What would you do if you get infected with a computer virus? Are you knowledgeable enough to remove those viruses? What would you do if your PC seems to be having strange behaviors? Will you go directly to a computer specialist. A technician might be? There is nothing wrong with that really, but it would eventually hurt your wallet. What if I tell you, that you can do the fixing and keep the money for yourself. This guide would be your first aid if something bad happens to your system.
Knowing the Enemy (Optional)
You are pretty sure you have a virus inside your system,but you do not know what kind of virus is it. Knowing the virus is one step to destroy the virus. Most viruses propagate themselves through removable devices, try plugging a clean USB (Universal Serial Bus) flash drive on your computer. Then look for the most updated and most virus protected computer you know and plug the USB flash drive in it. Eventually, the viruses inside your USB would be detected, take note of the viruses. After knowing the viruses, you can search the Internet on how to remove it. In the Internet,you would find many methods of removing a specific virus from a simple downloadable software to a complex registry editing method using regedit.
Cutting the Supply
Disconnecting the Internet is one of the best options if you got infected by a serious virus. There are some viruses that really call for backup.Wherein once they infected your system,they would access the Internet unknowingly to you and hire other viruses to infect your system. By disconnecting your computer to the Internet you disable that virus ability (of course in the expense of Facebook). You need to disconnect your computer to the Internet if you really feel that you are encountering a pretty serious kind of virus. Furthermore, you need to disconnect other connections such as LAN connections to other computers to prevent the virus from spreading.
Antivirus Went Dead
There are some viruses that the moment it infiltrates your system it would disable your Antivirus software. There are times that it would definitely disable the update ability of your Antivirus making your system vulnerable to other viruses. Should we make a requiem for your Antivirus? And probably the whole system would be next. Reformat? Nope I do not think so. Reformatting would be our last option. It would be our white flag. Okay, so what to do?
Manual Downloading of Antivirus Updates.
Of course you need to try it in a different computer because there are some viruses that block helpful websites, including the website of your Antivirus software. After completely downloading the updates, try to update using the directory in your Antivirus. If it fails then the virus might have corrupted already the downloaded updates.
Now try downloading a virus cleaner or virus disinfectant. Many (if not all) of the Antivirus software out there offers free download for their virus cleaners. A virus oftentimes corrupts your Antivirus software, leaving it useless for you. That is why you need a Virus cleaner. The difference between the two is that an Antivirus is just used to prevent viruses from entering your computer while a virus cleaner is a software made to remove the viruses inside your system. If you can’t download a virus cleaner since the virus is either blocking the website or corrupting the downloaded file. Try downloading it to another computer and storing it inside a removable device, might as well install the virus cleaner in it. Then boot or restart in safe mode. Once I tried installing a virus cleaner on a removable device and plug it in on the computer which is in safe mode and did a virus scan, that worked out fine for me.
Being Safe in Safe Mode
Why do we need to boot in safe mode? It is because in safe mode your computer has limited functionality, limited in the sense that even the virus will not be allowed to run. In this mode most device drivers are not allowed to run. The device driver is basically a software which your system uses to call or communicate a hardware such as a printer. The only ones running on this mode are those basic files and drivers necessary to run Windows.Try if you can manually update your Antivirus, if you can, update it and then run a full system scan. Another thing to do, you can download a virus cleaner and let it run on your computer, make sure you have the latest virus cleaner or virus disinfectant software. A safe mode is a good option too, if you have previously downloaded a software which seems to work funny and suspiciously or downloaded a software that is conflicting with another already installed program in your system resulting for your computer to go berserk. To which in an unknown reason you can’t uninstall it in normal mode. In safe mode, none of the programs, you have previously downloaded would eventually run. Therefore, you can safely uninstall the software. To start in safe mode, just restart your system (or you could just turn it OFF and turn it ON again, I did that once because my PC won't restart), as the computer is booting repeatedly press F8. Now if it is successful, you would go to another window that will prompt you in how you would like to start your system. On the given options choose, Safe Mode.
The Great System Restore
Antivirus is dead. The downloaded virus cleaner would not work, and you have no idea what kind of virus is inside your system. Is it the right time to raise the white flag? No, not just yet there is still some hope left. The great System Restore as I call it since it has saved me many times, the one who came up with the restoring as an idea is a true born genius, and I will be forever grateful to him. Go to safe mode, actually you don’t need to go to Safe mode to be able to do system restore the function is readily available even in Normal mode, but I assume we are having a pretty serious problem. Like a Spyware who is eating a lot of our memory and boosting the CPU usage to 100%, it would definitely slow down your system and would hinder the system restore option from launching. After, booting in Safe mode go to Start menu and type system restore in the run box or search box. After that you would be led to the system restore dialogue box, there you would be asked to choose a restore point. Choose the date to which you know your computer is at the best condition. After that your computer would restart (well, of course the System Restore would initiate first then your computer would restart). The restoring process would take some time, since it would configure back your registries. Even so, after it is finished and your computer restarts. Your computer would be restored to the previously good state. Depending on the date you choose to restore. So in short it would be as good as you choose it to be. After restoring your system, make sure you perform “check disk” , it will automatically fix file system errors and attempt recovery of bad sectors (as the dialogue box says). To be able to do that, locate the Local Disc icon. In Vista, you can find it in “Computer”. The default disk is Local Disk (C :), right click it then go to properties>tools click error checking. It would perform disk check the next time your computer starts.
The White Flag
If none of the above strategies work, then I think it is time to raise our white flag. Okay, the question is why on earth would System Restore, fail? Many computer users have pretty big confidence to System Restore but there are some viruses that counter System Restore, well in a way. There are viruses the resets your restore points. Meaning, your restore points would be the date the virus was installed. So, sadly we raise our white flag. Back-up your files if it is still possible to do that, your computer really needs some reformatting.
These are just basic guides, a first aid kit as the title implies. There are some more methods in battling PC problems (specifically in relation with computer viruses). There are some who use the command prompt, which requires you to be knowledgeable about specific commands.Some that perform Regedit, where they locate the virus signature in the registry and delete it. Others really look for the virus inside the system manually, that means you need to have a thorough knowledge about computers. Usually the guides I mentioned are enough, and if it all fails it is really a white flag and there is nothing that could be done about it. I hope you learned something interesting.
You might want to check my experiment on Microsoft Windows operating systems. It is entitled Computer's OS Virus Crash test.
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