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Old 11-06-2014, 08:48 PM
 
224 posts, read 216,841 times
Reputation: 161

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Anybody know the best/easiest way to repair/recover damaged pdf/html documents and files? Used a really terrible free antivirus (Avira) and got some REALLY BAD viruses on my computer. Now all my documents are unreadable. Both on my hard drive and on a usb. I've got hundreds of them!! Someone please help.
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Old 11-07-2014, 05:57 AM
 
10,755 posts, read 18,013,891 times
Reputation: 10244
What you likely have is a version of CryptoWall and your documents ended up encrypted, not corrupt. Now the bad news, there is probably NO WAY for you to recover this data without paying the ransom if you don't have a backup. We would need to know exactly what you had to go any further.

I will not rate your post at all, asking people to do so is poor form.
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Old 11-07-2014, 07:39 AM
 
224 posts, read 216,841 times
Reputation: 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by NHDave View Post
What you likely have is a version of CryptoWall and your documents ended up encrypted, not corrupt. Now the bad news, there is probably NO WAY for you to recover this data without paying the ransom if you don't have a backup. We would need to know exactly what you had to go any further.

I will not rate your post at all, asking people to do so is poor form.
That was a mistake. I copied my post from another forum and I must have accidentally included "Rate this post".

What do you mean by ransom?

I had pdfs and word docs and a couple of htmls. My antivirus was Avira. Hope this helps. Thanks for the response.
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Old 11-07-2014, 07:45 AM
 
224 posts, read 216,841 times
Reputation: 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by NHDave View Post
What you likely have is a version of CryptoWall and your documents ended up encrypted, not corrupt. Now the bad news, there is probably NO WAY for you to recover this data without paying the ransom if you don't have a backup. We would need to know exactly what you had to go any further.

I will not rate your post at all, asking people to do so is poor form.
I Googled CryptoWall. Not what I have. When I click on the pdfs it says Adobe cannot open the file because it has been damaged. Wordpad looks like gibberish. Html docs are blank.
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Old 11-07-2014, 07:56 AM
 
10,755 posts, read 18,013,891 times
Reputation: 10244
Quote:
Originally Posted by ContainednCary View Post
I Googled CryptoWall. Not what I have. When I click on the pdfs it says Adobe cannot open the file because it has been damaged. Wordpad looks like gibberish. Html docs are blank.
That sounds exactly like encrypting ransomware, your symptoms are spot on for encryption malware.
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Old 11-07-2014, 11:08 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
18,566 posts, read 55,493,012 times
Reputation: 32343
A lot of data files look like gibberish. One way to check if it is just munged or encryption is to open the file with an old hex editor and look for readable plain text. If there is some, the file may just be munged. Fixing it is another matter.

FWIW, doing backups of key files to optical disks (CD DVD) that are write once only can insure your backup doesn't get modified by a virus.
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Old 11-07-2014, 05:37 PM
 
224 posts, read 216,841 times
Reputation: 161
This is what I get when I try to open pdfs in Word as well as Word docs themselves:

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Old 11-07-2014, 07:18 PM
 
15,924 posts, read 17,656,019 times
Reputation: 7645
As others have said, encrypting ransomware. As you stated

Quote:
got some REALLY BAD viruses on my computer
Bite the bullet and admit you are hosed...

Best thing to do is restore from a previous backup when your system was "clean".
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Old 11-08-2014, 01:08 PM
 
28,638 posts, read 40,617,860 times
Reputation: 37346
Quote:
Originally Posted by plwhit View Post
As others have said, encrypting ransomware. As you stated



Bite the bullet and admit you are hosed...

Best thing to do is restore from a previous backup when your system was "clean"
.
That's quite an assumption you're making...
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Old 11-08-2014, 01:11 PM
 
28,638 posts, read 40,617,860 times
Reputation: 37346
Quote:
Originally Posted by ContainednCary View Post
Anybody know the best/easiest way to repair/recover damaged pdf/html documents and files? Used a really terrible free antivirus (Avira) and got some REALLY BAD viruses on my computer. Now all my documents are unreadable. Both on my hard drive and on a usb. I've got hundreds of them!! Someone please help.
Rate this post positively
It's likely that the crap came from the download site, not the AV software. It pays to be very careful about where you download from. I use Filehippo. Very safe.

And I have to agree with everyone else. Pay the ransom, have a good backup, or lose the files.
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