Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Is Your Computer Slow?

Well is it? Do you have a lot of ads popping up when you start your computer or open a web browser(Internet Explorer or Firefox) ? If the answer is yes, chances are your computer is infected. Not to worry, it can be fixed. Now the best option to cure your virus infection is to rebuild your computer, meaning re-installing your windows operating system and all your applications and files you have saved. However, rebuilding a computer from scratch is not a very pleasant experience, so I am going to show you a very simple do it yourself computer maintenance that IT folks do for quick fixes.

1. Download a good Anti-virus Program.
Make sure you can download a good anti-virus if you don't have one already. Now I wouldn't suggest you pay any money for it. Get a free one from Microsoft, if you have a windows operating system.  Download Microsoft Safety Scanner (MSERT) or Microsoft Security Essentials( For future real time protection)  from Microsoft Click on the big Download Now blue button to download the msert file.

You may get a download pop up link that asks you which Operating System(OS) Version you want to download to your computer. If your computer is fairly new and runs windows 7+ OS, chances are you have 64 bit, otherwise select 32 bit OS. Now if you donwload the wrong version, then it won't run, go back to this time and select a different version for this step to work.
An msert.exe file will download in your Downloads folder, this is usually located in C:\Users\UserName\Downloads. If you are using a Google Chrome browser, you will see the download file at the bottom of your browser, like below.
2. Move your downloaded file to a Desktop Location
Move your download file to your desktop location, so that you can find it easily in the future.

3. Download a good free Malware removal tool
I recommend Malwarebytes and you can download a free version from their website here...
They ask you to fill in your name and email address to get a free copy, if you don't wanna do this (for my advanced users), then download it from cnet at
 Repeat step 2 with this file as well.

4. Re-start your computer in safe mode with networking. 

This loads your basic files, drivers and essential services needed for networking. Your virus won't function well in this circumstance.
 i) Restart your computer and as it starts right before Windows launches, that's the windows icon and blue screen. So in other words as the black screen appears and the bar below it shows its loading, 3/4 of the way to completion, start pressing that F8 button. If you missed it, do it again. You will then get the screen below to appear.
ii) Use the down arrow key to highlight the Safe Mode with Networking option and press Enter.

You will then be asked to loggin as you usually do, if you do have a log in, and voila, you can run first your msert.exe file, by double clicking the file you saved on your desktop. Select Run and a Terms and condition page in the wizard will pop up as below.
Accept the conditions and click on the Next> button
Select the Full Scan option and Select Next>
When the msert file completes scanning your computer for viruses, it will spit a report that either tells you, no viruses where found, or viruses where found. Select the Next> button and it will walk you through the steps of selecting, containing and deleting the viruses it found.
Run your malwarebytes file you download in step 3, and repeat the same process in step five to remove any malware in your computer.

This time around, let your computer restart all the way through without you pressing any F8 buttons. Is your computer still slow? If the answer to the first question is yes, then check how much space you have left on your C drive, clean some unneeded files. Also clear your Recycle Bin by permanently deleting files stored in there. If its slow when you access the internet, then maybe your internet is just slow? contact your Internet provider and they can help you with your internet issues.
This step is optional, you can do it now, or let the System Restore Weekly take care of that for you.

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