Jesus 'n Jim

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cleaning malware & viruses off a computer with no AV package

 

have a Antivirus+antispiware[+firewall] cd ready.

first, I suggest, you have a copy of at least Clam Antivirus handy (Windows, Mac, Linux). Please note that this particular AV package does not have shields/a real-time virus scanner. But it does clean the machine. Also with this package, you must configure it to schedule scans on your hard disk(s), and also update fully automatically at logon, and move infected files to quarantine folder.

OR, run MRT.exe

peridocally, Microsoft Automatic Updates sends the Malicious Software Removal Tool down the wire. it is about 26MB in size, and you must run it manually to scan your computer to remove malware/viruses/worms, if any. It might not be a complete tool, but it cleans out the big ones.

scan your machine with the Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool.
[windows-logo-flag-key]-R c:\windows\system32\mrt.exe[Enter] do full scan and wait 8+ hours for report.

Commercial (pay-for) AV packages
Microsoft Security Essentials, available from microsoft.com $free
The best I have found so far
Norton 360, available from norton.com $60-$200
consumes the machine at logon, internet too
mcafee total protection $49.99/3 computers/year (normally $90) or mcafee all-access $100/year
when an update is occurring, the entire machine slows to a crawl. you can tell it is doing this by the little system tray icon red arrow that turns in a circle.
free AV packages
Windows Malicous Software Removal Tool, available from microsoft.com free
No realtime scanner or shields. scan and (not sure if it cleans). gives report at end of an 8-hour+ scan.
ClamWin Antivirus, available for windows, mac, linux, free
No realtime scanner or shields. only thing it can do if you configure it so, is scan and clean folders such as c:\ periodically. high detection rates, good cleaning. mcafee and probably norton will remove clamwin.
MalwareBytes Anti-Malware, available from malwarebytes.org free or $pay
Use this with your Internet Security package! high detection rate. excellent cleaning, but false detection of .cmd files as trojans.
Avast! Personal edition, available from malwarebytes.org free or $pay
excellent features for a free package. must register I think.
AVG Antivirus, available from free.avg.com free or $pay
somewhat decent features for a free package. not as good as avast. must register.