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I think my son downloaded some thing from internet and possibly infect the computer. The Google chrome browser will not start any more and after an hour of using computer he gets some sort of blue screen saying that memory is being dumped.

I don't want to format the hdd and reinstall at this time.

Can I salvage the machine by some anti virus?

Questions:

  1. How do I detect what kind of virus do I have?
  2. What kind of free anti virus software do I download to fix this problem?
  3. I have some important personal files such as pictures and music etc. If I back them up some where and copy them to another computer would I infect the other computer?
  4. Could I accidentally back up virus files if I back up my pictures or other personal documents?

Thanks

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You should create a non privileged user for your son, so that he can't break things. The same goes for any non-tech-savvy user. –  Lohoris May 6 '10 at 16:02

4 Answers 4

up vote 1 down vote accepted

1.and 2.: Avast Free is totally free. Product page. Download it, install it. Update it, perform a boot time deep scan.
3: Install an antivirus software (Avast free for example) to the other PC. Set the protection level to MAXIMUM (update it of course before that, make sure the Microsoft updates are ALSO installed). THEN copy your stuff, it'll check them while you copy them. (You can perform a new scan after the transfer finished but in my opinion thats unnecessary).
4. Yes you can but use the method I just wrote. If Avast won't clean it, try BitDefender or anything trial which you think will do the job (Kaspersky, Nod, BitDefender to name some bigger companies).

ALWAYS choose that YOU will choose what to do. Sometimes it can't clean the files, so you would lose your docs. You should have TWO copies from the VERY important ones in case of such a deletion. (Hope my explanation wasn't really confusing, just ask if you don't understand something).

(Before someone bites my ear off. Avira is also recommended sometimes as a free alternativa, but ONLY Avast is able to perform a boot time scan, keep that in mind. AVG failed in most of the cases at the company I work for so I really do NOT recommend using that.)

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Thank you very much.. –  dotnet-practitioner May 6 '10 at 15:50
    
Haha np. just comment if you get stuck. :) –  Shiki May 6 '10 at 16:26

You can alos remove the drive from the system and either connect it to a system with good AV or install in an external enclosure and scan That leaves the malicious files not active so the scanner on the host can better deal with them.

Also, make sure system restore is off. Very important. Turn Off System Restore

I would also suggest some Anti-spyware tools as AV often misses some malware that. Tools like

Alos, searching the web for virus and malware tools is a great way to find malware.

Spybot Adaware MalwareBytes

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This is my preferred method because the malware is helpless to defend itself as just some files on D: instead of running in memory and root-kitted on the C:! –  kmarsh May 6 '10 at 17:07
    
Drive letters mean nothing. –  Nathan Osman May 9 '10 at 22:59

You could also try one of those bootable virus rescue disks. The ones I have are F-Secure, Panda, AVG and others. To see a list of them go to:http://www.techmixer.com/free-bootable-antivirus-rescue-cds-download-list/

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