February 12, 2011

Clean an Infected Hard Drive

Getting a virus on your hard drive can quickly turn your computer into a slow, zombie-like machine that has a brain of its own and won't do anything you want it to do. Because the hard drive is infected and it is somewhat out of control, you must take the right steps in cleaning it, or you will find yourself going in circles.


1. Disconnect from the Internet. Shut down your computer and unplug any network connections.

2. Restart your computer and close any running programs. Close any background programs that are running by going to the Task Manager, then clicking on the "Processes" tab. Select processes that you know are programs you have installed, such as instant messenger programs and PDA synch programs. Select the process and then click "End Process."

3. Remove programs that you know you didn't install and don't want, by going to the Control Panel and selecting "Add/Remove Programs." Choose the programs you don't want and select "Remove".

4. Buy or download an anti-virus program. There are several good programs (see Resources) that are free and others that cost $20-40 or more.

5. Run the anti-virus program once it's installed. Make sure there are no other programs running and plan to have the computer scanning for one hour or more, depending how much material is on the hard drive.


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