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raven

Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2002
Location
Toronto
Your Anti-Virus Alternative Solutions

If you own a computer, you can get a virus. If you use a computer, you can get a virus. If your kid's friend's younger brother accidentally starts mashing keys on your computer while you are on the internet, you can get a virus. Viruses pose a real threat to our personal security and love to cripple our systems. They have been around since 1982, where the first credited virus --Elk_Cloner-- was written by a 15-year-old highschool student, and ever since then, people have found this unexplainable urge to create malicious code for purposes beyound this writers understanding.

As the years progressed, computer users began to realize the threat that viruses posed was serious, and so the antivirus program was brought to life. Many people and companies began to create different and unique antivirus programs, but each one lacked something the other had. Whether it be a unique searching algorithm, a worm detection tool, or active scanning, not one company has been able to get things perfect. Fortunately for us, as time has passed, technology has advanced and more sophisticated detection proceedures have been implemented. Heuristic techniques are now implemented to detect undiscovered problems, and as one would want from a detection tool such as the Anti-Virus program, poorly written virii and suspicious programs can now be caught without having being sent with a detection list. Although this process isn't perfect, it is a step in the right direction.

Since this thread is here to provide you with some insight on what a virus is, and how to prevent from getting one, it is time that we move on to the different types of Anti-Virus programs. These programs below are a few of the most common tools that have been voted on by you in the --Comprehensive Windows-based Antivirus Poll-- thread, the --Antivirus of Choice?-- thread, plus the latest versions of programs tested in the --Mega Antivirus Test--.

(L) - Linux Version Available
(M) - Mac Version Available
(U) - Unix Version Availabe
(V) - Vista 32/64-bit Version Available
(64) - XP 64-bit Version Available
(7) - Windows 7 32/64 bit Versions Available
(S) - Windows (Home) Server
All versions available for XP 32-bit unless otherwise noted
If a website states Vista compatibility, and no evidence was found to the contrary, then this guide assumes that it is both 32-bit and 64-bit compatible)


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Paid



Free



Online


Virus Removal Tools
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How to get rid of a Virus (A General Guide)

First of all, I would like to start off by saying that every virus is different, and there is no one way to fix everything. But, as I have been privilaged to mess around with a few computers, and have access to the Internet, I have been able to come up with with a few basic steps which might help you in your ever so depressing task of getting rid of a virus. These basic steps will help in preventing a virus from spreading, as you will be able to cut off its avenues of escape and attempt to corner it.
  1. The first thing that I would do, actually, the first thing that everyone should do if they are planning on surfing the internet, is to download, install, and keep up-to-date an anti-virus program. There are many programs listed above, and if you do not have the financial resources to purchase one, I highly recommend that you install one of the free ones. Remember, something is always better than nothing.
  2. If your anti-virus program pics up a virus, but is having trouble deleting it, perform a google search on the virus to gain some information on it (know thy enemy). Try to find removal instructions, forum discussions, or maybe a friend who has had it before, and find out all you can about it.
  3. Disable System Restore. To do this, Right click My Computer > Properties > System Restore > Check the 'Turn off System Restore on all drives' box.
  4. Next, update your anti-virus definitions, and then perform a scan of your computer. Also, after this completes, I would recommed that you also scan your computer with atleast two of the above online anti-virus scanning programs. This will help to detect and eliminate virii or part of a virus that your stand alone anti-virus program wasn't able to fix.
  5. If the virus is still occupying your computer, then the next thing you will want to do is to follow the removal instructions that you had earlier found about your virus. This will most likely include you rebooting into Safe Mode (Press F8 right after POST and before the Windows Booting screen comes up), and running the fixes there.
  6. Before going into safe mode, I would suggest that you download adaware and spyware removal programs as you might want to take this opportunity to scan your computer with these tools as well. The beauty about Safe Mode is that it only starts up the absolutely nessasary processes to run windows, and therefore any virus or spyware program that usualy runs when Windows boots, won't. This way, you can safely and easily remove any files that you couldn't have under normal Windows conditoins.
  7. While in Safe Mode, you should now follow the explicit instructions of how to get rid of your particular virus. This will insure that every part of it will be irradicated from your computer.
  8. After cleaning everything up, just reboot, and you are good to go. If this is not the case though, and you need more help removing your virus, just post on these forums and I am sure that someone will be able to help you out.
After going through a terrible virus infection, it becomes ever more evident that viruses are a continuing threat to our online existance. There are many new threats discovered every day, and that is why it is important to keep your anti-virus software updated. But there is one thing that all of us have to remember, and I cannot stress this enough, Common Sense is our best line of defence. By taking the extra second to think of whether or not we were expecting an attechment from a friend (or a link through MSN), not letting curiosity get the best of us in our junk mail folders, staving away from shady websites which have 'just what you were looking for', and most importantly, running an up-to-date antivirus program, we would be able to cut back on the number of infections that we get, and in the end we would have a more enjoyable online computing experience.

