What to do when you have a virus

Skull and crossbones

This is something we experience daily on the support desk. A person has managed to download some kind of virus or malware which is attempting to take over their computer, sell them unnecessary software or try to ransom data (Cryptolocker is the most recent famous malicious software labelled as ransomware).

Step 1

Disconnect the computer for any wired or wireless networks. You don’t want anything to spread or touch anything else on the network, whether this is your NAS storing your beloved pictures or another computer. This means your going to need to download a few things on another computer and transfer over with a memory stick or CD.

Step 2

Clean boot. This ensures only crucial programs and services are running on the computer and nothing else (such as a malicious program starting up on your computer).¬†Printers, phones and other day to day software do install services so we will need to identify and turn back on what’s necessary afterwards. There is a great article here¬†on how to clean boot. Just re-run this process but tick on any software you identify (tip – leave everything off, if something stops working try and find it in the startup and services list and re-tick it. There’s no need to have most things running or starting up when your computer does)

Step 3

Once the computer has rebooted your are ready to run the virus/malware scanners.

You will need to download the following software on another computer and transfer to the infected PC.

  • Kaspersky Virus Removal Tool – download HERE
  • Malwarebytes Free – download HERE

Install both of the above pieces of software and run both on default options, let both of them fully complete (this can take some time). Hopefully this found the objects and it will safely remove them for you.

Final Thoughts

Assuming everything looks normal again and the removal software found and removed the malicious software you should be good to go. It’s important to use a well known Anti Virus product on every computer (such as Kaspersky). This will stop 99% of threats and keep you well protected.