Episode 12: January 2, 2013
By Eric Escobar
This is the second part of a series on computer viruses. And if you haven’t listened to the first one, go check out Anatomy of a Virus now, because what I’m about to say will make a whole lot more sense if you do!
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In my last episode, I mentioned that when you suspect you have a virus, the best fix is to turn off your computer completely. If the power to your computer is off, the virus can’t do any damage. But at some point, you will have to turn your computer on to delete the virus and take back control of your system.
In today’s episode, I’ll walk you through how to do just that! One thing to keep in mind: This method is somewhat complicated and involves many steps, but in most cases it is a surefire way to eliminate any malware from your system with only minor headaches.
How to Eliminate Viruses From Your System
Step 1 - Most of the time, a computer virus can’t run without your operating system running as well. This is the case with Linux, Mac, and Windows machines. As long as you don’t start your operating system, the virus remains essentially frozen, and has no way to hide, fight back, or transmit information. The goal here is to freeze the virus so you can find it, delete it, and move on with your life.
There are a number of tools that will give you this power over the virus. My favorite is the operating system that will run on a CD/DVD or a USB stick designed by the brilliant software engineers at Kaspersky Lab. And luckily for all of us, Kaspersky Rescue Disk 10 is available for FREE
Once you download this software, the helpful guide on the site will give you step by step instructions on how to turn a USB drive or a CD/DVD into a virus killing machine!
I won’t go over how to do this step-by-step, but if you are having any problems, stop by the Tech Talker Facebook page where we will be having a discussion on people’s experiences with this program.
Step 2 - Once you have your CD/DVD or USB drive all set up with the virus-destroying program, insert either one into your computer and turn it on. What comes up next will not look like your normal computer; rather you will be running a new operating system from the disk you just created!
To clarify a little bit, this CD/DVD or USB drive you created has a fully functional operating system built into it. When your computer starts to run it, everything gets loaded into the RAM of your computer which, if you remember from my earlier podcast on how a computer works, is like the work bench of the computer.
The hard drive has little to no interaction here, which is good because we want the virus to stay frozen. From here, Kaspersky will boot up and do its magic. Take a look at this video to preview the process.
Step 3 - If you follow the video, it will show you how to update and scan your system. Once the scan finishes, it will ask you to review the files that were infected, and then clean them. After you give the all clear, Kaspersky takes care of the rest and bam—your computer will be good to go! Just remove the CD/DVD or USB drive and your computer should start up just as it did before, only virus-free.
How to Protect Your System From Future Invaders
I recommend keeping the USB drive or CD/DVD in a drawer just in case this sort of thing ever happens in the future. I actually keep a USB drive with Kaspersky on my key ring, just in case!
5 Quick and Dirty steps to deleting computer viruses:
#1 A virus on your machine needs your operating system in order to run.
#2 By creating a CD/DVD or USB drive with the special virus-killing tool on it, we can keep the virus frozen as if the power to your regular operating system were still off.
#3 While the virus is frozen, we can scan, edit, and delete the offender.
#4 Once we remove the virus, your computer should be completely healthy and back to normal.
#5 It wouldn’t hurt to do a few more scans with your traditional antivirus software such as Microsoft Security Essentials or Sophos, just in case.
The tip I shared in this podcast is a professional level piece of knowledge, so if you have any questions or reservations about it, I suggest doing some research or consulting with an expert like yours truly to answer any lingering questions you may have. Feel free to shoot me an email so I can help you make the most informed decision possible!
This episode was probably the most technical one I’ve done so far, so I’d really like some feedback on how you liked it. If you could post your experience or comments on the Tech Talker Facebook wall, I would really appreciate it!
Well that’s all for today!
Have a question about anything in this episode? Or a suggestion for a future podcast? Send me an email at email@example.com or post it on the Tech Talker Facebook wall.
I wish you luck in your battle with malware and until next time, I’m the Tech Talker, keeping technology simple!