More Computer Viruses

I have had more people in the last two weeks ask me about their virus infected computers than I have in the last 6 months.  It seems there are some ugly ones going around the Internet right now.  I wrote a post a while back called So you think you have a Virus? and while it still has a lot of good information, I wanted to add a few other suggestions and a new post seemed like a better way to share this information.

One of the common viruses I’m hearing about pops up a window (while you are browsing on the Internet) and warns the user his/her computer has been infected and he/she needs to download this FREE antivirus program to fix the computer. Usually the program is called Antivirus 2010 or something similar.  If any doubt if a program is valid, Google the name (Google is our friend).

If  a similar screen to what I’ve described appears, just close the browser and start over. The keyboard short cut for a PC to close a program is ALT-F4. This short cut may be the safest way to close the program so an accidental click doesn’t download the spy-ware.

Here are a few tips of what to do if a system is potential infected. Use these at your own risk:

  1. If you think you may have a virus or if your system is running really slow and you want to check it for viruses, then I would recommend downloading Microsoft’s Security Essentials. It is Microsoft’s FREE Antivirus solution (why did it take them this long to offer something they should have done years ago?)

    I’ve had a number of really good reports of this program removing them. It is very slow on scanning, but that is good. It means it is doing a thorough scanning job.  If it finds anything, let it try to clean it, if that doesn’t work, just let it delete it.

  2. If you can’t download it or install it, try booting the computer in safe mode /w networking and try #1 again.
  3. If that doesn’t work, here would be my next suggestion. This will require disassembling the computer.  Remove the hard drive from the computer. (Google your computer’s model to find out how).
  4. Remove the hard drive and hook it up to a Universal Drive Adapter (UDA), like this one USB 2.0 Universal Drive Adapter Serial ATA, ATAPI/IDE 3.5) and plug it up to another computer that has an up to date anti-virus program on it.  The drive hooked up to the UDA will show up as a drive under “My Computer” — just like a USB stick would.

    Run the antivirus program and scan the new drive, allowing it to clean anything off of it.

    Reinstall the drive into its computer and boot it up and run another scan from the computer (once the antivirus software has been updated)

    I’ve had really good luck with this method.

  5. My last suggestion is to buy a Mac! ha! ha! Ok, not really, although I’m a Mac fan boy and Jennifer and I both use Macs at our house.  Find a local computer repair shop and be prepared to pay for them to get it off the system.  I stay too busy with life to work on computers on the side, so don’t even ask me, 🙂  Other than suggestions, such as this blog entry, I don’t work on them.  Sorry 🙂