How To Scan Your Computer for Viruses and other Malicious Programs (Malware Removal Guide)

If you experience operation problems while using your computer, like freezes, low responses or crashes then probably your computer is infected by a virus or other malware program(s) that makes your computer slow and unstable. In order to ensure that your computer is clean and safe you must properly scan your computer with several scanning programs.

I wrote this tutorial to help users to easily check and disinfect their computers from viruses or malware programs that are probably running on it. As “Malware” named all the malicious programs that can harm your operating system or compromises your privacy. Hope to find this guide helpful.

scan clean virus

Categories of Malware programs:

The Malicious programs are typically named Malware, but they include different categories of harmful programs like Viruses, Adware, Spyware, Trojans, Worms, Hijackers, etc.

Adware: is a program or code that generates or redirects you into advertisements. Some of these programs are legitimate, and include for free at software installers of  other legitimate programs.
Backdoor: is a program that when installed on your computer gives access to your computer settings or it’s used for attacking other computers.
Hijackers: are programs that modifies your Internet search settings and redirects you to unknown ads or webpages.
Spyware: a program is classified as a spyware when sending information about your computer activity to remote computers without your knowledge.
Trojans: are programs that seems legitimate, but when installed on your computer compromise your computer security.
Virus: Is any malicious program that can spread itself to other computer on your network or to remote computers.
Worms: As worm is classified any program that upon installed on your computer, increases your computer or network activity, by sending mass e-mails to your address book contacts or by using your computer and network to attack remote computers.

How to scan and clean your computer from Malware & Viruses?

To scan and clean your computer from virus, malware, adware, trojans, etc. follow the steps below:

Step 1. Start your computer in Safe Mode with Networking.

First of all you have to boot your computer into safe mode to prevent Poweliks virus from running. To do that:

  • Windows 7, Vista & XP:
    • Restart your computer and hit the “F8” key while your computer is starting up (before the appearance of Windows Logo).
    • When “Advanced options” menu appears on your screen, navigate to “Safe Mode With Networking” option (using your keyboard arrow keys) option and hit Enter.

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  • Windows 8 & Windows 8.1:
    • Press “Windows” + “R” keys to open the RUN window.
    • Type msconfig & press OK.

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    • Click the Boot tab.
    • Select the Safe Boot & Network options & click OK.

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    • Restart your computer.

 


Step 2. Run TDSSKiller Anti-rootkit utility.

  • Download Kaspersky’s TDSSKiller Anti-rootkit utility to your computer.
  • Run TDDSSKiller. {If TDDSSKiller utility does not run, you have to rename it to something else (e.g. explore.exe).
  • Accept the license agreement and press Next.
  • Click on “Start Scan” button and wait until the scan is completed.
  • Finally choose “Cure” to remove the infections (if found).

 

Step 3. Terminate and remove malicious processes with RogueKiller.

RogueKiller is an freeware anti-malware program, able to detect and remove generic malwares and some advanced threats such as rootkits, rogues, worms, etc.

  • Download and run RogueKiller. (Download a compatible version for your system 32bit or 64bit)
  • Allow the Pre-Scan to complete and then press the Scan button.

roguekiller-scan

  • Be patient until Rogue Killer scans your system.
  • When the scan is completed, select all items found at Registry & Web Browsers tabs.
  • Press the “Delete” button to remove items found.

roguekiller-delete


Step 4: Remove malicious entries from Windows Startup.

  • Download and install CCleaner.
  • Run CCleaner utility & select “Tools” from the left pane.
  • Press the “Startup” button.
  • Choose the “Windows” tab.
  • Finally select and delete any suspicious entry that is listed there.
  • Close CCleaner.

 


Step 5: Uninstall Unknown or Unwanted programs from your computer.

  • Open Windows Control Panel. In case you don’t know how to do that, here is what you have to do:
    • For Windows 8: Simultaneously press “Windows” + “R” keys to open the RUN window.
      • In “RUN” window “Open” box,  type: control panel
      • Press Enter.
    • For Windows 7 or Vista: click at Start > Control Panel > Programs and Features.
    • For Windows XP click at: Start > Settings > Control Panel > Add or Remove Programs.
  • From the program list, find and remove – uninstall – any unknown or unwanted application that is listed here*.

