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Proper Format for Previous Incorrectly Posted Log Info

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Re: Proper Format for Previous Incorrectly Posted Log Info

Unread postby everlong » July 12th, 2011, 5:13 pm

No, Gary, I feel the same as you do. I don't think it's Malware and I appreciate you being direct and also giving me the optional links. Actually, believe it or not, after I saw the last reports and realized it was very doubtful that my issue was Malware, I cranked out the Revo and had some fun. I mean, I had already done the recovery, so what could it hurt to uninstall a bunch of unnecessary crap that Sony loads on their computers. So, for the past 2 or 3 hours I have been just unloading everything that I can find, that the google search feature on Revo has helped me realize that I don't need. I've probably uninstalled over 6 or 700 MB of crap. Seriously.

And, believe it or not, my PC hasn't frozen in that entire time. I don't know if it's because I got rid of the program that was causing it or if it just hasn't happened for some other reason. At any rate, I really do appreciate all that you have done for me, and I especially want to thank you for your time. I will always have this place bookmarked and, like I already told you, I promise that I will be making a donation to all of you.

Just for your own knowledge, and the fact that it could come in handy some day, I'll try to list everything that I have completely uninstalled from my $2,200 Sony VAIO desktop, model # VPCL137FX. Let's see, I know I won't recall them all but I will try. Both Java updates, VAIO Messenger, Windows Live Essentials and everything related to it, You Paint, PMB Device InfoProvider(if I need it in the future, which I doubt, I'll get it), Sony Movie Maker and all of its sub-components, Oasis 2 1.0, ArcSoft Connect Daemon, Microsoft Office 2010 (I use 2003 just because I've always had it and it works), Sony Media Gallery and all associated with it, Windows Defender, Wi-Fi Utility (don't use it), Active X 11, Google Toolbar, Bing 3D Maps, VAIO Wallpaper Contents, VAIO Data Restore Tool (figure it's the same as Windows), VAIO Transfer Support (Windows has one too), Both IE Explorer Browsers (Kept Google Chrome), VAIO Gate (I have always hated that thing), Arcsoft Magical-I Visual effects, VAIO Entertaiment Platform, Every single MS SQL Servers and components (did this after reading an article from a guy about all of the Bloatware that he uninstalled from his Sony), All of MS Visual C, and Corel WINDVD.

That's all I can remember but I know there are a few more. I'm about to reboot to finish the uninstalls on several of the programs. It's gonna be interesting to see if it boots back up,but after what I've been through with this thing it really won't matter. I will definitely let you know if I get lucky and getting rid of that trash actually fixes the problem. I doubt it, but ya never know. You will be the 1st to know the outcome.

Thanks for everything, Gary, and may you end up always finding good fortune in life.

Sincerely,

Kevin Reuter
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Re: Proper Format for Previous Incorrectly Posted Log Info

Unread postby Gary R » July 12th, 2011, 6:09 pm

Most OEM computers seem to come with masses of bloat, and removing things you don't want and won't use is rarely a bad idea.

I removed a whole bunch of stuff from my Acer machine when I bought it, and I've never had cause to regret it.

I'll leave this topic open for a couple of days, let me know if your box booted after all your removals, and whether it's running better or not.

Best of luck to you,

Gary
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Re: Proper Format for Previous Incorrectly Posted Log Info

Unread postby everlong » July 12th, 2011, 7:35 pm

Gary, you aren't going to believe this, or maybe you will, but the Revo program you suggested actually came up with something that ALL of the other virus and spyware programs didn't. As I was uninstalling all of the useless crap that Sony puts on their computers, I noticed a program listed in the "other programs" box. I knew I didn't know what it was and the only other program listed their was my NIVIDIA drivers package.

Anyway, I didn't even look into it until I had finished with uninstalling all of the stuff I wanted gone. When I highlighted it, it was named PVSonyDLL.dll, which I knew did not sound right. So, I googled it and found 4 threads on the first page google gave me about it, and they all reported it as being a malicious Trojan that enabled the sender to gain access to your entire computer. Well, you can imagine my surprise considering nothing else had picked it up, and my total joy when I removed it using the "Force Uninstall" command with Revo. When it finished I ran the scan for any leftovers and none were found.

