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I don't have an anti-virus software on my machine, and I don't want to install one. I've been fine with no such software for plenty of time, but now I ran into suspicious behavior, and I want to scan for viruses. Is there a way to run a good virus scan on my machine without installing any anti-virus?

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I've been having a lot of unprotected sex and have been lucky so far... how can I deal with this rash so i can get back to having fun again? Why protect myself, I've been lucky so far... –  WernerCD Jan 6 '11 at 1:02

5 Answers 5

up vote 9 down vote accepted

Remove the hard drive from your computer and take it to a system with ant-virus software. Connect directly or use an external drive adapter and then scan your drive.

Then scan the drive with applications that look for adware and other malware. Many are free. Also make sure such software will detect rootkits.

Might be time to get some protection?

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+1 for the implication that he really SHOULD be installing antivirus. Here is how I read OP's post: "I don't use contraceptives, and I don't want to. I've not had any unwanted pregnancies for plenty of time, but now my girlfriend skipped her period, and I don't want kids. Is there a good way to not get pregnant without using contraceptives?" Running without antivirus is akin to the rhythm method - that is to say, it works if you know what you're doing and you're damned good at it, but you can still get unlucky, and most people should just forget about it and take their pills. –  Shinrai Jan 5 '11 at 19:04
    

Boot into a PE environment and run the NOD32 online scanner -- it's what I always do when checking a computer for viruses. Virus scanners at some level require the operating system not to lie to them, which is a fundamental flaw, so running from a PE minimises this risk.

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What is a PE? (damn 15 chars) –  Amir Rachum Jan 5 '11 at 22:21
    
PreInstalled Environment - example: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BartPE –  Fake Name Jan 6 '11 at 0:55

Yesterday I used Trend Micro's Housecall. (www.trendmicro.com.au look under the houscall tab on the right side of the page) You have to download and run a single program to make it go, but it doesn't install software on your 'puter. After you fill in the registration screen it will take you straight to the download. Put it on USB so you can use it on multiple 'puters. When it starts running it pulls down the latest virus defs from their server so you need to be online to use it.

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There a number of online scanners available from reputable vendors. Unfortunately, I wouldn't trust any of them.

The thing is, once a virus is already on your system they can be pretty good at avoiding detection. The time when virus scanners are most effective is that point right before the infection occurs: while you're still downloading the file, as you're unzipping it, as it starts to load into memory to execute, etc. These are all prior to a real infection.

Once that infection has already happened (as you suspect here), your best bet is to use a bootable CD with antivirus software or move the hard drive to another machine as @DaveM suggested. I tend to think the hard drive option is a little easier, because the CD options tend to quickly get stale and there's no point running a scan with out-of-date software. Just do something so that you're not running the scan under the auspices of a potentially infected operating system.

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you can try panda anti virus's online virus scanner.

years ago they used to have a completely free virus scan online on their website.

it appears to be similar but you need a plug in now: http://www.pandasecurity.com/homeusers/solutions/activescan/

along with that is the fact that many anti virus programs that you get via a disc do a pre scan of your computer before installing. this is another good bet as well.

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