August 1, 2017

Virus and Malware Removal Tools

Our preferred tools to find and remove viruses from your computer

We have listed below descriptions and download links to the tools we like to use to remove viruses and malware from computers.  The optional tools are broken down into automated tasks that require little or no technical skills, to the more advanced and manual tasks that do require some expertise.  These tools can be used for both company servers and workstations and home computers.

Automated tools to remove viruses for the non-technical user

  • (FREE) ESET NOD32 Online Scanner - This tool is provided by ESET and is completely free.  It does not install anything on your computer and when executed, runs a virus/malware scan on your entire computer.  It can be configured to automatically clean infected files and empty the quarantine folder it creates.  This tool has an excellent detection rate and is also efficient at cleaning/removing infected files.  This is the first tool you should run when you suspect you have a virus on your computer.
  • (FREE) Malware Bytes - This is a very popular and widely used malware scanner that we like to run on systems along side the ESET Online Scanner.  There is a paid version of the application, but for on-demand scanning and cleaning, the free version is more than adequate to do the job.
  • (FREE) Kaspersky Virus Removal Tool - Just like the ESET Online Scanner, this is also a free tool that doesn't install itself on your computer and simply runs a scan on your system.  While this tool is also useful, we've had better success using the ESET tool, and you don't need to run both.
  • (PAID) Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2018 - For home systems this is by far our favorite installed and paid to use antivirus application.  It has been rated as the top performer for the last four years by various antivirus testing websites, and we love it.  They also have business versions that are more suitable for companies.

Intermediate to Advance tools for the more technical user

  • (FREE) Microsoft Process Explorer - This free tool provides information on the programs that are running and the files, DLLs and handles the application have opened or loaded.  It allows you to freeze and kill processes, and this is especially useful when cleaning a virus since most viruses will monitor their auto-startup scripts.
  • (FREE) Microsoft Autoruns and Autorunsc - This free utility provides a complete list of anything and everything that loads when your computer is turned on.  It includes what loads within Internet Explorer, media players, and Windows registry.  It is handy in finding suspicious scripts, programs, and DLLs that load on start-up and allows you to disable desired applications, DLLs, etc.  If you find a virus executable with Process Explorer, you can freeze the program, remove the start-up entries in Autoruns and reboot the machine.  When the computer comes back, the virus will not load, and you can safely delete the infected files.
  • (FREE) Gandalf's Windows 8.1 PE - This is a pre-built Windows 8.1 PE that you can place on a CD or bootable USB drive.  It's packed with useful programs, including antivirus scanners ClamWin and MalwareBytes.  It allows you to scan your local hard drive and remove any infected files, and since your booted into the Windows PE operating system, all of your local hard drive files are "unlocked" and infect files can be easily cleaned and removed.  This tool gives you access to plenty of embedded programs that can be used to diagnose and repair your computers local Windows installation.

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