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  #1  
Old 16th September 2012, 10:28 AM
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Even NEW computers can be infected with malware!

According to THIS Guardian article, brand new computers in China are shipping already loaded with malware, and in some cases vicious malware. Nitol in particular taps into a botnet and begins to spread its poison across the Net in the background, and it replicates itself every time a USB stick is attached to the new computer.

There's no evidence yet that these machines are making it to the US, but it's only a matter of time. It pays to do a thorough scan right out of the box, before you hook your machine up to a LAN. And it's preferable to do the scan offline - that is, with a bootable CD or USB stick with an anti-malware program on it, before Windows, Mac or Linux ever sees the light of day on your new machine.
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  #2  
Old 16th September 2012, 11:26 AM
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If you buy premade computers rather than building your own, it's a good habit to do a format as soon as you get it not only because of this, but because you can get rid of all the bloatware companies like HP like to toss on which you will never use and just end up eating RAM.
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  #3  
Old 16th September 2012, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by NiobiumTragedy View Post
If you buy premade computers rather than building your own, it's a good habit to do a format as soon as you get it not only because of this, but because you can get rid of all the bloatware companies like HP like to toss on which you will never use and just end up eating RAM.

Yep first thing I do with any new computer I get, Full Format and install of OS only. (I won't even use the "Recovery" Disk )
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Old 16th September 2012, 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by paul1149 View Post
According to THIS Guardian article, brand new computers in China are shipping already loaded with malware, and in some cases vicious malware.
I have no sympathy for this scenario at all!

Microsoft has been the catalyst for this,

http://labnol.blogspot.com/2007/07/we-love-microsoft-software-piracy-in.html
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  #5  
Old 16th September 2012, 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by NiobiumTragedy View Post
If you buy premade computers rather than building your own, it's a good habit to do a format as soon as you get it not only because of this, but because you can get rid of all the bloatware companies like HP like to toss on which you will never use and just end up eating RAM.
Unfortunate thing is, in most cases, there is no install media - just an image on a recovery partition. If you do a reinstall/recovery it will just put all the crapware back again. The only way around that is to go to the computer shop and buy the original media on DVD without the crapware. If you do this then Microsoft makes even more money!

If you end up buying a copy of Windows, make sure you get it from a reliable dealer as there are so many counterfeit copies of Windows being sold across the counter. The sad thing is that even the genuine stores unknowingly sell counterfeits sometimes...
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  #6  
Old 16th September 2012, 05:41 PM
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What does someone do who doesn't know computers and they need to buy a new computer?
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  #7  
Old 16th September 2012, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by EphesiaNZ View Post
Unfortunate thing is, in most cases, there is no install media - just an image on a recovery partition. If you do a reinstall/recovery it will just put all the crapware back again. The only way around that is to go to the computer shop and buy the original media on DVD without the crapware. If you do this then Microsoft makes even more money!

If you end up buying a copy of Windows, make sure you get it from a reliable dealer as there are so many counterfeit copies of Windows being sold across the counter. The sad thing is that even the genuine stores unknowingly sell counterfeits sometimes...
Depends on the computer. A lot of the HP computers will ask you if you want to install their software. However, I always use my own Windows disc anyway because those typically come with Home edition and I require Professional. But then, I typically buy laptops as custom orders anyway so I don't even get an OS installed on it and just use my own disc.

As for who to buy from, I always buy an OEM copy from Newegg. Nothing but great things to say about that company.
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Old 16th September 2012, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by brinny View Post
What does someone do who doesn't know computers and they need to buy a new computer?
Basically, as soon as you get the machine scan the heck out of it before you input any personal information. If you can burn an anti-malware boot disk, so much the better, and run that before you start windows. Then once in windows run another scan with a different anti-malware prog, such as Malwarebytes.

Next, go through the system and uninstall any junk the manufacturer put on there. This will speed it up.

Now load your programs and settings. When you've got the machine to a nice working state, take a full backup image of it onto an external drive or USB stick. I use EaseUS Todo for that - free and excellent. Now if anything goes wrong you can restore to that original condition. You'll have all your progs and settings, and no OEM junk. On another level, you should keep on doing periodic backups, though, for the sake of your changing personal data.
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Old 16th September 2012, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by EphesiaNZ View Post
I have no sympathy for this scenario at all!

Microsoft has been the catalyst for this,

http://labnol.blogspot.com/2007/07/we-love-microsoft-software-piracy-in.html
Interesting perspective. It has nothing to do with the malware, though, but as for the licensing I would guess MS is pursuing a two-tier strategy: fight piracy, but put a good face on the miserable status quo. Just think of all the server time updating all those illegal editions costs MS - or actually, costs us, since we're subsidizing the pirates. Windows and Office for $3? Who wouldn't like that?
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Old 16th September 2012, 06:05 PM
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Being a Linux user now, I will only trust an operating system image downloaded from the distributions website along with a MD5 checksum. This way I can check whether the contents of the CD/DVD is original (or not). Not sure if Microsoft lets you buy an OS online and download it as an ISO image with MD5 checksum?

That would be the best way to get a copy of an operating system install CD/DVD - missing out the middle man/supply chain which could be corrupt at a particular point.
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