Getting Rid of a Virus
Regardless of how safe you are and how much you watch you will eventually get a virus on your machine. I have been through many battles with malicious viruses before and unfortunately was hit by one yesterday on my laptop.
I first tried some basic removal techniques just to see how bad it was and soon found that it was buried fairly deep. So instead of fooling around I typically go with HijackThis which takes a look at all of your registry files. This is my typical process:
– Load HijackThis on a thumbdrive
– Boot my laptop in safe mode with command prompt, which I feel to be the safest way to proceed
– Search for the HijackThis file and install it / Run It
– Look at completed logfile with all of the registry data
– Save log file to thumbdrive
– Look at log file on second machine
– Copy log file into automatic analyzer found at http://www.hijackthis.de
– Look at all entries, anything that looks suspicious look up and research on Google
– On laptop check any boxes for registry files that need to be deleted after proper research
– Run HijackThis to remove any bad registry files
– Reboot machine and run HijackThis again to see if it runs clean (Note: sometimes it takes two reboots to clear the system)
Now please note that I am not an expert and that any registry file you remove could have harmful effects on your system. I do research on every file and if I cannot find a definitive answer I do not remove it. If you have issues or do not feel comfortable doing this yourself there are plenty of helpful folks on the Hijackthis forums.