Fighting malware with hardware

So I have the Binkiland virus, and nothing I try is working to get rid of it. I am not some Edward Snowden kind of guy so maybe someone else could beat this, but I have used Avast antivirus and Grimefighter, to no avail. I switched to Avast’s SafeZone browser to at least get away from the relentless pop-ups while I am trying to read something, but even in the SafeZone my email seems to be hacked- I can’t open any emails in the SafeZone, only in the infected browser. As if it isn’t all infected :frowning:

Well, I could just get a cheapo laptop for internet surfing, keep this one offline- it has all the cool graphics chips and sound hardware so I could just use it for that. I could use this as an excuse to get an SSD and start all over again with a new OS, keep it anti-virused up at all times while I salvage my old data. Maybe I could go yet some other way, like get a tablet or some awesome cell phone and just use that, or cannibalize the cool parts out of this machine.

Anybody out there ever solve their virus problem by swapping out hardware? What’s your story?

From what I gather, Binkiland isn’t technically a virus, so anti-virus programs aren’t going to help a lot. Try the steps shown here to remove it:

As for the question in the OP, the only way to fight malware with hardware would be to replace the hard drive, and reinstall your OS from scratch.

If you do anything sketchy, do it on a VM. That way if you get any viruses, they vanish as soon as you disable that VM.

You don’t have to buy a new hard disk, just reinstall the OS after a format. I do this every 8 months with the new version of OpenSuse; all the personal stuff and settings are in another /home partition. I assume Windows now has this capacity.

Never heard of Binkiland — sounds like a nearly successful 1920s comic strip for the wee ones : join Binky Binks and all his happy little friends in his special place ! Buy the Binkiland Annual for hours of fun ! — but Wikipedia says, It installs a Windows Service and runs on Windows start up.
You could just disable the service from start-up.

My aunt had an evil chihuahua named Binky. The beast died long ago; Binkiland must be the hell it inhabits.

Thanks, Suburban Plankton! I followed those instructions, and for now it does appear that Binkiland has been sent back where it belongs. Gotta love the dope :slight_smile:

Now I have to devise a new excuse to buy an SSD, but that is a better problem to have. Thanks again!

I don’t do anything sketchy, but… what do you mean? Is that Virtual Machine? I don’t know how, but since I seem to get a virus about once a year, maybe I should do everything that way?

It’s probably easier just to make a Limited User in your Windows account, and do all your browsing in that account. That Limited User won’t be able to install any software and most malware doesn’t bypass that protection (some really nefarious ones will, but most won’t). You can always switch to the admin account if you find yourself needing to install trusted software.

I got binkinland on my work computer. It took forever to get rid of it. It’s nasty.

I’m a very calm and not in anyway violent. But, if I could find those responsible, well, they would get some very harsh words. If they lived to hear them.

Ok, now that my computer seems to be working properly again, maybe it is time to fight malware with hardware… in advance. I have a blank external hard drive that I just never got around to using. If I copy my entire hard drive onto that, then unplug it and stick it in a drawer, I can have a clean OS waiting to go the next time this happens. And it probably Will happen, it has many times.

So. What’s a good technique/program for copying my entire system to an external hard drive?

@Reply: I will look into that, thanks.

I, personally, have a laptop that I use just for browsing the internet and nothing ‘important’. No important files saved on here, nothing (other than money) stopping me from throwing it away tomorrow without even backing it up. I don’t go to sketchy sites, but I could without being too worried. That said, in 6 or 7 years, I think I’ve picked up 2 bugs on it. Both of them I managed to clear up with my normal methods (Adaware/AVG/Malwarebytes/and that other one who’s name I never remember but it has a dragon for the logo.
Anyways, if none of those work, I just roll back Windows a few days. I don’t know why I don’t just start there, it always works and it’s the easiest.

Many non-OEM hard drives (meaning the retail boxed kinds) come with software that can do that. Check before you buy it – it’s usually cheaper than buying an OEM hard drive and a separate retail backup program.

But if you don’t find one, I like Acronis TrueImage.

Yeah, sure. You can also combine that with a VM, unless you plan on resetting the VM image to a clean snapshot after every use. Otherwise, a limited user will still be additional protection on top of the VM. (Meaning you log in to a limited user account inside the VM, and use that to do your browsing.)