How to Clean Your Computer From Viruses Alone
There are many ways to infect your PC with malware: when you visit unsafe sites through an infected medium, the virus can even be sent by e-mail. But the diversity is different not only the methods of infection, but also the viruses themselves. Every year the number of viruses known to us is increasing. Among them, there are both practically harmless, rogue techs that help us download games on the Internet for free, and very dangerous ones that can completely disable your PC. Developers of security software, who ruthlessly raise for their programs, are well aware of this whole situation. But, fortunately, there are still ways to clean your computer from viruses for free on your own.
How to check your computer for viruses
Before starting treatment for viruses, you must, of course, make sure that your PC is really infected. As mentioned earlier, there are a huge number of different viruses, and if you think that they differ only in name, then you are deeply mistaken. Most viruses are really quite the same type and work and are eliminated according to the same scheme, but among them there are also those that differ significantly from each other, including the method of interaction with the system. Because of this, detecting and eliminating the virus in time can be quite problematic. To date, twelve types of viruses are known:
- Worm. The main task of this virus is to “clog” your PC system. He does this in two ways, through the installation of various programs and through the launch of background processes that slow down your PC. The main signs of infection in this case will be a slowdown in the system and the appearance of various programs on your PC. To verify the presence of a “worm,” try running the “Task Manager” (keyboard shortcutAltCtrlDel) and in the “Processes” and “Services” sections look for obscure processes with names from random sets of letters and numbers. By the way, this type of virus, although it does not cause damage to the user’s personal files, can be very dangerous. If you strongly run this problem on a weak PC, then freezes can be so strong that even just using a computer will become problematic, not to mention its treatment.
- Trojan The principle of operation of this virus is simple and clear from the name. It hides inside programs and is completely harmless until the launch of this program itself. However, after its launch, it can be used for a variety of purposes. Most often, a “trojan” is used to delete or steal data.
- Spyware: Spyware viruses are used to remotely collect user personal data. Most often, passwords, addresses, card and account numbers become the subject of interest of attackers.
- Zombie. This type of virus got its name, because it turns an infected PC into a zombie. Once on the computer, it gives its owner full control over it. Most often, the owner of the PC does not even realize that someone other than him controls his computer.
- Blocking program. As the name implies, the blocker program blocks the user access to anything. Usually, this is either access to sites, or to the system itself. The main goal of this virus is to extort. When blocking, the user sees a message in front of him, saying that he has violated something and now must pay a fine by sending an SMS message. It is clear that even after funds are debited from your account, access will not be unblocked to you.
- Boot viruses. Like a worm, a boot virus tries to slow down your PC system, but while a worm slows down the OS, a boot virus slows down its launch. And also, as in the case of the worm, the main thing here is not to let the virus grow, because it threatens you with the fact that you can not boot your PC.
- Exploit The main goal of the “exploits” is to create holes in the OS security system. Through them, attackers will be able to load other viruses into the memory of your system.
- Farming. “Farming viruses” are mainly used for website promotion. Once on the computer, this virus hacks the browser and begins to constantly redirect the user to the attacker’s site, so that he doesn’t. This virus spreads through “trojans” and “worms”.
- Phishing Phishing is the virus of sending letters to steal their personal data. In these letters, users are usually asked to indicate their personal data, promising them some reward for this. The same data the attackers use to enrich themselves at your expense, they will steal money from accounts, arrange loans, etc.
- Spyware. Spyware collects user data, analyzes it, and then uses the attacker for personal purposes. For example, to create advertisements that will definitely interest him.
- Rootkit A rootkit is a virus that allows an attacker to penetrate your files, and then hide all traces of his stay. Rootkits themselves are not dangerous, since they are only a means to infect the system with other viruses. But they make the difficult process of detecting the virus even more difficult.
- Software virus. A software virus is a cross between a worm and a trojan. Like the “trojan” for existence, it needs another program, inside which it will settle, but at the same time it can self-propagate, infecting new files.
As you can see, there are many factors that indicate a possible infection with the virus. Slowing down the system, installing obscure applications, the appearance of banners and pop-ups. all this and not only indicates the need to check your PC.
In addition, one should not forget about threats that do not manifest themselves in any way until the moment when it is too late to fix something. A timely scan of your computer for viruses is the key to the security of your personal files.
In addition, do not forget that there are methods of how to clean your computer from viruses for free on your own. Now the Internet is full of various utilities aimed at combating viruses, which you can download absolutely free. There are also ways to clean the system yourself, without the help of any software, so to speak “manually”. We will talk about all this a little further.
Utilities for cleaning your computer from viruses
Free virus removal utilities are essentially the same anti-virus software, but slightly simplified. Their functionality is much less than that of paid antiviruses of well-known manufacturers, but it is quite enough for an ordinary user with one PC in stock. Let’s look at the most popular of them together.
- Dr.Web CureIt. CureIt is a virus fighting utility created on the basis of the well-known Dr.Web antivirus. Unlike Dr.Web antivirus itself, this utility is distributed absolutely free and anyone can download it from the official website of the developer. Over the years, the program has established itself very well; it is believed that it can find almost any virus. Using it is very simple. Go to the application, click on the “Start Scan” button, and at the end choose what needs to be done with the infected files. If there is an opportunity, then it is better, of course, to cure them, but if not, then you need to remove it without hesitation, otherwise the infection will spread.
