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DIY Malware and Virus Removal Made Easy!

Are you a “Do it yourself” type of person? Maybe you find yourself short on cash? Do you dislike the whole “hassle” of sending in your computer for repair when something goes awry? If you are reading this thread, you probably answered “YES” to all of these questions.


Before we jump head first into suggested software for various diagnostics and removal we should understand some of the key concepts of what exactly a computer virus is and normally what is involved in the process. Generally, you have two types of software defenses: anti-virus and anti-malware.


Anti-virus would be considered to have a broader range of defenses as it scans for several items while normally anti-malware scans for very specific and particular categories when it comes to malicious intended code.


Let’s first understand what generally happens with viruses, and please keep in mind this is a very basic understanding to help you recognize what exactly your computer is doing and why. This may seem kind of deep to some but honestly, the easiest way to explain it is that all viruses are malware, but not all malware are viruses.  The most common types of malware are viruses, rootkits, dialers, keyloggers, trojans, adware, spyware, and worms. There are others but for the sake of this article most software out there will cover more than just one of these categories so we don’t have to go into the full list. Quite candidly, there is a constant war on malware as malicious code changes daily and that’s why having the right software to protect you day in and day out is so important.


The next question you should ask yourself is “Okay now that I have the gist of what malware and viruses are what should I do now? I just want this machine to work!” Good question! The short answer is you should always be cautious about what you do online. The World Wide Web is a vast, enormous, and even scary place to be sometimes, so if a website seems sketchy, it’s best not to visit it to begin with. Nobody is ever 100% safe (as no one software catches everything) but with the right combination of anti-virus and anti-malware software you can be about as safe as possible.


I am sure by now you just want your machine fixed and that’s understandable! So let’s now take a look at how to actually diagnose the issue. Listed below are some very common symptoms of infection and you should use this as impartial advice only. Remember, trained Geek Squad professionals would be able to confirm any doubts and should be your “go to” person when and if you can’t resolve your issues.


  • Slow computer
  • Popups, different homepage, random websites opening, do you have strange toolbars all of a sudden?
  • Your friends are receiving links and/or messages that you didn’t send, your various accounts online have been hacked/stolen.
  • Is your computer crashing? Do you all of a sudden get the infamous “Blue screen of death?”
  • Has your security been disabled?

These are but only a few of the symptoms of a possible infection and all of these can be severe in their own nature and design.  Luckily, over the years anti-malware and anti-virus software has evolved and can handle more than one type of issue. Normally Anti-Malware software is geared towards the newer threats out there while Anti-Virus generally handles the older security threats, but using both together provides a more secure environment to work with in your everyday life.


I come to you today; my friendly BestBuy readers, to offer a simple way to achieve success in finding and cleaning up your infected machines. Before we begin anything though we should do a little prep work to protect our important documents.


Keep in mind that there are times when your system may be so bogged down that even getting to your files to save them may be hard or impossible.  A good option in those situations is using a Fix Me Stick to do an initial cleaning so your computer is functional enough to back up those files.


For Windows 7 users I would highly advise turning off your PC and when you restart it press F8 to log into Safe Mode.  Safe mode disables all but the most essential computer services to give you a chance to get your important data and help prevent a virus from spreading to the USB Drive.  Once you are logged in you will want to plug in a USB drive and back up any important documents just to be on the safe side. Make sure your internet is OFF if you using Safe Mode with Networking.


For Windows 10 users to get into safe mode you will want to press or click the power button and then holding the SHIFT key down you will press or click the restart button. Once this is done the computer will restart and you will see a screen with some different options.  You will want to click “troubleshoot” ,then “advanced options”, then “startup settings”, then it will reboot and give you a couple of different F key options to choose from, I would do F5 as we want to back up any files.


Now that your files are backed up you can turn your internet back on and the battle ahead may start. Will you win? Will you conquer the beast known as malware? To start off a beginning scan I would suggest downloading my personal favorite and highly suggested software:


Malwarebytes – Free Edition


For the initial scan the free edition is perfectly fine, however after everything is fixed I highly suggest considering an upgrade to the Premium edition as it is well worth every penny spent.


Malwarebytes – Premium


Once you have installed the software you will want to first go into “settings” and go to “Detection and Protection” Make sure you check off “scan for rootkits” as there is a very powerful rootkit scanner in this software. After this is done you will want to go to “scan” and then “threat scan”.


Let the scan go until it is done. You will want to take action against anything that is found, especially anything showing as red at the very least.


Hopefully this fixes the issue, but if not, you may have to put some further attention to the problem. Generally speaking if you have a secondary device such as a phone or some kind of mobile device you can always Google exactly what the problem is to get more assistance.


This leads me to my second phase of help, which is that many of the security software places out there offer limited advice in virus removal for free if you using their program. If nothing seems to work though do not fear BestBuy readers! Geek Squad is always readily available to assist you with your computer needs and malware removal is but only a small part of what they can do to support you.


After your system has been cleaned either by yourself (congratulations!) or by a member of the Geek Squad I would highly suggest you sit down and consider a couple of security products to help make your life easier in the future so the same issues will be far less likely.


I would personally suggest a combination of Malwarebytes Premium and Kaspersky Total Security. These two combined run very well and for less than $100 a year can keep you and your systems safe and secure.


Other highly reputable scanners include:


ESET Online Scanner


Anti-virus and other products:


Webroot Products

Fix Me Stick

Trend Micro


I hope this helped and remember, there’s always professional help out there if you can’t do it yourself!


I am not affiliated with Best Buy nor have I ever been employed by Best Buy. All of my thoughts and posts are of my own opinion and personal experience.

I may not always know the right answer, but I will always tell you what I do know. I also do free computer analysis and consultation via private message.