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Self Help

Any suggestions, recommendations or ideas found on this site are applied at your own risk.

Be sure to see our Scams article.  A few quick reminders/warnings:

Infected?

If you think your computer may be (or has been) infected, run BOTH 1 & 2 as one seems to find things the other does not.  If after that things still do not seem "quite right", run the third one. 

Notes: None of these first 3 are antivirus application, only cleanup utilities!  Many viruses corrupt the system so badly, you are best just to format the drive and reinstall Windows from the original factory disk(s). 

  1. PowerEraser or Download directly
    • You can typically run it directly (requires reboot) but we've seen upon reboot (mostly Windows 10) where the scan does not properly start.  If you have that problem, download again and save, then right click and run as Admin...
    • PowerEraser can find legitimate applications as infected.  If you have some esoteric applications that are flagged as infected, be careful about having PowerEraser "fix" things...
  2. Microsoft Security Scanner
    • Save to your desktop then right click and run as Administrator.   Full scan takes two + hours, but highly recommended!
  3. Malicious Software Removal Tool built into Windows Vista and later.  See our Windows Run article.
  4. Severely infected computers may require Microsoft's Defender Offline scan tool. This must be downloaded on a clean machine where you run it to create a bootable DVD or flashdrive, which is then used on the infected machine.

Other tools available:

Then make sure your antivirus is updated and run a full scan.  If yours has expired or don't have one, install:

Last, be sure to run through all of these for a final cleanup...
Stay safe

Review these Microsoft article on various security issues:

And if you want to tighten the Internet Explorer's settings, try these...