How to Remove a Computer Virus

Troubled by a computer virus? The following article would explain on how you can remove a virus from your computer. I have tried my best to explain the procedure in as easy manner as I possibly could
| Sunday, October 05, 2008

The removal procedure of a virus from your computer depends on the type of virus that has affected your computer. In most cases, you will be able to remove the virus by applying some simple steps that I mentioned below; while in other cases you might need to format your computer! Yes, I know that sounds frightening but formatting is the single seminal option to get rid of some kind of viruses. Nevertheless I would recommend you to follow the steps to detect and remove the virus presence first (without formatting of course) and if the need occurs to format your pc, I would share some tips which would help you do it effectively. For the steps I am going to mention, I will presume that you are using Microsoft Windows NT based operating system such as Windows 2000, Windows XP or Windows Vista.

Describe your system problem:

  • I am able to start my computer and operating system - follow section 1
  • I am able to start my computer but not the operating system - follow section 2
  • I am not able to start my computer - follow section 3

Section 1

Please follow these steps in case you are able to start your computer and operating system:

  1. Reboot your computer, while it is booting, keep pressing the F8 key until you see the boot menu showing various options. Select the safe mode option from the list and press enter.
  2. Login to your computer if it shows the login prompt (use administrator account)
  3. Download HijackThis from and open it! Make sure you download HijackThis through some other computer and burn it into a compact disc. It should be executed from the compact disc only! This way if the virus is in the computer's main memory, it won't be able to infect the HijackThis tool.
  4. In the HijackThis tool's main menu, click the button labeled Open the Misc Tools section and in that section find and click the button labeled Open process manager
  5. In the HijackThis process manager, select all processes and click the button labeled Kill process. After this step you will find that your explorer crashed too; so we would need to start it again. Click the button labeled Run and  type c:windowsexplorer.exe and hit enter.
  6. Now click the button labeled Main Menu and in the HijackThis Main Menu click the button labeled Do a system scan only and wait while it completes the scan.
  7. Now select all (check all) the items there, yes all including the ones denoting your anti-virus program as it might be infected by the virus as well. Next click the button labeled Fix checked. Click Yes upon seeing the confirmation dialog box.
  8. Close HijackThis and restart your computer in normal mode.
  9. It is important that you don't open any program (not even a web browser). Don't open anything. Just download a good anti-virus software (preferably ZoneAlarm, AVG or Avira) through some other computer and burn it on a compact disc. Next install the anti-virus software on your computer and do a complete system scan. Even if you already have a anti-virus software or setup on your computer, don't execute it as it might be infected. Make sure you re-download a fresh and clean copy.

After the scanning is over you can safely get back to work and be rest assured that you have got rid of the virus.

Section 2

For those who are able to start their computer but not the operating system, please follow the following steps after which you can follow the steps outlined in the first section of this article:

  1. Insert your Windows Operating System Installation CD into your CD/DVD drive and restart your computer. (note: make sure you have enabled the CD/DVD Drive as the first boot device in your bios)
  2. You will probably see a message like - Press any key to boot from CD. Press any key and wait till the installation initiates. Don't worry the procedure I am outlining won't format your pc unless you explicitly make it do so.
  3. Now, install the operating system on top of the existing operating system (no clean install, no format, no partitioning, no new/another install). This step would install operating system on top of your existing operating system without hurting your personal system settings. What we achieve in this step is get back all the system files those which would have been infected by a virus so that you are able to start your operating system.
  4. Follow all the steps mentioned in the first section of this article.

Section 3

For those who are not able to start their computer in the first place, please follow the following steps:

  1. Open your computer cabinet (but only after getting rid of any static charge you might have; to get rid of static charge, just touch metal that is able of passing electricity)
  2. Remove all RAM memory chips from their slots
  3. Remove the motherboard battery
  4. Wait at least 10-15 seconds and reinsert the battery and RAM chips.
  5. Start your computer and I hope it does start up; if it doesn't, take it to a doctor err.. system mechanic.
  6. If you did everything right, your computer and operating system should start up! Now, if you still think that your computer is infected by a virus - just follow the steps outlined in the first section of this article.

If you are not able to remove the virus from your computer with the steps mentioned above, you would need to format your machine and install a clean copy of the operating system. If this need arises, make sure you format only your primary partition. After installing a clean copy of the operating system, make sure you don't execute any applications on your hard disk. First get a good anti-virus software, do a thorough system scan and then start using your computer. I hope this article helps you, good luck!

Please note that this article might be be obsolete for certain users.
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