2→10 GB Free online storage & Files Backup Ad-Aware antivirus links A-Squared Avast! * AVG CCleaner * check/report URLs Control Spam
Crawler Toolbar Defraggler Eset Online Scan & Remove* EvonSoft GoogleToolbar HouseCall * IE8 blocking tool info Download IE8 IOBits Advanced System Care* KeyScambler Free
Kingsoft PC Doctor * (+ office suite) LinkScanner* Malware Sweeper Microsoft Antivirus MalwareBytes * &
Rogue Remover
MS Defender * MS utilities Opera Browser Rogue AV pop-ups
Rootkit Buster RUBotted file extensions
run commands
SandBoxie Virtual Browser Secunia update scan SteadyState ScrubIT SiteAdvisor * SpamFighter* (OE,Outlook,Windows Mail)
Spybot * SpywareTerminator SuperAntiSpyware* Threat Fire* TrendProtect & Houscall Online Scan/Clean * WebSecurityGuard * WinPatrol XP SP3 IE7 lock info ZoneAlarm
Antivirus Removers & Credits & Chat/Contact
parasite check source: doxdesk.com
[double-click words for definitions] translate
Quick Check: Are you infected with the DNS Changer malware? & FBI article about the infection & alternate test sites & Suggested DNSChanger removal tools
Clean My PC:  Folks ask often about "how to clean" infections from their personal computers and "how to keep them from getting infected."  Some of the ideas and tools below, using freeware, shareware and cardware, might help in both areas, prevention and cleaning.  These suggestions work with Microsoft Windows 2000, XP, or Vista operating systems and Microsoft's Internet Explorer.  None of the programs listed below are crippleware.  This document's web address (URL) is: http://www.harrold.org/rfhextra/CleanMyPC.html or http://harrold.org/cleanmypc

Print this article (11-→15 pages, depending on margins) and try out the suggestions and programs below.

Remember to regularly backup files and data that you have created from your personal computer on to an external storage device such as a memory stick, CD/DVD, or other computer hard drive before making changes to your computer.  Regular backups to an external device of critical data is very important as part of routine personal computer use.  Hard drives and other storage devices can fail for many reasons making recovery of your data time consuming and costly, if not impossible.  EASEUS offers free hard disk utilities including a 'disk copy' & 'total disk backup' at http://www.easeus.com/download.htm which you could use to create a copy of your drive or files to an external hard drive or cd/dvd.  If you can access the Internet, AVG Antivirus (Grisoft w/Carbonite, Inc.) offers a 2 gigabytes (GB) [15 Day only] free online back-up space and MozyHome gives you free 2GB online [not time limited] and "Gizmo's Freeware" lists several 2GB to 25GB free online backup resources.  Let me know if these suggestions work for you.  If you have some other favorite tools or procedures to suggest, please email me.

Read Microsoft's (MS) Microsoft's logo favicon "How to back up a PC" information or small printer icon printer friendly version or .  These MS backup suggestions work with Microsoft XP or Vista operating system.

And, how to use the "backup Wizard" (NTbackup) for Windows 2000 (W2K) and using the NTbackup utility for Windows 2000 Server, XP, Server 2003
+ font | - font
The print version is at

Leo Laporte & friends talk tech: Wiki: Schedule
TrendMicro.com Housecall free online virus scan/remover
How to enable Javascript (src: tranexp.com)

News widgets and RSS feeds on Feedzilla.com
You do not have to use all of the programs/procedures, do them all at once, nor run them in the same sequence that I do.  They cohabit well with most other antivirus antimalware tools (..though some functions of them may be limited in the presence of other antimalware.)  I have marked with an asteriks (*) those listed above that I would, at a minimum, initially install, update, and run.

Some antivirus programs do not cohabit well with other antiviruses.  Typically, many computer programs do not completely 'uninstall' and in many instances new antivirus programs will fail to install because they detect remnants of other previously installed but not completely removed antiviruses.  Click Here to access a list of various companies' antivirus removal tools.  This list is provided by http://Eset.com who produce a popular protection suite called Nod32.
Eset.com also has an online antivirus/antimalware tool that can, as does TrendMicro's 'Housecall', scan, detect, and clean malware from your PC. 

(note:  If your personal computer is 'company owned' or on a 'managed network' in a company, government, school, or public environment such as a library or Internet cafe, its 'network administrator' may have rules governing programs being installed on networked personal computers though none of these should conflict with any network controls.)

Here's some cleaning ideas:

Then there is the good, the bad, and the ugly news.
1st, the good news:
It is possible to detect, prevent, and remove most common infections using a variety of free online and downloadable software tools.  (note:  These are some of my favorites which in combination work well cleaning a majority of infected personal computers.  All computer ' geeks and nerds ' have their favorite utilities, not necessarily these.  Remember, though I reference the 'free' versions of tools to download, that all of the companies offer 'pay' versions that have more options.)
2nd, the bad news:
It is nearly impossible to 100% prevent infections.  Plus, it is sometimes very difficult to detect and remove some variations of infections.  If you can not remove some, but by using the programs below have identified the names of the infections, specific removal tools for them may be found on the Internet.
3rd, the ugly news:
You must work also.  You must be prudent as to which web sites you visit, "advertisements" that you click on, email that you open, and files that you download.  (A common source of infections are files with fake file extensions that are downloaded via peer-to-peer (P2P) programs such as Kazaa, Limewire & Bitorrent.)
And, you must keep these tools up-to-date and actually run them periodically.