* Advice: Sort the installed programs by “Installed On” date and remove any unknown or unwanted program that was recently installed on your computer.

remove-program

Step 6. Remove Adware programs with AdwCleaner.

– AdwCleaner is a freeware utility that can clean your computer from adware programs.

  • Download AdwCleaner utility to your desktop.
  • Close all open programs and run AdwCleaner.exe
  • At the main window, press the “Scan” button and wait until the scan is completed.

adwcleaner-scan

– Finally press the “Cleaning” button to remove all adware programs detected.

adwcleaner-clean

– Press OK when asked to restart your computer.

adwcleaner-restart

– After the reboot close the report that open. The report contains the adware programs, registry keys and files that removed by AdWCleaner. If you want to examine its contents later, you can find the logfile at AdWCleaner’s folder on the root drive (e.g. “C:AdwCleanerAdwCleaner.txt)

adwcleaner-log

Step 7: Remove Junkware files with JRT.

  • Download and save JRT-Junkware Removal Tool on your desktop.
  • Run JRT and press a key to start the scan.
  • jrt-clean

  • Be patient until JRT scans and cleans your system from Junkware.
  • When the Junkware Removal Tool scan is completed close the JRT log file and then reboot your computer again.

Step 8: Remove Malware programs with MalwareBytes Antimalware.

  • Download and install Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free. *
  • * Beware: at the last screen of installation, uncheck the box next to “Enable free Trial of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware PRO” in order to use the free version of this GREAT software.

    install-malwarebytes-free

  • Run Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.
  • Update the Database.
  • Press the Scan Now button and then wait until the scan process is finished.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware-scan

  • When the scan is completed select all items found and then press Quarantine All.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware-removal

  • Restart your computer if needed and you ‘re done.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware-restart


Step 9: Remove Virus(es) with your Antivirus Program.

  • Start you Antivirus program and perform a full antivirus scan.

Notice: If you are interest to find a good Free Antivirus read this article: Best Free Antivirus to protect your computer.

 


Step 10 (Optional): Reset Internet Browser Settings.

Notice:  This step is optional and you must apply it, if you still experience problems with your browser in order to make sure that all unwanted plugins, extensions and settings were removed during the above steps.

Reset Internet Explorer to default settings.

By resetting Internet Explorer, you restore your browser to the state where it was when first installed on the PC.

  • Click the gear icon image_thumb3_thumb_thumb at the top right corner and choose Internet Options.

internet-explorer-options

  • At the Advanced tab press the Reset button.

internet-explorer-advanced-reset-settings

  • Check the Delete Personal Settings checkbox and press Reset.

reset-internet-explorer-settings

  • Close all Internet Explorer windows and restart your browser.

Reset Mozilla Firefox to default settings.

– By resetting Firefox, you restore your browser to the state where it was when first installed on the PC.

  • From Firefox’s menu icon image_thumb4_thumb_thumb  choose Help image_thumb

firefox-troubleshooting-options

  • Choose Troubleshooting Information.

firefox-troubleshooting-information

  • Press the Refresh Firefox button.

refresh-firefox

  • Press Reset Firefox again.
  • reset-firefox

    (After reset, Firefox restarts automatically.)

  • Close all open Firefox windows.

Reset Google Chrome to default settings.

By resetting Chrome, you restore your browser to the state where it was when first installed on the PC.

  • Click on Chrome’s menu image_thumb_thumb_thumb icon at the upper right corner) and choose Settings.

chrome-options

  • At Settings page, scroll down and click to Show Advanced Settings.

chrome-advanced-settings

  • Scroll down again and press the Reset browser settings button.

chrome-reset-settings

  • Click Reset one more time.

    reset-chrome-settings

  • Restart Google Chrome.

Attention: If you cannot remove the infection from Google chrome, then you have to completely remove and re-install Google Chrome on your computer.

That’s all folks! It might sound like a lot of work, but in reality you’ll be free from the most infections in less than 60 minutes, if you follow these instructions.

Did it work for you? Please leave a comment in the comment section below or even better: like and share this blog post in the social networks to help spread the word about how to clean a computer from virus infections.

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