This malware removal guide provides guidance on how to remove malware from your computer. Malware is a general name of any malicious software, including virus, trojan, worm, spyware, adware, keylogger, dialer and rootkit, that tries to damage a system, steal financial data, or perform other such malicious behaviour.
Common symptoms of malware include popup ads on your desktop, programs you did not install appearing, redirection to particular pages when you open your browser, changes in system or browser settings such as your browser home page or general sluggishness. However, there is an increasing amount of malware which attempt to remain hidden on your computer. So even if you do not think you are infected this guide is useful to check that your computer is clean from virus and spyware.
Bear in mind malware is not the only cause for a slow computer. I suggest you also read Tune Up Utilities Kit and follow the instructions to see if it speeds up your slow computer.
Other Ways of Recovery
The only way to ensure all virus and spyware is completely removed from your computer is to reinstall Windows, but you will need a Windows CD. Also, all your data, programs and settings will be gone so you would need to have a backup of your files.
You should back up your personal files to removable storage before you attempt to remove malware from your computer, but also scan the disk for spyware and other malware after you fix your computer. If you cannot log in then you can run a Live CD to copy your data onto a USB.
Download all the security programs listed here, preferably on another computer and copy them on to removable media.
Boot into Safe Mode by pressing F8 when your computer starts.
If you can't boot into Windows or run the other security apps, then you should use this first. There is a tutorial on how to use it.
1. Hitman Pro
This program is useful as a preliminary check to see if your computer is clean, especially if you're unsure as to whether your computer is infected or not. You can remove infections with this for 30 days, after that it is limited to detection.
2. ATF Cleaner
It's a good idea to run a disk cleaner before you scan as malware often resides in temporary folders, and junk files will be removed so the scanning will be faster. Runs on Windows XP and Windows 2000 only.
If you believe your computer is still infected, then scan your computer with HijackThis and post the results on a malware cleaning forum. This is an advanced tool so do not remove items yourself.
There are many forums which have experts to help clean your computer by analysing HijackThis logs. Some of these forums are:
Choose a forum and post your HijackThis log there. Don't post in more than one forum for one problem - this will just waste everyone's time. Also, all these sites have there own policies which you should follow before you post a log there.
8. System Restore
Now that the computer should be functioning, disable System Restore and enable it again. This is to stop malware which hides itself in System Restore Points.
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