Manual Malware Removal as Simple as 1, 2, 3
Article provided exclusively by Bitdefender Antivirus
If you’re reading this article, then your computer isn’t quite living its heyday right now. Well, although malware infections are really a BIG thing, getting infected is usually not the end of the world, especially when the “perpetrator” is an average Trojan file or a rogue antivirus.
Before proceeding, you should know that, while malware detection and removal is pretty difficult and reserved to experts only, average computer users can also manually disinfect their PCs, provided that they use the right tool. Also remember that any wrong move you make can make your computer unbootable and it’s highly recommended that you move all of your personal data (pictures, documents, music etc.) from your system partition to another partition or to an external hard-disk drive. If you’re ready, make yourself a cup of coffee and let’s hit the road now.
What you need:
- 10 minutes or less
- Infected PC
- Basic knowledge on how your PC works
- Working internet connection
Now that you’re ready to proceed, you’d better print out this guide or have it available on a different device, as the disinfection process will ask for at least one reboot.
Start by opening up your browser; you’ll have to use Internet Explorer, Chrome or Firefox. If you’re using something else, you can always download a portable version of the Firefox browser for free. Point it to the Bitdefender QuickScan page and install the QuickScan plugin. We will use it later, as its going to do all the hard work for us. After you have installed the plugin, run a 60-second QuickScan to pinpoint the source of infection.
As soon as the scan has finished, you will be presented a log file that includes a list of the infected files found during the scan. Save it somewhere handy (the Desktop would be just nice) and then reboot your PC in Safe Mode (reboot it normally, press the F8 key at startup, and then choose Safe Mode with Networking). We recommend that you boot in Safe Mode because this debug mode does not start up any third-party applications, so you will be able to delete them at will.
When the computer has successfully booted, open up your log file and look for the file mentioned in the list of infected objects. Please note that you may be unable to see all the files in the mentioned folders, although they are there. This is because some pieces of malware modify their file attributes to hide themselves from the user. If you can’t see the file you want to delete, navigate to the Folder and Search options section by clicking on the Organize button in the folder. In the View tab, make sure you have unchecked the “Hide protected operating systems (Recommended)” option and that you have also checked the “Show hidden files, folders and drives” option. After you click OK, you should be able to see all the files you want to delete in their place.
One more thing before proceeding with the deletion: please make sure that you haven’t inadvertently selected more files than what you need to delete. Since your PC is booted in Safe Mode, you may be able to delete system files that are essential to the functioning of your computer. Delete the infected files one by one rather than selecting them all at once.
Now all you have to do is to delete the files one by one, reboot the computer normally and perform a second Quick Scan to make sure that no other malware has escaped the deletion process. Now that we’re done, reboot the PC again and enjoy your clean PC again. If you’re getting constantly infected, you should consider installing a security solution for permanent protection. You can find impartial recommendations on what brand to choose on the AV-Comparatives real world protection tests page.