Posted by Tony Thompson
A renowned computer security company recently determined that a brand new unprotected PC connected to the internet will be infected with some kind of malware in 12 minutes.
If your home computer has gotten noticeably slower, it may be congested with malware (computer viruses, worms, trojans, etc.) that has eluded your antivirus software.
One easy way to exterminate all the bugs on your computer is to nuke it – use the system restore disks to wipe out your hard drive and start over like the system came out of the box new. (Being sure to first backup your files and prepare to reinstall software.)
And moving forward, here’s a key security measure that I recommend: disconnect the PC from your home network when you are not on the internet (even when the computer is turned off). Just unplug that network cable, or push the kill switch on the wireless connection. Even if you have good antivirus software, keep the PC unplugged from the internet when you are not browsing the web.
Back to the infected computer: assuming you don’t want to blast your hard drive, there is a somewhat long and involved process that I have seen work well on several terribly infected computers. It will take some time and effort, but it works, and it is free. Again, like all the advice you get here, there is no guarantee or warranty, and proceed at your own risk, but I would recommend this to family and friends.
Everything you need to give an infected PC a good, thorough scrubbing and delousing is here on this busy forum post at Major Geeks. You will have to work through several sets of instructions, downloads, installations, reboots, etc., but you may come out on the other end with a clean, healthy, and much faster PC.
Estimated time start-to-finish: 90 minutes.