I don't know about you, but for me other than my telephone, my computer is my lifeline! I am disabled and have no money to spare, so imagine my horror when last night a virus snuck into my computer and I knew I couldn't afford to pay anyone to remove it! This particular new virus is called System Tool 2011 and it's a rogue Trojan that completely takes over your computer if you allow it to finish its scan! (You can see the scan progress on your computer screen because it has gained control of your computer). Don't think for one single minute that you've done something wrong to get this virus, because this rogue finds ways to infect you even when you're visiting completely trusted sites and have excellent security set up on your computer!
At first, it looks like your personal security system alert has popped up to tell you that your computer has become infected but this is a tactic to trick you into thinking you've got a virus and need to remove it when, in fact, the virus alert is the virus. It's not like the old "ignore it/don't click on it and just reboot immediately to get rid of it" viruses of days gone by. Oh no, this one is already automatically downloading. Oh, and if you do try to reboot, it doesn't matter because what comes up on your screen are nasty "HA, HA in your face" comments that basically say, "Tell your boss, your family, and friends that no matter how careful and safe you are that we can get you!" (I almost took a screen shot of it but decided I had better not waste time keeping my computer on while allowing the virus to continue taking over my computer) Anyway, this virus will not allow you to access "any applications whatsoever" including your security system or even your documents!
So now what? Thankfully I already have extras beyond my McAfee like Malwarebytes, C Cleaner and Spybot downloaded on my computer and a desktop shortcut for each. So what I did was turn off my computer, take a deep breath with lots of prayer and restarted while constantly clicking F8. I chose 'safe mode' and then ran Malwarebytes via the desktop shortcut first. Yep, it found the virus and I clicked to delete. Then I used Spybot and it also found a bad registry and I deleted it. Then on to CC Cleaner to get rid of any other possible hidden items and finally did a full McAfee scan. Bessie is now clean as a whistle ;-)
Should you choose not to download these three completely free programs now (and make shortcuts for them on your desktop for easy access) please don't panic should you happen to get an infection! Just print this tip, keep it in a safe place, and instead of when turning off your computer and restarting by clicking F8 and choosing 'Safe Mode'; keep clicking F8 and choose "Safe Mode With Networking" and type in the links in your search engine for downloading and running the programs one at time (in this order) Malwarebytes, Spybot and C Cleaner. Oh, and once you have downloaded these programs be sure to update them weekly (I choose Wednesday's) so that your computer is completely up to date! By the way, this virus is updated by these creeps (and changed to the next coming years numbers) every single year around this time just before or during the holidays. :-(
Here are the links to download for virus (and junk in general) removal help:
Malwarebytes: You do not need the full 'pay for' version! Also, once you've run it on full search the first time you will probably not ever need to do more than a quick search ever again :-)
Spybot: Do not worry about a donation to start because you can always donate 'if you want' at a later date. Just scroll down until you see the download button for Spybot Search and Destroy.
C Cleaner: (Used to be known as Crap Cleaner. Seems everything has become politically correct - LOL):
By Deeli from Richland, WA
I have the Norton AntiVirus Internet Security ONLY and cannot believe what the new 2011 version is like. OMG, fast and hunts out these things trying to sneak in. I was clicking online newspaper as I always do, the story kept bringing up My Computer (which it was not) and My Control Panel (which it was not). It showed how much of my computer was infested, etc and files that I knew had been moved from documents.
I looked up at the internet link and it was not even the original website link my story should have been at. It was all fake, but attached to the newspaper link. So I went to my NAV help at the top, it told me to save it someplace safe and hit scan. Before it even got to there, the NAV blew it and all the files out of the water. I have used NAV for 15 years, and I find it is worth every penny in security. They have help online that back you out of issues, recover, etc.
I buy it for 3 computers as my kids are always calling and saying "Mom help", I forgot to buy anti-virus! So we upload one of my buys to their computer (they don't live near, so we do it online with the codes I have with mine.)
