How to remove some basic computer virus on a Windows system

Emails, Websites, Free softwares or Shared web links are all possible entry points for a computer virus or malware to infect your machine. It may pass by your antivirus protection disguised as a legitimate software. Unfortunately there is no virus protection software that can guarantee a complete protection.

Smart web-browsing practice, such as, checking the URL address at the top of your browser, should say something like, www.google.com or www.microsoft.com, and NOT ex: ?!www.funnyGOOGLEadress.com or www.wearefakeMicrosoft.com!? Also staying away from free downloads, or at least a quick web search to find ‘reviews’ about the software in question. Any deals that seem to good to be true often turn out otherwise.

A great portion of computer viruses can be removed without too much trouble or technical knowledge. A few basic steps can be applied to most computer virus issue. Some of the tools available to us are: System restore, Safe Mode with Networking, ‘hh h‘ browser, Malwarebytes Anti-malware.

**If you are not comfortable attempting the software repair, it may be best to get a professional.** Also to be noted, some viruses can damage the Windows operating system beyond repair and backing up all your important documents, pictures, & music files should be done as soon as possible. In more extreme cases, it may be required to wipe clean the computer and reload the system with the original Windows CD or by accessing the hidden partition built-in most new computer.

Here are some basic steps:

(At any point you may need to use System Restore. This Windows-function that enable you to restore your computer to a previous date. Ex: Revert to a date prior to the computer infection/ failed software install, or in cases of a failed fix, revert to the pre-service state of the computer. Backup of all important files and documents should be done as soon as possible.

The restore controls are accessed through, Start Menu -> Accessories -> System Tools -> Restore)

1- Copy/backup any important documents(pictures, text documents, music files.) onto a USB memory stick.

2- Through any working internet browser and using the address bar, go to : http://www.malwarebytes.org/ and select ‘Free Download’ version of ‘Malwarebytes Anti-malware’. This is our tool of choice, readily available online and has a fully functional free trial licence, and is able to see some computer threats not seen by other common antivirus softwares. If the Internet is not available, it can be downloaded a USB memory stick, from a working computer.

Once installed, just run a ‘quick’ scan and follow the prompts as needed.

3- In cases where the computer is taken over by pop ups and other windows preventing you to do anything, it is possible to restart your computer in ‘Safe Mode with Networking‘.

It is done by shutting down your computer completely (not restart). Then immediately after pushing the power button to restart the computer, you will need to tap rapidly on the ‘F8‘ until you see a ‘boot up menu’ with the ‘Safe Mode with Networking‘ option, you then select it, using your keyboard arrows (as the mouse will not be working yet). And press ‘Enter‘. (you may need to press enter a 2nd time for some systems)

Safe Mode with Networking screenshot

Safe Mode with Networking screenshot

What Safe Mode does? It starts your computer in basic mode. All the bells and whistles disabled temporarily (and hopefully disabled the malicious software as well temporarily).

4-At this point, if Safe Mode was needed to regain control of the computer, we can use a different Internet browser acting in a similar way as Safe Mode. The browser is called hh h‘ (with a space between the 2nd and the 3rd ‘h‘)

Windows key + 'R' on your keyboard

Windows key + ‘R’ on your keyboard

To bring up this program, hold down the ‘Windows key‘ + ‘R‘ (on the keyboard, a small flag icon with 4 squares, to the left or right of the space bar). In the ‘Run’ box that comes up, type ‘hh h‘ and ‘enter’.

'hh h' browser

‘hh h’ browser

At the top right corner of your screen, you will see a new window, called ‘HTML Helper‘ with a message that ‘the page cannot be displayed’, that is normal. Next to ‘HTML, click on the ‘Yellow question mark’ and select ‘Jump to URL‘, which will provide us with a new box where we can type in the web address desired, in this case, http://www.malwarebytes.org/

5- Install the downloaded software, run a ‘quick’ scan and follow the prompts. Once completed, restart the computer, it will go back to normal mode automatically.  Important: Run a 2nd ‘quick’ scan in ‘Normal mode’ to confirm the cleaning was complete. Done!

On a side note: If an issue is still present after those steps, you maybe dealing with a more complex computer infection or possibly a software conflict of some sort.
You may consider contacting a specialist at this point. For further assistance, you can reach us with the contact form below. 

Express New Media team

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3 Responses to How to remove some basic computer virus on a Windows system

  1. Jina says:

    Hi! Do you know if they make any plugins to protect against hackers?

    I’m kinda paranoid about losing everything I’ve
    worked hard on. Any recommendations?

  2. Sebastien B. says:

    The best protection is …. backup, backup, backup. It is best to have at least external backup drives to rotate and making sure to keep one of the drives “off site”. Several online services are available online and offline based on needs and content of the backups.

  3. Sebastien B. says:

    Backups, backups, backups 😉

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