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Links to Different Useful Anti-Virus Threads on these Forums



Links to Different Useful Anti-Virus web pages outside these Forums



There are many different Anti-Virus programs out, and above is just a small representation of them. In the above lists, I have only included Home-based versions of the offered antivirus programs (that's excluding Workstations and File/Mail server versions), and so to get a full grasp on the different technology out there, I suggest that you take the time and carefully examine the different options at your disposal. Most of the listed companies also carry Internet security packages which include spyware removal tools and firewalls, which are just as important to have as having an A/V solution.

If there is one thing that I would like you all to take from this entire post, it is that Common Sense is our first line of defence. By taking an extra second to think about whether or not we were expecting an attachment in an email, or thinking twice about visiting the unknown sites that many of us frequent while indulging our curiosity, we would be able to greatly reduce the spread of viruses, and at the same time, we would be sending virus writers a message saying that we will no longer be taken advantage of.


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There are way too many people out there today who (if not purposely) run their computers without an antivirus solution, and then when they get infected, they come asking for some miracle fix. In a case like this, ignorance isn't bliss, as there could very well be consequences from inaction. This is why I thought it would be prudent to write up such a post. Hopefully, by showing people that they do not have to break open their wallets to get effective antivirus protection, more computers will become protected, and thus save everyone precious time and money. Also, by encouraging people to install and update antivirus programs, we would be doing our part in stinting the spread of viruses and the motivation of virus writers. It is my view that by doing our part and spreading this message, we will be able to help educate people on how to have a safe and rewarding online experience.

To further help people out, I was also hoping to make this a continuing, community involvement thread. What I mean by this is that I will ask you to post any virus related problems that you may have had in the past, along with detailed solutions on how you went about fixing them (don't forget to state the exact name of the virus!). In the end, I am hoping that this thread turns out to be a sort of database of experience so that others would be able to turn to it for help.

In the mean time, I am more than welcome to any of your input on this post, along with any comments or suggestions that you might like to make (PM at your convenience). If there are other antivirus programs that you would like me to add to the list, other links that you feel other people should know about, or any other topic that you would like added/discussed, I am open to suggestions. This topic will be updated on a continual basis, and so if there is anything that needs to be corrected, just kindly let me know.

Remember, a virus is everyone's problem. Only by working together can we achieve what we all want.


Raven
 
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VinnyTAMU

Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2005
Location
BCS, Texas
Everything above is great, here is my .02 cents on cleaning Virii.

Removing Spyware/Malware/Virii

1.) update your virus scanner. (I personally us Mcafee)
2.) Install/update the latest versions of spybot, Adaware, and ewido.
3.) Restart your computer and go into safe-mode.
4.) Run a full system scan with your virus scanner. Clean all infections.
5.) Next run spybot, if spybot finds more than around 100 problems, restart, and go back into safe mode and run spybot again.
6.) Next run a full system scan of Adaware. Clean all infections.
7.) Restart and boot into safe-mode, this time run a full system scan with ewido.
8.) Remove infected files, this time inspect each file due to Ewido sometimes producing false positives.
9.) Lastly go to Bitdefender.com and run their online system scan. (this step could take awhile)

After all of that if you still have an infection(s) then you need professional help. You can go to www.castlecops.com or www.malwareremoval.com and create a post for more specialized help.

Also there is a program out there called HiJackThis (HJT). HJT is very useful at removing and showing possible infections, but be warned that this program is only for those who know what they are doing. Also HJT can only tell you so much about possible infections on a computer, other programs in conjunction with HJT must be used.

Also to prevent reinfection look HERE!

One last thing, Keep windows updated!!!
 

Richie P

Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2006
As most people here will know the best way to keep spyware/adware out is simply..

Firefox. (with Spybot just in case).

As for virus scanners, I swear by Nod32 - such a small footprint and so powerful :D
 

elpaco

New Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2006
welldone and wonderfull job. you have done a great job for biginers and/or ppl who didnt know about other software if not for the one that came with their pc when they bought it,probablt northon!!
 

youngbuck

Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2002
Location
CO, USA
My opinion is that Kaspersky has the best detection engine available, but NOD32 has the best heuristics! NOD32 is my choice for AV, and Kaspersky is the runner up.

EDIT: Oh yea, stay away from McAfee and Symantec (Norton) software.
 
OP
raven

raven

Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2002
Location
Toronto
Thank you everyone for all of the kind words. I have been doing my best to keep this Sticky updated.

Sticky Updated!!
  • Added Vista and XP 64-bit support
  • Added new Antivirus programs
  • Added additional internal & external links

I am currently working on putting together procedures on how to get rid of Linux and Mac viruses, and I will be doing the same for Vista once I get the hang of how it works.
 

traderonline

Registered
Joined
Mar 3, 2007
I recommend AVG free edition. it has many paid features for free and i've been using AVG for more than 2 years.
 