So, even though my PC has not froze up as of yet, I at least know that I had a serious virus on it and now it is gone. I also created a restore point right after I got rid of the virus. Hopefully that will be the end of it, but even if it isn't at least I got rid of all of that useless junk and freed up at least 1GB of space on the HD. I tell you what though, that sucker must have been dug in real good, or at least very well disguised considering all of the scans that I had run before I even found you, and then the things we did from that point. If you hadn't have told me about Revo, and I had decided to go the other route instead of buying it, we probably never would have ever found it. I doubt that, even if I took it to Sony service, they would have discovered it.

I can't thank you enough, Gary, and I am so glad that there are still people like you in the world who just want to help others. I don't know if you will ever make it to Houston, TX but if you do you better email me before you come. The whole night will be on me and you name what you want to do.

Kevin

kevin_reuter@comcast.net I know it isn't the smartest thing to leave your email addy on boards, but you can save it and delete it real quick. : )

Take Care, Gary.
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Re: Proper Format for Previous Incorrectly Posted Log Info

Unread postby everlong » July 12th, 2011, 9:27 pm

Last update for you, Gary. It has now been over an hour since I did all the stuff I reported in the post above, and I have yet to have Windows freeze once. The computer is running like a champ, you can tell by the sound that is coming from the processor that it is not working anywhere near as hard as it had been (you can barely hear it at all), I am able to drag and drop from anywhere to anywhere and my desktop is performing like it should. I think we got it, bro. Unbelievable! And the best part is that I didn't let Sony fix it. Even though I'm under warranty, I didn't want those bleepers to touch it after the way they treated me through their "support".

It may have taken every spare moment I had, literally, for 3 weeks but it looks like we won the battle, and that makes the time all worth it.

I would like to ask you one last thing. I have anti-phishing enabled on my BitDefender, but can you recommend settings that I should have it on to help avoid this happening again? Also, everything I have ever read about User Account Control is that you shouldn't run your computer as Administrator, but I happen to like it that way. Should I be worried about that and maybe change the settings? I'm certainly no expert, but I have learned quite a bit about computers over the years, especially with the two Dells that I owned. I feel like I know when I should or should not run a program, even though I ran basically everything ever created the past few weeks. But that was in complete desperation.

I also have my updates set to allow me to choose what I think should be installed or not. The one setting I have that could be a concern is that, in my security settings I have it set to "Only Notify Me When Programs Try to Make Changes to Windows", which is the closest setting to being the lowest security setting. Do you feel that I should elevate that setting?

That's it, my friend, I won't be bugging you anymore....at least I hope not. But, almost 2 hours now and she's running just like she's supposed to.

Kevin
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Re: Proper Format for Previous Incorrectly Posted Log Info

Unread postby everlong » July 12th, 2011, 9:40 pm

Sorry, Gary, I have just one more question before I leave you to help others. I just ran a system performance test and I want to show you the results and get your expert opinion, because I want to know if I should be getting more out of my HD. And if I should be, if you might give me some ideas on how to do it. Here are the results.

Thanks in advance.

Kevin

Component Details Subscore Base score
Processor Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU Q8400 @ 2.66GHz 7.2 5.9
Determined by lowest subscore

Memory (RAM) 8.00 GB 7.2
Graphics NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M 6.5
Gaming graphics 4606 MB Total available graphics memory 6.5
Primary hard disk 867GB Free (921GB Total) 5.9
Windows 7 Home Premium

System
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Manufacturer Sony Corporation
Model VPCL137FX
Total amount of system memory 8.00 GB RAM
System type 64-bit operating system
Number of processor cores 4

Storage
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Total size of hard disk(s) 921 GB
Disk partition (C:) 867 GB Free (921 GB Total)
Media drive (D:) CD/DVD

