Getting rid of something off computer that doesn't seem to be there?
Ok, My neighbor got a computer from a relative and when he does a virus check all sorts of porn websites appear throughout it and also alot of movie titles for non-porn movies and picture files that are xxx. He was planning to have this computer in his 13 yr old sons room but he is concerned
Where are they? I have looked thru the documents and in hidden folders but cant find any of that stuff
I am not good enough with computers so honestly I dont know what to tell him and I told him to just do a system restore but he doesn't have the disc's to do that.
It is an old compaq ,,, Seems to work fine after he took out a few viruses.
Any help from people who are good with computers would be appreciated
Tell him to go into Control Panel->User Accounts and create an "Administrator"-type account for himself, with password (important so that the son can't use it). Have him log out and log back in with his account, then have him delete the rest of the accounts. There may well just be the one that the old user was using. If it asks to delete the actual files, choose Yes. Deleting the account(s) should eliminate everything tied to the old user's account: My Documents, Temporary Internet Files, Cookies, Desktop, etc.... all of the usual places for personal files.
Next, he should go through the hard drive(s) and delete any folders that look like they could've been created by the old user, to get stuff that he may not have saved under his profile (ex. C:\Porn, C:\Storage). Basically, on XP (I'll assume that the "old Compaq" has that), the three important folders used by the operating system are C:\Windows, C:\Program Files and C:\Documents and Settings. You can delete everything else, and if there's anything more than that that Windows needs, it won't let you delete it, anyways. At that point, he can run another search on the hard drive(s) and, if he finds anything more that he needs to delete, right-click on the file and there ought to be a "Open file location" menu option that will open up Explorer were the file is, so that he can delete it. I would also go into Control Panel->Add or Remove Programs and uninstall anything that looks offensive (ex. "Fakesoft PornHelper Pro"). After you've done all of that and deleted everything that you can, empty the Recycle Bin (or else the son could just un-delete everything).
Finally, he should download and install Microsoft Security Essentials, which is free anti-spyware and anti-virus software from Microsoft, and do a "full scan" (not a "quick scan"). Oh, and make sure that Automatic Updates is turned on, so that Security Essentials (and the OS, itself) gets updated each week.
Finally, have him go back into Control Panel->User Accounts and create a new account for the son (at that point, he could also set up parental controls over that account, also via Control Panel), log out and log on with the son's account. That ought to do it.
Yup, like everyone else says reformat and install Windows. It will be super easy for you because you don't have anything from the computer you want to back up...might sound intimidating, but will take at most 1 hour (depending on the hard drive) and then you sit back and let Windows install.
I definitely agree that the best case for piece of mind is to re-format and re-install, but what's simple for the rest of us is a lot more complicated for a novice. First, the OP said that he doesn't have the discs, so he would need to find someone with a CD of the same Windows that he has. If the OP is the person that he turned to and even he doesn't have a disc for him to borrow, then it's not looking good for the rest of the dad's circle of acquaintances. Then, there's the matter of the CD key. If it's not on a sticker on the box, then he'd need to find, download and run a CD key extractor to read the CD key that the current Windows is using. Then, you run into the whole potential problem that the CD drive may not be configured in the BIOS as a boot device, so that would have to be taken care of. Finally, as mentioned, once he gets Windows re-installed, there's the headache (for a novice) of finding and installing the right drivers and/or utilities to get the hardware working. I don't know about HP/Compaq, but not all manufacturers make drivers for really old computers easy to find (or find at all).
All of that is quite a lot for someone who doesn't know much about computers and turns to someone else for help. That's why I gave the instructions in my first post instead of what I just wrote. I've, personally, learned from experience that giving a solution that the user is comfortable with is often a lot better for him/her (and you) than what may seem like the ideal solution (if you were doing it, yourself).