I and Mdd1963 had a nice discussion in another topic, about some malware hunting and recovering techniques, but I think it is a lot fitting to have a thread where people can read and post their opinions on such matters, as I am too are interested in potential tools and possibilities! Fire away, Ladies and Gentlemen.
Just to confirm, while I am looking into more advanced and detailed answers on some tools, any opinion is great and you should be encouraged to post here what you use!
I've tinkered with lots of tools over the past several years, but, the most common to that I use frequently helping others ditch issues (before reaching frustration, and recommending a format/reinstall) would likely be:
Malwarebytes Junkware Removal Tool
Autoruns (from MS Technet/ SysInternals)
Process Explorer (SysInternals)--VERY POWERFUL, informative tool!
Kaspersky Rescue CD
For a couple of years, I used 360TS, and, it seemed effective, but, I moved on to SecureAPlus, which has worked so well with it's 'block if in doubt, give me the choice'/whitelist approach, that I have stuck with it....
For a firewall, I use Glasswire, which puts all connections/throughput and inbound/outbound connections as little 2 sec popups, and, gives easy plain to read and super easy to block connection/application lists...easy to block if something looks suspicious. Love it...
Occasional MBAM and Defender scans out of boredom or biweekly, whichever comes first...
(Gave up on SuperAntiAPyware a few years back, as it really only found cookies anyway, and is slow to update it's database for new malware for free and paid versions...)