Users of Windows based computers have been targeted by thousands possibly tens of thousands of viruses in the last decade. These pests can cause data loss, lost productivity and can be expensive to remove. Most experts will tell you that the best way to make sure that your system is clean is to wipe everything clean and reinstall from scratch. In many situations that is not practical though. Most people are aware of backups, but many do not actively back up their data for instance. It can also be time consuming to reconstruct an operating system, bring it’s updates up to date, install all drivers and desktop software and then restore the data. For this reason many companies use disk images to restore to a fresh, working state more quickly. Unfortunately this isn’t the case for most home users, or small businesses.
When confronting a virus on your computer you will need several virus removal tools to be able to clean up from the infection. Even the best antivirus product, or virus removal utility may miss something and it is always good to get multiple “opinions” from different utilities to make sure that the system is clean. Unfortunately installing the virus removal tool may be a challenge. Many viruses these days may prevent you from downloading software, or even visiting web pages of known security companies. What you must do in this situation is to make use of another machine to download your cleanup utilities onto a USB flash drive or CD drive. Then you can transfer the virus removal software to the computer that has been affected.
Viruses today are more sophisticated than at any time in the past. They will many times try to prevent the installation of legitimate security tools such as the virus removers that might be used to eradicate them from your computer. For this reason it may sometimes be necessary to reboot into safe mode to install the virus removal tools. At the very least it is typically necessary to use the task manager to look for and kill off the processes of the virus that may be running on the system. Fortunately, there are even some utilities that can do this for you, but it can only work with known viruses.
The actual task of cleaning up from a virus once you have your security software installed on the system can be quite easy. I have found that the challenge is usually getting your security and virus removal tools installed on the computer. After that, it’s simply a process of scanning, removing what is found and scanning again. Then getting to a point where you can update your utility and scan until that utility finds nothing. Switch to a different virus removal utility if necessary and continue the process. It gets gradually easier once you’ve established control of the system. I think of it as establishing control of the system when I’m able to install the security product of my choice and it’s able to scan the computer for viruses. Once you’re to this point, it still may take a while before your system is clean as the scans may take several hours depending on the security tool. There is not much to do at this point though but to let the scans run and clean up the remnants of what was on your computer.
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