Two of the most debatable questions in the history of mankind are “which came first the chicken or the egg?” and “Does System Restore Remove Viruses?” While the chicken and the egg answer is easy–it was the chicken (it fell from the sky one day)–the answer of whether or not a System restore will remove a PC infection is not quite so clear cut. The short answer is maybe. But maybe isn’t good enough when it comes to your privacy and the security of your computer.
Perform A System Restore on Your Computer
People will often confuse the terms System Restore and System Recovery. A System Restore is a rolling back of your computer’s registry and a System recovery is a full format and reinstall of your Operating System and programs. While the latter is certainly the best way to go, most people are reluctant to use that scorched earth method of fixing their computer. A System Restore is less destructive. In fact, the whole theory is to revert your registry back to the point before the infection happened, thus removing the virus. But for this to work, two things must happen:
- You must know when the infection actually took place. Otherwise, you might think you are removing the virus only for it to return a day later.
- The virus author must be an idiot. If this is the case, the virus might not have infected the restore points and cannot be reincarnated after you remove it.
Truth is, modern viruses are so sophisticated, they cannot be removed without a lot of effort. It is usually quicker and easier to simply backup your data and reformat the drive. If you want to attempt to remove the virus using System Restore, go to Start>All Programs>Accessories>System Tools>System Restore. You will want to go back to a date prior to the infection. If you’re not sure about the date, go back a couple weeks prior and hope for the best.
Once you get back up and running, update Windows and make sure you have a working and current antivirus installed. If you have questions about removing viruses, be sure to join our free computer repair forums.