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Another Personal Computer Question

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In March of 2010 I purchased an Acer Aspire 5532 with Windows 7 Home Premium from BestBuy. Somehow I didn't realize that I needed to burn my own copy for my own use (I know I know, but I can't be the only one, right?). Unfortunately for me, the realization occurred after a recent encounter with a trojan and a virus. Here is my canundrum: I may need to reinstall windows (have done it before with XP on a desktop) but I'm not sure how to get the disk. If I burn my own, I risk reinstalling the trojan. If I don't burn my own, it seems I may need to buy the Windows program all over again. Is there a third or even a fourth option for me? (Sorry, but Apple/Mac is out of the question.)

As an aside: I have used my anti-virus/Internet Security program to remove the trojan and the virus, but as a leftover programs such as Internet Explorer, Microsoft Word/Excell (or any associated Office program), and even Microsoft Flight Simulator minimize randomly and frequently without a keystroke or a click of the mouse. Obviously, this is completely inconvenient and prevents any type of progress while using these programs. This is why I feel I must reinstall Windows.

Thanks for looking, and thanks for any help you may have!


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I'm definitely not an IT experten but have you tried doing a restore point backup? If need be, go back to day one and restore to that configuration. Not sure if some sophisticated viruses can get around this, but it is worth a shot.

If that doesn't work, I would try a combo of anti-virus and anti-malware programs to root out and kill everything that is left of that trojan.

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You're better off trying to get rid of the trojan. Try Malwarebytes Antimalware and Kaspersky's online scanner. Try scanning from Safe Mode as well.

Your Acer didn't come with a recovery/reinstallation disc?

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It is possible for you to obtain a legal iso from Microsoft directly or have them mail you out a replacement DVD.

Please see the following link for more information with regards to your local office administrative procedures. Yes you have to jump through a few hoops, they may charge you a nominal fee to cover shipping yarda blah blah.

They might be nice and offer you a digital download source, but that may not help your predicament if the laptop is your primary computer.


You can also try downloading illegally distributed iso and then use your legal cd key that is stickered to your laptop. I am sure Microsoft won't care if you do it this way since you have already paid for the product. This certainly is

the riskier option but the fastest.

Hope it helps.

(No I am not suggesting or supporting the second option, just putting it out there as a last resort)

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How do I perform a system restore?


Control Panel > System & Security > Backup & Restore > Follow the direction from there.

It will give you a choice of dates to restore to. If you know when you got this virus, pick the previous date. If you are not sure, go back even further to a time when you were sure that there were no problems.

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Firstly as stated you should have a "backup" ability (sometime called "factory image")..........You could go back a day or two, maybe even 1-3 weeks prior...........

I use Norton "antivirus" package..(it ain't cheap $65 annually), but it works great........plus I have Adaware to weed out malware.....I run each every day, but so far my Norton catches most nasty stuff.........

I don't know what antivirus you are using but it sounds weak........


Edited by OldThudMan
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Why is a Mac out of the question? The savings in sanity and aggravation alone would (and has always, for me) justify the cost difference. And the old "but I can't get this or that program for the Mac" is out the window, since I can run Windows as fast or faster on my Mac than on any IBM machine.

Sort of like the old Curtis Mathes TV's - expensive, but darn well worth it. And trojan horses and that kind of silliness will be a worry of your distant, dim past.

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Jennings the same can be said when running Mac OS in Windows, it runs much quicker and better under Windows than it does alone...

Its more about the technology rather than the OS.

OP if you know what SKU you need theres nothing wrong with using a torrent site like piratebay to get what you need...

its only illegal if you dont hold a valid license, but you do so there is no legal issue what so ever.

your SKU will probably be "OEM" (where there is OEM, Retail, Corp etc etc)

Search piratebay it will be there somewhere, they all are, you just need a plain copy of the CD, no hacks crack or serials, and if you do end up with a serial theres still no crime, unless you use a license you dont actually own

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You do have the option to restore the system to the state it was in when you pulled it out of the box. YOU MUST BACK UP YOUR DATA BEFORE YOU DO IT!!!! You are going to lose everything on the system, but the trojan will go bye-bye and you will have a spiffy new system. If the data you are backing up is mostly music, pictures, documents, etc, you should have a low risk of reinfecting when you restore the files.

This is the drastic stage should you want to do it .

All Acers have a Factory OS copy backed up to a hidden partition called PQservice (by default).

Turn computer on.

When the Acer logo is on screen at start up hold Alt and repeatedly press F10.

You will need a password if you have ever run Acers recovery program before you would have been asked to create a password.

If you have never run Acers recovery management the default password is "000000" six zeros.

Select Factory from the top of the list. Follow the prompts.


I work in IT and have learned the lesson of backing up my personal stuff. I use Carbonite for off site storage and copy everything across my home network to a redundant storage system. If a system dies, I'm covered. If my house burns down, I'm covered. This might mean a lot, but you only have to get bitten once. :)

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It's true you can run any OS on any platform. But if viruses/trojan horses are your concern, the Mac platform is inherently and demonstrably more secure. Especially so if you've got a firewall like an Airport Extreme in place.

But as the French say, chacun à son goût...

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Downloading an illegal ISO and using a legal cd-key won't always work. Windows more than once with XP changed the cd-key code and format so that late-build install discs could NOT be authenticated with earlier key codes.

It was a bit of a headache for some, from what I understand.

If you did not get ANY type of disc from Best Buy, they are at fault. You should have received at the very least a "SYSTEM RESTORE" disc that would revert you back to the factory install. I've seen some that just give you the Windows install disc separately from the SYSTEM RESTORE disc.

You will want to try to get rid of the bug before reinstalling. Only way to wipe it out through a re-install is to reformat as you reinstall. That loses all your files. You back up files before you do the reformat, and it may hitch a ride (some are persistent and aggressive).

In short, sort out the virus first. Then sort out the operating system. Go back to Best Buy and say "I need to reinstall, I bought this from you; it has no disc. You need to supply this to me"

EDIT: I don't mean be combatitive about it. Maybe they'll say "Oh, you did get the disc, this should have been in the box on the side of the styrofoam *here*" or something. Just state the case simply, is what I mean, rather than being rude (which I realize my text above could be taken as).

Edited by Mark M.
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