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A friend of mine says she has a virus on her parents computer and asked if I can help her. But before I tell her to do anything "more complicated" I thought I'd make sure that I'm not just wasting her time trying different things out. The only way I can contact her is trough e-mail so communication is kind of slow.

Here is what I know so far:

Me: "Any idea of what kind of virus it is?"

Her: "I'm not sure. My dad downloaded one for the second time off of a poker site. Basically, if we go to click on anything it pops up that its unable to open because its harmful..."

Me: "Open the anti virus program on that computer and do a scan. It should detect the virus and at least quarantine it"

Her: "I did that, but then to quarantine it, it requires us to pay, but I can't get online to get a free one."

Me: "What kind of OS is he using?"

Her: "I don't know"

Me: "Is it Windows?"

Her: "Yeah. Pretty sure it is."

Me: "Try a system restore."

Her: "If we try clicking on the restore thing it won't let us... blocks it."

My next suggestion would be to go into "Safe Mode With Networking" and try to download avg and install it. I'm not sure though if you can install things when in safe mode!? If that fails do a fresh install of the OS if she has the install CD. Although I'm not sure if she would be up to doing that by herself (with just e-mail support from me to walk her through it).

Any other suggestions before she takes it to the geek squad?

PS: She doesn't have a USB drive or any other means of downloading it onto her computer and transferring it to the "infected" computer.

asked Jul 14 '10 at 02:43

Lestat611's gravatar image


It would work. Doing anything in safemode will work, infact you have more power than ever in safe mode. The only difference is limited driver support (for a good reason). All changes made in safemode will effect normal boot mode. The purpose of safemode is to diagnose problems anyways.

I'm pretty sure her computer is hijacked. She could also be using a phony anti-virus. A good method is to do the following in safe mode. EVERYTHING in safe mode.

Run smit fraud fix. (http://siri.geekstogo.com/SmitfraudFix.php)

  • Search then clean
  • Search and clean DNS hijack

Afterwords she should run AVG anti-virus or you could try this free spy ware removal that I find effective. Malwarebytes anti-malware (http://www.malwarebytes.org/mbam.php)

After, reboot computer normally and do another scan with malwarebytes or avg. If nothing is found then the problem is solved.

answered Jul 14 '10 at 03:16

blackbird307's gravatar image


edited Jul 14 '10 at 03:26

If you have the restore disks from the computer's OEM, than you can always do a clean install. If the computer is a desktop, you can always take out the hard drive and put it in a hard drive dock (feel free to change the link if needed). When you put it in a hard drive dock, you can open it up on another computer and delete the file that's causing all of your problems, or just scan the hard drive with some kind of virus software. After you do that, your hard drive should be free of viruses (depending on how good the virus protection software did).

This answer is marked "community wiki".

answered Jul 14 '10 at 02:58

catchatyou's gravatar image


I think I will definatly buy one for myself. Unfortunately it won't be any use in this case because her parents live on the east coast and I on the west coast.

(Jul 14 '10 at 03:12) Lestat611 Lestat611's gravatar image

not everything will work in safe mode some applications will not install but its worth a try...

answered Jul 14 '10 at 09:14

trueb's gravatar image


for the purpose of avoiding Third party software, install microsoft security essentials in safe mode. it's the safest thing to install and it's free, removes viruses for FREE.

there's only one problem running MSSE, that is if your software is an Illegal copy. other than that, it's superior.

answered Sep 28 '11 at 10:08

xedric14's gravatar image


PS: you wouldn't need to install malwarebytes and avg. MSSE alone can fix it. and besides, Free antivirus softwares are very very malicious to me. so Personally, I prefer MSSE (since it's from microsoft themselves) and there's rumor that Free antivirus softwares when outdated actually send you virus. anyway, there's nothing more sure than having MSSE.

(Sep 28 '11 at 10:11) xedric14 xedric14's gravatar image
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Asked: Jul 14 '10 at 02:43

Seen: 21,577 times

Last updated: Sep 28 '11 at 10:11