I have been recently wondering whether the option we have in windows 10 to reset the PC, which includes the reset function that does a deep scan and delete all files in all partitions and drives, get rid of viruses,malwares and especially, rootkits. Is deleting ALL files from ALL partitions good enough? or there is the chance that a rootkit gave itself the ability to not get erased?

I also wondered if some sort of malware can modify the media creation tool I used to create a bootable USB in order to perform 100% clean install (In case there are positive answers to my first question)?

Thanks :D

  • 1
    The Reset feature within Windows 10 reinstalls Windows 10. – Ramhound Sep 7 '16 at 22:58
  • 1
    Didn't answer my question though... because for example some AMD things stayed, Asus too. What about viruses? or rootkits? – Hacktivator Sep 7 '16 at 23:10
  • I most certainly did answer your question. If things were kept, you choose to keep them, instead of selecting the option that removes everything. Yes; Malware could in theory modify the image, Malware won't because it requires certain Microsoft executables to be installed. No; I won't list what those are. Your question about the rootkit, depends on the rootkit, be specific about which rootkit your infected with? Remember we expect questions to be practical question, a question we can answer, answering a question about any rootkit isn't practical. – Ramhound Sep 7 '16 at 23:13

It depends on how badly your computer is infected. Secure boot is designed to prevent this, but it would definitely be possible on say, a uefi computer with secure boot disabled for malware to install itself on the efi partition, loading windows after itself and removing any ability to overwrite it.

If you're really worried, you can always reset your BIOS/UEFI, use a dvd of Windows 10, fully wipe your hard drive and reinstall from scratch.

With very little exception, that will clear absolutely everything. (There are some rumors of firmware malware that target specific devices, and can't be removed with this, but you have to be targeted pretty specifically for those, and unless you've made yourself a target for the NSA, I wouldn't worry about it.)

  • Also, I say DVD instead of USB Drive, because a DVD can't be altered after creation. Burn it on a trusted machine. :) – Andrew Hendrix Sep 8 '16 at 4:47

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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