To loose your computer lively hood is not worth being cost effective on the anti-virus. I don't use freebies as they all have an expiration date too.
Forgot to add: I set for download and running daily. You can set it to scan minimal or max, depending on your use. I also keep very important information (checkbook) and photos on separate aux drives--be able to pull and run in a fire.
Deeli this is a really great tip,thank you so much for it! These things are so terrible & tricky. I have always been so careful to stop or shut them down as soon as they pop up, but even I fell for it once when I was trying to download updates on a game for my kids & a window popped up telling me that there was a problem with the program that needed to be fixed,without even thinking about it I clicked 'ok'.
When I realized what I'd done & tried to shut the computer down,it was too late. I still haven't been able to get it going. I followed a friend's advice * wiped the computer out, but haven't been able to get the programs back in & running,so we have an expensive desktop we can't use!
I have the programs you mention, on my laptop, except for the CC Cleaner & will probably get that too. But can you please tell me & others who may not know, how do you set up a shortcut to your desktop for it?
Remember people ...if you have Windows or Windows 7 (it probably has it too) you can make Restore Points. You should make a new restore point after any major upgrades to Windows and probably once every 2 weeks. I make restore points weekly (and delet ones older than a month to preserve HD space).
Spybot is an excellent program but if you aren't used to it be forwarned that it mistakes other protection programs as viruses (but only rarely).
Ad-Aware is another freebie that can be a helpful tool.
And if you can't afford to by a general virus protection program you can download Avast! for free. It works really well.
This is a first-rate article. My computer has been running slow. I had been using Microsoft free antivirus since I was unable to renew my Trend Micro subscription. I knew something was on my computer so, I used the Geek Square website and ordered Webroot. It really hasn't sped things up for me. I used your steps in the order you posted and Voila! My computer isn't slow and sick any more. I put the icons on my desktop for future use. Thank you very much for posting this.
What an excellent post Deeli. Thank you! I am printing it out now.
I had that awful thing on my computer just about a week ago. It was horrible. It wouldn't even allow me to pull up my McAfee. Googled ways to get rid of it, but couldn't understand any of them. Finally, saw where someone said they used the restore point to get rid of it. That I knew how to do, and it worked. Thank goodness!
Thank you, thank you, thank you. I was just waiting for payday to blow $150 to remove a nasty malware. I followed the steps and am almost back to normal. This is the best tip ever!
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How do you go about removing viruses off of your computer? Thanks for your information...
Teresa from VA
We have a virus protector on the computer,it is called zone alarm and it works great and we also have one callled spybot and it is good too. Do you defrag you computer every week,that helps too. (07/16/2007)
I have used the FREE version of AVG on my home PC with much success. It is not a trial version, it is indeed completely free with no ads or banners etc.
The only caveat is that this does not protect or clean spyware. For those, I have used together:
SpyBot Search and Destroy (Spyware -- Free -- optional donation)
AdAware (Spyware -- Free)
You can also scan your PC for free using tools from GeekSquad. Just be aware that they won't FIX the problems the scan finds unless you pay for their services. Still, it is nice to KNOW what is wrong if anything!
Hope that helps! (07/16/2007)
As previously mentioned AVG is a good choice (which I use). Another free Anti-virus is ClamWin. You can download from this link:
You can copy and paste this link into your browser to get to the download site.
Zone Alarm is very good but I believe the version that includes anti-virus is a pay only version. You should get the free version of Zone Alarm's firewall regardless as it does help protect your computer.
Once you have run a scan with your anti-virus and gotten rid of any viruses MAKE SURE your anti-virus is turned on and providing protection all the time. You should also make sure you have Zone Alarm's firewall installed and running all the time.
I got a virus on my computer earlier this year. I was having such a problem, I was actually thinking of just buying another computer. I found this website
Go to the forums and sign up. There is a spot called "Am I Infected? What do I do?" I went in there and gave a call for help. A very nice man from the UK helped me. It took 23 hours, downloading several programs and running them - then posting the results for him to look at. At the end, my computer was saved. All for free.