How to Remove a Computer Virus
If you use your computer on regular basis to surf the web or work online, it is likely that once in its lifetime some malware or any other type of virus might infect it-no computer is 100% immune to viruses. No matter how powerful your antivirus, your computer can still get infected, it might be maybe due to a delay in updating your antivirus database or a new type of an attack that has not been recognize by the antivirus company.
In most cases, many people’s first option is to back up their data and format their hard drives, well this might be the best option at some point, but what if you don’t have an immediate access to an operating system or an external back up?
It is good to know that some antiviruses do not detect some Trojans or malwares that exists before their installation and sometimes register them as part of other normal programs.
If you have been a victim of malware or any other type of attack, you probably spent a lot of time or money trying to remove and recover you lost data.
Here are a few steps you can take to recognize and safely remove a virus without depending on an antivirus.
How to know if your computer is infected
- Your computer has suddenly started to be sluggish
- Your web browser looks different and sometimes redirects you to different sites you don’t recognizes
- Your files start to automatically start to duplicate or say they are corrupt when trying to access them.
- Programs starting automatically
- If you are able to connect to the internet you can use Microsoft safety scanner- a free online virus scanner.
Note: for advanced users there are other ways to recognize if a computer is infected
Some viruses will disable your antivirus and your firewall
Some viruses might stop you while downloading and antivirus or even
Identifying the virus
Run your antivirus and do a deep scan, if it identifies, record the location of the virus on a piece of paper or somewhere else; for example it might look like c:\windows\system\temp.
If the antivirus doesn’t recognize the virus you might still be able to identify it by looking for clues on how some programs of files behave. You might need to search the antivirus vendor’s website for the name of the virus and how to remove it. Most antivirus companies have a database.
Removing the Virus
Now here is the part that you need to be careful; here are a few options you might consider but I will only cover two ways that I have seen work best
Using a virus removal Tool
There are a few good tools that are free on the internet, you can download and run them, some even have an option to manually select and remove the infection.
These four companies offer some of the best removal tools in the market for free:
Kaspersky AVP Tool
Manual removal through safe mode with networking
Back up all your files to an external DVD or drive
Start your computer in safe mode- start computer and press F8 several times
it will give you some options, select ‘Safe Mode’
Note: In safe mode most viruses don’t start and only a few windows
Open the registry - you can do this by pressing Windows key and ‘R’, then
type in regedit and press enter
Locate the virus (now you know its name) you can do this by pressing ctrl and
‘F’ then type in the name and press enter.
Go to the keys and add: in front of the string that you thing is the virus
Example- assuming the virus is called ebook:- “D:\ebook.exe” change it to
If you are sure it’s the virus you can delete the string.
Reboot your computer and you are done.
Remember- this process will not work for all viruses, you might need assistance incase of other more complicated types of viruses.