Computer I'm working on is really messed up

My sister's boss's laptop was acting up so I was asked to work on it. Turned it on for the first time and it's well and truly borked. Has quite a few things installed that she really shouldn't have installed and they won't let me uninstall anything or open google chrome. It's a windows 7 laptop so instead of having to backup all important files (I don't really have the equipment to do it properly at the moment) and doing a full wipe and re-install, I was thinking to get a Linux live-CD and basically subvert the programs and tear them out manually. I was hoping to get opinions on the best software to get to do this, and find out if this is even a viable way to do it. 

Many thanks in advance.

Wipe it wil active kill disk ... a free drive wiper and reinstall ... or you can try and clean it using Malwarebytes and doing boot time scans with the antivirus of choice ... your call

        ..."and they won't let me uninstall anything or open google chrome."

This is when you hand the laptop back and say, "I don't have time, you either let me do what I need to do to fix it, or take it somewhere else".

Any linux live environment will let you do just about anything you'll need - you can also set up various live environments as a persistent-usb; meaning that you can store files directly onto a flash drive or attached storage depending on what "equipment" you have laying around.


I am just left thinking  ... what is so important ??? you can't just wipe and reinstall? Everyone knows a fresh install runs awesome.

Because it generally takes less time to do a virus scan via linux, and delete quarantine/rougue software/malware than it takes to backup files and reinstall. The old adage, time = money and whatnot.

Boot into safe mode, & clean system from there - malwarebytes, ccleaner, spybot search & destroy, then uninstall them once done.

If there are programs that she shoudnt have and they are the issue, tell her. 

Worst case backup the data, system restore or wipe and reinstall.

+1 for doing everything in linux as shit can still be hidden.

Puppy Linux is good for this purpose, it will let you remove anything without fussing over permissions like some other live CDs can do.

Ok, so turns out all they wanted to save were some family pictures. Those have been backed up now so I'm just gonna do a fresh install. Do you guys think I need to worry about sanitizing the disk or just do a fresh windows install and call it good?

All depends on how much time you got - running something like dban takes forever. I always just use Ccleaner - advanced overwrite (3 wipes).

are you willing to go there and either teach them how or do it your self?