My security software can’t delete malware from my computer!

by on February 2, 2009

Q: Neither Spyware Doctor nor McAfee VirusScan Plus can get rid of the malware that has infected my Windows XP computer. How can I get rid of this virus?

A: As you may have read here on Ask A Geek, the most effective way to remove malware and other security threats is to reformat your computer’s hard drive. This is especially true when all attempts to remove the malware have failed. I understand that reinstalling Microsoft Windows and all of your programs seems extreme. But even in cases where you have successfully deleted a security threat from your computer, the damage caused by that threat may remain. Here’s how you should proceed:

1. Try again to delete infections from your computer. In my opinion, Kaspersky Internet Security 2009 is currently the best security software for Windows

2. Create backups all of your important files, internet favorites, email contacts, etc. Do not save the backups inside your computer. Instead, use CD-Rs, DVD-Rs or DVD+Rs, USB flash drives, external hard drives, etc.

3. Unless you are using only wireless internet, disconnect the cable that connects your infected computer from the internet.

4. Use an uninfected computer to download and make a CD of the free GWSCAN utility. Then use GWSCAN to “write zeros” to your computer’s hard drive. Note that writing zeros will totally erase all files from your computer, including most built-in system recovery programs. Note, skip this step if you must use your computer’s built-in system recovery tool.

5. It is best to reinstall Windows using either a Windows installation disc or system recovery disc(s). If you cannot find such discs, attempt to obtain them by contacting your computer’s manufacturer. To prevent your computer from becoming reinfected as you reinstall Windows, do not use any system recovery disc(s) created by your computer after infection. I strongly recommend you avoid using the built-in system recovery program that may be part of your computer (it might be infected). Nevertheless, you may have to use such a tool if you cannot obtain installation/recovery discs. Remember that writing zeros will probably delete all built-in system recovery tools from your computer.

6. If you use broadband internet (cable, DSL, etc.), your modem/routers may also be infected. Ask your internet service provider to help you reset your modem/routers to factory settings. This procedure is often called a “hard reset”. To prevent future infections, take this opportunity to ask your internet service provider how to make your modem/routers as secure as possible.

7. Next, reconnect your computer to the internet and apply all Windows security updates (including Service Pack 3 for Windows XP).

8. Then install security software, such as Kaspersky Internet Security, and run a scan of your entire computer to confirm that your computer is both uninfected and secure.

9. Now that you’ve successfully reinstalled Windows, reinstall all of your favorite programs.

10. Scan the backup files that you created earlier, then copy them to your computer’s internal hard drive.

Tip: You can switch from Microsoft Windows to a more secure operating system, such as Mac OS X or Ubuntu Linux.

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One Response to “My security software can’t delete malware from my computer!”
  1.  

    Try Spybot software , any idea of the malware names ?