Can't Remove Virus

| June 23, 2010

Can’t remove virus? Viruses have become more and more complex and sophisticated and are beginning to win the war in the struggle to keep our Windows machines clear of infections. So what do you do when you can’t remove virus? You can certainly reformat and reinstall the Operating System. While that is the preferred method when dealing with a massive virus infection, it’s not an option for everyone. The following may help you remove a stubborn virus if you cannot get rid of it with traditional means.

Can’t Remove Virus Tutorial

Acting quickly will help you fight a virus. The longer you wait, the more your machine can become compromised and locked down to the point where you can’t even work. If you have a machine that has a virus, you should not keep it plugged into a working Internet connection unless you are attempting to download removal tools, as the virus will take that opportunity to download more viruses and update itself to counter anything you try to do.

can't remove virus

Reboot into Safe Mode by tapping the F8 key when fist booting. Be sure to select Safe Mode With Networking, as you will need to get online. Next, open your web browser and download the Malwarebytes program from Malwarebytes.org. Use the free version, for now. Allow Malwarebytes to update itself, then perform a full scan of your computer and any attached hard drives. It might take a while, depending on the size of the drives. View and remove anything it flags. The machine will want to reboot to finish the cleaning.

There is a chance this will not work.  If you continue to get the pop-ups and still see other signs of infection, you must reboot and go back into Safe Mode. You should try a System Restore to revert the registry back to a date prior to infection. If you know you were infected on, say, Tuesday, then go back to the previous Tuesday. A lot of times, this technique will work and the virus will be gone.

system restore

Still Can’t Remove Virus

If you still can’t remove virus, go back into Safe Mode and look in your C: drive in the Windows folder, then the Temp folder. Viruses will typically root themselves there. Remove everything unless you know the files belong to something else. Fighting viruses this way is akin to pulling weeds out by the roots. Keep in mind that you might accidentally damage the Operating System if you delete something you are not supposed to.

You should next go into Add/ Remove Programs in the control panel and uninstall any toolbars you might have installed. Some toolbars could be defined as spyware and you do not need them. These are sometimes referred to as Browser Helper Objects (BHO). You can quickly remove them using a program called Hijack This.

Once these are removed, visit the Eset website and run their online virus scanner. It will scan and remove viruses. Vitis the Eset Online Virus Scanner. After you run the scan and it removes any viruses it finds, be sure to visit Microsoft Update and get any updates you’re missing. Then find a good antivirus, such as AVG or Microsoft Security Essentials and allow it to update itself automatically.

If you can’t remove virus programs from your computer despite the tips above, join our free forums and post your problem there.

Category: Security

Dave

About the Author ()

Dave has been providing free computer repair and tech support advice online since 2002. Join us on our forums and be sure to subscribe to our newsletter for weekly tips and other helpful computer articles. Connect with me on: Google+

Comments (9)

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  1. Dale Lancaster says:

    I agree with the information you provided – thanks. The only tweak is I would completely skip the MalwareBytes download. Just go directly to the system restore, this is much quicker and more thorough than MalWareBytes.

    Sometimes the restore does not work (it actually gives an error) and then you have to try other things and maybe MalWareBytes will handle things at that point. But overall system restore is the way to go and then update your Java, Flash and Adobe Reader software (along with standard browser and system updates) before going full bore again with usage.

    Dale

  2. Louie says:

    I also like your approach to removing viruses. I would add the CCleaner registry tool. I would also research on the web how to remove said virus and remove it manually. this requires more skill and is more efficient. I do not like the system restore idea. Sometimes the restore feature can do more harm than good. It can deactivate your internet connection or ability to update.

  3. Eve says:

    I have HP d6000, yesterday it was attacked by virus Antimalware Doctor – this morning I tryed to fix it with an antivirus program Spyware doctor in the safe mode because in the normal mode i couldn’t do anything – everything was infected and I couldn’t open any program. So I installled Spyware doctor on safe mode and i he asked me to restart computer. Now I can’t restart my computer anymore – not on safe mode, not on normal mode – windows automatically tries Startup Repair and says that it cannot repair my computer…. what should I do now? please, help!

    • Dave Dave says:

      You should consider joining our forums, as this could take a while to sort out. It’s at http://www.pctechbytes.net/forums/

      What Operating System are you running? Do you have a Windows disk or Recovery Disks? The ideal plan is to have a real Windows disk and do a repair of the installation. If we have to resort to a recovery, this will typically revert the computer back to factory condition, but all of your data will be lost.

  4. Robert says:

    I agree with the above procedure for using Malwarebytes in safe mode. I would however apply this procedure first and use the Malwarebytes procedure above as the second procedure.

    First make a bootable AVG Rescue Disc, Kaspersky Rescue Disk, etc., then boot to the cd and remove whatever it found in the command-line interface.

    Second, use the malwarebytes procedure outlined above and remove what it found. If you could identify the above virus as Antivirus 2010, back up your registry and follow the removal procedure to remove the known registry entries for that virus. Reboot into the normal windows environment.

    Third, if you can successfully boot into the normal Windows environment and run a full scan, you may be able to successfully remove everything malicious. It won’t take long to find out.

    If that appears successful, click start, run, type cmd and hit enter, type “chkdsk /r”, press enter and restart your pc to let it check the files and attempt to repair any files that were corrupt by the virus or removal process.

    Seems like a long process but it works well if you can get to the point of functioning in the windows environment.

    Rob~

    http://www.techmixer.com/free-bootable-antivirus-rescue-cds-download-list/
    http://rescuedisk.kaspersky-labs.com/rescuedisk/updatable/

  5. ephraim says:

    Please help
    I have a very bad virus the use a lot of my free disk space (I had 60 GB free now have 10 GB). I get the virus from a flash drive (usb) and I have tried many antiviruses (avira, malwarebytes, superspyware, trend micro) but my free space will not come back meaning I still have the virus. Please help I do not want to lose my documents.

  6. Mike says:

    My friend recently purchased a PC from best buy. It has windows 7 on it. He has only had it for about a month and it seems to have sparked an issue while starting. The PC will cease while upon initial booting. So, we end up restarting it and the safe mode menu options will pop up from an improper shutdown. We usually just click on the normal start-up option, because the safe mode operation will just do the same as the normal. The computer will load up as if there was nothing wrong with it. We have shut it down and reloaded the computer immediately after this and it seems to work as normal, but it will continue to due the same thing after shutdown for a while. Is this due to problems with hardware, a program conflict, or a virus of some sort?

    • Dave Dave says:

      Hard to say. try rebooting to safe mode then try a system restore back to a date prior to the problem. Start>All Programs>Accessories>System Tools>System Restore. If that doesn’t work, join our free forums and ask there so others can help.