There are days when even the best antivirus software still isn’t good enough at picking up viruses. When those days come, that is when you become a computer guru. Very quickly. There are a couple of tricks to employ before doing a total reformat or learning how to live with the virus.
The first trick is an oldy but a goodie. System Restore. If you go to your control panel, you will find an option called “Backup and Restore.” In most cases, System Restore has been working in the background, silently saving your computer’s settings as you worked. In some rare cases, it will have been turned off by the virus itself. If this is the case, this trick will not work for you. If it was not deactivated, then continue reading. Well, continue reading anyways.
Once you are in System Restore, click on “Recover system settings or your computer” and click the “Open System Restore” button. Click the next button, then find a restore point that is BEFORE the time the infection struck. If you can’t see one, click the “Show more restore points” checkbox. A good rule of thumb is to jump back 3 days prior to when you think you got the infection. Sometimes a virus can lie dormant for a day or two or you may not have restarted the computer to trigger the infection for one or two days. Select the one of the restore points, then next, then finish. Your computer will go crazy for a while, restart a couple of times, and hopefully, when you come back in, your computer should not have the virus floating around on your machine. The virus FILES might still be there inert, however, so you should then scan your machine with every virus-locating program imaginable.
If System Restore is disabled or you don’t have a restore point good enough (example: the virus wiped out all the restore points that were there at the time of infection) then the next step is manual removal. First off, figure out what kind of virus you have. Do internet searches. Research it. Make sure you know all about it before tackling it manually. This step usually involves editing the registry, so unless you are confident in your skills, it is not advised to attempt anything that requires a registry removal. Because of the multiple variations of viruses out there and how they are handled, there is no way I can easily describe how to remove them. As stated before, once the virus has been manually removed and you’ve restarted your computer, scan your system with every antivirus program you can AND turn on System Restore again. Once you have confirmed that you are virus-free, create a restore point right there (after scanning) and call it something indicative of being clean.