Computer virus/trojan/malware behavior and removal

How do you tell if your computer is infected? Sometimes it is easy to tell with the following

You get popups without having a browser open

Ctrl+Alt+Delete does not open Task Manager

Your antivirus program tells you so

Computer is extremely slow

You cannot open files you normally open, or it takes a long time

You cannot connect to Windows Update

You cannot open certain websites

Your antivirus software stops realtime scan (spinning animation, etc), and it fails to upgrade itself when you tell it manually to upgrade.


If you have one of the above, then proceed to removal directions below.

However, some viruses are not as apparent. Some only show themselves as extremely bad slowdowns of your system.

Note: BSOD (Blue Screen) is usually not a sign of infection, I have an article on that:

BSOD remedies


Usually, steps include the following:

Boot in Safe Mode

Clear out any temporary files in the OS folder, your user files temporary files. cleanup hard drive, empty all browsers' cache and cookies.

Next, it is best to run a Boot-Time scan. Why not scan when you logged in to your system? Because most viruses find no problem in hiding themselves from your antivirus software or disabling it outright. Most viruses that cannot be found or removed by scanning your computer when logged in will be found during boot-time scan. Use antivirus software like Avast! and set it for a boot-time scan. Reboot your computer.

Avast! will start to scan after you reboot and before the system logs in. It will present a black screen with a percentage. One silly thing -- the process will take a long time (from about an hour to much more if you have a large amount of data). But you will need to babysit the process. Because if it finds something, it will STOP and ask you what to do with the file found. When that happens, select "Move all to Chest" or Quarantine (or similar with other programs). Now you can let it scan without you watching the process, as if it finds anything else, it will do the same action automatically.


Tips: if you have a large amount of files and data, always store it on a separate hard drive from your OS partition. Because viruses usually do not place themselves on anything but the system drive, for reliability, and other reasons.

˅˅˅ Additional valuable information is available at one of the links below: ˅˅˅


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Page last modified 12-Jun-11 13:45:27 EDT
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