So you think you may have a virus or spyware now what. Ok lets take this one step at a time. This is for xp and should be pretty close for vista. I only include the steps for xp. Soon I will make a new one for vista.
Getting Started to remove Virus and Spyware In Xp.
1. Lets go to start, my computer and right click on the word "my computer". Go to properties, System restore, and disable it for now. When your all done don't forget to restart it. (Personally I don't use it but I really don't recommend it for most people.
We are disabling it so when the nasty is gone you won't run the chance of reinfecting your computer.
2. Go to start, control panel, Folder options, Click on the view tab, Check the box "show hidden files and folders" and uncheck "hide extensions for known file types. Uncheck the "Hide protected operating system files"
We are doing this to keep nasties and virus from hiding.
Ok now were about ready to scan. These are The programs I use and recommend the most. I can not stress this enough. Please stay away from norton anti-virus. I have cleaned up more computers with this program running than any other.
Programs I Recommend.
Remember run only 1!!! Anti-virus program. More than one will cause bad conflicts!!
1. Avg free edition, Avast also has a nice free one.(anti-virus programs)
2. Starupinspector. This will tell you what programs are starting with your computer. Just hit the word "Consult" at the top of the program. If its unsure it will offer you a "google link" so you can see for yourself.This program is free.
3.Avg anti-spyware free edition. I really like this one. Works well.
4.Ad-Aware free edition. Works great.
If your unsure where to get these just ask. If you use google they are super easy to find.
With spyware programs you can run more than one. Its safe. Just don't allow them to start when your computer does. I personally only use 2. Thats plenty. More than that is overkill.
If you have the means. Webroot Spy Sweeper is a good investment. You can pick it up at wall-mart for 30 Bucks. Its by far the best in my humble opinion. If you don't have the means, the free stuff works just as well.
Ok now you are set up, you have your programs. Now what.
1. Update them. Make sure you have the latest definitions.
Ok Lets run a scan!!
First run your anti virus see if you find anything.
Pick one of the 2 spyware programs. Run it. See if you find anything. Now Lets give the second one a shot. See if you find it.
I ran my Scans I still can not find the problem!!
Ok. Lets reboot your computer. Shut your computer off and restart it. Now while Its starting up hit and hold the "F8" Button. Don't worry if you mess up a time or 2. Just reboot and try it again. If you have done that right you will see a screen that offers options to start windows. Please Pick "safe mode with networking"
Windows will ask if you still wanna use safe mode hit yes. continue to work in safe mode.
1.Lets run your anti-virus program. See if you find it.
2.Next lets run your anti-spyware one at a time and see if you find it.
Why am I doing this in safe mode and why does the screen look funny!!
When you run your computer in safe mode, windows will only start with the bare essentials to run windows. You have a better chance of finding the nasty this way.
Your screen looks funny, thats normal, windows does not load video drivers in safe mode.
I scan my computer in safe mode once a month just to make sure.
Ok I have done all this now what do I do. I still have a nasty!!
Running Hijack This!!
I have decided not to offer a lesson for this tool. Its just to easy to mess up your computer. You can always ask how to properly install hijack this. Make sure the shortcut you create is renamed to "analyizethis". Some clever hackers have found away to to recognize hijack this on the computer. This keeps them from finding it.
If your desperate A website I have used for a very very long time with safety www.hijackthis.de You copy and paste your hijack this logs into the scanner. It has never failed me.
I can not stress this enough HIJACK THIS CAN AND WILL MESS UP YOUR COMPUTER IF YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOUR DOING. USE WITH CAUTION!!!!
Once all the scans are done, reboot the computer, and restart system restore, if you use it.
A Few useful Web Sites.
www.housecall.trendmicro.com ....offers a free online virus scan. Really like this site.
www.pcpitstop.com. Nice free site to check for computer problems.
www.testmy.net. Run there free speed tests and see how your speeds are. If they are super slow that may be a indication of infection.
Ok smarty Pants how do I know this guide is right!!
I have cleaned out lots of computers with nasty and virus issues. This guide is posted in a forum of fellow geeks. They will be the first to speak up if its the wrong information.
Ok I ran all this stuff including hijack this and I still have issues, This guide is a waste of time.
This guide is a general all purpose guide to get rid of most issues. Spyware and virus are always changing. This guide is meant to get you started in the right direction. If you still have issues, then ask in the forums for help. Someone will be along shortly and do there best to help you out.
Why did you write this guide??
I wrote it in hopes of helping others. I'm just your average person. I have played with computers for years. Allot of this I have learned the hard way.
Ok this guide did help how can I ever thank you.
Thats a easy one. Help others. Pass it along. Heck copy the whole thing and send it to a family member or friend. Claim its your own. It just doesn't matter to me. As long as it helps others. Its all good.
Remember. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A DUMB QUESTION!! Never be afraid to ask. If someone gives you a bad time about the question. I can almost promise, Most geeks will not tolerate that kind of behavior. We all had to learn sometime. I have learned tons by asking. Never knowing it could be a 12 year old kid, or a 85 year old person from anyplace in the world That gave me the right information.
Ok, so someone gave you a answer and you still don't understand. ASK AGAIN!!! Sometimes the response can be a bit to geeky, I have been guilty of that myself. ASK AGAIN!! We will all do our best to help you out the best we can and explain it in simple terms. YOUR NOT STUPID!! We all have to learn. We have all asked some super easy questions.
The question you ask may be simple, its the one we love to answer the most