Plus, from Jim Byrd at http://defendingyourmachine2.blogspot.com, a quote, "Please note: If you are a victim of domestic violence or stalking and suspect that someone has installed spyware to monitor your activities, talk to a victim advocate before attempting to remove the spyware.  Law enforcement may be able to assist you and would want to preserve evidence.  In the United States, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline for more information at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)." Rogue AV pop-ups:  Try not to be tricked by malicious exploit web site online pop-ups that claim to have detected infections on your personal computer which also ask you or try to auto-download a program into your PC in order to scan your PC.  Many such pop-ups are 'fake warnings.'  Such 'pop-ups' are often themselves infectious (sometimes called 'Rogue Software' or 'ransom ware' because they 'kidnap' your personal computer's functionality and won't release it without paying them "ransom money.")  Dancho Danchev states in a 17Dec08 'blogs.ZDNet.com' article, "Thousands of legitimate sites SQL injected to serve IE exploit." emphasizing that "..more legitimate sites [are] serving exploits and malware than purely malicious ones." (100K+)

If you are fooled into visiting an 'exploited web site' or clicking on a fake 'pop-up' advertisement's program, infections may install in your personal computer and create annoying and useless pop-ups on your desktop interferring with every day work, change your desktop appearance, hijack your Internet browsing, and may change your system in other ways that can make your computer very difficult to use.

An informational warning from Microsoft, "Consider this warning seriously.  Disreputable online games and media services can attach spyware and other malicious software to the "free" software they require to use their services.  Unless you are certain that a program or piece of software is completely trustworthy, do not download or install it on your computer.  Further, if you see a pop-up window that asks for your permission to install software, click No unless you are absolutely sure you want this new software on your computer.

A quote from Exploit Lab's (see Linkscanner, below), "CTO and Chief Researcher Roger Thompson has created short videos of several recent exploits to help you understand how these exploits [malware sites/rogue infections] can impact you, and how to prevent your system from falling victim."

A TrendMicro.com article describing a common such "Rogue AV (Win Antivirus 2009)" can be read at: http://blog.trendmicro.com/more-google-searches-resulting-in-rogue-av/ .  TrendMicro has several free tools and services.

If you have a rogue desktop pop-up claiming your PC is infected, 1st download and run Malwarebytes'™ "RogueRemover Free."  It is a 'rogue software/ransomware' remover tool that is a small download and which is easy to use.  Quote, "RogueRemover FREE has the ability to completely remove WinAntiSpyware/WinAntiVirus, SpyAxe, VirusBlast, VirusBursters, as well as a number of other rogue applications."  Malwarebytes' list of and information about detected rogueware is at: http://www.malwarebytes.org/roguenet.php .
Download 'RogueRemover Free' from: http://www.malwarebytes.org/rogueremover.php .
There is a small learning curve with each of the tools below.  However, you can install and run them with ease.  (note: None of these have caused problems on personal computers that I've worked on; however, as with any program installation conflicts or other issues could occur.)  If you register the free version, most of the companies give you the option to opt-out of email from them.  Use caution when considering opening email from strangers, especially any with attachments.

What can you do to reduce your vulnerabilities?

It is important that you keep your PC's 3rd party programs and Microsoft's operating system (OS) files updated.  Some programs will automatically self-check for updates.  With other programs, manually use their 'built-in' update option.  Microsoft (MS) has a 'Windows Update' option in its 'Start->All Programs->' list (see my 1st step below.)  A fast way to scan your PC's common programs for needed updates and security vulnerabilities to insure your PC has a minimum security baseline against known Microsoft or 3rd party patched vulnerabilities is Secunia.
Secunia's Online Software Inspector (OSI) is can be run from: http://secunia.com/vulnerability_scanning/online/
MS Update is at: http://update.microsoft.com
http://www.microsoft.com/worldwide/ (updates, worldwide by country)
note: possible reboot issues for XP SP3 updated for PCs with AMD processors

I've found that no one commercial, shareware, or freeware antivirus antimalware to be completely effective.  A combination of prudence and tools while using email and browsing the Internet will help to keep your personal computer clean and protect it from most infections.

A quote from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, "Software is considered malware based on the perceived intent of the creator rather than any particular features.  Malware includes computer viruses, worms, trojan horses, most rootkits, spyware, dishonest adware, crimeware and other malicious and unwanted software.  In law, malware is sometimes known as a computer contaminant, for instance in the legal codes of several American states, including California and West Virginia. [2] [3]  Malware is not the same as defective software, that is, software which has a legitimate purpose but contains harmful bugs."

Remember, as you use the free or shareware programs below, that the companies that make them available for your personal use offer pay versions.  If these programs fix problems, I urge you to purchase and register their pay versions. Why purchase and register the pay versions?  First, you're thanking them for having helped you and secondly it encourages them to continue offering free tools.  Plus, the pay versions offer more options which further help you to keep your computer clean from infections and they can reduce the probability of your personal computer being re-infected or contaminating other computers.

