It seems that getting viruses is an inevitable part of computer ownership anymore. “ I’ve spent many a night cleaning“ viruses of of our family’s computers, and have often been thankful that I have had the skills to do it myself, rather than having to pay someone $100/hr. “ In the spirit of sharing, here are four quick and easy virus removal tips you can do yourself:
Step ONE – Install anti-virus software: “ As simple as this may seem, about 25% of the computers I see don’t have antivirus installed. “ Some viruses are “tricky” enough to block installation of AV software, but for many this is all of the cleanup you need. “ The anti-virus software I’m currently reccomending is:
Pick one of the above – all of them are free. “ (I’m partial to Avira, but all three work well). “ Download it to your computer and start the installation. “ Follow the prompts, hitting “Next” or “Ok” as needed. “ You’ll probably need to reboot to finish the installation Step TWO – Clean up your temporary files: Often viruses keep their files in your computer’s temporary files. “ Cleaning out these unneeded files can be a big help. “ The easiest way I’ve found is to download and run TFC. “ Here’s how to run it:
- Download TFC here, and save it to your computer.
- TFC“ will close all programs when run, and reboot your computer when it’s done, so save and close your work first, and make sure to let TFC run uninterrupted.
- Start the program by double-clicking on it.
- Click the Start button (in TFC) to begin cleaning. “ It’s going to take a long time, so be patient!
- TFC should ask to reboot your machine when it’s done. “ If it doesn’t, do it yourself to ensure a complete clean process.
Step THREE – Install and run Maywarebytes’ Anti-Malware:
- Download Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware here, and save it“ to your computer. Download the Free Version.
- Double-click mbam-setup.exe and follow the prompts to install the program.
- At the completion of the install, be sure a checkmark is placed next to
[âœ““ ]“ Update Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware
[âœ““ ]“ Launch Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware
- then click“ Finish.
- If an update is found, it will download and install the latest version.
- Once the program has loaded, select“ Perform Quick scan, then click“ Scan.
- When the scan is complete, click“ OK, then“ Show Results to view the results.
- If the scan finds any malware, be sure that the boxes near them are checked, and click“ Remove Selected. If it finds a particularly “evil” file, it may have to restart your computer to remove it.
- When completed, a log will open in Notepad. and you may be prompted to Restart.
Step FOUR – Download and run GMER rootkit removal: rootkits are extremely sneaky viruses that can hide from most antivirus software by pretending to be legitimate parts of your comuter’s operating system, or even the antivirus software itself. “ GMER doesn’t run under Windows7 64 Bit mode, so skip this if that’s what your computer runs.
- Download GMER from here and extract it to your computer.
- Disconnect from the Internet and close all running programs.
- Temporarily disable your antivirus software, so it will not conflict with GMER.
- Double-click on the GMER file and allow the gmer.sys driver to load if asked.
- Make sure the tab at the top says “Rootkit/Malware” and press the “Scan” button.
- If you receive a WARNING!!! about rootkit activity and are asked to fully scan your system click YES
- Detected Rootkits/malware will show up in red in the results – right click on them to uninstall/delete them
- Exit GMER and re-enable antivirus protection when done.
- If you encounter any problems, try to uncheck “Devices” in the right pane. If it still doesn’t work, try running GMER in Safe Mode.
If “ your computer is“ particularly“ messed up, you can download the files above onto a CD-R or Flash Drive on another computer, and try the above steps in “Safe Mode”. “ Microsoft“ has Safe Mode startup instructions for Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7.