Saturday, January 23, 2010

Viruses/ Spyware on your computer?? Try these steps

Just in the last two weeks, I have had more than 5 people bring in computers/laptops from home that have been infected with Malware/Virus or serious spyware. The following are some specific things you might try.

A quick way you can get your computer to start up without tons of pop up and interference from SPYWARE is to do the following:

Start your computer in SAFE MODE...Depending on your operating system and manufacter, if you hit F7 or F8 as your computer is starting, and choose to start in "SAFE Mode with Networking".  Once you get to a desktop try the following:

A) Go to your START Menu, click on RUN , in the open box that comes up, type: msconfig
A window will pop up, click on the START-UP tab , and remove the checks off anything that looks suspicious, (In fact, it is safe to remove all the checks from this window, and often your computer will start up more quickly even when you don't have a virus)

After you remove all the checks you will have to click on APPLY and OK , and then restart. The next time you restart a window will pop up letting you know that you changed the system start-up utility, simply check the box to never show that message again, and hit ok.

B) If you don't have anti-virus or anti-spyware utilities on your computer , at least download the following free installs and save them to a Flash Drive (from another computer if you can't get them to download on your computer because of an infection) Be careful and read everything when downloading and installing--Some will try and get you to click on the paid for versions...or try to add toolbars when you do the install.--if you are careful and read you can uncheck those add ons...

(review of CCCLEANER) (Using CCCleaner)


(Review of Malwarebytes)

(Review of AVG Free)

Now, these are some basic steps you can take to try and remove viruses or malware:

BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING MAJOR....If you are able to get onto your computer, MAKE BACKUPS of any files you will want to keep (your "my documents" folder, pictures, music, etc. Get yourself a large flash drive (4 GB or better cost in the area of 20$ or less) and move files to it as a backup. You should do this on a regular basis anyway!

Step 1 )

Disable the System Restore feature on your computer. If this is still turned on, the system will restore any infected files that were deleted, including those infected by the Trojan horse. Here's how: Right-click the My Computer icon on the desktop and click Properties.
Click the System Restore tab.
Select Turn off System Restore.
Click Apply > Yes > OK.
Continue with step 2. infected files under the _Restore folder can now be deleted.
After you complete the steps below you can Re-enable System Restore by clearing Turn off System Restore.

Step 2)

Turn on the computer and run it in safe mode . Restart the computer and when the words begin appearing on the screen, press the F8 key. This takes you to a new screen, where you'll select the safe mode option . Let the computer start as it regularly would before you continue. While in safe mode, Run the ANTI-Virus/Spyware programs that I suggested you download above.

Step 3)

Go into the Control Panel by clicking on the "Start" button at the bottom left-hand side of the screen and looking for the Control Panel. Select the Add or Remove Programs icon. The computer should then show a list of all programs existing on your system.

Look for programs that look suspicious --Such as Spyware or adware on your computer and select the Remove program option . Many users have found it helpful to look for programs that they didn't install and those that were installed when they downloaded a game or other program onto their computer.


Sometimes, Viruses or Spyware will disable your internet connection. After completing all the scans above, and you still can't get on the internet...

Try going to START, RUN,
type cmd in the box that comes up.
A black box will appear. Type ipconfig/release and then enter
Then after that is completed,
Type: ipconfig/renew and hit enter.

You might also try going to control panel and internet options, and under the ADVANCED Tab choose to RESET under reset internet explorer settings...

Sometimes viruses or spyware will disable your wireless connection. Try going to your control panel and right clicking on your wireless network connection, and choosing REPAIR...


Lastly, continue to be very careful surfing the net...if a pop up comes on your computer saying it has found a virus or you need to take immediate action (it is probably part of the spyware/trojan trying to get you to click on it and install it), Instead of clicking on it, immediately unplug your computer and restart and see if it returns. If it does, follow the steps above...


Brent Atkinson sent some good advice about making sure your computer is doing updates...Just for the record, We are talking about your home computers here...However, this could be the reason why many people are getting "attacked" with Trojan's...Here's an article about it.

and another...

This article suggests using an alternative browser may not be a bad idea. Also, The article talks about the steps for updating Internet Explorer. Firefox and Google Chrome are two alternative browsers among several others...

Microsoft's Update site:

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