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If your computer is blocked from the network because it was found to have a virus, Trojan, worm or other malicious software, it will need to be reformatted and secured before it will be allowed back on the network. Student Computer Services (SCS) does not reformat computers. You either have to reformat the system yourself or have a local vendor perform the service for you. After reformatting, you will need to have SCS verify and secure your system before it can be unblocked from the network. Please read the information below for more details.
What is a reformat?
Reformatting a computer means completely erasing (formatting) the hard drive and reinstalling the operating system and all other applications and files. ALL of your data on the hard disk will be lost, so you will need to back it up to a CD, DVD, flash drive or another computer.
Why does my computer’s hard disk need to be reformatted?
When computers become deeply infected with viruses, Trojans or other malicious software, it takes far less time to reformat them than it does to successfully to clean them. Formatting a system also guarantees that all malicious software has been removed – manual cleaning will not always get everything.
What do I need in order to reformat my computer?
You will need a valid, licensed copy of your current operating system or a system restore CD which should have come with your system when you purchased it. The license code should be attached to the computer itself, usually on the underside.
You must back up your personal data – make sure all documents, music and any other personal files (not programs) are safely backed up somewhere other than on your hard drive – depending on how much data you have, this is easily done to CDs, DVDs, a flash drive or an external disk drive. SCS may be able to assist you with backing up your files provided you have functional hardware to do so and some local repair shops will do this for a fee (see below).
How do I reformat my computer?
Assuming you have a system CD and have backed up your data, you have three options for reformatting:
Remember that after your system has been reformatted, you will need to bring it in to SCS for additional software and verification before you can rejoin the network