In a previous article, we looked at how one can minimize chances of a PC getting viruses. But how do you get rid of viruses if a computer is already infected?
In this article we shift attention to signs of an infected computer and how one can get rid of viruses and/or malware from it.
Signs of an Infected Computer
A computer infected with viruses or malware tends to be slower than usual, constantly reboots, freezes, and runs unusual processes (viewable in the task manager).
Prevent Further Spread
The first thing you need to do is to contain the virus and prevent it from spreading and doing more harm.
Disconnect the PC and boot into Safe Mode. In Safe Mode, a computer loads only necessary programs and processes.
This is helpful since malware cannot automatically start and become difficult to eliminate.
To boot into Safe Mode in Windows XP and 7 and 8, press F8 when windows displays boot options.
Getting into Safe Mode in Windows 10 is a little tricky but we got you covered. Press Start, and the click the power button. Next, press and hold the Shift key and click Reboot.
From the menu that appears, select Troubleshooting, Advanced Options and then Startup Settings. In the next menu, click Restart. In the next menu, choose option 4 (Safe Mode).
Scan with Anti-Virus
An anti-virus program will scan your pc to locate harmful software or potentially harmful software and stop it from doing any harm.
Depending on the anti-virus program, the virus/malware can be quarantined or deleted.
Scan with Anti-Malware program
While real-time anti-virus programs constantly scan for malware, none is 100 percent effective in detecting and eliminating viruses.
Since it is not advisable to run two real-time antivirus programs concurrently, you will need to download on-demand malware scanners such as Malwarebytes.
It is safe to run more than one on-demand malware scanner. The on-demand malware scanners are likely to find any virus or malware that the real-time anti-virus may have missed.
Unfortunately, some cases of virus or malware attack may be so severe that your system may not work properly again.
This is especially true when harmful software destroy critical system files. In such a scenario, the best move is to reinstall windows.
Back up unaffected files to removable media and do a clean install from a Windows setup disc or bootable thumb drive (flash disk).