Guest Author - Rayna H. Battle
The worst has happened. Your computer has been infected with a virus and is making it nearly impossible for you to get anything done. Perhaps your PC was exhibiting symptoms for awhile: odd behavior, random popups, unfamiliar icons Ė and maybe you meant to do something about it. Now itís too late and the bug has spread and is nearly taking over. If that sounds familiar, donít despair. There is a straightforward way to neutralize the problem and use your computer safely until you can fix the issues.
Hopefully, you have read my article about setting up your safety net. In short, having multiple accounts on your computer without utilizing the file sharing option is a great protection. When you do this, a scenario like the one detailed above is not as damaging to your PC as it could be. Although a virus may cause complications and some annoyance, itís much better to be annoyed than having your system completely ruined.
When you realize that your computer has been infected with a virus, log off of the infected account. Log into another account and determine whether or not the same symptoms appear. If everything runs normally, use that account until you can locate and nullify the virus on the other account.
From the account that has not been infected, you can begin the effort to remove the virus. Because every virus is slightly different, the circumstances of removal can vary drastically. Therefore this article can only guide you by making suggestions that generally apply. From the uninfected account, run your systemís AV (anti-virus) software. Hopefully you follow my recommendation and have more than one AV program installed. If so, run both of them, one after the other. Usually, you should run the more comprehensive program (IE. Norton) first and then run the niche (IE. MalwareBytes) software.
Next, after restarting your computer, log back into the infected account. Are the virus indicators still there? If so, log out of that account and log back into the uninfected one. From the healthy account you can pick and choose which user files you want to save from the infected account. Once youíve saved whatever you feel to be most important, delete the infected user account from the control panel. Be careful when saving files! Obviously one or more of those files is infected with a virus. Do not make the mistake of deleting the account without deleting the problem! To be safe, only save the files that you are absolutely sure are safe. Your final option is to simply delete the infected user account Ė files and all.
If none of the step-by-step processes remove the problem, you may have to fall back on what should be your last resort. Either use a System Restore to revert your system back to a time when it was not infected, or reinstall your system completely. You can easily reload your files using your backup disks.