Thursday, September 06, 2007

AVG Free Forum :: Removing Viruses, Virus Removal Tools :: HOW TO CLEAN AN INFECTED COMPUTER

Got a nasty bug into my system. Here's a great page to sort everything out.

AVG Free Forum :: Removing Viruses, Virus Removal Tools :: HOW TO CLEAN AN INFECTED COMPUTER

"Turn off System Restore

• WinME and WinXP have a cool feature called System Restore. It is used to restore your computer to an earlier configuration in case of a problem. The only problem is that it wasn't made with parasites in mind, and often it can't tell the difference between an infected file and a good file, so it might automatically restore an infected file also if it had been in a protected area, effectively re-infecting your computer. Because of this, it is recommended to turn off System Restore before you test, and when you're done, turn it back on so you are still protected from standard computer problems.

Carefully Look at Windows Add/Remove programs for suspicious programs

• Many of the spyware threats actually install into your system like a program. Many appear to be utilities that you may think are helpful but in reality aren't. Look for add-an toolbars, while toolbars like those provided by Google, MSN, Yahoo and other are great utils, there are many more that aren't and if in doubt check it out to see if ones you have are parasitic. Another common exploit are the Search helpers, WinTools, Gator products, IE Helper, Comet Cursor and many others just to name a very few. Peer-to-Peer (P2P) programs are another common source for these and even the ones that doen't come with spyware themselves are a security risk that may lead to your system being infected or to spread infections like these. Remove all suspicious programs, if you are wrong, you may always re-install them later.

Run Disk Clean-Up

• This actually comes with Windows and has been installed by default since Windows 98. You can find it by clicking the Start Button and then going to Programs / Accessories / System Tools / Disk Clean-up. I recommend selecting all of its options except the ones for Office Setup Files and Compress Old Files if you have them. While you may select those if you wish, they aren't as important. This will clean up all of the temporary files so your testing will go faster, and may also delete any spyware that may hiding there if the spyware isn't already running. To clear systems that have System Restore you will need to select the second tab and click the button for clearing this.

Run CWShredder

• This is made for detecting and cleaning of the infamous CoolWebSearch exploits. Currently there are about 40 types of these, each with up to 4 variants and growing. These are some of the toughest ones to get rid of.

If you had Windows 2000, Windows XP ( inc. 64bit version ) you also have this option... Also see Note above...

Run Ad-Aware Next

• This handles the next toughest types the best. When it finally presents you with the list of parasites it has found, put a check mark in the box next to the ones you want to get rid of, I suggest checking them all. If you want to select all, just right-click your mouse on the boxes to get the options menu, and left-click on Select All. If it says it can't get rid of a problem right now, it will ask if you want to run it again after you restart your computer, answer yes and restart your computer so it may test again.

Run Spybot Next

• When you run it, it will automatically select all the spyware that it finds, if there is something you don't want to get rid of for some reason, deselect it and then let Spybot fix all of the rest of the problems that it finds. This program also will ask to restart your computer so it can test again if it has problems removing something, so let it.

If you had Windows 2000, Windows XP & Vista ( inc. 64bit versions ) you also have this option...

Run AVG AntiSpyware Next

• This is a part of a new bread of antispyware utils and probably one of the best I've worked with. The only down side is that only certain versions of Windows can run it at this time. When you run it, it will prompt you to select to remove or keep each item or you can select to have it remove all that it finds.

Now Run The AVG Program

• All antivirus programs, including AVG, by default have their settings to only scan executable files in an attempt to speed up looking for infections. While most of the time this is just fine, the newest threats that can infect your computer have started getting sneaky on how they hide their files making it easier for them to reinfect your system if your antivirus program detected and removed their executable file. To help also detect these "backup" files that the infection leaves on your system, you should in my opinion, make a couple of changes to what your AVG scans from just executable files to all files."
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