Some ideas:

User friendly and intuitive web sites to download personal computer utilities from are: FileHippo.com, MajorGeeks.com, and SimTel.net .  Some of the tools I list below are available for download from http://FileHippo.com .  Other useful tools are there also.  For example, if you have trouble playing DVD movies on your personal computer, download VLC's media player and then try playing them.

Remember that Internet links to sites may change; however, you can find each tool at their respective company sites.

First, I usually create a desktop folder to store the shortcuts in that are created during the installation of the personal computer security tools that I frequently use.  It makes them quick to find and run.  I call my folder "Update and Run Often."  The name is not important but it is useful for the folder name to remind you of its content's purpose.  If you plan to use these utilities on more than one personal computer, you might create a sub-folder (sub-directory) to store your original antimalware downloads in it...maybe name the folder "antivirus source files" or something similar.  Then, if you want to copy the downloaded files onto another personal computer it makes the task easier.  Remember to store future version downloads in to the same folder.

Then, I go to
..system tools
and I right click on 'disk cleanup' and 'disk defragmenter' and select 'send to desktop' creating a shortcut icon for each on my desktop.

Also find, usually in the start menu area or in the accessories folder, the 'Update Windows' link.  Right click on it and send a 'shortcut' to it on to your desktop.

Use the defragment utility periodically along with the rest of these tools.  CCleaner (below) is a tool to use that is fast and intuitive to use for removing 'junk files' in lieu of Microsoft's 'disk cleanup.'  The optional 'Defraggler' below works well in lieu of Microsoft's 'disk defragmenter.'  Windows Updates should generally be run automatically.  Periodically run it manually and use it is 'customized' download settings.  The customized option lets you download additional security and program updates from Microsoft which may also help protect some 3rd party programs that are on your personal computer.

3rd, I go to my desktop and 'drag and drop' the 3 desktop icon shortcuts I made into the "Update and Run Often" folder.

4th, Returning to my Internet Explorer browser, I change some of its default settings:
click on its "tools" tab at the top of the browser screen,
then click on the sub-menu option of "Internet Options",
then click on "Security"
then set each of the security choices to "default" clicking on the "Apply" button for each. (They are: Internet, Local Internet, Trusted Sites, Restricted Sites.)

Next, I click on the Internet Explorer browser's "Advanced" tab
and slide down to the option of "Search from the Address bar"
and change its setting to have a checkmark in the "Do not search from the Address bar."

After the address bar change, slide further down to "Do not save encrypted pages to disk" and "Empty Temporary Internet Files folder when browser is closed."
Put a checkmark in each of these two choices.
Then click on the "apply" button and then the "OK" button and exit from Internet Explorer.

At this point I log on to the Internet to begin downloading utilities and running the TrendMicro™ Housecall online virus scan/remover. However; if you are not able to access the Internet, if you have Internet access using a different PC, download the various utilities and optional programs listed below onto memory stick or onto a CDRom. Then bring the download files (stick or CD) back to your infected PC and install them as though from the Internet. Note: If you are running the Vista operating system you may need to login as 'administrator' for some functions. A simple procedure to allow you to do so can be found at: TechRepublic.com or from en.allexperts.com .

5th, using my Internet browser, I go to FileHippo.com and download and install "Crap Cleaner."  (It is now called "CCleaner.")

CCleaner is tool that searches for temporary and junk files and removes them from your personal computer.  Some of these temporary or junk file locations are places where some infections might hide.  I normally use CCleaner's start-up screen's preset options.  When it runs, it will caution you that files will be permanently removed.  You normally want to remove them.  Run CCleaner periodically to remove temporary and junk files that are stored in your personal computer.
Download CCleaner at: http://filehippo.com/download_ccleaner/

6th, if you can access the Internet, a good place to start checking your personal computer for infections is to visit TrendMicro.com's "Housecall."  Trendmicro HouseCall will download its main program into your personal computer, then download the patterns it uses to find infections, then automatically scan your personal computer.  At its completion HouseCall will display a list of problems found and give you clean or fix options.  It is simple to use but may take a while, so be patient.  By using TrendMicro's online HouseCall you will be using their latest updates.  After it is done, it will leave the scan engine on your personal computer.  In the future, HouseCall will start-up faster because it only downloads updates.

Run Trend Micro's Housecall FREE online virus scanner/virus remover at: http://housecall.trendmicro.com .

Choose and agree to Housecall's default choices.  It finds and removes lots of infections that you might have.  (note: Johann Rain's "softwareentwicklung de" website and Jim Byrd's http://defendingyourmachine2.blogspot.com describe a variety of free online antivirus scanners and cleaners.  (12 pages)  However, some just 'scan and detect' but do not 'scan and clean.')

After TrendMicro's Housecall is finished, even if it has found but not removed all infections, you can re-run it periodically as you should do with other anti-infection tools.

Trend Micro RootkitBuster
Quote, "RootkitBuster is a rootkit scanner that scans hidden files, registry entries, processes, drivers, and Master Boot Record (MBR) rootkits.  In addition, RootkitBuster can also clean hidden files and registry entries."
RootkitBuster download: http://www.trendmicro.com/download/rbuster.asp (For more information, please view readme/documentation.)

