> Well, there are different schools of thought about this.
Yes, there are. In my view, the severity of the remedial action
depends upon the mission critically of the system, the sensitivity of
the data thereon (and whether or not that data has been backed up
recently), the skill set of the computer user/repairer), and the
type/thoroughness of the infection.
> Some think
> that once you get infected the only way to be certain the system is
> clean is to format and reinstall.
And for few those situations where 100% certainty is essential (or
desired), a format and re-installation of the OS and applications is the
only choice. This, however, usually isn't the case for the home
consumer dealing with a single well-known and relatively easily cleaned
piece of malware, as is the OP's stated case. (Of course, from the
paucity of the original post, we really can't assume that there's only
one piece of malware, either. We have to trust the OP to be accurate.)
> If the system is functional enough I
> agree it's worth making an effort to clean it first. By using a
> combination of anti-malware tools I can feel pretty confident the system
> is clean, but there may be lingering damage.
No argument here.
> For instance a common
> problem I've seen is a task manager with the top menu cutoff. This is
> probably an example of registry corruption. It may be possible to fix
> this kind of thing by editing the registry directly, but how? If would
> be great if someone put up a FAQ.
That doesn't sound at all like registry corruption, as it's a
built-in (if poorly documented) option. It sounds like the Task Manager
is being run in "Small Footprint Mode." Simply double-click anywhere
along the top or side borders to return to a normal view.
Alternatively, pressing <Ctrl>+<Tab> will allow you to cycle between the
various displays, and <Alt>+<F4> will close it.
Task Manager Menu Bar and Tabs Are Not Visible in Windows XP
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