Last weekend I had to clean a Windows XP PC from viruses, spyware, Trojans and other malware. The installed version of Windows XP not even had service pack 1 but was used for websurfing. So it’s no wonder that I found more than 80 viruses (no kidding), lots of Trojans and I think several hundred dangerous registry entries. Not to mention the more than 10 keyloggers.
How to remove viruses, Trojans and keyloggers
At first, I downloaded my favourite antivirus-software, Avast. I use the avast! Home Edition because it’s absolutely free for personal use. You just have to pay for avast if you are a commercial user or a company. Installing is pretty straightforward and as soon as it’s finished, you should start a complete scan of your system.
Avast removes viruses and stuff like that. But it’s also a good idea to install it if you do not have any viruses (at least at the moment). Avast has a real time protection which will keep viruses away from your Windows computer.
The next step is to download Ad-Aware. There is a completely free version of Ad-Aware available or you can choose Ad-Aware Plus or Ad-Aware Pro which have some advanced features but are not free. Normally it’s sufficient to use the free version.
Ad-Aware is an anti-spyware program developed by Lavasoft that detects and removes spyware or adware on a user’s computer. It also detects dialers, Trojans, malware, data-mining, aggressive advertising, parasites, browser hijackers and tracking components. (Source: Wikipedia)
You should do a complete scan of your system with Ad-Aware and remove all malicious programs and registry entries Ad-Aware detects.
Of course you can’t be completely sure that your PC is 100 percent virus free but after scanning with Avast and Ad-Aware chances are pretty big.
Best method: Install from scratch
Important: The only way to be 100 percent sure that there are no viruses left on your PC would be to format your harddisk and install Windows with all service packs from scratch. Don’t connect the PC to the internet before you have finished all updates or have at least service pack 2 installed (if you are using Windows XP)!
This is a rather short and quick tutorial on how to remove viruses and Trojans because there are a lot of other programs and possibilities and it would take ages to describe them all.
If you have further questions or need help in any way, feel free to add a comment below this post or contact me.