Until all of the programs indicate that you have zero infections left, you need to re-run them. What some detect, but do not remove..another program may.

note:  Some antivirus software may conflict with others preventing installation or full functionality of additional tools being added to a personal computer.  If you have an existing antivirus installed and yet you still have infections, check if the software is expired or up-to-date with the latest revisions.  If your existing product is current, consider removing it completely from your system ( temporarily ) so as not to interfere with the installation of additional antivirus programs.  If it is not expired but lacks the latest revisions, update its program and virus patterns to the latest releases and re-scan your personal computer.  If the personal computer remains infected after a re-check, then consider removing the product, at least temporarily.

For example, if you have Norton antivirus and it is up-to-date yet your personal computer is infected, I would remove it completely from your personal computer before running additional antivirus programs.  Norton Symantec provides a tool online to remove itself from your system (see the link below.)  Instructions are linked to on their page that tells you how to record Norton's serial number so you can, if you want to, re-install it later using your original Norton serial number.  The Norton Removal Tool uninstalls all Norton 2008/2007/2006/2005/2004/2003 products and Norton 360 from your computer.  Quote, "If you use ACT! or WinFAX, back up those databases before you proceed."  You may need your Product Key when you reinstall your Norton product.  (Read the 'key' instructions, if you want to re-install your Norton program later.)
Norton's removal tool is at: http://service1.symantec.com/Support/tsgeninfo.nsf/docid/2005033108162039

7th, I install the Avast! antivirus.
After downloading and installing Avast!, it will ask you if you want to run a "start-up scan."  Answer yes, because it will scan your personal computer during the initial part of the reboot process, before windows restarts, making the removal of infections easier because they then might not be active in your computer's memory (RAM.)  After major updates, I usually set the 'restart schedule' to again scan during reboot.

Download Avast! Home Edition at: http://filehippo.com/download_avast_antivirus/

As your personal computer runs Avast! during reboot, if infections are found, it will stop and ask you what to do.  I usually select "remove all and continue automatically" thus I do not have to manually agree to continue after each virus is detected.  If you prefer to record the names of found infections in order to later research and read about them, you can manually step through its 'scan and clean process' recording their names as you do so.

When your personal computer finishes Avast! Windows will continue loading.  When you run Avast! from inside your desktop folder or system tray icon, the initial run will ask for a registration number.  You can obtain a registration number by clicking on the 'registration' link in the Avast!'s start-up window (highlight & 'right-click copy' in to memory the registration number) and then register your free version ('right click & paste' from memory into the registration box.)  Without a registration number, Avast! will work continue working for 59 days more.

Avast! also has a useful built-in screensaver.  After installing Avast!, 'right click' on an unused area of your desktop and in the desktop options pop-up window that appears, click on the 'screensaver' tab to access your screensaver's settings.  You can select Avast! to be your screensaver.  When the screensaver later activates it will, unattended, automatically scan, detect and remove infections from your computer.

After Windows has restarted, continue downloading and installing and running the programs below, one at a time:

8th, AVG (antivirus) Free Edition
Download AVG at: http://filehippo.com/download_avg_antivirus/
(Be sure to say yes when AVG asks if it should install its browser tool bar and read about McAfee's SiteAdvisor below.  Note: If AVG and the anti-email spam program "Spamfighter" (free versions) are both installed, the auto-unblocking feature of Spamfighter may require an occasional restart of 'Outlook Express' email.)

9th, Ad-Aware ( anti-adware [pop-ups] )
Download Ad-Aware at: http://filehippo.com/download_ad-aware/
(Ad-Aware works well in combination with AVG and SpyBot to make a capable security suite.)

10th, Spybot Search and Destroy (anti-spyware)
Download Spybot at: http://filehippo.com/download_spybot_search_destroy/
(It has some easy to use 'advanced tools' for those who like to dig a little deeper into personal computer maintenance and security.)

11th, Windows Defender (Microsoft's free antimalware [ built-in to Vista ] )
(Note: Windows defender also has controls under its 'tools' and 'software explorer' options sub-menu settings for start-up programs and network related programs.)
Download Windows Defender at: http://filehippo.com/download_microsoft_antispyware/

12th, McAfee SiteAdvisor for Internet Explorer
About SiteAdvisor: http://www.siteadvisor.com
Download McAfee SiteAdvisor at: http://download.mcafee.com/products/SA/IE/sa98.exe

Other "site advisor" tools that work well with and similarly to AVG's and McAfee's site advisors are "LinkScanner" and TrendMicro's "TrendProtect."

note:  The important purpose for installing Internet Explorer toolbar "site advisors" is for them to give you warnings and advice for each Internet search result that you get from a search using, for example, Google.  Each gives different advice for each hit result and they display a clear informational symbol adjacent to each listed web site.  The AVG browser advisor, LinkScanner, and McAfee's SiteAdvisor each put an easy to read symbol shape at the right of each browser search result which is also color coded.  Trendmicro's 'TrendProtect' symbol is displayed on the left side of each search result.  [ a red colored X = danger ]

13th, Download LinkScanner at: http://www.explabs.com/downloads/

LinkScanner has been acquired by AVG.  (see: http://www.explabs.com/default.asp )  LinkScanner will augment AVG's advisory symbol.

