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How to Restore an Infected System

    • 1). Update your computer through the Windows Update tool. Vulnerable computers are more easily infected. Thus, to maximize computer security, install the latest high priority updates from the Microsoft website. Click "Start," followed by "Programs" and launch "Windows Update." Allow your computer to automatically search for any available updates for your system and restart your computer if prompted to do so.

    • 2). Acquire a reliable anti-virus and spyware application. Accepted anti-virus programs include AVG Free Edition, Avira AntiVir and Avast! Antivirus. Effective spyware tools include Spybot---Search & Destroy, Windows Defender and Adaware SE. These programs are freely distributed and perform an efficient job at removing computer threats.

    • 3). Update your anti-virus and spyware tools through their latest definition files. Definition files essentially inform the program of the latest viruses available and provide the best method of removing them from an infected system. Launch the program in question and select the "Update" option from the application's main menu. Typically such updates take place automatically; however, if your computer is heavily infected, a manual update may be necessary to ensure all program files are up to date.

    • 4). Restart your computer and press "F8" to launch the Windows Advanced Options menu. Select "Safe Mode" from the list of options given and press "Enter." Windows Safe Mode allows you to clean an infected system more efficiently as only the essential system settings are loaded, preventing potentially malicious services from causing further damage.

    • 5). Perform a full system scan with your anti-virus tool. Because a virus may spread throughout your computer, it is important for the application to inspect all files, folders and hard disks. When finished, your anti-virus program should automatically remove every threat available or allow you to select them and remove them at will.

    • 6). Run a thorough system scan for malware. Perform a spyware scan every week to avoid computer infections.

    • 7). Perform a System Restore in the event certain features are malfunctioning after cleanup. If a computer threat manages to alter any feature that cannot be repaired with a standard cleanup, set your computer to a date when the system was stable. Click "Start," followed by "Programs," then "Accessories." Select "System Tools" and launch "System Restore." Select "Restore my computer to an earlier time" and click "Next." Choose a date from the calendar shown, preferably one where little or no issues were noticed. Click "Next" to initiate the restore process.

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