Get a Linux install. …
Get a free copy of any one of the ten or so mopst popular Linux operating systems.
Originally posted by MajorGeeks:
READ & RUN ME FIRST. Malware Removal Guide
Please Read These Important Notes for the Malware Removal Guide:
Malware has progressed to the point where some infections can be extremely difficult to fully remove. And there can be residual left over damage to many aspects of the Windows Operating System that may also be very hard to repair.
As such, the act of removing malware can sometimes cause unexpected problems due to how the malware has hooked itself into your operating system.
While in most cases, we do not have problems, we cannot guarantee that there will not be any. Thus it would be a very good idea for you to begin by backing up all important personal information before undertaking the act of malware removal. You can bypass this step at your own risk, but remember that we cannot guarantee what the result will be from trying to remove malware from your PC.
Do not make the false assumption that this thread is old or out of date based on the date the thread was started ( 10-09-05 02:49 ). Look at the Last Edited date at the bottom of this message as this procedures does evolve with time.
Now if you wish or are ready to continue with malware removal:
Complete ALL of the below steps including the specific malware removal cleaning instructions for your Windows Version.
If something does not run, write down the info to explain to us later but keep on going.
Do not assume that because one step does not work that they all will not.
If you cannot boot in Normal Boot mode or can boot but not properly run in normal mode but your PC runs in safe boot mode, you can ignore our note about Normal Startup and just complete as much as you can in safe boot mode. Some programs may not install in safe boot mode.
If you cannot download required programs on the infected PC, download them using another PC and copy them to the infected PC via CD or USB drive.
Do you want your PC fixed?
If yes then attempt to finish everything requested. Please do not cheat by skipping any steps. Attempt to run ALL steps in the READ & RUN ME. The only steps you should skip are ones that you are blocked from running by your problems.
You are only hurting yourself and you will waste more time in the long run if you ignore or skip steps.
There is no risk in posting logs. Nothing in them will give anyone the kind of info that some people may be concerned about. If you are concerned about logs that might show your real name, you can just edit those out before attaching them; however, do realize that fixes we may have to provide may not automatically work properly since they will need to refer to the original unedited information.
Once you start this cleaning process to remove your malware please do not do anything to your PC except what is requested in this procedure. Do not install anything on your own and do not run other scans.
Step 1: Getting Started.
Please begin by reading our Forum Rules and Guidelines
If you are here due to having browser redirection problems, see this first >> Fixing Google Redirection/Hijacking Problems.
If you cannot connect to the internet, see if this helps >> Proxy Server – Changing Settings
SLOW PC PROBLEMS? – Read the below info
If you are here because your PC is booting or running slowly, remember that this is a malware removal guide and not a cure all for slow PC's guide.
A slow PC is not always caused by malware. It could just be due to what you run! Or it could be an inadequate amount of memory. We recommend a MINIMUM of 1 GB for Windows XP and a MINIMUM of 2 GB for Vista or Windows 7 but the more memory you can add the better.
If you have less than the above amount of memory and we do not find any malware, we will be telling you to install more memory or uninstall applications that use memory full time.
Also see the below to Optimize Vista Performance:
Optimize Windows Vista for better performance
[I may add the links later, this isn't actually about cleaning your PC. I told you how to do that in the intro.]
Also I suggest that you check out the below Microsoft links especially if having browsing issues:
Its not always malware: How to fix the top 10 Internet Explorer issues
How and Why to Clear Your Cache
Internet Explorer stops responding, stops working, or restarts
How to optimize or reset Internet Explorer 7
Control Internet Explorer Add-ons with Add-on Manager
Troubleshooting and Internet Explorer’s (No Add-ons) Mode
Step 2: Uninstalling Multiple Protection Applications
*** IMPORTANT NOTES – READ THESE ***
You must uninstall all but one antivirus program.
If you have multiple antivirus applications installed on your PC, please choose the one you prefer and uninstall all others.
