Here is a step by step guide that explains how to remove virus from a PC. It is not difficult to follow, and will help you to clean virus infected PC. It might not work in all the cases, but should help most of the time. All the software used in this are completely free.
I recently downloaded a program for review, and found that it came with a virus. I had purchased a new laptop recently, and it came with McAfee antivirus pre-installed. But McAfee did not do anything to stop that virus from running. The virus was making outgoing connections, opening malicious websites automatically, and slowing down the whole PC. These are the steps that I took to clean the PC.
Image Credit: HelloCrazy.
Step 1: Make sure your Antivirus is up-to-date:
You might have a version of an antivirus that you installed many years back. It might keep its virus definitions updated, but it might not have features of some newer versions. Even if you have the latest version of antivirus, it might not be updating itself (virus definition updates might be turned off, or it might have simply come with a 60-day trial auto-update feature). You need to ensure that not only you have latest virus definitions, but also latest antivirus. That is the first step to do before attempting to remove virus from your PC. In my case, I was running a full version of McAfee, but it wasn’t effective against this virus. So, I uninstalled McAfee, and installed latest version of AVG free antivirus. After that, I updated its virus definitions to ensure it is up-to-date in all respects. All antiviruses come with a button to update virus definitions. Just press that, and the virus definitions will be updated.
Step 2: Do a Full PC Scan:
Once you have updated your antivirus, do a Full PC scan. Antiviruses have a feature of on-demand scan. When you do that, make sure you select the option of “Full PC” scan, and not Smart or Quick Scan. In many cases, just doing a fill PC scan might identify and remove the viruses.
In my cases, AVG did detect many infections on my PC. So, I am glad I uninstalled McAfee, and went with AVG instead.
Step 3: Install Ad-Aware Internet Security Suite:
Once you have done a full PC scan with your antivirus, you want to scan your PC for other malware and trojan that your antivirus might have missed. Ad-Aware Internet Security comes very handy in that. It is especially suitable for internet related malware; like trojans and tracking cookies. Download free Ad-Aware Internet Security, and again do a full scan with that. It might detect some additional infections that your antivirus missed out. In most of the cases, your computer should be pretty clean by now. If you still see any malicious activity, move to next step.
Step 4: Do a Safe Mode PC scan by Vipre Rescue
Vipre Rescue is a fantastic software especially made to remove viruses from PC. This is not an antivirus, but just a virus cleaning software. I recommend you start your PC in safe mode before you run Vipre Rescue. To run your computer in safe mode, just restart your computer, and press F8 before Windows logo appears. In the logon option window, select “Safe Mode with Command Prompt”. There start Vipre Rescue by following the instructions that are given in page above. It would take quite some time to run Vipre Rescue. I do not have lots of data, and still it took me around 2 hours. If you have lot of files on your PC, you might want to leave it running overnight. Once Vipre Rescue finishes, it will show you how many infections it found on your computer. It will also automatically clean those infections.
In case your PC is so badly infected with viruses that you cannot perform steps 1, 2, and 3, then you can start directly with step 4. In that case, you can download Vipre Rescue on a Flash drive, and execute it from there. But after that, do complete steps 1, 2, and 3 as well.
In case you do not have success with Vipre Rescue, you can try SARDU, eScan Rescue Disk, or Kaspersky Virus Removal Tool. I started with Vipre Rescue simply because it is very easy to use, and very thorough. It even looks for rootkits; something that some of the free antiviruses ignore.
It can be quite a painful time when your PC is infected with viruses, but patiently follow the steps above, and there is a good chance that you would be able to remove viruses from your PC.
I feel like the two best anti-virus programs are Avast and Microsoft Security Essentials. I use avast, but I feel like MSE is great for people who aren’t so tech savvy. Also, instead of Ad-Aware I use Malwarebyte’s Anti-Malware.
@Aaron: I was a big fan of Microsoft Security Essentials till last year. But when AVG 2011 came out, I moved to that. But MalwareBytes Anti-malware is indeed good.
I use malwarebytes anti-malware for a manual trojan/spyware scanner and avast for antivirus protection. Apart from that it’s spywareblaster running in the background.
@Rob: There seem to be too many fans of Avast :), but I am still sticking with AVG 2011.