A quote from LinkScanner's website, "Cybercriminals use "lure" sites to attract Internet users to web pages invisibly infected with exploit code.  This exploit code is then used to infect users' personal computers with "drive-by" downloads of spyware, rootkits, and other infections or malware. If you know the URL (web page address) of a site that you aren't sure is safe to visit, you can copy (highlight, right-click, copy into memory) the URL from a search engine hit list by clicking on the web site's name using your right mouse button and then choose 'copy the shortcut' which stores it in your computer's memory.  After that, visit the web page at http://linkscanner.explabs.com/linkscanner/default.asp and then "control-v" (copy from memory) the suspect web address into LinkScanner's scan box (or again use your right mouse button and select 'paste.')  LinkScanner will then check the web address for possible active "drive by" infections and report its findings to you about that web site.

14th, "TrendProtect" is one of TrendMicro.com's 'free tools and services for personal/home use.'
Download TrendProtect at: http://www.trendsecure.com/portal/en-US/tools/security_tools/trendprotect/overview

TrendMicro's TrendProtect has options allowing you to configure it by "content category", in addition to Phishing scam detection, web site reputation and web page reputation.  (note: If McAfee's Siteadvisor is already installed, TrendProtect may not load.  I temporarily remove Siteadvisor using Control Panel's 'add and remove programs' option, then I install TrendProtect and after that re-install McAfee's Siteadvisor.  Installing 'TrendProtect' before 'McAfee's SiteAdvisor' avoids this installation confict.)

The 'advice' given to you by AVG, LinkScanner, McAfee's Siteadvisor, and TrendMicro's TrendProtect site advisors is a good combination to help you avoid visiting undesireable web pages and the downloading of 'PUPS' (probably unwanted programs.)

note: You can help to eliminate malicious web sites by reporting them to some Web oversight locations that are listed below. * *

15th, Web
"A quote, ..while browsing and searching the web, Web Security Guard informs you of potentially dangerous websites by displaying detailed information and user reviews [about the web sites] before you enter."
Download Web Security Guard at: http://www.websecurityguard.com/download.aspx .

Web Security Guard is also included with the Spyware Terminator anti-spyware
Download Spyware Terminator at: Spyware Terminator download
(Alternate download URLs: http://www.crawler.com/products/spyware-terminator.aspx or via FileHippo.com .
(An older version is available for W98/ME)

16th, MalwareBytes antimalware  quote, "..designed to quickly monitor, detect, destroy, prevent malware and block malicious processes.."
Download Malwarebytes: Home page: http://www.malwarebytes.org , download under tab: products
free version at: http://www.malwarebytes.org/products/malwarebytes_free .

17th, (20Jul10) Beta (ß) for next version of Microsoft Security Essentials ß now available. A new beta is available for the next version of the popular, award-winning Microsoft Security Essentials. Learn more and download it today.
To download the beta of Microsoft Security Essentials, click here to visit . Once completed – you will find the instructions for downloading and installing the beta ß.
Microsoft Security Essentials
  quote, "Microsoft Security Essentials provides real-time protection for your home PC that guards against viruses, spyware, and other malicious software.  Microsoft Security Essentials is a free* download from Microsoft.  Your PC must run genuine Windows to install Microsoft Security Essentials. "
Download Microsoft Security Essentials Antivirus: http://www.microsoft.com/Security_Essentials/

18th, The penultimate: After installing any Internet Explorer (IE) add-on toolbars like 'Spyware Terminator's "Crawler" (Demo)' Crawler Toolbar Download or the the AVG Toolbar or the Google Toolbar (below), in order to reduce the space taken up by toolbars at the top of my IE browser window, I right-hand click on an unused area of the Internet Explorer browser's toolbar area.  Then I remove their respective display option's checkmark (shown at the left of each) to prevent the AVG, Google, and LinkScanner's Crawler toolbars from automatically displaying at the top of my browser window.  I usually only want Google's pop-up blocker protection and for the AVG 'advisory' symbol to appear on a search hit list but not to see their toolbars display.  If Yahoo's toolbar and or other extra toolbars are visable, I usually remove their respective toolbar's display checkmark so they will not be shown.  I prefer to minimize the total tool bars area size by hiding non-essential toolbars that have redundant features or when they're not needed thereby maximizing the viewable area of web pages' content.  The Crawler toolbar (part of the 'Spyware Terminator' or 'Web Security Guard') has additional options settings to adjust how it is displayed at the top of IE.

19th, Last: some infections change permissions on directories and files preventing access to them.
 A qoute from "Issam Sergiwa", the author of RRT, "When someone asks for my assistance, the first thing I always do is an offline anti-virus scan and clean.  But when I boot the computer, I am often faced with the same problem; the virus has made some changes to the system restrictions in order to hide itself from easy detection.  Unfortunately, AV [antivirus] Softwares have nothing to do with these restrictions and do nothing to re-enable them!   The most often made changes are listed here.
 ..a tiny tool that re-enables all what the virus had disabled.." is the RRT (Remove Restrictions Tool.)
Download RRT at: Sergiwa.com


