From my diary

A week ago I accidentally installed what I believe to be malware on my main PC, a Sony Laptop.  I uninstalled it at once, and scanned for malware using Kaspersky, but the damage was done.  Kaspersky could find no indication of malware.  But there is no reason why anyone would camouflage an installer as a PDF inside a self-extracting zip, other than to install something malicious.  So I must presume that the machine is tainted.  I use this machine for my online banking, so I don’t dare connect it to the web.  Since I don’t know what has been done to it, I can’t trust it.   It’s cheaper to buy a new machine, than to risk identity theft.  And I had noticed that the disks on the old machine tended to squeal a bit after the machine got hot, which I didn’t like.

So last week I purchased a new Samsung RF711 laptop.  Yesterday I unpacked this and began the process of setting it up.

I also bought a 256 Gb Samsung solid-state drive.  These are much faster than hard disks, and, if you use one of these as your primary drive, and put Windows on it, Windows loads very much faster, as this page informed me.  The Samsung came with an empty hard drive bay and a fitting kit.  Time was, when fiddling with hard disks could destroy your laptop.  But clearly Samsung expect you to.

Here’s what I did.

  1. I started the machine as per instructions, and ran through the Windows 7 start up.
  2. I shut down the machine, removed the battery and power cable.
  3. I took the SSD out of its package (it comes with instructions), and opened the fitting kit from the laptop.  The latter consisted of a bracket, a cable, and some screws.  There were two sizes of screw: 4 short ones, to hold the drive into the bracket; and 4 long ones, to hold the bracket to the laptop.
  4. I screwed the drive into the bracket.  Then I fitted the cable onto the drive (it can only go in one way) and the other end onto the laptop (which could go two ways, so be a bit careful – the correct way is the same way up as the other drive).
  5. Then I screwed the drive into position, thankfully without losing any screws.
  6. I refitted the battery and power, and fired it up.  The PC started normally, but I couldn’t see the new drive in Windows explorer.
  7. Then I bought and downloaded a copy of Paragon Migrate OS to SSD 2.0 ($19.95), installed it and ran it.  This was very simple, could see the new drive, and just copied the C: drive to it (including the recovery partition, I later discovered).
  8. I then shut the machine down completely, and restarted.  The Samsung comes up with a logo and a menu at the bottom, F2 for BIOS, F4 for recovery.  In the Bios I changed the boot order, so that it booted from my new drive.
  9. Save, exit, restart and … Windows 7 started, and was completely booted in 9 seconds.  Wow!

One problem that I have found is that the drive letters get a bit messed up.  However you can correct this, I believe (haven’t done it yet).

At the moment I am engaged in copying all my backed up files to a new external hard drive (I always have two), and getting the machine set up the way that I want it.  Tedious, but inevitable.

The backup is about a week out of date.  So I will need to look at the tainted machine, work out what I did, and repeat that on the new machine.

The Samsung did not come with oceans of rubbish pre-installed, which was welcome.  It’s very generic; not nearly as nice as the Sony was; but the internal 1Tb drive will be very welcome!

UPDATE: It all went rather horribly wrong later, tho — see subsequent posts.

4 Responses to “From my diary”


  1. Dioscorus Boles

    I am not an expert in computers, but what about subscribing with McAfee, or something like that, which does regular checks of one’s computer, and is supposed to protect against/clean malware. Do we need more?

  2. Roger Pearse

    Already signed up to Kaspersky. :)

  3. David S

    wow… i am sorry to hear about that. i also use kaspersky but i also regularly scan my drives with Malwarebytes as a supplement. Unlike Kasp, which runs constantly, Malwarebytes (at least the free version) scans only on command. I usually turn off Kasp just to keep them from conflicting. Malwarebytes usually finds things that Kasp does not. I have been very satisfied with it so far. (www.malwarebytes.org)

    I know your situation has progressed far beyond this, but I wish I could offer something helpful, however small.

  4. Roger Pearse

    I appreciate hearing of your experience with Malwarebytes. I might give that a go on the infected machine this weekend, then. Kaspersky wasn’t finding anything.