Death259

Registered
Joined
Jun 11, 2007
Something Useful

A site that i have found to be very useful is Virus Bulletin. The website gives you lots of information about malware, such as what malware is most prevalent currently. The main reason i visit Virus Bulletin is for their comparisons of different anti-virus software. Not only do they do comparisons on just the software, but they do so on different platforms. Some of the platforms include, Suse, Red Hat, windows xp, windows vista, windows server, windows nt, netware and others. The only drawback is that you have to sign-up for an account, thought the account is free, the signing up part still turns some people off. Once you have signed up though, if you go to their test history, you can see the results of their tests throughout the years, dating all the way back to 1998. I hope that helps you all in your adventures for finding a proper anti-virus software.
 

aja

Member
Absloutely amazing sticky, WELL DONE!

My reccomendation is NOD32. I started using it because it is the only 64bit AV I could find, but now I don't use anything else.

On almost every PC that I have had software problems with and that was running norton, NOD32 finds some viruses that norton missed...(they have a very very handy DOS based scanner - burn to a cd and run using a DOS boot disk...)
 

leftheaded

Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2007
Location
the present
i have been a norton user for years, but in recent years norton has become way too resource hungry & every click yields a config popup. going with the popular recommendations here, i tried NOD32 and kaspersky. NOD32 seemed to stay out of my way, and kaspersky keeps popping up all the time... kinda like what i didn't like about norton.

i think i'm going to give my money to NOD32
 
OP
raven

raven

Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2002
Location
Toronto
Is there any way to tell which versions will work with server 2003 ?
Hey hkgonra,

Unfortunately, I know of no way to check if the programs are compatible with 2003 other than by clicking the antivirus link and looking for yourself, but thanks for pointing that out. Once exams are over at school, I will have a look and see if I can add Server 2003 to the mix.



***Important***
Avira has started to update their clients to Version 8 and unfortunately, even though it is supposed to provide up to a 20% increase in performance, some people have been having problems getting the software to work after the update (me being one of them). After doing some searching over at Avira's forum, someone suggested to put 'Event Log' on automatic in the services menu1. This cleared it up for me as I had it on Disabled, and so if you are experiencing the same thing, I would suggest that you give this a shot.


1 Start > Run > Services.msc
 

hkgonra

Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2001
Location
West TN.
Hey hkgonra,

Unfortunately, I know of no way to check if the programs are compatible with 2003 other than by clicking the antivirus link and looking for yourself, but thanks for pointing that out. Once exams are over at school, I will have a look and see if I can add Server 2003 to the mix.



***Important***
Avira has started to update their clients to Version 8 and unfortunately, even though it is supposed to provide up to a 20% increase in performance, some people have been having problems getting the software to work after the update (me being one of them). After doing some searching over at Avira's forum, someone suggested to put 'Event Log' on automatic in the services menu1. This cleared it up for me as I had it on Disabled, and so if you are experiencing the same thing, I would suggest that you give this a shot.


1 Start > Run > Services.msc

I have looked myself at several and was hoping I could give you some information to update the thread with. Unfortunately I have not found any yet.
 

fritzman

Member
Joined
Aug 29, 2002
i have been a norton user for years, but in recent years norton has become way too resource hungry & every click yields a config popup. going with the popular recommendations here, i tried NOD32 and kaspersky. NOD32 seemed to stay out of my way, and kaspersky keeps popping up all the time... kinda like what i didn't like about norton.

i think i'm going to give my money to NOD32

I haven't run it myself yet, but understand that Norton 360 V2 is much less resource-hungry.

I have a 3-user set here, but am waiting for my NIS2008 to expire before installing it.

On another note... I too am looking for a decent free (preferably) antivirus system for a server I have just set up. It's running SBS2003 (came with it) and the only cheap offering appears to be eTrust Antivirus r8.1. Locally, it's $66 (US$50), but free would be nice.

Watching the thread with interest for the Server2003 sub-heading. For us 'off-shore' members, a free & paid section would be especially helpful, as paying and downloading is a good backup option.

Great thread all the same.:thup:

+++edit... the McAfee/AOL free one is NOT server03 complaint.

+++edit2... this is free and apparently works with Server03: http://www.clamav.net/

++++edit3.... bummer... way too complicated for me to install... assuming it is up-to-date and ongoing, it needs someone to do up a simple instruction manual, and a small batchfile to get it to install IMHO. Maybe someone here has that expertise, but I certainly don't.
 
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OP
raven

raven

Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2002
Location
Toronto
Sorry guys, I've been MIA this past month. I'll get right on updating this as soon as I can. The weather has just been too nice to ignore here =)
 

fritzman

Member
Joined
Aug 29, 2002
Just an update... I managed to get Clam installed and running fine. It's pretty basic but at least it's in and going (on SBS2003)