Option 1 of 10: ZoneAlarm.  You might want to install ZoneAlarm's firewall.  Windows' built-in FireWall (in XP's control panel, security tools) protects from some outside Internet attacks but ZoneAlarm does a better job of protecting from outside attacks while it also monitors what is trying to communicate out from your personal computer such has hidden trojan horses, keyloggers, backdoor dialers, botnet and spyware programs which may be stealing data including personal identity, corporate/government/institution data, financial information, email addresses, and passwords, etc.
Download ZoneAlarm Free (firewall) at: http://zonealarm.extole.com/a/clk/2jsWXY new item

In some instances, your computer may have become a remotely controlled 'Zombie' part of a 'botnet' unknown to you but which ZoneAlarm may be able to block.  You can download from Trend Micro a small and specialized "bot" checker named "RUBotted." (ß)  Quote, "RUBotted monitors your computer for suspicious activities and regularly checks with an online service to identify behavior associated with Bots.  Upon discovering a potential infection, RUBotted prompts you to scan and clean your computer."
Download RUBotted (ß) at: http://www.trendsecure.com/portal/en-US/tools/security_tools/rubotted

Option 2 of 10: ScrubIT at http://scrubit.com
ScrubIT is a useful tool, for some environments using personal computers.  ScrubIT filters web pages before they come into your personal computer whenever you click on a web search list result or directly query a web page via your browser, an embedded web page link, from the start window, or your Windows address bar.  AVG or LinkScanner, TrendProtect, and McAfee's Siteadvisor warning symbols give you advice or warnings about infections, pop-ups, spam and active malicious malware that might be lurking on a web site's pages.  However, ScrubIT focuses on blocking pornography pages and some known malware sites' pages from reaching your personal computer if someone clicks on a link to them.  (note: A good feature of LinkScanner's full featured 15-day evaluation and pay versions is that it may block malicious websites from accessing your personal computer.)

If you have children or naïve visitors using your personal computer and you do not want them to 'accidently' visit pornography sites or some malware sites, use ScrubIT.  It will block most such pages thus preventing the photos, sounds, or in some instances, malware from them being automatically stored in your personal computer.  (Note: If, while ScrubIT is active, you can not connect to any websites, ScrubIT's DNS servers maybe temporarily busy.  Simply run the "unscrubit" utility and later re-run ScrubIT.
Download ScrubIT at: http://scrubit.com/scrubit.exe

A quote from ScrubIT's website: "ScrubIT can removed by simply changing your DNS server settings.  We offer non-scrubbed DNS servers as well ( and if you wish to continue to use our rock-solid unscrubbed service.  If you downloaded the config tool and are not aware how to modify your DNS settings you can click here to Download the Un-ScrubIT utility at: un-ScrubIT."  [ http://scrubit.com/unscrubit.exe ]

note: ..[the federal] SAFE Act (Dec07) requires: Anyone providing an “electronic communication service” or “remote computing service” to the public who learns about the transmission or storage of information about certain illegal activities or an illegal image must (a) register their name, mailing address, phone number, and fax number with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s “CyberTipline” and (b) “make a report” to the CyberTipline that (c) must include any information about the person or Internet address behind the suspect activity and (d) the illegal images themselves. (By the way, “electronic communications service” and “remote computing service” providers already have some reporting requirements under existing law too.) The new bill requires anyone providing a Wi-Fi network (that includes individuals) to report illegal (kiddy porn) images or face a $300,000 fine.  source: http://government.zdnet.com/?p=3549

Option 3 of 10: SpamFighter is an excellent anti-spam email program.  It works with Microsoft's Outlook Express email, Outlook email, and Windows mail.  With a little learning help from you, SpamFighter will quickly begin blocking the bulk of junk mail.  Spam often contains infections in attachments, links to malware, or has graphics with embedded viruses, pornography, deceptive advertising, "Phishing" and 'Nigerian 419 scams, and a host of other unwanted fraud and Identity & theft schemes  (http://harrold.org/rfhextra/antivirus.html#fraud .)
SpamFighter: http://www.spamfighter.com
Download SpamFighter : http://www.spamfighter.com/download_download.asp

( note: If, during the learning process, Spamfighter blocks "good" email, open your email's Spamfighter folder and "unblock" the good email message(s.)  Blocking unwanted email (blacklist) or un-blocking good messages (whitelist) is done by highlighting the email message(s) and then clicking on Spamfighter's tool bar to block or unblock accordingly. ) [ AVG and Spamfighter may, when both are installed, occasionally prevent 'auto-unblocking' in Spamfighter.  In those instances, twice exiting and restarting Outlook or Outlook Express email overcomes this issue. ]

Read more about what is 'Spam', its prevention and reporting it to authorities, at my "Spam Information" page at http://www.harrold.org/rfhextra/spam.html and more at http://harrold.org/rfhextra/antivirus.html .

Opera Option 4 of 10: Opera's browser.  One alternative to Microsoft's Internet browser is the 'Opera browser.'  It loads quickly and, if you have any problems using Microsoft's Internet Explorer because of infections, Opera may give you access to the Internet during troubling diagnostics.
Download Opera at: http://filehippo.com/download_opera/ or http://www.opera.com .

A list of many browsers is at: http://harrold.org/rfhextra/browsers.html .

Option 5 of 10: WinPatrol.
Download WinPatrol at: http://filehippo.com/download_WinPatrol/
A "swiss-army knife" utility which has an easy to use 'start-up' control feature.  (also see, SpyBot's advanced settings and tools' options.)

