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How should I run virus scan?


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#1 Slomoz

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Posted 27 December 2004 - 10:57 AM

This is a very basic question, but I've been Googling around and have found a lot of conflicting information. What procedure should I use for running a virus scan? Safe mode or normal? System restore on or off? Can I run other programs while doing a scan or is is best to have everything else shut down? :thumbsup:

I'd appreciate anyone's recommendations and explanations.

Thanks.

(I've got XP Home and, currently, McAfee Anti-virus if that makes a difference.)

Edited by Slomoz, 27 December 2004 - 11:08 AM.


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#2 Papakid

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Posted 27 December 2004 - 12:53 PM

Here's what I recommend.

For just doing antivirus scans normal mode is fine. If your AV finds a virus or other malware that can't be cleaned (generally this is because the file is running) try again in safe mode. The advantage of safe mode is that only basic processes are running and therefore malware is easier to clean up. Also if you suspect malware is getting missed when you scan in normal mode, try it again in safe mode.

Leave System Restore on. Sometimes malware removal goes badly and it's better to have a means to go back to a working state, even tho that working state might be infected. When you remove an infection and know you have a clean machine, turn off System Restore and then turn it back on again. This will delete all your restore points, including some that may have been infected. It makes no sense whatsoever to turm off SR before doing a routine AV scan. If you have paid good attention to security the majority of scans will come up clean and so you have lost clean restore points for no reason.

Hope that helps. :thumbsup:

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Is in the hands of fools

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#3 jgweed

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Posted 27 December 2004 - 03:52 PM

The defrag utility in XP is designed to run whilst the computer is on, and you are using it. HOWEVER, the safest procedure (and the more efficient) is to use Safe Mode, and run Scandisk prior to running your defrag application. Doing these in safe mode should speed up their work since fewer applications and programs will be accessing files whilst they are running; this is especially true if you are scanning very large HD partitions.
The only occasion to turn of system restore is if your AV scan turns up a virus it cannot delete.
Regards,
John

Edited by jgweed, 27 December 2004 - 03:54 PM.

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#4 Slomoz

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Posted 29 December 2004 - 12:52 AM

Thanks for your input.

It makes no sense whatsoever to turn off SR before doing a routine AV scan.


This is the aspect that I was particularly confused about. It makes no sense to me either, but I kept finding "answers" that said you were supposed to. :thumbsup:

#5 jgweed

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Posted 29 December 2004 - 03:11 AM

It may be that what was being discussed was the removal of viruses that located themselves in the System Restore files, which Windows natually protects. Disabling System Restore, while it might be justified in those rare instances, will also erase any prior restore points; for this reason alone, it should be kept on whilst using your AV to scan your HD.
Cheers,
John
Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one should be silent.




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