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How to clean a system from Trojans, Worms, Viruses, Spyware, Adware and other Malware
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To clean a system from viruses, trojans, worms, browser hijackers
and ad-/spyware, follow the instructions on this page.

  Do NOT use just any removal tool! READ MORE

  To completely clean a system you need the following programs/utilities:

Antivirus software Avast
Spy-/adware remover MalwareBytes
Spy-/adware remover Hijackthis
Rootkit Revealer Rootkit Remover
Systeem Cleaner CCleaner

Many (most?) people just run these programs and then find out that the problem is not solved.
Of course it is not! Viruses, browser hijackers and similar applications are ment to do harm to a system
and they can only do that while they are active. Windows will not allow applications that are active
to be removed. So first thing to do is stop these harmful applications, before trying to remove them.
This can be done by either disable them in the taskmanager or by booting in safe mode.

Before running the programs, you need to do two things. First disable system restore. Secondly, make sure
the programs have the latest database so they will detect the latest threats. Most (if not all) have a
automatic update option build in. If that one fails to update, check the publishers website to see
if there is a manual way. And yes(!) you need to run multiple applications to completely remove everything.
Although they do overlap up to some point, each can handle different things.

  1. Disable system restore (windows ME/XP) (info ME) (info XP)
  2. Stop the harmful process(es) by booting in safe mode (info) or disable them in the task manager.
  3. Install a firewall. (A router with build in hardware firewall is preferable).
  4. Use the programs mentioned above to clean the system.
    (if you have Avast on a NT based system, schedule a boot time scan)
  5. Scan the system with a online scanner.
  6. Visit Windows update and install ALL security patches/updates, including the latest service pack.
  7. Check your hosts file(s) for unknown entries. If there are any, remove them.(info on hosts file)
  8. Reboot the system to make all changes effective.
  9. Scan all recently used floppies, burned cdr(w)'s, dvdr(w)'s etc.
(If you are in a network, you must make sure that all computers are clean of course)

Usefull / related links:

Ad-Aware Avast anti virus Housecall Analyzing the Hijackthis log file
CWShredder AVG Panda Firewall (Zonelabs)
Hijackthis AntiVir BitDefender About browser hijacking - 1
Bazooka Hijackthis log analyzer About browser hijacking - 2
Spybot s&d Enable/disable auto updates on XP Hijackthis log analyzer online Several useful utilities
SpywareBlaster Free online ad-/spyware scan MS security tips Tips to prevent hijacking
Startup list DON'T use these! Spybot s&d tutorial
Scan a file online Firewall (Kerio) Firewall (Sygate) Jotti Online Scanner (all browsers)
EBU (BHO Util) Online virus scan Virus Total online scanner Kasperky's online scanner
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