How do I get rid of unwanted spyware applications? This is really good question. I will try to help you with this big problem. There are many excellent free programs to scan your computer. SuperAntiSpyware, AdAware, Spybot Search and Destroy are just a few and will clean your computer. I strongly recommend you use this procedure to do your scans. Newer Malware program are good a hiding in areas that are not scanned in the computers “Normal or Safe Mode”. This procedure opens these areas. It looks daunting but is not. Just do each step as instructed and you will do just fine. Be sure you have updated any AV or AS program you plan to use. I recommend using these two programs first. They are very good and will remove most if not all of your Malware. Download AdAware SE and update. Do the setup. Do not run: http://www.lavasoftusa.com/
AdAware SE Setup:
- Select “use custom scanning options” then select “customize”. Make sure the following options are enabled: “scan within archives,” “scan active processes,” “scan registry,” “deep scan registry,” “scan my IE favorites for banned URLs,” “scan my Hosts file.”
- Select the “tweak” option. Under “scanning engine,” make sure “unload recognized processes and modules during scan” is enabled. Enable “scan registry for all users instead of current users.”
- Under “cleaning engine” turn on “always try to unload modules,” “during removal unload explorer and IE if necessary,” “let windows remove files in use at next restart,” and “delete quarantined items after restoring.”
- Use the “select drives and folders to scan” option to ensure that your entire hard drive is scanned (if you have more than one hard drive, scan all of them (of course, do not include floppy and CD/DVD).
TEMPORARILY SHOW HIDDEN FILES AND FOLDERS.
- Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
- Click Appearance and Themes, and then click Folder Options.
- On the View tab, under Hidden files and folders, click “Show hidden files and folders”, and clear (uncheck) the “Hide protected operating system files” check box.
IMPORTANT: Files are hidden by Windows for a very good reason. It is not wise to experiment with these files. Unfortunately, to successfully remove modern spyware we must turn this protection off temporarily. Please turn the protection back on when you have finished cleaning your system.
EMPTY INTERNET EXPLORER BROWSER CACHE:
- On the Internet Explorer Tools menu, click Internet Options.
- On the General tab, in the Temporary Internet Files section, click the Delete Files button. Select the Delete all offline content check box in the confirmation dialogue box that appears, click OK. Click OK again.
RESTART IN SAFE MODE:
To do this you need to hold down or repeatedly tap the F8 key while the computer is booting (when the computer is displaying a black screen with white text). When the boot menu appears, use your keyboard arrows to select “Safe Mode.”
Safe Mode can look quite ugly. The color may look bad, and all of your desktop icons will be very large. This is normal.
START THE SCAN WITH YOUR PROGRAM(S).
When the scan and removal are completed REBOOT COMPUTER. This will restart you in normal mode.
RESET HIDDEN FILES AND FOLDERS.
The RESTORE POINTS may be infected with the Malware and cannot be used. Delete the old one(s) and make a new one.
CLEAR OLD RESTORE POINT(S). HERE’S HOW:
- Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
- Click Performance and Maintenance, click System, and then click on the System Restore tab.
- Select the Turn Off System Restore check box, click Apply, then restart your computer.
- Return to the System Restore Tab and turn System Restore back on.
TO SET A NEW RESTORE POINT:
- Click the Start button.
- Point to Programs, then navigate to Accessories, then System Tools, then click System Restore.
- Choose Create a restore point, and then click Next.
- In the Restore point description box, type a name for your restore point, and then click Next.
- Click OK.
NOTE: If you are using Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) and are unable to access the Internet after removing Malware, there is a command that may fix the problem. It works by resetting the winsock catalogue. Click on Start, then Run and type CMD in the box. Click OK. Type “netsh winsock reset” (no quotes) into the DOS window that appears.
- Search for hidden or system files in Windows XP
- View hidden and system files in Windows Vista
- Windows Vista Previous Versions, System Restore and Disk Space
- Top Methods of Uninstalling Programs from Windows
- Make your folders private