Using a computer can be a total nightmare especially when one encounters the most nagging item, a virus. Computer viruses are self-replicating programs which cannot exist without a host. A computer virus passes from computer to computer like a biological virus passes from person to person.
A computer virus must piggyback on top of some other program or document in order to get executed. Once it is running, it is then able to infect other programs or documents. These programs can be relatively harmless, or they can completely crash your computer.The following two techniques can be of great assistance when removing this nagging virus.
By Noreen Sarai : Bsc (HONS) Computer Science, MSU, Zimbabwe: Msc Computer Science, UZ, Zimbabwe
- Virus removal in Safe Mode
Before starting the virus removal process, make sure that all of your important data is backed up. This will ensure that nothing of value is lost if the computer has to be completely reformatted, and you can get back up and running with minimal time invested.
Your computer should be well updated. Viruses usually work by exploiting security flaws in the software that you are running. Software companies issue “patches” to fix these flaws, but you must update your system regularly to keep your computer secure. Operating systems like Microsoft often provide updates regularly the moment you start using their operating systems.
The computer should also be having an antivirus installed. Antivirus software is your first line of protection against viruses that you can get over the internet. Antivirus software is a class of program that searches your hard drive and floppy disks for any known or potential viruses.There are quite a few antivirus companies out there. Norton, McAfee, Panda, Trend Micro. Norton and McAfee are the largest. These antiviruses come free but are you get all the needed services when you purchase one.
In some cases also having aspyware/ malware installed can also be very helpful.
The next step is to reboot in Safe Mode. Press F8 while your computer is starting up. In order for a virus to do anything, it needs to be run. Most viruses run themselves by attaching to startup services that load when Windows loads. Safe mode only loads the most essential files for Windows to run, which should stop almost all viruses from activating. This will allow you to identify and remove them
Run your computer using the installed antivirus or malware software. Full run or checkup is always advised. Quarantine all suspicious files to protect your computer from any potential harm.
- Virus removal though Computer Registry
All programs that are installed on your computer are registered in what is called the Registry Editor, hence when a virus is loaded on your computer it is also registered in this registry.
- First click the Start Button, then select .. item. When the Run Window will appear, and then type ‘RegEdit’ into Open: textbox and click OK button.
- In cases where the RegEdit is not opening it’s always advisable to startup computer in safe mode as virus can block opening of executable file.
- Microsoft System Configuration Utility MSConfig.exe keeps entries of Start-Up programs. Besides that, System Registry has Run, RunOnce and RunOnceExentry nodes to manage which program can run while Windows is starting.
- First, you should check any starting programs inside the HEKY_LOCAL_MACHINE.
- Go down to the node in HEKY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion,then look for program entry inside the Run, RunOnce and RunOnceEX. If you find something you don’t know, then you type the program name .exe name into the following Search box to find out what’s that. If the .exe name is the virus or spyware, then you can delete it.
- It’s same that you need to check any starting program inside the HEKY_CURRENT_USER.
- Go down to the node in HEKY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion, then look for unwanted .exe programs inside the Run, RunOnce and RunOnceEX. If you find something, then delete them.