If you’re like me you want to know all the FREE ways to make things work better BEFORE paying anyone to fix it, right? Well now I want to share the best FREE tools AND correct processes I’ve found and have used for years to get the job done when removing viruses / malware and cleaning up customers computers, whether it’s a Windows laptop, tower, desktop or tablet.
Most Windows computers require 10 to 12 steps to PROPERLY clean them up. Anyone who claims to be a guru and can clean your computer up in a few minutes or even an hour probably has limited experience and knowledge in virus removal and protection. Proper cleanup means using ALL of the proper tools. Today’s viruses / malware / spyware / trojans are VERY sneaky and VERY good at hiding. A few minutes WILL NOT get the job done right.
By the way, 90% of every computer I have ever checked has some form of malware on it. So just because you don’t see any popups or your Anti-Virus says everything is good doesn’t mean your computer is not infected. Chances are it is.
Anyone can have tools to fix anything. But knowing how and when to use those tools separates the pros from the wannabe’s.
I suggest using a known clean thumb drive (flash drive) to download the tools on from a clean computer before starting the virus / malware removal process.
So I’ll start with the first tool I use on everyone’s computer as soon as they bring it in. It’s called RKILL. This tool will TRY to stop ANY bad process / virus that is already running. It won’t remove it, but by stopping the process / virus it’s MUCH easier to run the other tools that will actually remove it from your computer. You can download RKILL from bleepingcomputer.com. Just do a Google search like ‘RKILL Bleepingcomputer‘. It is usually the first or second result. ONLY click on the Blue ‘Download Now’ button. Sometimes there will be an Ad with a green download button, but it is only an Ad for something else. Fair warning.
To begin with, booting the computer into Safemode is highly recommended – if the virus will allow it. So how do you do that? The trick(for Windows XP thru 7) is to press F8 at the right time a few seconds after turning on the computer. It can take some practice for the first timer. So power up and start pressing F8 continuously. It may beep at you as the keyboard buffer fills up, but that’s OK. Soon you should see a text menu come up with several choices. Choose ‘Safemode With Networking’ and press Enter. For Windows 8 or 10 use this link: Windows 8 & 10 Safe Mode. The computer will boot but all the icons will look big and maybe out of place. That’s OK. Now plug in your thumbdrive with the downloaded tools and give it a few seconds to recognize it and assign a drive letter to it. Click on ‘Computer’ or ‘My Computer’ depending your version of Windows. Two or more drive letters will be listed. One of those should be your system drive (usually C:) and one should be the thumbdrive (could be F: or any other letter). Double click on the thumbdrive to open it and display the tools you downloaded.
Once the files are displayed, right click on RKILL and choose ‘Run as Administrator’. If that is not an option then just choose ‘Open’. Click yes on any Windows security prompts that come up and allow it to continue. RKILL can take anywhere from a minute to twenty minutes or more to complete depending on how old the computer is and how badly infected it is. Once complete it will open a Log file to show you the results.
If RKILL completes and presents the log file (sometimes the log file is partially hidden behind some other window), then your ready to run the next tool – RogueKiller. We’ll discuss Step 2 in the next ‘How To’ post – Page 2.
If you have any questions feel free to comment on this post and I will do my best to help you out. Thanks!
We’re at 22 N. Main St. in Sullivan, IN. 812-268-0656. Just north of the courthouse square. Or email me: d a v i d at npgcomputers d o t com.