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Free applications you can run on a virus/malware infected PC to ameliorate the problem

posted Nov 29, 2011, 12:42 AM by d graham
Dealing with a malware/virus infected PC can be a pain, but with a few free programs (and or a few hours google-ing your specific malware/virus symptoms - ie when i click a link on google it doesn't go to the real website, or I have pop-ups, or I have too many "toolbars" at the top of my IE that I didn't install) you can usually get a PC back to a mostly working state*.

*I would not guarantee that a PC is 100% unless you backup everything and restore/wipe your harddrive(sometimes even the mbr, etc)

 That being said, I would say that once a PC has been infected with virus/malware often the best course of action is to backup anything important(docs,pics,movies,power point etc) and then to run a few different programs- because the have different virus/malware/tools that no single program has, and to have a better chance of detecting any threats one program may miss.

First I would run:
1. Trend Micro House Call - This is a free internet based virus scanner, a good first step. Try to make sure you resolve all the issues housecall may find

2. Then install an anti-virus if you don't have one already
I've used AVG free and clamWin, I recommend Avg to most users because clamwin does not have "active" virus scanning(ie clamwin only scans when you tell it to--not very good for most users, but a good second virus scanner if you are still having trouble after other scanners say everything has been removed). - I use the "free", not the "free trial"

3. Malware Bytes Free Edition - This is an anti malware, for some reason virus/malware protection is sometimes separated. I use the "free" version, not the "free trial". After using malware bytes, I usually uninstall it, it's up to you though (there is sometimes a risk of too much antivirus etc taking up memory and making your pc slow especially on older systems)

4. Spybot Search and Destroy - This is a solid anti-malware with a few really good (or really dangerous) advanced tools hidden away in the advanced menu. For most users I would recommend just running the scan and using tea-timer(it asks you before programs can add themselves to your system startup etc) and the immunization. If you really know every process in windows etc and are an advanced user check out the host/registry/browser helper object/startup tools which can sometimes be the trick to solving a malware/virus problem(if you don't get every piece of malware sometimes a type of malware called a downloader may download new malware or viri to your system to replace the ones you just removed, or some malware may be particularly resistant to removal by automated tools).