Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I just got a new computer from eBay. The previous owner cleaned off his own data with is good but how do I ensure that the system doesn't have any keyloggers or spyware.

I won't reinstall the OS. Don't have that time. I already downloaded and did a scan with AVG.

share|improve this question
2  
Reinstalling the OS takes like an hour, or the time of a really in depth virus scan on a brand new system with very few files. –  ekaj Mar 5 '13 at 5:15
2  
It would take less time to re-install the OS and find all the drivers that it would to download all of the recommended software, run all of them to do a deep clean. If you are just nervous about re-installing the OS, it is really easy, even if you aren't a major tech guru. –  David Mar 5 '13 at 5:17

1 Answer 1

You could already be most of the way through a clean install by now- seriously.

It's the best way to be positive you can trust a system, and takes less than an hour.

Either way you'll have to install your applications and customize it, so might as well reinstall the OS before you invest more time in it if you have any doubts.

Other than that, you can install Malwarebytes, update its definitions, then do a full scan of all internal drives- that's usually enough to find anything malicious. It's got a fantastic detection rate, and is free.

share|improve this answer
1  
@Julian, please notice that Dan said "It's the best way to be positive you can trust a system" referring to the re-install of the OS. Malwarebytes is not bulletproof (it is very good though!). I have witnessed Malwarebytes miss trojans, and other nasty things you definitively don't want. If I wanted to do it the hard way and not reinstall, I would have to use Kaspersky Live, Malwarebytes, spybot search and destory, Microsoft Security Essentials, and run through the registry myself, which would take me around six hours to do, which would still not be a bulletproof plan... –  David Mar 5 '13 at 5:22
2  
Exactly. If you want 100% peace of mind, make sure the only thing on the hard drive is what you put there yourself. –  Austin ''Danger'' Powers Mar 5 '13 at 5:26

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.