Graphics
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Display adapter type NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M
Total available graphics memory 4606 MB
Dedicated graphics memory 1024 MB
Dedicated system memory 0 MB
Shared system memory 3582 MB
Display adapter driver version 8.16.11.8950
Primary monitor resolution 1920x1080
DirectX version DirectX 10

Network
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Network Adapter Intel(R) 82567V-2 Gigabit Network Connection
Network Adapter Atheros AR9285 Wireless Network Adapter

Notes
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The gaming graphics score is based on the primary graphics adapter. If this system has linked or multiple graphics adapters, some software applications may see additional performance benefits.
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Re: Proper Format for Previous Incorrectly Posted Log Info

Unread postby Gary R » July 13th, 2011, 2:32 am

Glad to hear your computer is behaving itself now.

OK, let's try to answer your questions one at a time.

Anti-Phishing on Bit Defender ..... never used the program so I've no idea what settings there are or what is best. Your usage of your machine will probably determine what settings you can live with.

The reason you don't run a computer in Admin mode, is because it gives any attacker Admin privileges. When an infection gets onto your computer in a "drive by" it is loaded onto your machine with the same privilges as the account that is active at the time of infection. If it's a limited User account, then the infection's privilges are limited as well, and it needs to be able to elevate them to infect you fully. That's not always possible, so the infection is relatively easy to remove. However if you're browsing with an account set to full Admin, then any infection you pick up will also have full Admin access to your machine, and the amount of damage it can do is substantially more.

For that reason MS introduced UAC, which allows Users to browse with a limited User privileges, but elevate to full Admin privileges when needed. The "cost" of this is the nag screens. Personally I don't find them too much of a nuisance in W7. I have it set to "only notify me when programs try to make changes to Windows" as well, and I consider that an acceptable compromise between security and being able to use my computer without constant nags.

As an experienced Windows user I have my Updates set to notify only, because I'm disciplined enough to always check them all and select the ones I need (usually all the security updates) and omit the ones I don't.

If you're similarly organised and disciplined then no need to set it to full auto update, if you're not then I recommend full auto.

If you want a little info on computer security, please read THIS article in the Public Library here at MWR.

As far as your performance scores go, they're a bit outside my experience. You look to have a fairly good set up, good mid range processor, good amount of memory, and a lot of free space on a good sized hard drive. Graphics memory looks OK for all but hard core gaming, but again that's outside my experience since I do very little gaming myself. I expect for most usage you've got a machine that performs very well.

If you're really interested in performance, I expect the following forums can probably tell you what you need to know ....

http://www.techsupportforum.com/forums/f59/
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/forum20.html
http://www.geekstogo.com/forum/forum/19-games/
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Re: Proper Format for Previous Incorrectly Posted Log Info

Unread postby everlong » July 13th, 2011, 11:34 pm

Thanks for all of the useful info, Gary, I do appreciate it, but I happen to have some good news and some bad news. I'm going to give you the bad news first.

After I got all of the useless junk trashed and got rid of that virus, my PC was running like a champ. Since I work nights anyway, I stayed up for an extra 5 hours just surfing around to see if it would start acting up again. For the entire 5 hours I never had one freeze up in any utility, program, browser, etc. It ran like the computer it is supposed to be. Well, when I got up today and started it up, within 30 minutes the freezing started happening all over again. Actually, it was right after I had downloaded and installed 8 Microsoft updates. I think all of them were security related, and after the reboot the freezing began.

Well, my first step was to search for that same Trojan I had gotten rid of, but found no trace of it. The second thing I did was went to System Restore to restore to the point that I had created after the PC was working as it should. Well, for some reason, I guess Sony felt that 8 hours was too long to keep that restore point available and I was given only 3 choices, all of which were dated today, the 13th. No extra points showed up when I checked the box that is supposed to make them show up, so I began a google search on how to find a missing restore point that I had created. Absolutely no luck with that.

