How To: Scan and Fix your Infected PC

In case your Windows device has been infected so badly that you could not even run your antivirus from inside the system, you will be able to locate and remove the malware by scanning your PC outside from Windows.

However, we should first mention that a malware cannot be detected so easily because of its ability to hide from your scannings. In addition many malware can prevent you from installing your antivirus software or using it for your scannings. Therefore, you should be careful when trying to find them in your infected computer. In this guide we will show you a few efficient methods to find and then get rid of the malware in your Wndows PC.

Boot into Safe Mode

Although  Safe mode cannot help you in case a malware has infected your system files, your operating system will not load any third-party programs or hardware drivers that run automatically, when you boot into it. As a result, the malware will not run too.

  • Once you boot into Safe mode, you could install an antivirus and use it to scan for malware.
  • When you find the malwar that infected your computer, remove it. Be careful though, because sometimes the malware can return, even if its removed, and there is a chance for your antivirus to fail in removing it. Therefore, you should make sure that the operation will be done properly.

Now let’s see how you can boot into Safe mode.

  • If you are using Windows 7 or other earlier Windows systems, tap F8 repeatedly, when the boot-up process is beginning.
  • After this, choose Safe Mode or Safe Mode with Networking from the available menu.

NOTE: In case you select the Safe Mode option you will have to install an antivirus software from a USB drive, because you will not have Internet access. On the other hand, the Safe Mode with Networking option provides you with Internet access, so you will be able to download an antivirus of your choice.

  • Then, all you have to do is launching the antivirus.

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  • If you are using Windows 8 or 8.1, open the Settings charm by pressing Win key + I.
  • Now press and hold the Shift key, while you click on Restart right below the power button.
  • Once you do this, your PC will restart into a menu, which will provide you with boot options. In this menu press Troubleshoot and then click on Advanced options. 
  • Click on Startup settings and press Restart. Next, press F4 or 4 in the Startup settings window, in order to enter the Safe Mode. On top of that, you can also boot into the Safe Mode with Networking by pressing F5 or 5.

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  • When you finish with the removal or the malware that infected your Windows device, restart it once again to leave the Safe Mode.

Use an Antivirus Boot Disc

Many antivirus companies offer their customers boot discs, so that they could scan and fix their computers. You can either burn those discs to a CD and DVD, or install them into a USB drive.

  • Restart your computer and then boot into the system from the removable media.
  • You will enter an environment, in which you can scan and remove the malware.

You can use this method to get rid of your PC’s malware, because the antivirus boot discs are working outside of Windows, so the malware will not run.

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Use a Linux Live CD

You can use a Linux Live CD and a USB drive to scan your computer.

  • If you have an available removable media, in which you have stored Linux Ubuntu, and boot into it as you restart your device.
  • Furthermore, click the Try Ubuntu link and you will enter a complete Linux environment. In the Linux environment you could install an antivirus program and use it to scan your PC. When you find the malware, you will have the chance to remove it.

NOTE: This method may require its users some advanced knowledge about Linux, so it is not so popular as the antivirus boot disc method.

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Remove the Hard Drive and Connect it to Another Computer

  • In case you own a desktop PC or other device, which allows you to remove its hard drive quite easily, do not hesitate to do it. Open your PC and remove the hard drive.
  • When you do it, connect the drive to another computer. As a result, you could have access to all of your files.
  • Then you can install an antivirus in the operating system of the other computer to scan the hard drive that you recently connected. When you locate the malware, remove it from the operating system. The malware will not be able to defend itself.

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When a malware infects your device, it expects you to fight back through your Windows system. You should realize that those kinds of programs are expecting such a reaction and they are ready to defend themselves. Threfore, if you try to remove them by using one of the methods we have explained, you will caught the malware off guard and you will successfully secure your files from it.

However, we should point out that there are many malware, which could be very troublesome, so do not think that those methods can work against anything that puts your computer’s security at risk.