Recently, several members of the family have had their computers "owned" by viruses or spyware. At my house, I'm more focused on prevention but if all else fails, here's a great write up of using Windows XP Recovery features to repair your down and out home computer.
Also, a correspondence with one of my pals (a conversation I've had many times with lots of folks):
Nope. I think you're on the right path. Good write-up:
Afterwards, I would recommend the following:
1. Set only 1 person within the household as an Administrator...I've found the Mom is usually best. Disable the ability to install software for all other users (i.e. they only belong to Users group)
2. Install virus scanning software; set to update nightly, scan nightly
3. Update Windows with all patches from www.windowsupdate.com. Set Windows to update automatically. Make sure you install SP2
4. Enable the Windows firewall from SP2
5. Download and install the latest Zone Alarm firewall
6. Run a hardware router with a built-in firewall in front of your cable/DSL modem
7. Install and set to run regularly a spyware checker such as Ad-aware
8. If you/they are using a wireless network, use 128-bit WEP encryption with a 13-bit passcode.
9. Enable the pop-up blocker within IE6, Windows SP2
10. Don't use Outlook Express but rather a standard browser for email
11. Don't use file sharing programs
12. Don't use chat programs like AIM or Yahoo messenger without a scanner
Also, from my blog:
On 6/14/05, wrote:
no luck...won't even boot up in Safe Mode...just loops through and says Windows could not start, please choose a mode to boot up in...any option you choose loops back around to same screen. couldn't find his rescue CD to boot from, so I need to order one from HP today. Any other advice? (besides using it as a boat anchor)
From: Jeff Hunsaker [mailto:]
Sent: Tuesday, June 14, 2005 9:19 AM
Subject: WinXP repairs
How did you fare?