Imagine if your computer suddenly shuts down by itself? Or you find that certain files won’t open or are missing. Or your software begin to work quite slowly. Such unusual behaviour might be an indication of a standard hardware or software problem. Or it might mean your PC is infected with a computer virus. How can you tell which it truly is? If you have an IT expert at your company, your best move will be to describe the suspicious action of your computer to the individual and follow their advice. But if you are on your ownas many small businesses operators arehere are a couple ways you are able to determine if it’s a virus causing your issues. Run the Malicious Software Removal Tool “Malicious software” is the term used to refer to viruses, worms and Trojan horses those small-scale applications that interrupt your computer work and damage files.

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Microsoft offers the Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool as one means to shut viruses down if they get installed on your own PC. The free application allows you to quickly check computers running Windows XP, Windows 2000 and Windows Server 2003 for infections. However, it is restricted to detecting only the most common types of malicious software currently in circulation. You can and should run the Malicious Software Removal Tool routinelyeven when you are not alarmed about a potential infection. It scans your computer’s memory for known malicious software and ceases any malicious procedures that it finds when you establish the tool. It undoes system changes which can be related to procedures that are malicious and also deletes files. The application may ask you to restart your computer or perform certain manual steps.

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When the virus detection and removal process is complete, the tool displays a report describing the consequence. You might have several ways to run the Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool. It’s possible for you to use it online or download it to your computer and run it. You then run it and can also have it installed with other updates from Microsoft Update. A new version of the tool is released the second Tuesday of each month so that you can get the most recent viruses. Update Your Antivirus Applications and Scan Your System The Malicious Software Removal Tool simply looks for a certain set of known virusesthe worst and latest offenders. It also just detects malicious software that is presently running. This means it might miss a virus that is not well-known or active.

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You should scan the body with your antivirus software to look for other types of viruses to compensate for these limits. (If you don’t have antivirus software installed, get and install it instantly!) One reason a virus may have fell by your antivirus software is that the applications has not been upgraded by you lately with the newest virus definition files. Before you scan your system, visit the software maker’s website and download and install all available upgrades. If you CAn’t connect to the Internet to download upgrades, download the updates to your co-worker or friend’s computer, copy them to a disc and install them on your own PC. Also, before you begin your scan, turn off the System Restore feature in Windows XP. This utility, which could restore your computer to an earlier state, backs up selected files automatically to the C: \ Restore folder. This means that your virus scan will not be able to delete it and that an infected file could be saved there as a backup file. You must disable the System Restore Utility to remove the infected files from the C:\ Restore folder.

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To disable System Restore, right- click the My Computer icon on the Desktop and click on Properties. Click the System Restore tab and put a check mark next to Turn off System Restore on All Drives. Now proceed with the virus scan and follow any directions for handling infected files that are found. If the antivirus software cannot remove a virus automatically, it should quarantine the infected file after which supply directions on how to manually fix the damage. Understand that some viruses cannot be removed from infected objects. If a virus cannot be removed from a file, the file should be deleted. Also make sure to scan all disks and removable storage media that may be infected by the virus.

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More Strategies to Strive Below are some additional thoughts if your PC has been infected by a virus for diagnosing if these scans neglect to turn up signs of a virus. Scan with an antivirus merchandise that is second. Not all antivirus applications are equal. To see if the virus eluded the software you use, try scanning your computer with another virus software. And you can do that for free at some leading security firm Web sites, where on-line scan services can be obtained at no charge. Monitor your network. If your computer acts like its online even when you are not using the Internet, this could be an indicator of a virus at the office.

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One method to more carefully monitor your network activity will be to place a network status light in your system tray which blinks during network activity. In Windows XP, choose Start, Control Panel, Network Connections, right-click the network connection you want to track. Then select Properties, assess Show icon in notification area when connected, and click OK. If you discover you imagine you do, or have a virus, you should promptly disconnect your computer from any local network or the Internet in order to avoid dispersing it. And, if your computer continues to act strangely but no virus has been found, consider using the System Restore feature in Windows XP to return your system to an earlier state when it worked fine.