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Computer is infected by a virus or a malware, what do I do now?

What is the best way to remove viruses from a Windows machine?

Forgot to write down the message, but how I know there was a virus was because my wallpaper was changed to "You have been hacked" or something like that.

I've tried reinstalling the OS several times but that doesn't seem to help.
Somehow the virus still seems to be there. (i.e machine is slow and some unknown exe is always trying to access the internet). The exe name is something like ,,,,55786.

Please enlight.


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marked as duplicate by Bob, Ivo Flipse Jun 12 '12 at 8:14

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

If you get the virus even after installing your installation medium is suspect. Did you find it on the internet?

Anyway there are a few things you should do.

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That's assuming he did a format and then an install. – Apr 4 '10 at 10:01
And then make sure Windows Updates and firewall is turned on. – kaerast Apr 4 '10 at 11:22

Some viruses are really hard to remove because you can't delete the file until the program is running, and the program automatically kills task manager and regedit. Some useful things to have:

  • an alternate task manager and regedit (I use Total Commander plugins for that, but I can't remember where I got them, maybe from the official TC website)
  • a program to manage startup programs (again, I use TC plugins).
  • a program that can automatically kill processes that lock a particular file, like this one:
  • antivirus software kept up to date
  • personal firewall (I use Sunbelt, but there are several other ones)
  • an alternate way to boot into your machine if your OS crashes. I use this one:

And the most important thing: don't run anything that you just downloaded from the internet. There is a useful browser plugin that can help you with this here: It works under IE and FF, but I recommend using FF, it's much safer. If you still prefer IE, get the newest version. Never use IE 6.

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