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READ & RUN ME FIRST Malware Removal Guide (incl. spyware, virus, trojan, hijacker)

Discussion in 'Malware Removal' started by chaslang, Jun 22, 2004.

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  1. chaslang

    chaslang MajorGeeks Admin - Master Malware Expert Staff Member

    See new READ ME PROCESS dated 10-09-05 below or above depending on how you chose to display threads ( oldest first or newest first ).
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2011
  2. chaslang

    chaslang MajorGeeks Admin - Master Malware Expert Staff Member

    READ & RUN ME FIRST. Malware Removal Guide

    Please Read These Important Notes for the Malware Removal Guide: Yes we know they are long but they are important!

    1. Backup Important Data First - While in most cases, we do not have problems, we cannot guarantee that there will not be any. Thus it would be a very good idea for you to begin by backing up all important personal information before undertaking the act of malware removal. You can bypass this step at your own risk, but remember that we cannot guarantee what the result will be from trying to remove malware from your PC.
    2. After the automatic cleaning procedures/instructions in this guide, additional manual removal steps will almost always be required. So do not be surprised if you still have problems when you finish the instructions.
    3. Do not make the false assumption that this thread is old or out of date based on the date the thread was started ( 10-09-05 02:49 ). Look at the Last Edited date at the bottom of this message as this procedures does evolve with time.
    4. Please do not create any new threads ( even at different websites ) on this same topic while we are working on your system as it wastes another volunteer's time. If you are being helped elsewhere or have solved the issue or no longer wish to continue, please post a message in your thread and it will be closed.
    5. Please do not try to fix anything without being asked.
    6. Please attach all requested logs. Do not post them inline with your messages or put them in quote boxes or code boxes. Unlike many other forums we considered this a waste of bandwidth because each time your thread is loaded or refreshed, all of your inline info has to be re-downloaded which also increase page reload time. It also clutters up the internet search engines with logs making searches less useful. See this: HOW TO: Attach Items To Your Post
    7. Remember that this forum is run by volunteers so please respect their time and be patient waiting for responses. Please do not PM the people helping you. All help is provided in the forum from which many people can benefit. Please keep all communication in your thread.
    8. The fixes posted by helpers are unique fixes for each individual system. Please do not use these fixes on another system as it may cause serious damage.
    Now if you are ready to continue with malware removal:
    • Complete ALL of the below steps including the specific malware removal cleaning instructions for your Windows Version. Malware removal is a complicated process so don't stop following the steps even if the symptoms are no longer found. Keep working your thread until the person helping you tells you that your PC is clean.
    • Do not repeat the steps if you face any problems. If something does not run, write down the problem to explain to us later but keep on going. Do not assume that because one step does not work that they all will not. Exception: If you are confused about any instructions stop and ask. Do not keep on going.
    • If you cannot boot in Normal Boot mode or can boot but not properly run in normal mode but your PC runs in safe boot mode, you can ignore our note about Normal Startup and just complete as much as you can in safe boot mode. Some programs may not install in safe boot mode.
    • If you cannot download required programs on the infected PC, download them using another PC and copy them to the infected PC via CD or USB drive.
    • Do you want your PC fixed?? If yes then attempt to finish everything requested. Please do not cheat by skipping any steps. Attempt to run ALL steps in the READ & RUN ME. The only steps you should skip are ones that you are blocked from running by your problems.
      • You are only hurting yourself and you will waste more time in the long run if you ignore or skip steps.
    • Once you start this cleaning process to remove your malware please do not do anything to your PC except what is requested in this procedure. Do not download or install anything on your own and do not run other scans because it could confuse and hinder our process.
    • Make sure that you finish workingyour thread thru to completion and that you are told your PC is clean and given final instructions! Not doing so could mean your PC is still infected ( even if no apparent problems exist ) and you will have left overs from tools we run the need to be cleaned up!!!
    Step 1: Getting Started
    Step 2: Uninstalling Multiple Protection Applications
    • You must uninstall all but one antivirus program.
      • If you have multiple antivirus applications installed on your PC, please choose the one you prefer and uninstall all others. Do this now before continuing because you will only be asked to do it later if not done now. This does not mean online scanners. It is only referring to full antivirus applications like McAfee, Symantec, AVG, Avast, AntiVir, Kaspersky, etc.
    • You must uninstall all but one software firewall.
      • Only use one software firewall. Running multiple software firewalls is unnecessary and using more than one software firewall on the same connection could cause issues with connectivity to the Internet or other unexpected behavior including excessive use of system resources which will slow down overall PC performance.
    Step 3: Configuration & Setup

    • Enable viewing of hidden files, system files and file extensions
      • Some programs hide themselves by making their files invisible in normal Windows settings. Run the steps in the below link (this has steps for ALL Win OS's) to make them easier to find.
      • Not doing this would allow file extensions commonly used by trojans and spyware to be hidden, for example a file ending in .exe or dll making manually finding it, if needed, difficult to impossible.
    Step 4: Disable Any Disk Emulation Software (like Daemon Tools..etc)
    • If you skip this step, we may be just telling you to start the cleaning process over again! DON'T SKIP THIS STEP.
    • This is become a critical step before continuing the cleaning process. Disk emulation software is making it difficult to separate real rootkit like malware from valid software.
    Step 5: Temp File/Folder Cleaning
    **** WARNING ****
    Skip running CCleaner or any other disk cleaning program if you are missing icons, items from your Star Menu, from All Programs....etc.
    • Download and install CCleaner See the download links under this icon: [​IMG]
    • Now run Ccleaner. When it opens, the left most column will show 4 selectable icons ( Cleaner, Registry, Tools and Options).
    • Click the Cleaner icon ( it really should be selected by default so this is just to be sure it is selected ).
    • Now in the middle column you will see two tabs ( Windows and Applications ) keep the default settings on both of these tabs with the exception that if desired, you can uncheck the Cookies check boxes on both tabs to avoid loosing saved passwords from your browsers. Do not change anything else!!!
    • We only want you to run the Cleaner function by clicking the Run Cleaner button towards the bottom right. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT select the Registry icon in the left column and DO NOT clean the registry.
    • Also it is highly recommended ( but optional ) to login to all other User Accounts on the PC.
      • Run CCleaner on each account. This can greatly reduce scan time and log sizes from the later scanning you will do below.
      • If you don’t see Ccleaner’s link when logging into the other accounts, just go to the C:\Program Files\Ccleaner folder and double click on the ccleaner.exe file to run it. You can also create a shortcut to the file on the Desktop of your other user accounts to make it easier to run in the future
    Step 6: Windows OS Specific Cleaning Instructions

    Select and run all steps in the malware removal cleaning link below based on your Windows Operating System. You must click the blue underlined links to get to the cleaning procedures for your version of Windows!

    Last edited: Mar 23, 2016
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