A virus (w32/Parite worm and NetSky etc) infected all of my .exe files. Even my anti-virus was not spared, it went missing. Now most of my programs are rendered useless.

Even my Task manager and msconfig do not work, they vanish as soon as they come up. I am using a P3 system with 40GB, 128 RAM, and Windows XP as the operating system. The formatting of drives is not happening even in MS Dos prompt mode.

I tried cleaning my system registry by using System Mechanic but even that hangs midway. I want to revert to Win 98 but that is not allowed in Win XP. Please suggest a solution.

Vishnu K.G.

W32/Parite virus is also known as W32.Pinfi. It is a memory-resident polymorphic virus that infects the .EXE and .SCR files.

This virus can also spread via mapped drives and network shares. Since W32/Parite is a memory-resident virus, first clean this virus and then give attention to handling the Netsky virus. It is hard to normalise your system because almost all the exe files might have got corrupted. To clean the viruses, please follow these steps:

Before running the virus removal tools, first disable `System Restore.' To do this, right-click My Computer, and then click Properties - System Restore tab. Uncheck `Turn off System Restore on all drives' and click Apply, and then click OK.

Next, restart your system in Safe mode (Start tapping the F8 key while system boots) and then run the virus removal tools.

You can download and run the following virus cleaning tools for w32/Parite virus.

CA - http://www3.ca.com/Files/VirusInformationAndPrevention/ClnPinfi.zip. (334 kb size).

Bitdefender - http://www.bitdefender.com/bd/downloads/removaltools/Antiparite-en.exe. (58 kb size).

For removing the NetSky virus, Symantec has provided the removal tool that can be downloaded from

http://securityresponse.symantec.com/avcenter/FxNetsky.exe (151 KB size).

And then run

McAfee AVERT Stinger that can be downloaded from http://download.nai.com/products/mcafee-avert/stng259.exe (1.07MB size).

You can also scan with online virus scans.

Trend Micro is available at http://housecall.trendmicro.com/

McAfee FreeScan can be accessed at http://us.mcafee.com/root/mfs/default.asp.

If you can't get online to scan, please remove your hard disk from your PC and connect as slave in another machine that can get online and have up-to-date virus definitions.

Please run the virus scans on that HDD and when you're done, put it back in the original PC.

The next step you need to perform is an in-place upgrade (reinstallation) of Windows XP. A Repair Install will replace the system files with the files on the XP CD used for the Repair Install.

It will leave your applications and settings intact, but Service Pack (SP2) and Windows updates will need to be reapplied. For information about how to perform an in-place upgrade, please refer the Microsoft knowledgebase article, http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;

315341&Product=winxp.

For more information, please refer http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm.

Reverting back to Windows 98 in not advisable, because Microsoft has already stopped support to Windows 98.

If you would still like to install Windows 98, please follow the Microsoft knowledge base article "How to uninstall Windows XP and revert to a previous operating system" at this URL: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/q303661/.

Please e-mail us at eworld@thehindu.co.in

if you have queries on computer usage or if you find an interesting way of using a computer.

Solution by M. Sampath

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated January 2, 2006)
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