Removing Viruses

Removing viruses can be risky to your operating system and may cause you to need to re-install your operating system. If you do not feel comfortable with the instructions in this section, you should get a computer professional to do the job. For more information read Applying the latest patches to your Windows 2000 Operating system to prevent viruses and worms. It contains information about how to remove viruses along with other useful information.

Virus Removal Procedure

  1. Be sure you have good backups of your data along with an emergency boot disk for your system.
  2. Determine what viruses you have on your system.
    1. Install a virus scanning program if you do not have one already installed. Use the product of your choice. It is wise to read product reviews.
    2. Be sure your virus definitions are up to date. Connect to the internet and download the latest virus definitions from the company that created your anti-virus software.
    3. Configure your virus scanner not to remove any viruses but only detect them. You do not want to remove the virus(es) immediately since some viruses may infect files that your system requires to run. If these files cannot be cleaned by the anti-virus program, they may be deleted or quaranteened. If this happens you may not be able to run your system again.
    4. Scan for viruses but do not remove them. Note: Some viruses will stop your virus scanner from operating. If this is the case you will probably need the help of a computer professional. If you have a virus that stops your virus scanner then you will need to either share the drive across a network and scan it from another computer or remove your hard drive and place it into another computer as a second hard drive, then scan your hard drive.
  3. Learn about the viruses you have and how to remove them. - Go to the web site of the organization that created your anti-virus software. The Symantec security response site is a good site to find information about specific viruses and they provide virus removal tools.
  4. Remove the viruses.
    1. Many viruses have a removal tool which can be used to remove the virus. If there is a removal tool, download it and use it to remove the virus.
    2. If there is no removal tool, you will need to follow the manual removal instructions. You may need to manually delete virus files and edit your system registry. The removal instructions will tell you how to do this, but some people may not feel comfortable doing this without the help of a computer professional.
    3. If the manual instructions indicate that you should let your virus scanner remove the virus, then remove all viruses that you can with virus removal tools then run the virus scanner with it configured to remove all viruses.
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