This article only discusses how to remove computer viruses if there is a confirmed or suspected virus. Look for resources, starting with eHow, to determine if your computer has a virus.
If you are already using an anti-virus software and the scan can not delete or quarantine (isolate) a virus, begin backing up all your data files to CD, DVD, thumb drive, or external hard disk drive. An external hard disk drive will be quicker. A computer virus is like a cold virus in the real world. There are so many kinds and they can adapt or change making it harder to detect or remove. Even the best updated antivirus software can not handle every problem immediately.
A computer virus that can’t be removed but is detected by software will at least tell you what files the virus infected. If your data files such as pictures or Word documents are infected, steps must be taken to remove the virus from the files first before backing up.
After backing up all your data, go to the Microsoft website and download the Malicious Software Removal Tool. It will perform a scan and remove viruses from any infected file. If this Microsoft tool detects but can not remove the virus, uninstall your old antivirus software and the Microsoft Software Removal Tool and try another antivirus product.
Note: The download link is below.
Instead of buying new antivirus software, try virus removal freeware with good reviews. Resources are below. The other anti-virus software may have a detection algorithm (software instructions) that could remove it. You may try one more free antivirus software before going on to the next step.
If the anti-virus software does not work, report it to the software manufacturer. They will have to update their software to handle new viruses and you may need to provide as much information you can provide so they can make a software revision.
The software manufacturers have online services you pay to have a technician remove the virus. An internet connection will be required in most cases. The techs can do this by connecting to your computer (with your consent) and you can talk to them via chat or telephone. The services are approximately one hundred dollars. It may be worth doing this than going to the trouble of rebuilding your computer system from scratch.
If you opt not to get help from a technician and the virus still can not be removed, you can delete the entire hard drive and reinstall Windows and all your software and data again. This is a good way to make your computer good as new but it can be tedious. This process is called “rebuilding the system”. The advantages are that the virus will be removed and other unnecessary files, software, undetected malicious software, will be gone.
The general steps for rebuilding your computer system is to back up all your data and use your computer recovery disk to delete and restore the factory installed Windows and software. If you don’t have the recovery CD, you can ask the manufacturer of your software to mail one to you. This service may or may not be free. Once you have finished installing the recovery disk, install any other software that did not came with the recovery installation.
Once all the software has been restored, install the antivirus software. If the data files were not infected, load them into your computer.
If the virus has made your computer unusable, you will have to find alternate ways to access your data so you can back them up. If you can live without these files then rebuild your system using the instructions above.