A friend of mine recently got a virus on his computer and was asking people for help. Having been through this before i thought i’d grab a very old draft post that i started writing about 2 years ago and freshen it up and post it so as to help him out and to help others get over virus problems.
Depending on what kind of virus you’ve got will depend on how repairable/removable it is. Some viruses are particularly nasty and are hard to remove completely.
The Scanner Approach
There are various bits of software out there that tackle viruses and spyware. My experiences have had me using 2 specific applications that have come to be very special friends of mine. They’re kinda like the vigilantes of spyware. They are:
This site looks a little pathetic but it’s the real site – I’ve been using this site for years to download it from.
AdAware Personal Edition:
A better looking site and another great product.
Spybot is a great tool to use for this stuff but it doesn’t catch everything. Adaware is also great but also doesn’t catch everything. However between the two they will catch most things.
- Do not run these simultaneously.
- Run them individually.
- Make sure you are running the least amount of software possible for them to be most effective – i.e. if you use skype and it auto starts when you boot the computer make sure you kill it and any other apps running in the background.
In the first instance you may need to run them several times. Sometimes on the first pass they miss things, other times it’s a case that the first pass reveals other hidden gems to be obliterated.
- Run Spybot first
- Run it at least twice
- Do the same with AdAware –
Depending on the size of your hard drive and the speed of your computer this may take some time. On my PC here it takes AdAware several hours to complete a full deep scan.
What? No Anti-virus recommendations?
I have not needed any in the last few years. The key is to use CAUTION. If it looks dodgy then it probably is. Don’t install anything you don’t need. AND STAY AWAY FROM SMILIES!!!! – They are EVIL – those smilie packs that people send you – just evil. And if anyone sends something to you then ask them not to ever do that again. My mother keeps making this mistake and now i refuse to fix their computer if i find smiley packs on it.
The instructions within should be carried out at the operators own risk. I am not an IT professional and the advice i give in this post is based on my own personal experiences. Please be sure to back-up all your personal data before you do any of this.
Lastly – take a look at these articles:
If all that fails then a full on system rebuild would do the trick but that’s a massive job and takes aeons of time but it’s always a guarantee to work (as long as you scan your personal files before bringing them back)