Virus Removal - How to Remove a Virus


How to Remove a Virus from Your PC

No matter how careful you are, there are times when your computer will become infected with a virus. To deal with these threats to your PC, you need to create a virus recovery CD using freeware such as a free virus remover and at least three rootkit detectors. Your recovery utilities should be on a separate CD rather than your hard disk since many viruses can now disable anti-virus software even while itís still running. And you should periodically burn new CDs with updated definition files in order to ensure that you are protected against new security threats.

How do you know if your computer is infected? There are a few symptoms which could indicate an infection: your system is slowing down; the content of your files changes abruptly; some data files disappear or become corrupted; your internal e-mail server performs slowly or becomes overloaded; and there is activity on your machine that you didnít cause. If your PC displays this suspicious behavior, confirm that there is a virus infection by scanning with an anti-virus utility. Once you have confirmed the infection, disconnect the computer from any network it is a part of to prevent the virus from spreading and use your virus recovery CD to deal with the threat.

Before using your virus removal tool, also make sure that your computer has been disconnected from the Internet by disabling modems and other external connections in order to prevent re-infestation. Then scan all the files and folders on the computer to determine the extent of the infection. Also make sure to scan all CDs that have been used in the PC. Run your virus recovery CD in order to remove virus threats; do not reconnect your computer to the Internet or to the network until you are sure the virus has been eradicated. If your computer has been infected by a rootkit, however, ordinary virus removal utilities will not be enough to deal with it. A rootkit is malicious software that installs hidden programs in your system that allows hackers to intercept data such as your passwords or credit card numbers from network connections and even from keystrokes. Even worse, their presence in your computer is hard to detect because they become active before your operating system has fully booted up. Once your PC is infected, you will probably not be able to regain full control over your system.

You should scan your computer with at least the three rootkit detectors on your virus recovery CD. However, you should realize that the detectors will likely not find all the hidden rootkits in your operating system; this is why most system administrators do not attempt repairs but reinstall the OS. If you have to do this, make sure that you have created a hard disk backup image on a CD or DVD; doing so allows you to restore your hard disk the way it was when the backup image was made. If you have not done so or there is some other compelling reason for you to attempt a repair, use a rootkit removal utility that has a good reputation and comes from a reputable vendor.



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