Five Tips For Removing Viruses & Spyware

It’s inevitable that clients will infect workstations, PCs, and laptops with spyware and viruses. Regardless of preventive steps, from gateway protection to automated scans to written Internet use policies, malware threats sneak through even layered defenses. What makes the situation worse is that many clients aren’t willing to invest in standalone anti-spyware software, even though they understand the need for minimal antivirus protection.

Some IT professionals advocate simply wiping systems and reinstalling Windows, while others suggest that’s akin to giving up and letting the bad guys win. The truth lies somewhere in between. After making an image copy of the drive (it’s always best to have a fallback option when battling malicious infections), here are the measures I find most effective.

1: Isolate the drive

Many rootkit and Trojan threats are masters of disguise that hide from the operating system as soon as or before Windows starts. I find that even the best antivirus and antispyware tools — including AVG Anti-Virus Professional, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, and SuperAntiSpyware — sometimes struggle to remove such entrenched infections.

You need systems dedicated to removal. Pull the hard disk from the offending system, slave it to the dedicated test machine, and run multiple virus and spyware scans against the entire slaved drive.

2: Remove temporary files

While the drive is still slaved, browse to all users’ temporary files. These are typically found within the C:\Documents and Settings\Username\Local Settings\Temp directory within Windows XP or the C:\Users\Username\App Data\Local\Temp folder within Windows Vista.

Delete everything within the temporary folders. Many threats hide there seeking to regenerate upon system startup. With the drive still slaved, it’s much easier to eliminate these offending files.

3: Return the drive and repeat those scans

Once you run a complete antivirus scan and execute two full antispyware scans using two current, recently updated and different anti-spyware applications (removing all found infections), return the hard disk to the system. Then, run the same scans again.

Despite the scans and previous sanitization, you may be surprised at the number of remaining active infections the anti-malware applications subsequently find and remove. Only by performing these additional native scans can you be sure you’ve done what you can to locate and remove known threats.

4: Test the system

When you finish the previous three steps, it’s tempting to think a system is good to go. Don’t make that mistake. Boot it up, open the Web browser, and immediately delete all offline files and cookies. Next, go to the Internet Explorer Connection settings (Tools | Internet Options and select the Connections tab within Internet Explorer) to confirm that a malicious program didn’t change a system’s default proxy or LAN connection settings. Correct any issues you find and ensure settings match those required on your network or the client’s network.

Then, visit 12 to 15 random sites. Look for any anomalies, including the obvious popup windows, redirected Web searches, hijacked home pages, and similar frustrations. Don’t consider the machine cleaned until you can open Google, Yahoo, and other search engines and complete searches on a string of a half-dozen terms. Be sure to test the system’s ability to reach popular anti-malware Web sites, such as AVG, Symantec, and Malwarebytes.

5: Dig deeper on remaining infections

If any infection remnants persist, such as redirected searches or blocked access to specific Web sites, try determining the filename for the active process causing the trouble. Trend Micro’s HijackThis, Microsoft’s Process Explorer, and Windows’ native Microsoft System Configuration Utility (Start | Run and type msconfig) are excellent utilities for helping locate offending processes. If necessary, search the registry for an offending executable and remove all incidents. Then, reboot the system and try again.

If a system still proves corrupt or unusable, it’s time to begin thinking about a reinstall. If an infection persists after all these steps, you’re likely in a losing battle.

Other strategies

Some IT consultants swear by fancier tricks than what I’ve outlined above. I’ve investigated KNOPPIX as one alternative. And I’ve had a few occasions in the field where I’ve slaved infected Windows drives to my Macintosh laptop to delete particularly obstinate files in the absence of a boot disk. Other technicians recommend leveraging such tools as Reimage, although I’ve experienced difficulty getting the utility to even recognize common NICs, without which the automated repair tool can’t work.
Source: http://techrepublic.com

Disable Snap In Windows 7

As you know, with the introduction of Snap in Microsoft Windows 7, we now have a completely new way of managing open windows. This feature allows you to arrange open windows, including maximizing and resizing, just by dragging and dropping a window to different edges of the screen. When a window is dragged to the correct position, a ripple effect will emanate from the cursor and you’ll see an animated outline of the window instantly appear in its new position. As soon as you release the mouse button, the window will snap to that position.

For example, you can maximize a window in Windows 7 by clicking and dragging its title bar to the top of the screen. To restore a maximized window, just click and drag the title bar toward the middle of the screen. To position a window on half of the screen, just click and drag the title bar toward the left or right side of the screen. (The further to the right or left side of the title bar that you click and drag, the quicker the snap occurs.) To stretch a window that is in the middle of the screen so that it spans from the top to the bottom, just click the bottom or top edge and drag toward the bottom or top of the screen.

While many of us think that Snap is an awesome feature, many others think that it is annoying. For those in the latter category, I recently discovered that you can disable Snap.

Begin by clicking the Start button and typing Snap in the Start Search box. When you do, you’ll see a result titled Turn Off Automatic Window Arrangement. When you select that result, you’ll see the Make the Mouse Easier to Use panel in the Ease of Access tool and can select the Prevent Windows from Being Automatically Arranged when Moved to the Edge of the Screen check box. Click OK in that box and that’s it, no more annoying Snap

Disable Snap In Windows 7

Source: http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/

RAM Defragmenter Alternate

Hi friends,

As you all know, how costly the original RAM defragmenting softwares are. So, I’ve come up with a short and simple tweak tip to free up your RAM memory. All you have to do is follow some simple steps and succeed in freeing up your RAM memory.

1. Open a new notepad file.

2.Type FreeMem=Space(64000000)

3. Save this file with some name like RAM.vbs all you have to take care is to keep the extension as “.vbs”

4. Close this file and then run it by double clicking on it.