Free Virus Scan Will Save Your Computer if You’ve Got Adware Malware or Spyware Pt2

OK so this is part 2 of this series computer virus, adware, spyware and malware. Part 1 was basically me saying I had a problem and what I normally do to stay safe. In this part I’ll talk in detail about how I got a clean system. It all started about 10 days ago, and I decided to test a bunch of freeware instead of just going into DOS. Because that’s the super easy way to clean your system; if you know where the infected files are, just stop the startup process using F8, F9 or the Del button or better yet use the installation disk if you have one of those and it will walk you through the process. But nobody does it this way anymore, for the most part they just run a virus scan and hope it gets all the removes viruses for them. This approach I’m showing you today is if YOU want to see what’s going on first. And then I’ll show you some free tools you can use to fix everything. Also I put some links to free software at the end .

 

But the question is; how do you tell your system has a virus malware or adware? Well, your system will be acting weird. In my case the system was slow and popup windows kept coming out of nowhere. And my computer kept trying to talk to the internet. I mentioned in part 1 that I use ZoneAlarm , and it’s a local proxy that tells you both what devices on your computer are trying to make contact with the internet AND when something from the internet is trying to reach out and make contact with your computer. It allows you to approve and disapprove everything. For a free device it can’t be beat! So I expect Internet Explorer to try to the internet, but when I saw Windows Explorer trying I knew something was wrong.

So the first thing you want to do is find the find virus software. Many times it’ll be in your system32 folder, and it will be dated.

scan.jpg

If you open a folder and press the “date modified” button (across the top of the folder) it will put things in chronological order and you can see what software is recent.

date.jpg

Just look for something weird-in the old days hackers use to sometimes name their malicious software clearly fake names like “stealcomputer.exe,” and many times they’ll name it something that looks like a real file. Below in the picture you can see a bunch of files from March 15th that I know I didn’t install, so they’re bad guys and probably adware and spyware. Those .dll files are typically the bad guys. But YOU should just be looking at this point, I kinda know what I can throw away and what I can’t, and how to restore stuff if I make a mistake-so just take it easy we’re just trying to ID stuff at this point.

viruses.jpg

Another way good piece of free software is Startup Control Panel . You should have this program anyway because it helps you find junk that starting up when your computer starts up and you can stop a lot of that crap to speed up your startup time AND give you more memory to use in a way that you want. As you can see in the picture there are bunch of virus type files that in my startup. In fact you see double entries. What happened was I unchecked the boxes but they came back. And THAT is when you KNOW you’ve got some bad malware hanging in there. When it won’t go away and you can’t use the right click “delete” function of Startup Control Panel that means it’s sticking to your system like a parasite.

start.jpg

Another tool on your computer should know about is the Windows Task Manager . It’s a little like the Startup program except it comes WITH Windows already and tells you currently what’s going on with your system. It even tells you how much of your CPU power is being used. So I know when I’m not running anything heave but see 99 or 100 percent being used that SOMETHING is being run in the background. And those “rundll32.exe” look very suspicious. Remember when we saw those .dll programs in the System32 folder? See how it’s all tying together now?

taskmanager.jpg

SO NOW LET’S TALK ABOUT SOME VIRUS SCANNING AND REMOVAL SOFTWARE

Now if you had a bad virus infection you might not be able to get online! But if you can, there are a few online scanners that are free like Trendmicro, so that’s something you can try. But my suggestion is you should download this stuff now . They’re free and they’re all small files. So have them installed and ready to go when you get infected.

Well I tried my old standby and usually very good program LavaSoft’s Ad-aware . But it kept konking out. Normally this thing has a basic scan and a DEEP scan, but it would scan for a while and freeze up. So that did not do the trick. So I tried to try a new program I had never heard of called Avast 4.7. Total crap. It kept konking out too. But worse than that it’s trying to be fancy. And let me just say; when you’re computer is shut down by viruses you’re NOT in the mood for fancy. It’s got a space age interface and makes a bunch of sound effects (that you can turn off, but now you’re wasting time doing THAT). And the interface is confusing It checked me out and said I was clean!

avast1.jpg

I tried another program I had never used before, but I didn’t know it was one of those deals where it will FIND the viruses, but then charge you to clean them. It was called Spyhunter 3. It found some stuff, but I could tell that it didn’t find the REALLY bad stuff.

found.jpg

Next I moved on to some old favorites Spybot’s Search and Destroy. This thing will find the bad stuff and delete them. It takes a while, but really they all do. It did a good job of getting the upper crust of the malicious software off. But that’s something you have to keep in mind, if you get some malware, or adware it will start multiplying and inviting more bad software to your machine!

spybot.jpg

So Then I went and got the best free computer condom out there. It’s called Spyware Blaster, and it’s like a said a condom for the computer. It just protects you when you go out on the internet. While I was getting it, I also did search for one of those bad .dll files to see if anybody knew anything about it. That’s a big part of virus removal going onto a search engine and seeing if anybody knows how to defeat it. One really great website (it’s actually a forum).

sblas.jpg

But I had mljgg.dll and the recommendation was VundoFix, so I ran that and it gave me a clean bill of health.

vu.jpg

atf.jpg

opiop)

But then I ran Spybot again and it said I still had Virtumondo stuck in my registry! So I went back to the forum and another recommendation was Kaspersky. And that did the trick. It found all the problems and didn’t freeze up in the middle. And deleted the problem files when the computer restarted. Now I also tried about 4 or 5 other programs like Microsoft’s Defender, but that one froze up too in mid-scan, and some other stuff but I feel I’ve overloaded the average reader at this point! So Kaspersky is the one that worked.

kas.jpg

And here you can see my clear system.

v2.jpg removed.jpg

Ok Let’s do a review. First there’s the stuff I recommend

There’s Ad-aware Virtumonde has been integrated into this program

There’s ZoneAlarm, and they have multiple versions including a free one

 

Internet Security

Spybot and Spyblaster are two separate things but both good. MS Defender was very effective.

