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Thread: Malware killed Microsoft Windows 7

  1. #1
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    Malware killed Microsoft Windows 7

    My best friend has an old ASUS K50IJ notebook PC which came pre-installed with Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Service Pack 1 64 bit and he's been having problems with the operating system and his favorite software applications repeatedly. He had to do four system recoveries from scratch in less than two years. He visited me at my apartment tonight and he wanted me to do another system recovery again. Unfortunately, his PC got infected with various malware including TDS and ransomware. Now, I can't do a system recovery because the hidden recovery partition is corrupted and infected with malware. So, I called him tonight and I told him the situation and I recommended that he install Ubuntu 12.04.3 LTS 64 bit. I'm installing it right now and it is working. It's too bad that this happened to him, but he is retired and he is the type of PC user to click on anything and everything in order to download content for free. It's no wonder that he got infected with malware. I'm not saying that Ubuntu is going to protect him from every threat in this world, but it will be much safer and more secure than Windows 7 with it's large number of malware that targets Windows users. He didn't sound happy with this reality, but he resigned to it and I guess this is the way that Microsoft converts are made. It's really a shame, but there is no way to do another system recovery or to install Windows 7 on his PC from scratch because I don't have any extra product keys. In the future, I just hope that he'll learn to like Ubuntu, but he's old and retired and it's going to be a steep learning curve for him. Fortunately, his online accounts are not compromised.

  2. #2
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    Re: Malware killed Microsoft Windows 7

    Congratulations for one more MS convert!

    As far as I know, the .wim file in the recovery partitions holds actual system image and could be restored using third party tools. It is seen as a simple data file or an archive by other programs, and such files are usually untouched by Viruses/malware. If you still have it and its size justifies the thought, you can try finding ways to restore it manually. I once did it on a VM long ago (with Vista image), but don't remember how. The product keys are already installed and can be recovered for safekeeping from "windows/system32/config/sam" file within the .wim image, using free tools.

    But anyway, whatever happens, happens for good !
    Varun
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  3. #3
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    Re: Malware killed Microsoft Windows 7

    I already tried that. The malware corrupted his hidden Microsoft Windows 7 recovery partition entirely. This is why I can't re-install Windows 7. I don't have another genuine product key for Microsoft Windows 7 or 8.

    I successfully installed Ubuntu 12.04.3 LTS 64 bit on my best friend's ASUS K50IJ notebook PC. I installed OpenVPN and set up my Private Internet Access VPN gateways using my account. I installed VLC and Lubuntu desktop environment. I also installed ubuntu-restricted-extras including the DVD-Video playback capability. I think that should be sufficient for his very rudimentary needs. He does everything on his PC using Google Chrome or Chromium.

    He's old and he's retired, but he's my best friend and he's been dear to me. I had to solve this problem for him since he is a heavy consumer of multimedia content. I may wind up setting him up with his Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Spotify Premium accounts tomorrow in addition to some other software applications that I think he may need.

    It's unfortunate that Microsoft Windows 7 never got re-installed from scratch again. However, malware targeting Microsoft customers is very nasty at times and it can cause permanent damage.

    It is my hope that I will teach him the ropes regarding Ubuntu and GNU/Linux and he will come to prefer it over time to Microsoft Windows. By being forced to make the switch, he just saved a lot of time and money.

  4. #4
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    Re: Malware killed Microsoft Windows 7

    Doesn't the machine have the key on a label on the underside of the machine?
    That's where they used to be until recently.
    All you need is a windows DVD. Microsoft are usually very accommodating in helping you re-establish a valid licence
    Ubuntu Member Always something different. Promoting Ubuntu and System 76 at TUXPC

  5. #5
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    Re: Malware killed Microsoft Windows 7

    I don't have a genuine Microsoft Windows 7 DVD disc. I just finished installing Ubuntu 12.04.3 LTS 64 bit on his ASUS K50IJ. I'm not re-installing Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Service Pack 1 64 bit because it takes too much time and effort. He's already used Ubuntu previously.

  6. #6
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    Re: Malware killed Microsoft Windows 7

    Windows 7 is not the real villain in this story... that said I hope your friend likes Ubuntu. My experience tells me that Ubuntu is way more friendly to elderly folk than Windows.
    Last edited by cariboo907; September 2nd, 2013 at 03:44 PM. Reason: Please don't deliberately mis-spell Windows.

  7. #7
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    Re: Malware killed Microsoft Windows 7

    Warning! A virus has been detected! what actions should the programme take?

    and then user clicks ignore...

    though usualyl these days they are moved into quarantine unti you manually return i from there (if you know it's not a virus)
    Easy to understand Ubuntu manual with lots of pics: http://ubuntu-manual.org/
    Do i need antivirus/firewall in linux?
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  8. #8
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    Re: Malware killed Microsoft Windows 7

    Unfortunately, this malware attack caught him with his pants down. I don't even think he remembers what he was doing last week to have his PC infected.

    In general, he does like GNU/Linux and open source software because it saves him money, but he is used to Microsoft Windows 7. I'm going to have to teach him how to use Ubuntu over the course of the next several weeks to get him to a point whereby he is comfortable using it. I can say for certain that Ubuntu is significantly faster on his ASUS K50IJ than Microsoft Windows 7. It doesn't seem to slow down.

    I'm having a problem with Google Chrome in that it does not launch and function correctly in Ubuntu 12.04.3 LTS 64 bit. I can't seem to figure out what's gone wrong. I'll open a support thread in the appropriate section here later today.

    I remember when I made the switch from Microsoft Windows 7 and 8 to Ubuntu 12.04.x.y LTS 64 bit. There was a steep learning curve, but it only took me a few days to figure everything out. Today, I much prefer Ubuntu to Microsoft Windows or Apple Macintosh OS X because it's easier, safer, and much more secure along with faster and less expensive. This is my favorite desktop operating system of choice. Ubuntu made my digital lifestyle much more affordable since January 4th, 2012 when I made the switch. I still purchase software applications, but the prices are much lower and I get features and functionality that isn't nearly as buggy or insecure. I particularly like the Ubuntu Software Center and Steam for Ubuntu Linux. They seem to be solid stores to do business.

    I hope my best friend will find that Ubuntu meets his daily needs and he finds it to be a suitable alternative desktop operating system. Offering him technical support and help will be much easier now that we use the same exact desktop operating system in the long term future. Hopefully, he will kick Microsoft Windows to the curb permanently and he will look forward to purchasing a newer Linux certified notebook PC like a System76.

  9. #9
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    Re: Malware killed Microsoft Windows 7

    The leap from Windows to Ubuntu with Unity is probably greater than the leap to Kubuntu. You might consider installing kubuntu-desktop and see if that seems more familiar to your friend.
    If you ask for help, please have the courtesy to check for responses and thank the people who helped you.

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  10. #10
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    Re: Malware killed Microsoft Windows 7

    did you think of setting up a separate partition for /home?, set up backup, and limit his access to services?

    i understand he's your friend, but some people have the rare talent of completely screwing up any machine they touch, including linux boxes. ( once they happlessly stumble through al the safetry barriers, linux gives them tools to screw things up beyond imagination!)

    at least with separate /home partition, a reinstall is less dramatic

    lubuntu is a good way to go, albeit he'll feel he's back at XP a bit, compared to W7. OTOH it will fly on his machine, and UI wise there's not a whole lot he can mess up, compared to, say KDE

    Good luck!
    It's a GIANT MUSHROOM... MAYBE IT'S FRIENDLY!

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