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How Do I Get Rid Of Malware

Updated on April 1, 2011

In this hub I'm going to show you how to get rid of malware yourself using free software and techniques. You may be wondering exactly what malware is. It's simply general a term for any bad (malicious) software like viruses, spyware, adware, trojans, worms, rogueware or rootkits.

Since you've come to this hub knowing that you have malware and that you want to get rid of it I'll spare you the details of how to identify it and go right into removing it.

2 methods for getting rid of malware

All three of the methods listed below are talked about in great detail below.

  1. Installing and using free anti-malware.
  2. Scanning your PC with a bootable anti-malware disc (Avira rescue disc).


METHOD 1: Installing and using free anti-malware

It's by far the most common way to get rid of malware, yet currently one of the least effective (especially for 32 bit operating systems).

  • difficulty = easy
  • effectiveness = low/moderate for 32-bit OS & moderate/high for 64-bit OS
  • chance of damaging your operating system = low to moderate (some pieces of malware can infect system files and when your anti-malware removes these files you run the chance of not being able to boot your PC or connect to the internet, for example).

Requirements for this method (in order). If you can't download the software below that means your PC is really infected. Try downloading this software from another PC onto a flash drive or proceed to method 2.

  • Backup personal documents before scanning and removing malware.
  • GMER Anti-Rootkit - This a very simple to use free rootkit scanner for 32-bit operating systems (you do not need this if you're running a 64-bit operating system
  • HitMan Pro - Uses multiple scan engines to target just about every piece of malware known to man. It's a very fast, very effective on-demand scanner. Hitman does rely on a broadband internet connection in order to be fully effective.
  • Microsoft Security Essentials - It's the free anti-virus from Microsoft that currently is performing very well for me.
  • Malwarebytes - Features a massive detection database and amazing removal abilities. The only downside about mbam is that it's highly targeted by malware (the malware prevents it from running).
  • SuperAntiSpyware - Targets spyware and adware. I really depend on this tool for detecting and removing adware (popups and website redirects).

Let's begin...

GMER Anti-Rootkit Steps:

NOTE - GMER is only needed for 32-Bit operating systems.  If you have a 64-Bit OS then you may skip this step.

  1. Go to GMER.net and scroll down about half way down the page to where it does download.exe.  Click download.exe and click run when it prompts you to run or save.
  2. GMER will load and run a very quick scan.  Active rootkits will *usually* be found in red right away.
  3. If you do see a line in red right click it and say disable.
  4. Reboot.
  5. Repeat steps 1-2 above.
  6. Right click the red items and click delete.
  7. Reboot.

Hitman Pro Steps:

  1. Download Hitman Pro to either your infected PC or a flash drive (usb stick).
  2. Make sure your broadband connection on your infected PC is turned on/active.
  3. On your infected PC double click the hitmanpro installer (it's not really much of an installer, you mainly just run it from whatever media you choose).
  4. Hitman Pro will download some updates to it's own engine.
  5. Click Next to scan.
  6. The scan should only take about 15-20 minutes max.
  7. Click next to delete and repair malware infections automatically.
  8. Hitman will ask you to activate. Activate a free 30 day license.
  9. After you agree to hitman's 30 day license it will remove the malware automatically and then probably ask you to reboot.
  10. Reboot.
  11. After your reboot there's a pretty good chance you got rid of almost all your malware (that's the power of hitman). Just to be sure please follow the rest of the steps below for Microsoft Security Essentials, Malwarebytes and SuperAntiSpyware.

Microsoft Security Essentials Steps:

  1. Uninstall your old anti-virus since it's not doing the job anyway.
  2. Install Microsoft Security Essentials and let it update and scan. If MSE finds malware during this brief scan apply the recommended actions and reboot if prompted to do so.
  3. Once MSE has been updated and it's quickscan has been run you should now perform a full scan.
  4. Once the full scan has completed apply the recommended actions and then reboot.

MSE is able to find and remove a lot of malware, however may often require multiple reboots. Be sure to reboot when it asks you to.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Steps:

  1. Download malwarebytes. If you can't download malwarebytes from your infected PC download it from another PC and copy it to a DVD or flash drive.
  2. On your infected PC try to install malwarebytes. If you can't install malwarebytes try renaming the installer to something random (like ghdgd.exe)
  3. Once malwarebytes has been installed try to load it. If you can't load it rename mbam.exe to something random (like fjghe.exe).
  4. Click the update tab, then click "check for updates". If you can't check for updates then download the latest rules from another PC and copy them to a flash drive or CD, then double click on the rules.exe installer on your infected PC that has malwarebytes installed.
  5. Once malwarebytes has been updated run a quick scan.
  6. Once the scan has finished remove anything found (click show results).
  7. Reboot.

SuperAntiSpyware Steps:

  1. Download SuperAntiSpyware (SAS) and install it on your infected PC. If you can't download SAS on your infected PC download it from another PC that's not infected and copy it to a flash drive or CD, then install it from there.
  2. Once SAS has been installed it will try to update, if the update fails follow the steps above and download the SAS updated database from here and install it. Restart SAS.
  3. Run a quick scan
  4. Remove all checked items.
  5. Reboot.

METHOD 2: Using The Avira Rescue Disc

Method 2 is by far the easiest way to get rid of malware. It involves using a bootable anti-malware disc to scan for and remove malware in a bootable environment. That's a mouthful!

It basically boils down to very easy malware removal and great results because the malware is unprotected and completely visible to the avira file scanner.

Steps The Avira Rescue Disk

  1. Visit the Avira rescue cd website here
  2. Click download.
  3. Save the download where you're able to find it.
  4. Double click the download.
  5. Insert a blank CD or DVD and click "Burn CD"
  6. Once the disc has been burned you'll need to boot your infected PC from it. Place the disc in your infected PC and tell your PC to boot from CD first. This can be accomplished by setting your BIOS up to have your PC boot from cd first.
  7. Once you have been booted into the Avira Rescue system click the update button. The update function needs a physical network connection for this to work (network cable). If you cannot update you should still do a scan.
  8. Click the scanner button at the top left, then click Start Scanner to begin the malware scan.
  9. If any malware resides on your PC Avira is probably going to find it and give you the option to "repair" it, which basically means delete it.
  10. After the scanning process has completed you should reboot.

Wrappin it up...

Your PC should be more or less workable now. If you couldn't use method 1 (from above) because your PC was too infected then please attempt to follow and implement the steps from method 1 now.

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