I resorted to what had worked before with the restore point you had me create, but it had no positive effect. So, now I have been sitting here all day wondering just how in the world could something like this happen. I mean, if it's a hardware issue then I shouldn't have been able to browse for 5 hours with no errors, right? Actually, I don't know the answer to that but maybe you do.

The good news is that I didn't grab my Glock 9mm and drive 10 minutes to the nearest Sony store and unload all 15 rounds into the place, and then empty the other 4 clips that I always keep fully loaded. For those of you who may read this who believe guns are bad, that was just a joke. I'm not a killer.

So, I figure since the info I read on that virus said that it gives the sender complete access to the PC, I suppose he/she had already taken steps to make sure no control was lost for too long. Also, my mother said she has been receiving weird emails from my outlook account, so I imagine it's some 10 year old in Michigan just having a great time. The only thing I can think of is taking it to Sony and let them do what they think they should do and then change all of my passwords (and make them stronger) and see what happens.

Not trying to be a downer but I thought you should know. Oh, and I ran a deep scan with BitDefender about 30 minutes ago and it came up with 4 issues......cookies. And I checked every box that could be checked for what to scan. I just want to ask you one thing, Gary. Have you ever heard of anything like this happening? Oh, here is a list of some of the updates that were installed.

And, as always, Thank You for all That You Do.

Kevin

Security Update for .NET Framework 3.5.1 on Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 for x64-based Systems (KB2446710)

Download size: 11.7 MB

Update type: Important

A security issue has been identified that could allow an attacker to compromise your Windows-based system that is running the Microsoft .NET Framework and gain complete control over it. You can help protect your computer by installing this update from Microsoft. After you install this item, you may have to restart your computer.

Security Update for .NET Framework 3.5.1 on Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 for x64-based Systems (KB2478662)

Download size: 1.8 MB

Update type: Important

A security issue has been identified that could allow an attacker to compromise your Windows-based system that is running the Microsoft .NET Framework and gain complete control over it. You can help protect your computer by installing this update from Microsoft. After you install this item, you may have to restart your computer.

Security Update for Microsoft XML Core Services 4.0 Service Pack 2 for x64-based Systems (KB954430)

Download size: 5.4 MB

Update type: Important

A security issue has been identified in Microsoft XML Core Services (MSXML) that could allow an attacker to compromise your Windows-based system and gain control over it. You can help protect your computer by installing this update from Microsoft. After you install this item, you may have to restart your computer. Once you have installed this item, it cannot be removed.

Update for Microsoft XML Core Services 4.0 Service Pack 2 for x64-based Systems (KB973688)

Download size: 5.4 MB

Update type: Important

Install this update to prevent applications from sending too many HTTP requests while a well-known Document Type Definition (DTD) is included. After you install this item, you may have to restart your computer. Once you have installed this item, it cannot be removed.

Update for Windows 7 for x64-based Systems (KB2529073)

Download size: 381 KB

Update type: Recommended

Install this update to resolve issues in Windows. For a complete listing of the issues that are included in this update, see the associated Microsoft Knowledge Base article for more information. After you install this item, you may have to restart your computer.

Update for Windows 7 for x64-based Systems (KB2545698)

Download size: 2.2 MB

Update type: Recommended

Install this update to resolve issues in Windows. For a complete listing of the issues that are included in this update, see the associated Microsoft Knowledge Base article for more information. After you install this item, you may have to restart your computer.

Update for Windows 7 for x64-based Systems (KB2547666)

Download size: 4.6 MB

Update type: Recommended

Install this update to resolve issues in Windows. For a complete listing of the issues that are included in this update, see the associated Microsoft Knowledge Base article for more information. After you install this item, you may have to restart your computer.

Update for Windows 7 for x64-based Systems (KB982018)

Download size: 4.1 MB

Update type: Recommended

This is a reliability update. This update resolves some performance and reliability issues in Windows. By applying this update, you can achieve better performance and responsiveness in various scenarios. For more information please see the Knowledge Base article. After you install this item, you may have to restart your computer.


Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool x64 - July 2011 (KB890830)

Download size: 14.0 MB

Update type: Important

After the download, this tool runs one time to check your computer for infection by specific, prevalent malicious software (including Blaster, Sasser, and Mydoom) and helps remove any infection that is found. If an infection is found, the tool will display a status report the next time that you start your computer. A new version of the tool will be offered every month. If you want to manually run the tool on your computer, you can download a copy from the Microsoft Download Center, or you can run an online version from microsoft.com. This tool is not a replacement for an antivirus product. To help protect your computer, you should use an antivirus product.
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Re: Proper Format for Previous Incorrectly Posted Log Info

Unread postby everlong » July 13th, 2011, 11:43 pm

I forgot to mention one thing. For some reason, when it would freeze if I would start the ActiveX application, which I didn't have the permissions for but got it done anyway, the PC wouldn't freeze while it was running. The problem was that it kept stopping and I got tired of going through the whole process of starting it again. I tried taking ownership of it but couldn't. It may just be a coincidence that it wouldn't freeze while ActiveX was started. I have no idea. Just thought I'd tell you.

Kevin
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Re: Proper Format for Previous Incorrectly Posted Log Info

Unread postby Gary R » July 14th, 2011, 1:45 am

The only reason I can think of for a Restore Point to disappear, is that you don't have enough disk space allocated to System Restore.

SR works on a first in first out basis, so that newer RPs overwrite older ones.

Normally Windows 7 allocates about 15% of your hard drive to SR, so you have quite a few RPs before they start overwriting, but that amount of disk space can be altered, either by you, or on some occasions by a registry setting getting corrupted.

Please do the following to check that you have sufficient space allocated ....
  • Click Control Panel > System and Security > System > System Protection
  • Under System Protection tab, click Configure
  • Make sure of the following ....
    • Restore System Setting and previous versions of files is selected.
    • Make sure the Max Usage slider is set to at least 15%. (no need for it to be any larger, you have a 1Tbyte drive, so 15% is 150Gbyte which is plenty of space for lots of RPs)
    • OK your way out of any open windows.

Which Active X process are you taking about?

The only ones I saw in your last OTL log were ones for Java ....

O16 - DPF: {8AD9C840-044E-11D1-B3E9-00805F499D93} http://java.sun.com/update/1.6.0/jinsta ... s-i586.cab (Java Plug-in 1.6.0_18)
O16 - DPF: {CAFEEFAC-0016-0000-0018-ABCDEFFEDCBA} http://java.sun.com/update/1.6.0/jinsta ... s-i586.cab (Java Plug-in 1.6.0_18)
O16 - DPF: {CAFEEFAC-FFFF-FFFF-FFFF-ABCDEFFEDCBA} http://java.sun.com/update/1.6.0/jinsta ... s-i586.cab (Java Plug-in 1.6.0_18)


.... and when you uninstalled the old java version they should have been removed as well.
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Re: Proper Format for Previous Incorrectly Posted Log Info

Unread postby everlong » July 15th, 2011, 2:22 am

Well, I thought the same thing about the disk space allocated for restore being too small, but I figured that since I had just done a full recovery that it would be set correctly. It turns out it was set at 1% allocated space, which explains the missing restore point. The Active X I am talking about is Adobe Active x 10. I've never known much about the Active X application, other than it is needed to view certain things and is important if you play games.

Can't tell you how bummed I was to wake up only to find it behaving like it had been. Is there a way for my ISP provider to monitor if someone is accessing my PC if I were to call them and tell them that I will stay off of it for a day, or whatever?

Thanks for sticking with me on this.

Kevin
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Re: Proper Format for Previous Incorrectly Posted Log Info

Unread postby everlong » July 15th, 2011, 3:10 am

One more question for you, Gary. Can you tell me if there is a way to regain my complete administrative rights? I haven't even messed with permissions, as far as changing them in programs I want full control of, but there are so many programs that I used to be able to stop or start any time I wanted. Now, there are at least 8 or 10 that I get an error message saying that :Access is Denied". This has only happened once before and that was when I ran that stupid WiseFixer and clicked repair all after its scan. I lost my Admin. rights to everything then. This was when the freezing had just began occurring.