Option 6 of 10: Evonsoft utilities
Download Evonsoft utilities at: http://www.evonsoft.com/Download.htm
Evonsoft's group of "swiss-army knife" utilities are easy to use and have several Windows options including controlling "startup programs."   They include Advanced Spyware Remover Free Edition and Computer Repair Free  (Also see: SpyBot's and WinPatrol's advanced settings and tools' options.)

Option 7 of 10: Google's Toolbar
Download Google's Toolbar at: http://toolbar.google.com
Installing the Google toolbar adds an automatic pop-up blocking feature to your IE browser.  It helps you by reducing your exposure to 'fake' web page pop-ups.

(note:   You already may have a Google search box on your Microsoft Windows Internet Explorer (IE7 or IE8 version) toolbar.  This additional browser add-on, the Google Toolbar, has a built-in 'pop-up' blocker that helps to prevent you from seeing 'fake' antivirus pop-ups which might entice you to click on them thereby infecting your personal computer.  If you hear a low volume gentle 'click' noise while visiting a web page, it means that Google has blocked a pop-up window or a file download coming from that page.  If you want to see the pop-up window or download the file that has been blocked, over-ride the block by holding down your control key and refresh the same page.  The newer IE7 and IE8 browsers have a similar built-in option which makes a ' double click ' sound when blocking a pop-up.  The blocking options of IE and Google can allow wanted pop-ups to not be blocked during future page visits.  I usually set my browser's default opening page to be Google because it presents a fast loading screen with minimal advertisements.  Some infected web sites are first seen as advertisements.  By minimizing exposure to ads, the likely hood of being attracted by a "lure" or malicious web site is reduced.

 (You can test the pop-up window blocking function by visiting my Imperial Valley, California weather links page which has a safe and small 'local weather' pop-up window.  It is a safe test pop-up.)

Option 8 of 10: Defraggler
Download Defraggler at: http://www.filehippo.com/download_defraggler/
You can defragment individual files or the whole drive.  Its user interface is intuitive and visually informative.

Option 9 of 10: Microsoft Windows "Steady State"
Are you operating a shared computer or shared personal (XP/Vista) computer(s) in a school, library, internet cafe, business or other public access location?  A Microsoft quote, "Windows 'SteadyState' can return your computer and hard disk to its exact condition before the user touched it, simply by rebooting."
About: http://social.microsoft.com/Forums/hu-HU/windowssteadystate/threads?outputAs=rss&filter=general&sort=viewsdesc
A review of "SteadyState":

Sandboxie: http://www.sandboxie.com/index.php?DownloadSandboxie      Create a secure partition on your computer for safer web browsing with this free program.  This is a great tool for more advanced users.   Recommended by Clark Howard, CNN/HLN
Howard excerpt, "Overview:
     Sandboxie is a neat little Windows shareware program that allows you to surf the internet in a virtual environment (or "sandbox") on your PC. While nothing can be foolproof, some claim that it provides even more protection than regular virus/spyware programs -- though you need to keep those running as well.
     When browsing within the virtual sandbox you are totally corralled off from other parts of your PC. Anything downloaded from the internet is isolated to the sandbox. Similarly, any programs you choose to run within the sandbox (such as email programs) have no access to your files, your operating system or any other part of your PC.
     Before exiting the browser or program, you simply delete the contents of the sandbox to destroy any viruses, spyware or keyloggers you may have picked up along the way.
     Clark's 'what is scareware, spam, phishing, spoofed email & web sites, and zombies'
Question: What Is 'Scareware'?
Answer: Scareware is deception software.  It is also known as "rogue scanner" software or "fraudware", the purpose of which is to frighten people into purchasing and installing it.  Just like any trojan software, scareware deceives unwitting users into double-clicking and installing the product.  In the case of scareware, the scam tactic is to display frightening screens of your computer being attacked, and then the scareware will make claims to be the antivirus solution to those attacks.

Additional 'free' antivirus programs:
A-Squared anti-malware download at http://www.emsisoft.com/en/software/free/
A-squared uses a combination of two world class products - the a-squared Anti-Spyware and the Ikarus Anti-Virus engine..
plus a-squared's A 'how to use it' tutorial and PC security articles including a variety about viruses, malware, trojan horse, worm, and backdoor dialers at http://www.emsisoft.com/en/kb/articles/.
Malware Sweeper: Malware Sweeper download at http://www.download.com/Malware-Sweeper-Free/3000-2144_4-10431422.html (free version via download.com)
Avira AntiVir Personal: Avira AntiVir download at http://downloads.zdnet.com/abstract.aspx?tag=nl.e530&docid=849513&promo=100500
ThreatFire AntiVirus Free Edition: ThreatFire download at http://www.threatfire.com/download/
Includes resident programs control - ZDNet, "Traditional antivirus solutions cannot protect you until after they have discovered a new threat and produced a signature to counter it. ThreatFire does not rely on signatures, but instead provides behavior-based protection. It is designed to be used alongside your existing antivirus software and it fills the gap in protection between your antivirus signature updates. ThreatFire protects you against major security threats including viruses, worms, trojans, rootkits and even some spyware. Its advanced ActiveDefense technology intelligently analyzes the behavior of processes and programs on a system and immediately halts any malicious action. It continuously monitors all activities on your PC at a very low system level and uses a proprietary combination of analytics, risk algorithms, program histories and tolerance thresholds to identify and shut down threats so you are always protected, no matter how new the threat. ThreatFire is easy to use, instantly effective, and very light on system resources."
PC Tools AntiVirus Free Edition: PC Tools download at http://www.pctools.com/free-antivirus/download/
Max Spyware Remover Engine: Max Spyware Remover download at http://www.spywaredetector.net/downloadupdates.htm
EAV Antivirus Suite: EAV download at http://www.download.com/EAV-Antivirus-Suite-Free-Edition/3000-2239_4-10358025.html?tag=lst-0-8

