Help! Best Practice for removing a Windows Virus!

Discussion in 'Ask DACS' started by dragonbite, Jul 6, 2009.

  1. dragonbite

    dragonbite Well-Known Member

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    My Mother's Windows XP laptop appears to be infected by a virus. Her McAfee is not able to update nor run even in safe mode, throwing a generic error that a McAfee developer (in their forum) describes it as a "generic error message" and has no use. (great.)

    What would be the best method to try and be able to clean the system up from this?

    One thought I had was to run a Linux LiveCD (maybe BartsPE?), install AVG or ClamAV on the LiveCD and run a system scan from there so the entire hard drive is viewed as a gigantic folder and none of the Windows system, which the virus may use to keep itself hidden/protected, will be running.

    Or would it be better to get an adapter to connect her hard drive as a USB external drive to a Windows box and scan it?

    What is generally the best practice for fixing this issue?
     
  2. jasetaro

    jasetaro Administrator
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    Hi Drew, try F-Secure's Linux based rescue CD... You can download the ISO and documentation here.

    HTH.
     
  3. dragonbite

    dragonbite Well-Known Member

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    I brought it up at the general meeting Monday night.

    I mentioned about using an online scanner, which was recommended as the first course of action. Now it's just the case of figuring out which one will be the best to choose from.

    Rob mention downloading Avastand the DAT file onto a USB stick and install it on her laptop while in Safe Mode and disconnected from the network and scan, including a boot scan. I was surprised to see it is available for Linux too.

    He also suggested when doing the boot scan, to view each of the warnings that pop-up and not "do this for all" or skip them. Since she already has an antivirus application, Avast should find and flag the DAT file for that one as a threat.

    Sean mentioned ToniArt Easy Cleaner registry cleaner.

    So it seems I have some prepping to do before going to my Mom's house next.

    Y'know... DACS should gather a few experienced people together and come up with a "best practice" method for removing viruses and make a Wiki-like page somebody can go to if/when they are stuck and have it include links to some of the top vendors. This concept could grow to include things like how to migrate from XP or Vista to Windows 7, backup methods, online storage, changing email client (to or from Outlook using PWS files, etc.). Should have, though, a committee or selected number of people to make sure advice is sound and complete. But this is moving away from the purpose of this thread.
     

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