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> Frankly, even if you tried all of those steps, you'd never know for sure if
> all traces of the virus or "antivirus" software are gone. I'd back up the
> data, format the drive, and start from scratch. Not a bad thing to do on a
> 2-3 year old machine, anyway. It'll probably take less time than the other
> options, too.
Agreed, starting from scratch is a pretty good idea. But I suspect there's one big catch in this situation. If Ken's daughter hasn't kept anti-virus protection active and up-to-date, I'm guessing there is no recent data backup, either. And since Ken said the current state of the PC is "can't do nuthin'," backing up the data _now_ isn't an option. Besides, that would back up the malware as well.
Ken, if you're physically able to connect her laptop's HDD to your PC as a second drive, that's probably the least effort. But _be careful_! You don't want to infect your PC.
A safer option is to boot her laptop from a CD/DVD, floppy, or USB stick. You don't need a Vista boot disk, specifically -- anything that can run the app with which you plan to remove the infection. If you just want to back up her data files to an external drive before formatting, you just need something that can read an NTFS-formatted disk.
Now, practice saying "Let this be a lesson to you, young lady!" ;-)
Richard G. Combs
Senior Technical Writer
richardDOTcombs AT polycomDOTcom
rgcombs AT gmailDOTcom
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