2006/08/10

Reinstalling Windows Cost-effectively

Reinstalling Windows in the most cost-effective way is a procedure myDigitechnician needs to define or develop.

Malware is becoming better at hiding and more difficult to completely remove. Although it has always been accurate that a system can no longer be considered absolutely secure and private once it has been compromised, in the past it wasn't too difficult for a relatively skilled practicioner of the art to thoroughly clean up an infected system to the point where it was ok to use again. As anti-malware programs become more sophisticated and effective, the malware writers are being forced to use code and methods that are hidden better and more firmly entrenched than they were in the early days of viruses and spyware. Luke had a job this week on which he saw some malware trickery he had never before encountered. These black hats are motivated and smart!

There comes a point where it is more cost-effective to reformat a hard drive or partition and reinstall Windows because it takes less time to do the reinstall than it does to thoroughly clean the system. However, wiping and reinstalling has its own challenges and can take quite a while getting a system back to the point where the owner recognizes it as their computer.

So myDigitechnician's challenge is to develop the most cost-effective method for a reformat/reinstall of a personal computer that we've never worked on before and the most cost-effective method to make our current clients' systems ready to do a quick reformat/reinstall if they get badly infected.

If you have suggestion for effective reinstall on systems that haven't been set up to do quick reformat/reinstall, please leave a comment or contact me. I'll buy you a cup of coffee or beverage of your choice, and we'll start developing a useful tool. For exisiting clients, a beginning point probably includes a good data backup system, some type of disk image and orderly storage of system and program disks needed for the reinstall.

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