “.exe” extension file, and the like.
    6. Do not do anything else yet on that drive!
    7. Go back to Drive C:, install and update your preferred antivirus.
    8. Next, run an antivirus on the extra partition. Delete all viruses.
    9. Disable Autorun (Download TweakUI from microsoft website, it’s free)
    10. Next, clean all other external drives.
    11. Enjoy again your PC!=)
    12. Message me if this was helpful.=)

  14. Phil says:

    BIOS viruses are from the paleolithic.
    I never seen a single one in 20 years as computer tech, even if i know they exist, because modern MOBO are protected against BIOS attacks (if not disabled manually).

    Zero filling is NOT needed because once you formatted your drive, the MFT is zero filled.

    No cluster containing the virus/trojan can be accessed anymore (even if the clusters are not zero filled) because the MFT is simply EMPTY.

    Just erase all partitions (it will wipe the boot sector).
    If you are paranoid, there are tool to wipe boot sector/partition table.
    And do a fast format only.

    MFT cleaned, boot sector/partition table cleaned…nothing can be executed anymore (apart the paleolithic BIOS virus i never seen…).

    This is a common MYTH : like Arturo said, most ppl think the virus/trojan still there because the virus/trojan is ELSEWHERE and they don’t know where it come from.

    For example, they don’t install any antivirus/firewall before connecting to the internet.
    In less than 5 seconds, they get the same trojan they wiped…

    Or an USB key, another external/internal drive, even a CD/DVD…

    This is the same vein than “the virus stay in RAM, even when you power down the computer…so you need to wait 1 hour, unplug the power cord, dance around it burning strange herbs, speaking to the demon inside…”

    Any serious computer tech will laugh a long time ;)

  15. The problem i am facing is that when is connect my SONY v2.00 USB to my PC (Windows-Xp), it shows in my computer.
    But when i open UCB Drive icone, it asks for the “Format”.
    when i proceed to select Fat or NTFS, the proicess starts and when it complete 99% complete, it gives the error “Formating Process Failed” & USB Drive does not open and give the same error that i have tell before.
    Plz help me as early as possible.

  16. bm_palampur says:

    if there is problem with formating your pen drive then use HP disk formatting utility, perhaps it solves your problem, its a good formatting tool, with small size setup.

    thanks !

  17. Tom says:

    Contrary to what Phil wrote above I have a problem with the recycler virus which reconstituted itself immediately after I formatted the HDD and reinstalled Windows XP.

    Process followed:
    (1) reboot pc with Windows XP disk
    (2) format entire HDD so that there are no partitions remaining it is shown as entirely unused space
    (3) load Win XP
    (4) no USB stick or CD/DVD or any other peripheral was attached to pc
    (5) using File Manager … Show hidden files and folders, uncheck hide extension for known file types, uncheck hide protected operating system files
    (6) make a copy of any file then delete it & viola the “recycler” virus folder reappears under the c: drive

    I am at my wit’s end: if anyone has any ideas I would appreciate it if they would share them or suggest what I am doing wrong?

  18. michael says:

    it is because this is a rootkit infection that creates hidden partitions on the Hard Drive and reformatting will not delete a partition that is hidden. FDISK the drive to kill ever partition

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