Viruses come in many forms but the most common types are Fake anti-virus programs and Spyware. Viruses can be very dangerous, their main goal is to steal your identity and possibly destroy your computer. There are Anti-Virus programs that lower your chances of getting a virus but they don't always catch everything. Below are some basic virus removal strategies that you can use to fix your computer before you need to seek outside help.
Overview of Programs
The programs that you use to remove a virus from your computer are all designed with a very specific task in mind, removing infected files. These programs are designed to detect and destroy infected files on your command and they have become efficient at removing viruses. That being said, you should still have an Anti-Virus program installed on your computer. Anti-Virus programs also remove viruses but more importantly they prevent viruses from ever installing on your computer. Finally, here is a list of programs you might want to have for removing a virus.
Malwarebytes.org is a free program that scans your computer for any malware, spyware, or viruses. This program gets a lot of the heavy duty viruses that you will encounter. A "Full scan" will take anywhere from 1-2 and a half hours and the program should be updated regularly. For instructions on running malwarebytes please refer to this link.
Spybot Search and Destroy
Spybot Search and Destroyis a free program that specializes in removing Spyware and adware. This can be useful when removing viruses because viruses usually use spyware to track where you go and what you're doing.
Standard Anti-Virus Programs
You will also need an Anti Virus program. For a list of Anti Virus programs and download links, please refer to our page on Anti Virus Programs
Ccleaneris a program that scans your computer and removes unnecacary files such as temporary internet files, Recycle Bin files, Recent Documents, Temporary files and Log files. Running this after a virus removal can be a very useful thing to do.
Removing a Virus
So you have a virus? It isn't fun but it also is not the end of the world. Follow these steps and you will be able to remove most viruses. You may have to Boot to Safe Mode before you are able to do these steps without pop ups from the virus program. Safe mode might have limitations on things such as installing programs.
Step 1. Delete your temporary files. In Windows XP and Vista this can be done by going to C:\Documents and Settings\your username\Local Settings\Temp and deleting the files in that folder. In Windows 7 you can find the temporary files in C:\Documents and Settings\your username\app data\Local\temp. Like XP and Vista you should remove the files in this folder.
Step 2. Install and run Malwarebytes and remove anything it finds. Malwarebytes may require a reboot before it fully removes infected files.
Step 3. Install and run Spybot Search and Destroy and "fix" anything it finds. This may also require a reboot to finalize.
Step 4. Scan with your Anti-Virus programs that you have already installed and remove any files it finds.
Step 5. Run Ccleaner and remove files that it finds.
If your computer is still infected after you do all these steps please bring it in to ASC Computing services so that a ResNet Technician can take a look at it for you.