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Need help removing virus in our computer!

Posted: Sun May 04, 2008 8:37 am
by elderbetita
Someone seemed to have used the church computer that it now has a virus in it. I have tried downloading the virus update and tried to install it in the computer but the computer would not let me do any application installation. The only thing that seems to work normally is the mls and the open office all other programs crashes when i start to open. Can anyone here help us? or do we need to call our local MSR for help?

Posted: Sun May 04, 2008 9:31 am
by Mikerowaved
First of all, please remove the infected computer from the internet (if it's connected) and do not use it to contact CHQ until it has been completely disinfected.

There are many ways to clean viruses, but it takes someone who knows what they are doing. Someone really needs to be sitting at the PC with the proper tools in hand, not offering cleaning suggestions from a forum. Please contact those in your area that are in authority to deal with these things.

Posted: Sun May 04, 2008 10:33 am
by russellhltn
Removing viruses is a difficult task. Some viruses will call other viruses and add to the infection. The exact procedure to remove it/them depends on what you got infected by. The safest route is to re-image the machine as there's no guarantee that you haven't been infected by something that Symantec can't detect.


The following assumes that you have Desktop 5.5 installed:

- Backup the MLS data directory. It's C:\Program Files\LDS Church\MLS\data. You may use the D drive as part of the backup. If you can not back up the whole thing, at least backup the current data found under your unit number.

- Backup anything on your desktop, or anything else you need to save that's not already under "My Documents". You do not need to backup "My Documents" as it's already on the D drive. However you might want to confirm that, Right-click "My Documents", select properties, and verify it's on D.

- Re-image the C drive. When the blue Desktop screen come on after the BIOS screen, press the down arrow key and then enter. You must do this within 3 seconds. Follow the menu to start the restore.

If you've never done a backup, then the original Desktop 5.5 will restore. If you have done a backup, then that backup will restore.

You'll probably need to re-install MLS. You can download it from mls.lds.org. Your stake clerk or STS should have the password.

Restore the MLS data directory and other files that you've backed up. Run a full virus scan. Chances are that MLS will get a security warning when you try to connect the SLC. You'll have to call clerk support and tell them to reset your security.

If you do not have Desktop 5.5 installed, now is a good time to do so. Obtain the CDs from the Stake Clerk/STS. Do the backups described above, but you'll need to backup to some external media and you'll also have to backup everything you need to save.

If you have a Dell 740, the procedure gets a little more complex. Check the mls.lds.org site for details.

Posted: Sun May 04, 2008 11:02 am
by jdlessley
Mikerowaved and RussellHltn offer good advice and instruction. You did not provide enough information to confirm that you do indeed have a virus. Some difficulties experienced with systems that may appear to be the result of viruses or similar maladies could be the result of system malfunctions or file corruption in the operating system.

First I would follow what has been suggested to recover your system if you need it right away. However, you want to make certain where the difficulty lies. If it is a failing piece of hardware such as computer memory, the hard drive, or even the motherboard the problem may reappear – and at the most inopportune time. Software issues will be fixed following instruction provided by Mikerowaved and RussellHltn.

I recommend having your STS check out your computer system in addition to correcting your current situation.

Posted: Sun May 04, 2008 11:13 am
by russellhltn
jdlessley wrote:You did not provide enough information to confirm that you do indeed have a virus.


Good point! The virus diagnostic needs to be confirmed. Some of the issues could have been caused if someone took it upon themselves to demote the clerk login to "user".

Posted: Sun May 04, 2008 7:33 pm
by childsdj
Because your machine is in the Phillipines, there is a good chance that you do not have the Symantec anti virus loaded. Your best avenue to get it fixed right now is to contact your local Area MSR office.

Posted: Sun May 04, 2008 7:59 pm
by russellhltn
DJC wrote:machine is in the Phillipines


Oops. I missed that part too. :o

The advice I gave is good for North America. I don't know if it applies to the Philippines or not. Contacting your local Area MSR office sounds like the best advice.

Posted: Sun May 04, 2008 8:38 pm
by LakeyTW
elderbetita wrote:Someone seemed to have used the church computer that it now has a virus in it. I have tried downloading the virus update and tried to install it in the computer but the computer would not let me do any application installation. The only thing that seems to work normally is the mls and the open office all other programs crashes when i start to open. Can anyone here help us? or do we need to call our local MSR for help?


I would be interested in knowing what virus you believe you are infected with. How do you know you have a virus? How was the virus detected?

Posted: Mon May 05, 2008 7:53 am
by elderbetita
RussellHltn wrote:The advice I gave is good for North America. I don't know if it applies to the Philippines or not. Contacting your local Area MSR office sounds like the best advice.


The advice you gave is also applicable to our computer as it have the desktop 5.5 and the symantec antivirus. I wanted to try what you have adviced, however, contacting our local area MSR office sounds the best. This would probably mean having to ship the cpu, to be checked by the local area MSR. Moreover, I want to thank you for your advice.

I don't exactly know what virus hit the computer but whenever I opened a folder an application that looks like a folder is there and it cannot be deleted. It seemed like something is protecting it. Whenever I open an application it opens but then it either crashes or is being minimized. Its annoying but the good thing is it does not seem to affect the MLS and the open office software. We have continued to use MLS without any problems. One member says its been hit by a brontok virus. I have not much idea what that virus is but I just hope it can be resolved.

Thanks for your advice though.

Posted: Mon May 05, 2008 11:05 am
by Mikerowaved
If it is a variant of the brontok virus, you've got your hands full. It can be removed, but it's not easy. When the virus sees certain programs trying to launch it will either shut them down or reboot the system. The reason MLS is not directly affected is it's not on its "hit list" of programs. Better to follow RussellHltn's advice and have your leaders backup your data, reimage the system and start over.