Let's make a sticky for dealing with viruses/malware


Sep 7, 2014
Okay, so I've noticed that a lot of people come onto the forum with a very basic question, and the same answers keep getting repeated. I'm honestly surprised that there isn't a sticky relating to the first basic steps that we recommend. It seems like this would have been done by now, especially to make the entire process easier.

So, I figured I'd try to crowd source some information, research the AV/AM programs recommended for troubleshooting, and then create a tutorial/sticky we can all point to for when someone suspects a form of malware on their computer. I'll start with what I would recommend, and I'll look into whatever everyone else recommends before adding it to the list.

Personally, I've been recommending the following steps:

    - Download and run Malwarebytes. Depending on results, run the free trial of Hitman Pro
    - Download some free virus scanners, and run them. The top three free scanners I've come across (based purely on overall accuracy) are Bitdefender, Panda, and Avira, in that order. If any of the scanners picks something up, but doesn't get rid of the problem, I would then recommend AV software in order of effectiveness (according to lab reports, and nothing else).
    - If any minor problems persist, run a system cleaner. I would recommend Ccleaner.
    - If there are still major issues after running the scanners/AV programs, then post up what problems have persisted.

I think this would be a good starting point, and would like to see what the rest of the board says. As far as what kind of problems this is good for, I'd say it's more for the basic types of malware encountered, like frequent popup ads, overall slow computer performance, etc.. Obviously, this won't work with every case, but it gives users a starting point for weaker/lesser threatening types of malware.

If anyone wants to collaborate, make recommendations, or share some resources, please let me know. I think this would help take care of a lot of traffic here that results in the most common types of answers (ie: run MBAM, do some AV scans, and report extra problems). This seems to pop up a lot. Like I said, it won't cover everything, but this should serve more as a starting point for infected computers.


Jan 24, 2015
Nice thread. :D

I always start a virus scan by running ADWCleaner (best download on bleeping computer,) which is really lightweight and gets rid of many viruses and bad registry keys. Most of the computers on which I've worked have had their CPU at near-max load or simply bluescreen after several minutes at 'idle,' so it's a really good stage 1 virus cleaner.

Depending on time restraints I'll follow up by either running Malwarebytes (if both my clients and I have over 3 hours and don't mind waiting) or I'll do a manual scan myself through CCleaner.

Later I'll go to "folder options" and "Show hidden files, folders, and drives" to do another manual search through ProgramData and AppData. Most of the viruses I find on my clients' computers are in their Chrome user files found in AppData.


Sep 7, 2014
Not too bad. I like it, but it seems to be a bit too involved. I think I could use that more for an intermediate level tutorial, though.

Also, for those reading, this i more of a collaboration, and not really a how-to just yet. If anyone is following this thread for fixing their virus problems, please message whoever recommended whatever method you used.
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
Ben Harley Antivirus / Security / Privacy 8
I Antivirus / Security / Privacy 7
B Antivirus / Security / Privacy 4
Dark Lord of Tech Antivirus / Security / Privacy 1
D Antivirus / Security / Privacy 7
P Antivirus / Security / Privacy 4
P Antivirus / Security / Privacy 8
TStahler Antivirus / Security / Privacy 2
G Antivirus / Security / Privacy 1
E Antivirus / Security / Privacy 2
Rossdowling321 Antivirus / Security / Privacy 1
N Antivirus / Security / Privacy 9
M Antivirus / Security / Privacy 1
F Antivirus / Security / Privacy 1
N Antivirus / Security / Privacy 8
I Antivirus / Security / Privacy 3
G Antivirus / Security / Privacy 4
anoori9000 Antivirus / Security / Privacy 1
nikorr Antivirus / Security / Privacy 4
Dark Lord of Tech Antivirus / Security / Privacy 4