- Avz. AVZ is one of the most well-known free anti-virus tools. Its main advantage is its advanced functionality, which is somewhere at the level of budget antiviruses, rather than free utilities. Working with him is a little more difficult, but realistically understand it.
- HitmanPro. HitmanPro antivirus utility is slightly less known than previous versions, but still has its own circle of fans. This program is not in vain called a killer, because it is probably the best solution if you want to clean your computer from viruses for free automatically. Many users note that HitmanPro is able to detect viruses that even some paid programs cannot cope with.
These are only the most well-known utilities, but, of course, there are others, such as NortonSecurityScan, EsetOnlineScanner or Malwarebytes. All of them are distributed free of charge, and some do not even require installation and work directly from the network. Which program to install on your PC is up to you.
How to clean your computer from viruses for free on your own
As already mentioned, there are two ways to clean your computer from viruses for free: using free utilities or manually. And if everything is more or less clear with the first method, then the second option may not be clear to everyone. Let’s analyze them a little more.
Cleaning and formatting a hard drive
It has already been mentioned that some viruses can have a detrimental effect on your system. Freezes, pop-ups, and the constant installation of new files to spread the infection are inherent signs of most viruses. It is clear that in such conditions it will be extremely difficult to cure a PC, if at all possible. Usually, in such a situation, working with antivirus is simply impossible, because due to lack of resources, the scan will take forever.
Therefore, before proceeding with direct treatment, the following should be done:
- Disconnect the PC from the network. It is through the Internet that many viruses download new files (although not all). Therefore, you need to disconnect from the network as soon as possible, preferably completely disconnecting the router to prevent the computer from connecting independently.
- Go to Safe Mode. For those who are not in the know, safe mode is the computer’s operating mode in which it uses a minimum of resources and programs. In particular, in this mode it does not allow background applications and processes to turn on, which will not only facilitate the process of working with an infected PC, but also prevent viruses from spreading further. To enable it, restart the PC, and during boot, press the “F8” key, when the menu appears in front of you, select “Safe Mode”.
When preparations are complete, treatment can begin. You should start by uninstalling applications that have installed a virus on your PC (if any). You can do this through the control panel (section “Programs and components”) or through special software to remove programs, if you have one installed. You need to remove all applications that are not system and have not been installed by you. Finding them is quite simple, as they usually have extremely strange names: from random character sets, in Chinese or Arabic, and sometimes they are completely absent.
Then, without turning on the Internet, go back to the normal mode of the system and do the following:
- Turn on “Task Manager”.
- Click on the “Details” button in the lower left corner of the window.
- Go to the “Startup” tab and find all the processes with obscure names, like those that needed to be deleted through the control panel.
- Write down their names somewhere, and then disconnect.
- Roughly the same thing needs to be done in the “Details” and “Services” tabs, but be careful, there are much more processes here and some of them, although they are incomprehensibly signed, are important, remember that all important processes are marked as system in the next column.
- And finally, the most important part, after closing all processes, take turns starting to search in the system for the names that you wrote out on the leaflet (you need to search through the search bar in the upper right corner of the explorer), usually the infected files are stored in whole folders, and therefore finding one file Go to its location and look for others there.
- When done, you can run a scan through the antivirus, the Internet cannot be turned on until the scan and disk cleanup are complete.
- Well, do not forget to empty the basket, just in case.
Although this procedure is rather complicated and lengthy, it helps to solve problems with almost any virus. Although there are still situations when the situation does not change even after antivirus cleaning, or the system is damaged too much and it cannot be restored.
Then there is only one solution left: a complete cleaning of the hard drive, so you will lose the files, but at least save the PC itself. The easiest way to do this is to start installing a new OS, in the process you still have to clean up the system drive, and you can also clean up the rest if you wish.
How to remove a virus from a computer by antivirus
Now that we’ve figured out how to remove a virus from a computer manually, let’s dwell in more detail on cleaning the system through antivirus. There isn’t much to talk about here, because security software developers are trying to make their brainchild not only reliable, but also convenient and understandable to use, and therefore even a novice user will be able to understand its work.
It is worth noting only a few points. For example, such as the existence of two scan modes in most antiviruses. The first is a quick search, the mode we use for regular checks, which takes half an hour. The second is a deep cleaning, an in-depth search for threats, which can take from several hours to a whole day (It all depends on the PC). If you have reason to believe that your PC is infected, then the best option is to combine these modes, first a quick check to find the main foci, and then deep to “finish off the residues”.
It should also be noted that there are three options for how you can deal with infected files, namely: cure, quarantine and delete. The most acceptable first, since only it allows you to save the full working capacity of the file. Removing is the most tough option, because after deleting the file will disappear from your PC forever, and half the trouble if it was a personal file, but what if it is a file necessary for the program or even the whole system to work correctly. Many inexperienced users always delete files to completely eliminate all traces of the virus. but this is the wrong approach. As for quarantine, the quarantined files remain on the computer and wait for updates that can cure them, but you cannot interact with them yet.
This is all you need to know about how to clean your computer from viruses for free on your own. In this article we have examined several methods for solving this problem, studied the classification of viruses and the most famous programs to combat them. Using the knowledge gained from this article, you are very likely to be able to cope with a computer virus without assistance.