Today let’s look a little bit more at removing malware in general. This might include ransomware, viruses, pop-ups, etc. Once a computer gets infected, removing any of these things can be difficult to do.
Before beginning, please remember, we do insurance, not computer repair. We are also not endorsing any company or service. This is just some free, though not professional, help for those in need.
There are a few basic things that can be done when removing malware. These methods will most often fix the problem. Although, there will be times when more advanced methods will be needed.
Most experts agree that reformatting and reinstalling Windows is the only sure fix. Understandably, most people will not want to do that. They may not have backups or even a restore disk to perform that task. So, what can be done?
The first thing to do is try and update Windows. Many newer computers will have automatic updates turned on by default. Sometimes the updates will upload but not install until you tell them to.
To accomplish this process, click the Start button and look in the menu for Windows Update.Click on that to access the Microsoft Update website. Install any critical updates that are available. There will probably be a button to click to restart the computer when finished.
This update will at least make sure the computer is protected from any known issues. It will also download the latest Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool, This is a utility to remove common malicious software.
Next, write down the names of any pop-ups that might flash on the screen. This will be valuable in case these processes need to be removed manually later. Tips on how to manually remove malware can be found by visiting SARC.com or any other trusted security site.
In addition, malware can and often does redirect and change your homepage. Write down the new homepage URL as this will give a clue to what type of malware you could have.
Next, restart the computer and go to Safe Mode with Networking. To get there, reboot or power on the computer and tap the F8 key numerous times. When boot menu comes up, then select Safe Mode with Networking. Once in that mode, go on the internet to visit MalwareBytes.org and download the free version. Install it and run a scan.If it detects anything remove it and reboot the computer. In many cases, this will solve the problem.
Note- If another computer is available; MalwareBytes can be downloaded to a disc/flash drive and then used for repair.
If that doesn’t work, download a program called Hijack This. It is a very advanced tool that allows removal of BHOs (Browser Helper Objects). Delete malicious software directly from the HJT tool.
When All Else Fails
If these steps are not successful, consult a computer repair person for help in removing malware. Should there be none available, Windows will need to be reinstalled.
Before reinstalling, first backup any important photos, movies or documents on an external drive or CD. Then run the Recovery Disk or use the Windows installation CD to reformat and reinstall the Operating System.
It should be mentioned that turning off System Restore, before doing any scans, should help also. Some viruses will actually reinstall themselves using the System Restore feature built into the Windows Operating System.
To turn System Restore off, right-click My Computer, then click Properties. There will be a System Restore tab that has a check box to turn it off. Click it begin the reinstall.
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