After you are comfortable that your personal computer is clean, you might want to disable the 'automatic start-up' of one or more of the antiviruses leaving at least one running at all times (but do not remove from your PC.)  For example, you might keep Avast! or AVG auto-starting..but not both.  (Remember AVG's version 8+ optionally adds a 'site advisor' to your IE browser.)  You can run them individually from your inside your "antivirus tools" desktop folder.  Also, the Windows "msconfig" command or the "start-up control" options of WinPatrol or Spybot can be used to disable or enable programs that are set to automatically run each time Windows starts.

Remember that Microsoft Windows has built-in utilities.  ( note: The dashes are not used.  They are shown here as readability connectors. )
Some examples:
Control-Alt keys together with a brief tap of the Del key (the 3-fingered salute) activates task manager to list running programs.
'start' then 'run' "msconfig" to access some system settings, including the start-up programs control
'start' then 'run' "cmd" or "command" get to 'dos prompt'
'start' then 'run' "control" to get at the control panel's system settings
control-esc keys together to bring up the start menu/desktop tool bar
to mimic mouse functions, use the tab, alt-tab, space bar, and enter key to manuever, mark or highlight, select to go...
A more complete list of Windows 'run' commands http://www.harrold.org/rfhextra/runcommands.html.

*  * You can look-up 'safety ratings' and or help to eliminate malicious web sites by reporting them at the Web oversight locations listed here: Reporting Spam - What is Spam? How to report & block Spam, Spam Blockers, Phishing, Fraud eMail (http://harrold.org/rfhextra/spam.html)

credits: Wikipedia , Wiktionary , Glossary.SpamLaws.com , javascript.internet.com , Tek-Tips.com: print alternate , Baumeister Mediasoft Engineering: Print Document , SeoConsultants.com: print input form , Javascript (double-click function to any word on the page) and TheFreeDictionary.com , Obscure eMail , Information about Spam , DMOZ Open Source Project (shareware/freeware) , Symantec Security Response Glossary , PCMag.com , and More antivirus and PC Security links , Image Alignment on HTML pages , Dot What!? - file extensions website , Google News Ticker
Browse a list of NetLingo.com terms by clicking on the Pocket Dictionary, or Search for a specific term
View a Webcast of NetLingo's Internet Terms On Demand

backup: There are many articles available on the Internet that describe various procedures and programs that allow you to back-up data or copy the all of the contents of a hard drive or make mirror copies that are bootable or how to use RAID setups to real-time have drives copy one another on systems. Click here to read a short compilation of how-to-backup hard drive data using Microsoft's (XP, Vista, Windows 7) 'backup utility.'

Free Online Backups for HD, Files, Documents, etc.

2 GB of free backup of your files from MOZY at: click here image Mozy Home

2 GB of free online files storage is available from AVG at http://www.carbonite.com/avg/ .

5 GB of free online files storage is available from IDrive at https://www.idrive.com/idrive/signup?pln=Free .

10 GB of free online files storage is available from BitCasa Infinite Drive at https://www.bitcasa.com/pricing . new item

Enhance your protection to include automatic backup of your most important files.  AVG Online Backup works quietly in the background to protect you in the event of data loss.
An online tutorial is here: http://www.carbonite.com/avg/customersupport/faqs/backuptutorial.aspx? .
AVG Backup
AVG Online Back-up allows you to choose up to 2GB of data for online back-up (additional storage space is available.)  Activate your account now.
Sign up now!

Start your FREE 2GB subscription now.

Online Storage: Share Files with Shared Folders | Microsoft Windows Live SkyDrive
Free 25 GB online storage means you can Store, access, and share your files & folders online with friends or co-workers, from anywhere. With SkyDrive, you can embed public or shared folders on Windows Live Spaces. Everyone can see what’s public, but only people you’ve granted permission can see your shared folders.
..end of the article..
"If worse comes to worst, there is always your local PC repair shop....."   :-)

I hope you find these ideas and tools to be helpful.
Robert Harrold small envelope
AERC Harrold's PC & Printer Repair
191 West Main Street, El Centro, California, US 92243-2512
hours: 10-6 PT M-F, 10-4 Sa
phone: (760) 370-0514 or facsimile (760) 370-0554
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I use the Spamfighter anti-spam filter for: Outlook, Outlook Express and Windows Mail.
Download free at: http://www.spamfighter.com/go.asp?t=249
related: http://www.harrold.org/rfhextra/spam.html
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PC Power Savings: http://www.climatesaverscomputing.org/tools/pwr_mgmt.html
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