Computer viruses are everywhere from your Flashdrive to Funny Buttons on the Internet. As a home user you might find all your Photos deleted or your Bank Account Password is stolen. For a Small Business with a network of computers it can lead to huge problems with catastrophic consequences to your business, imagine if you lost all your Accounting Data.
We have seen some viruses in the wild that are so sophisticated that they can bypass the Anti-virus software and infecting your computer and making Virus Removal very difficult.
You previously just needed a good Anti-Virus for protection, now you need Virus Protection Software, plus other tools such as Anti-Spyware tools, Malware protection, and Internet Security Protection.
The Anti-virus software does the bulk of the heavy lifting so we will start here and you can read our other posts dealing with Spyware/Malware and Internet Security.
Follow these easy steps to diagnose if you have a Virus and see what is involved in removing a Virus Infection Properly…
1. What makes you think you have a Virus ?
- Have you seen windows pop-ups or unusual behavior while working on your computer ? (this might be a garden variety Virus)
- Is your computer slow or freezing? (Unauthorized activity from Virus, Spambot or Trojan)
- Is your browser re-directed to other sites when you just want to go to google (Google Re-direct Virus)
- Is there a new program telling you that you need to speed up your computer or that it has found thousands of problems (Rough Security Tool)
- If files or folders disappear off of the PC or Flashdrive (may be our old nemesis the Sality Virus)
2. Do you have a reputable Anti-Virus installed that is updated and working ?
- Check in the right hand bottom corner by the time and see if your anti-virus is there and running, you should be able to right-click it and open it to view your status
- Is it one of these reputable anti-virus software providers :
Symantec Norton Anti-Virus
AVG Free or Pro Anti-Virus
If not start a Free Chat and we will confirm if you have a “Rouge Security Tool” which are Fake Anti-virus programs known to act like Ransomware that essentially lock you out of your computer until you pay up.
- If you don’t have anything at all then you are in for a world of hurt. Quickly get your hands on some Free Virus Protection from Avast Free (it is a short term solution) and then get hold of one of our technicians to assist with the next stages.
- You might also want to change your passwords as there is a strong chance they have been compromised. How to change your password
- Have you recently successfully updated your anti-virus, do that now if you can
Virus Removal Time to complete (1-3 Days depending on the severity of the infection)
1. Now for the tricky bit – beware we cannot be held liable if you kill your computer, this is serious…
You are going to need to do a few things first
Do a full backup of all your files, EVERYTHING, we are going to have to do a “Repair Install” later to fix System files and the Registry, remember that this Backup is infected so be very careful what you do with it.
- Download “Rouge Killer” http://www.adlice.com/softwares/roguekiller/
- Download “Remove Fake Antivirus” http://www.majorgeeks.com/
- Download “Rkill” http://rkill.net/downloading-rkill-exe/
Save all the files to your c:\ drive
Reboot into Safe Mode (without networking)
Run all three of these one at a time to ensure there are no live infections. Remove anything that comes up.
Then launch your AV (previously updated) connected any possibly infected flashdives, Hard Drives etc and run a full system scan (in Safe Mode remember).
Delete any files that come up as infected, take notes of the deleted files as we will probably need to recover the lost data later.
Now launch a “boot time scan” of your computer from within the Anti Virus and restart your computer, be sure that it does not restart into windows normally as this will just re-infect your computer again through various means, so if it looks like the “Boot Time Scan” or “Rootkit Scan” did not start you will have to start the process from the top again.
Once the Boot Time scan is completed your computer has no more viruses but now it is pretty much fried, you may get lucky and be able to boot into the system, but i would not recommend it in-case there are left over Registry issues or it involves a “Restore Point” virus.
Now you want to go ahead and run a windows repair:
- Take note of your XP License key, as this will be removed and need to be re-entered
- Boot off of the Disk, once on the splash screen press “Enter” (Do not enter Recovery Mode)
- Press F8 to accept the Terms and Conditions
- You should see you OS Installation highlighted
- Press the “R” key once and it will begin the Repair (only press the R key on this page)
- This is essentially a fresh install over the Windows folders and will overwrite your Registry
- Once this is complete it will ask you for the Usual Setup information and your license key.
- When you are completed you can re-boot back into the OS and check which of your applications are not working, you will need to test each one at a time
- Make sure you Anti-virus is still working correctly and run another system scan in case their are any left over components that have been un-masked by the previous work.
Window Vista / 7 / 8
- Run sfc /scannow on C:/ from safe mode
That it your computer should be as good as new after removing the Virus Infection.
Should you need assistance with removing the Virus or checking if you are infected please feel free to contact us by starting a Free Chat session on the right hand side of the page.
Spyware and Malware is in a separate post watch this space for a full Spyware removal guide and a Malware Removal Guide.
List of Rogue Anti-Virus Products (Some copy names of Valid AV Products)
|Windows Prime Shield|
|AntiVirus Plus 2014|
|Security Cleaner Pro|
|Titan Antivirus 2013|
|Antivirus System File|
|iON Internet Security|
|PC Defender Plus|
|Windows Proprietary Advisor|
|Windows Smart Warden|
|Home Malware Cleaner|
|Strong Malware Defender|
|Antivirus Security Pro|
|AV Security 2012|
|AVG Antivirus 2011|
|PC Security 2011|
|My Security Shield|
|Antivirus Pro 2010|
|PC Antispyware 2010|
|Windows Protection Suite|
|Total Security 2009|
|Windows System Suite|
|System Security 2009|
|Antivirus System Pro|
|Spyware Guard 2008|
|System Guard 2009|
|Antivirus Pro 2009|
|MS Antispyware 2009|
|IGuardPC or I Guard PC|
|Windows Antivirus 2011|
|Mega Antivirus 2012|
|Security Master AV|
|XP Smart Security 2010|
|Vista Security Tool 2010|
|Total XP Security|
|Total PC Defender 2010|
|Vista Antivirus Pro 2010|
|Your PC Protector|
|Vista Internet Security 2010|
|Vista Guardian 2010|
|XP Internet Security 2010|
|Live PC Care|
|Internet Security 2010|
|Desktop Defender 2010|
|Windows Enterprise Suite|
|Windows Police Pro|