A great tool to let you know what’s in your startup is Startup Control Panel

Next is the stuff you can try but I had mixed results

Avast free removal

Spyhunter and here’s a review by wiki

Finally there is an online tool called Trend Micro House calls . I didn’t want to push this really because even though it’s good, you need to be online .

Free Virus Scan Will Save Your Computer if You’ve Got Adware Malware or Spyware

This is a 2 parter, and the second part has tons of details . Now you guys know I go out of my way to write a full blown, researched, image included piece for this blog every day. Every single day. But you might have noticed things were a little dicey this past week. And also about 3 weeks. Well the reason was actually NOT my chronic laziness, but an outbreak of computer viruses. Yes it happened to me. And I’m what you might call an “arrogant” computer user. That is to say, I’ve been using them so long in one way or another that I don’t think anything bad is ever going to happen to me. Sort of like an alcoholic convinced they can make it home because they’re only a little tipsy.

Waaaay back in the old days when I actually took my one and only “internet class” we were taught web design. Part of that process was learning to test a website on multiple platforms and with multiple browsers. So I’m a diehard Firefox browser user. In fact whenever I set somebody with a new computer that I’ve built or bought for them I have this whole little talk about it. I say, “Internet Explorer comes with the computer but don’t use it if you can avoid it. The internet is like a muddy field and you’re gonna track that crap back in the house if you use IE. Firefox is like some sort of Teflon coated footgear and you’ll come back home relatively clean. If you DO use IE try to limit to well known sites like Ebay, Amazon, Yahoo. But those sites should be your destination, don’t follow any links away.”

So I don’t use IE myself; UNLESS I’m testing a website. And this blog, despite my putting in work for 6 months now, is still newish in the sense that I’ve only recently started to go beyond just writing content for it. So I’m messing around with the code a lot. And since I’m messing around with the code I need to test it on Internet Explorer to see how it looks and behaves since, about 70 percent of my visitors use that browser. Despite the fact that the thing is susceptible to attacks from spyware, malware, adware, and viruses. Having said that, most people pick up spyware, and adware and don’t really know it. The computer acts funny, or slow and they just think that’s the way it is. They might even have antivirus software running, but those software packages don’t pick up every malicious virus or adware out there, and they’re usually not even the free versions!

 


Internet Security

So, like I said, I’m a little too cocky about the whole then and normally my internet security protocol goes like this. Zone Alarm and Firefox running full time. Weekly use of Window Washer to clear out the system and maybe a monthly use of Ad Aware by Lavasoft. All that stuff is free. Well I’m not sure about Window Washer, but there are other internet cache and temporary file cleaning programs out there. And with this setup I can go for MONTHS without any trouble. Cut to: present day, the computer is several has got multiple viruses, from me testing the website AND experimenting with shady software (and going to shady websites to get it). So instead of just going into DOS to delete the stuff I decided to try to fix it like a normal person; go on the web as best I could with a virus infected computer, Google some results, download the spyware removal, virus protection, virus scan software was recommended and see which one would get my machine clean again. Click the link for part 2 of this miniseries to see the results. (available in about 2 days if you’re visiting on the 19th)

I Used Internet Explorer ONE TIME and My Computer Got Infected so Bad it’s Totally Shut Down

So I’ll confess. I WAS going to a Crack/Serialz website. And I’ll also confess that I was using IE6 and not 7. But normally the Firefox/ZoneAlarm combo is enough to keep me protected against anything, so I got cocky. For a specific reason I had internet Explorer opened to do something local (I was testing a website’s html code) and without thinking I used the browser to GO ONTO THE INTERNET. And everybody knows you NEVER use IE to go on the internet. Ever. I mean you’re asking for trouble. And that’s what I got.

So now I’m writing to you from my back-up computer, because my main computer is totally dead. When I got to the website in question I was assaulted by about a dozen pop-ups and “yes/no” boxes. I didn’t panic, but navigated through them slowly to make sure I didn’t choose a bad option, but it was too late. My system started slowing down BAD within seconds, and by the time I got a clear desktop and restarted my machine all I got get was a black screen. And so I don’t know how many days it’ll take me to undo this damage. Can’t get into safe mode, can’t use the recovery disk, and can’t get into system restore. It’s bad. I can fix pretty much 100% computer damage software or hardware, but this one is a puzzler. At this point the only thing I can get to work is SpinRite disk repair, but nothing is wrong with the hard drive, it looks like the Master Boot Record has been altered. My guess is the virus goal is to turn my computer into a clone-showing me a black screen while using my machine to do malicious stuff.

So word to the wise. Stick with Firefox and a copy of Zone Alarm.