Do this now before continuing because you will only be asked to do it later if not done now.
This does not mean online scanners.
It is only referring to full antivirus applications like McAfee, Symantec, AVG, Avast, AntiVir, Kaspersky, etc.
You must uninstall all but one software firewall.
Only use one software firewall. Running multiple software firewalls is unnecessary and using more than one software firewall on the same connection could cause issues with connectivity to the Internet or other unexpected behavior including excessive use of system resources which will slow down overall PC performance.
Step 3: House Cleaning
Specifically look in Add/Remove Programs for the below programs and uninstall them if found:
MyWay or MyWay Search Assistant
Viewpoint Manager (Remove Only)
Viewpoint Media Player
Viewpoint Toolbar (Remove Only)
Skip this Sun Java update procedure if using Windows 98 or ME. Uninstall ALL old Sun Java versions because they have vulnerabilities and then get updated.
See: Updating Sun Java
Empty ALL Quarantine type folders for antivirus and antispyware applications.
This step of house cleaning may save a load of time later (reduced scanning time) and can significantly reduce the size of logs being posted later. Here is just one example for doing this with Norton/Symantec:
Removing files from Norton AntiVirus Quarantine
Empty your Recycle Bin
Empty Norton Nprotect folder (if present)
If you are a Symantec/Norton user make sure you empty their Norton Nprotect folder guarding the Recycle Bin.
See Emptying the Norton Protected Recycle Bin
Step 4: Configuration & Setup
Determine whether you have a 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows because you will need to know this later during cleaning instructions
How to check for a 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows
Enable viewing of hidden files, system files and file extensions
Some programs hide themselves by making their files invisible in normal Windows settings. Run the steps in the below link (this has steps for ALL Win OS's) to make them easier to find.
How to view hidden, system files & folders!
Not doing this would allow file extensions commonly used by trojans and spyware to be hidden, for example a file ending in .exe or dll making manually finding it, if needed, difficult to impossible.
MSconfig must be set for Normal Startup mode
If you don't do this you will be delayed in getting help for your problems!
You MUST make sure that MSconfig is not being used to control Startups.
Note: That some Window's OSs (like Win 2K, 2003) do not have MSconfig! Run the procedure in the below link for your Windows version:
Use MSconfig to setup for Normal Startup Mode
Read this to better understand why not to use MSconfig:
Dealing with Startup Process
Step 5: Uninstall Known Malware and Unwanted Software
Work through the below link to uninstall any bad programs that should not be installed on your PC. This may in some instances even resolve your problems. It takes a small amount of time (based on your experience level) to do this comparison, but it is well worth the effort.
Uninstall Malware via Add/Remove Programs
Step 6: Disable Any Disk Emulation Software (like Daemon Tools..etc)
If you skip this step, we may be just telling you to start the cleaning process over again!
DON'T SKIP THIS STEP.
This is become a critical step before continuing the cleaning process. Disk emulation software is making it difficult to separate real rootkit like malware from valid software.
See the instructions provided in the following link to disable emulation software and keep it disabled while we are still working on your PC.
Step 7: Windows OS Specific Cleaning Instructions
Select and run all steps in the malware removal cleaning link below based on your Windows Operating System. You must click the blue underlined links to get to the cleaning procedures for your version of Windows!
If you have Windows 95, 98, or ME, continue here: Windows 98 and ME Malware Removal/Cleaning Procedure
If you have Windows 2000 or 2003 continue here: Win 2000 & 2003 Malware Removal/Cleaning Procedure
If you have Windows XP, continue here:Windows XP Malware Removal/Cleaning Procedure
If you have Vista or Windows 7, continue here: Vista & Windows 7 Malware Removal/Cleaning Procedure.
If I ruled the world I would put use of Microsft Windows online alongside the use of drugs for self abuse as a misdemeanour, punishable by fine for the first offence and by varying lengths of prison sentences for subsequent offences.