I can't think of anything I've done that would make the PC deny me access to so many programs. To name a few of them; Active X 10 Adobe, Smart Card, Application Identity, WWAN AutoConfig, Windows Driver Foundation, Diagnostic System Host, WMI Performance Adapter, Volume Shadow Copy, VAIO Power Management, Bitdefender Update Service, Interactive Services Detection, Windows Modules Installer, Microsoft Software Shadow Copy Provider, SNMP Trap, Remote Procedure Call Locator, Performance Counter dll Host, COM+ System Application, Microsoft .NET Framework NGEN v2.0.50727_X64, Problem Report and Solutions Control Panel Support....and I could go. All of the services that I mentioned are stopped and I am denied access to start any of them. I've never had this issue, and I understand that some of these programs may not be responding because I may have uninstalled a program that they depend on, but I seriously doubt that would apply to most of them.

Everything that I uninstalled that day, I researched it 1st to make sure that another program did not rely on it. I'm sure you have heard of everything when it comes to computer problems, just like I've seen pretty much you can ever see in the bar business; but do you think it is possible that someone just has access to my PC and has noticed the things that I have been doing and has performed tasks to stop me from doing them again? Is that a normal problem that home users have, or does it not happen very frequently?

One last thing and I'll shut up. If I was able to get this PC running like new, and keep it that way for 5 hours, does that make you think that it's as simple as some hacker having access? If so, is there any way of finding out of that is the case?

Kevin
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Re: Proper Format for Previous Incorrectly Posted Log Info

Unread postby Gary R » July 15th, 2011, 5:05 am

Given the number of things that appear to be problematic on your machine, I think your best option would be to back-up your personal files and folders to an external drive, then reformat your hard drive and re-install Windows.

As your computer is an OEM machine, there is probably a restore partition installed, and a simple method to access it to restore your computer to factory default conditions. Details will be in your system manual.

This may sound drastic, but you'll spend far less time doing a reformat and re-installing your programs, than we've spent fruitlessly chasing things so far, and you will be left with a properly functioning machine at the end of it.

If you take your machine into a repair shop, it's almost certainly what they will do.
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Re: Proper Format for Previous Incorrectly Posted Log Info

Unread postby everlong » July 15th, 2011, 5:09 pm

So, are you saying that reformatting and then performing a system recovery on C: Drive may turn out with a different result than the two system recoveries that I have performed since this problem started? I mean, I've never reformatted the drive before restoring it, so I suppose it could lead to different results. Is that what you mean?
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Re: Proper Format for Previous Incorrectly Posted Log Info

Unread postby Gary R » July 15th, 2011, 6:23 pm

A System Restore is not the same as a full blown system recovery.

In a System Restore you're just resetting your registry and re-installing some files to a state at which they were some time in the past.

With a system recovery, what you're doing is re-formatting your hard drive, which will remove everything you have on it now, followed by a clean install of Windows 7 so that the computer is exactly as it was when it came to you from Sony.

Unless you make backup copies of your personal files and folders prior to doing it, they will all be lost in a system recovery, as will any programs and utilities that you have installed since you first booted your machine as it came out of the box.

All registry settings, and all files, and all permissions will be set to factory defaults.

The ways for doing this will vary depending on the manufacturer and model. Instructions should be in your owners manual, if you don't have that, let me know the model number and I may be able to find them for you.
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Re: Proper Format for Previous Incorrectly Posted Log Info

Unread postby everlong » July 17th, 2011, 9:23 pm

Sorry for replying so late, Gary, I've had a few very late and busy nights. Actually, I have performed two complete system recovery's of my C: Drive and done a complete reinstall of Windows and the problems still persists. I have decided to just take to just take it in to Sony, but I would like your opinion on something. If the virus that I had allowed the sender to gain total access to my computer, what are the chances, in your opinion, of that person having devised a way to still regain access after removal of the virus, without actually sending the virus again?
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