Subscriber Cosby wrote to ask for help with remote support for a family member:
I have a daughter in Houston who tells me they have a virus infected computer.
I’ve never had to deal with this so I’m asking what you’d recommend to handle a situation like this.
I know there are programs like “Wipedrive” (White Canyon Software), and others but I’d like to hear any recommendation you may have of products you are familiar with.
I wrote back to remind Cosby that dealing with a computer that’s already infected is much more challenging that preventing the infection in the first place.
While, reinstalling Windows may be necessary, but that would be a last choice. Usually a virus can be removed without reinstalling Windows. On the other hand, in today’s world of malware removal, a rootkit may require reinstalling Windows in order to make sure it’s gone.
I don’t think I’d ever get to the point of wiping the drive before reinstalling. However, I would let Windows rebuild everything that it could, including restoring the boot clusters and boot record.
In this particular case, depending on how bad the problem is, Cosby’s daughter may be able to handle it by turning off System Restore, booting into Safe Mode, and running an antivirus program from their. She can try one of the online antivne antivirus scan programs, but the last time I looked, most of them would scan for free but charged to remove the viruses.
First, I’d try downloading and trying to clean the computer with VIPRE ( http://terryscomputertips.com/VIPREPremium ), which is free for its 30-day full-function trial.
Then, I would use one of the online scanners (probably Trend Micro’s) to make sure that got everything.
As an alternative to solving the problem herself, she can take the computer to a local shop to get rid of the viruses.
Most importantly, whatever she does, she needs to run a good antivirus program and keep it updated.
I recommend VIPRE Antivirus Premium which is the antivirus, antispyware and firewall program that I run and that I chose for my family’s PC’s, too.
Cosby wrote back to say:
I explained to her that it was a little like safe sex.
Protection is imperative.
If I were there I’d fix it but I think I’ll suggest the local shop to her.