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Anti-malware scan on a computer with different users


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6 replies to this topic

#1 ianbrodie

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Posted 25 January 2009 - 02:49 PM

This may well be a stupid question - if so, I apologise.

On my wife's laptop, I have her set up as a standard user, while I am the Administrator. We use Vista firewall, and AVG anti-virus. I also have SuperAntiMalware, which I use to scan the system each week.

My question is, does such a scan (initiated by me) look at all the files/folders on the HDD? Or, does she need to run the scan as well?

Thanks

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#2 E-werd

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Posted 25 January 2009 - 07:53 PM

If you are logged into an administrator account, any typical malware scanner should do all files and folders. Now, registry issues is what may be a concern. If there is a malware issue in HKEY_CURRENT_USER in another account, that will not be covered because it is not loaded. Otherwise, you should be good.

#3 RedDawn

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Posted 25 January 2009 - 08:12 PM

SUPERAntispyware needs to updated and scanned with separately for each account, that been said I would only scan regularly on accounts used most frequently and maybe monthly on accounts used less often.


:thumbsup:

#4 PropagandaPanda

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Posted 25 January 2009 - 08:52 PM

Hello.

The other users' registries can be accessed, but not all scanners will look there.

If the files are removed, the infection is disabled. Only leftover registry items don't do harm.

With Regards,
The Panda

#5 ianbrodie

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 03:50 AM

If you are logged into an administrator account, any typical malware scanner should do all files and folders. Now, registry issues is what may be a concern. If there is a malware issue in HKEY_CURRENT_USER in another account, that will not be covered because it is not loaded. Otherwise, you should be good.


RedDawn, thanks. Looks like I'd better run SuperantiSpyware from her log-on, rather than mine, as hers is the active account. Which will solve the registy issue you mentioned, E-werd. Thanks people. And also thanks to you, The Panda, for the reassurance - I'm easier in my mind, now

#6 bluesjunior

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 11:30 AM

I think you are wrong. I share this PC with my daughter and my regular scan with SAS will show tracking cookies from both accounts in the finished report. I have had it so long on my PC that I cannot remember now if SAS has but most of these type of programs give you the option to scan for all users or just a specific user in the installation process. Sas definitely scans my whole PC from my account though.
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-MA770T-UD3, CPU: AMD Athlon II X3 450 Processor, Memory: OCZ 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1333MHz,Graphics: PowerColor HD 5750 1GB GDDR5,
PSU: Corsair 430W CX PSU 4x SATA 1x PCI-E, Hard Drive:Samsung SpinPoint F3 500GB Hard Drive SATAII 7200rpm 16MB Cache.

#7 Papakid

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 12:31 PM

I think you are wrong. I share this PC with my daughter and my regular scan with SAS will show tracking cookies from both accounts in the finished report. I have had it so long on my PC that I cannot remember now if SAS has but most of these type of programs give you the option to scan for all users or just a specific user in the installation process. Sas definitely scans my whole PC from my account though.

Tracking cookies are files, tho, not registry entries. Most scanners will scan all files on each drive you configure it to. All user account files are accessible to admin accounts, so it is no problem to access the Documents and Settings folder. I don't know of any antivirus that can't do this--if I remember correctly some antimalware scanners may have had some problems with it, but most have upgraded now.

I believe antivirus in general and SuperAntiSpyware in particular are able to access all users' registries, so PropagandaPanda's comment is correct. Some other antimalware scanners may not be able to do this--so that you have to log in to each user's account to clean up left over malware reg entries. So it doesn't hurt to do that. With antivirus tho it isn't necessary.

Also look around in the configuration settings of your scanners to see how much they scan. You should be able to chose which drives to scan and you may have the ability to exclude certain files and file types--choosing to not scan non-executable files, since they can't infect you anyway, will speed up the scan tremendously.

Edited by Papakid, 26 January 2009 - 12:37 PM.

The fate of all mankind, I see

Is in the hands of fools

--King Crimson





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