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I have used this technique for years. It can be performed on Windows XP, Windows 7 and Windows 8. Windows 10 and Windows 8.1 are not supported yet. So goal was to find software to remove all kind of unwanted applications. But, most of antivirus software, at that time (before 5 years, for sure) was destroying data my customers needed. So in some cases, it was even cheaper to purchase new computer, and than move files carefully, leave infected computer, with all data, intact. It was slow, full of viruses, or however you want to call that disease. At same time, we weren’t able to clean it, because of data importance. For this reason, I’m making back up as soon as I get some machine, even now (very rare opportunities to have computer on my bench).
So I made a long research and test, back in days. After few week i had a winner – “ComboFix” from “Bleeping Computers”. But, you need to do everything by my recipie, to successfully clean your computer. Don’t do it, if you don’t have at least basic knowledge about computers! And you need to be able to recognize, what kind of sickness you computer have, you can do it with research, easy today, Because almost any error, if you type it in “Google”, you’ll have your answer. I wouldn’t recommend “ComboFix” in all cases, but let’s say, you can use it in most cases. When I wasn’t able to repair “Windows 7” with “ComboFix”, it actually really needed to be reinstall. So you don’t have what to lose, anyway.
First thing first, what you’ll need is to copy all your files on some secure space. Be careful, if you have really dangerous virus, don’t do it over network, just use some USB drive, or something similar. It would be good if you can keep just files from sick computer on it, copy all files you need, then remove it from USB and don’t bring it back, all to the end of this process. Also keep in mind, that your files are usually on “Desktop”, or in “My Documents”, but you also have just “Shortcut” on “Desktop”, don’t copy just “Shortcut”, you have to find where is your data, then. Maybe “Shortcut” is linked to second partition? Anyway, keeping your data backed up, is good, even if you don’t have problem’s with viruses. There is a lot of application for backup on market. I can suggest you “Cobian”. But right now we are cleaning system, so you probably won’t be able to install new application, or installation might be corrupt, so if you didn’t have anu backup application installed, before, just do it manually.
Your data is on safe place, now?
Before “ComboFix”, you’ll need to uninstall as much application as you can. So go to your “Control Panel”, “Add Remove Programs”, and uninstall everything you and “Google” don’t know, what is it good for. I’m suggesting here “Revo uninstaller Free” that will remove also registry entries installed application. Take a look in table, and type name of application you see in your search bar in favorite browser. It will took some time, but you will notice, maybe even during this operation faster computer. Maybe you just had 2 antiviruses software, who knows? If you remove one, you PC will fly after reboot. While you’re uninstalling, please remove all antiviruses software, everything connected with security. Keep licences somewhere safe, but uninstall software. When you finish with all software you don’t need, reboot computer. You’ll notice much faster machine already, even it is still infected.
I have removed all applications I don’t need…
ComboFix, will scan your machine for all kinds of malware, even in “Temporary internet files”, and if there is lot of infection, it will take a while. Workaround for this is to clean all your temporary files. I can recommend for this operation “CC Cleaner” or my favourite “Auslogics BoostSpeed”. Install any of this small application and remove all trash you kept for long time on your hard drives. Before you continue with digital cleaning, please keep all your passwords on some safe and secure place. Cleaning will definetly remove passwords from your browser. You don’t have to worry for your other files, because you already have a copy we made it in step one – backup, but these applications don’t even look in folders where you are usually keep your files, they`ve been checking “Temp” folders.
I have removed temporary files, what is next?
So you are now ready for download and run ComboFix.
Go to https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/download/combofix/ and download “The Thingy”. Download is around 5MB. Run as soon as you have it on your computer and follow instructions. Instructions are pretty straight forward and you can’t be wrong. When it finishes with preparing it’ll scan and scanning has it’s 50 stages. After scanning, you have to wait for “ComboFix” text log where you’ll be able to find what changes application made to system. Sometimes, when your computer is really badly infected, “ComboFix” will ask to reboot your computer, and it’ll finish cleaning operation during reboot phase. That is ok. After this, you’ll computer is almost clean.
After ComboFix scaning
Install antivirus software, update antivirus definition to current version and scan your computer. That will be final phase. After this stage, your computer is clean.
Keep your operating system updated!
Sometimes, you have really malicious software, that is installed as extension or add-on in your browser. Most of modern antivirus software, can find that, but there are few free application that are not able to clean this, so you’ll have to either uninstall/install your browsers, or uninstall those malicious software from within your browser. I will recommend to remove browser from your computer completely and then download current version (newest one) and install it again. “Chrome” is able to keep extensions even after that operation, so it would be great to do uninstall with “Revo uninstaller Free”. If your “Chrome” still have unwanted extension, you’ll have to ask “Google” support, what to do. At least I will suggest you to do so, because, that specific extension is connected to your “Google” account and that can really be dangerous. It might be mass mailing from your account and have acces to where ever you are accessing with you “Google” account (an example Android phone, just keep in mind how bad it can be).
It would be my honor to answer on any question, thank you.