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General Guide to Removing Simple Malware

#1dunkisPosted 9/4/2014 8:06:17 AM
This got archived in tech support. Figured I'd revive and revise it here where more people will see.

This isn't sticky material, but I figured I'd throw this together quick because I'm getting tired of saying the same thing again and again in threads. Usually people will run only Malwarebytes and expect it to fix everything. You can find most of following programs on bleepingcomputer.com all for free. So here's what I run in order:
1. Rkill - Kills malicious processes. Isn't totally necessary, but I'd recommend it if you can't run any of the following programs.
2. Roguekiller - Likewise, kills some malicious processes and stops unnecessary services. Once that's done, click scan and it'll find some registry settings and tasks that are malicious or questionable. Just click delete and let it remove whatever is checked by default.
3. Junkware Removal Tool - Very straightforward. Removes junk programs.
4. AdwCleaner - Similar to the above, removes junk programs. They both find different ones so I recommend both of them. Be wary that it'll automatically restart your computer afterward so save anything important.
5. Hitman Pro - This is a cloud-based scan, so make sure your internet is working. Luckily, it also fixes proxy settings that will have disconnected you from the internet, so download this one before that happens. This scan will find a lot of the more serious problems that aren't just junk, but will also find junkware remnants too. Be wary that this is a 30 day trial program.

Chances are after the above, you'll have removed the majority of your problems. Most programs these days that people commonly think are "viruses" are really just adware and scareware looking for money. However, if you had a more serious infection, then continue. It doesn't really hurt if you're not sure.

6. Combofix - Technically they say to only use this one when you're told to, but I'm telling you in advanced. Rarely have I ever seen a system messed up beyond repair due to someone using it on their own. Just make sure you turn off your antivirus temporarily.
7. Malwarebytes - If it makes you feel better, run this. It's reasonably fast and will pickup bits and pieces. By this point, there shouldn't be much left.
8. SuperAntiSpyware - Just to make sure, you can run this as well, another general anti-malware scanner. It'll also point out and let you uninstall some common unwanted programs before scanning. Do full scan. Not often necessary. There are other scans I could recommend, but that's just for the sake of being thorough and leaving few traces behind. For the average user, this will be fine.

After running scans, a few other actions I'd recommend doing:
A. Open cmd in admin mode and run SFC /scannow. If you're on Windows 8, if it says it was unable to fix some of the files blah blah then run dism /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth to fix this. Basically we're just making sure some core system files are clean
B. Again in cmd, run chkdsk /f quick. Sometimes after running all these scans, some file errors pop up. Type y so it'll do a check and then restart your computer.
C. Go through your browsers and check the addons, extensions, whatever they're called for you and delete/disable what you can.
D. Go through your programs and uninstall whatever is leftover that you know you don't need. If you get an error, that's normal.
E. Update your Java, Adobe Reader, and Flash. Make sure to uncheck any crap they try to package with it.

Again, this is kinda a general cleanup for an average user that has the same stuff I'm used to seeing everyday. Case by case, this may not fix your problem. For example, there are other scans you can run for rootkits, but the integrity of your system is still questionable afterward. As a last resort, can always wipe your HDD and reload your OS.

Questions welcome
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