So despite all of your endeavors to protect your computer from viral violence, you seem to still have caught the bug. Is it time to scrap your computer and "upgrade"? Probably not!
Don't give up on your computer so fast. Take a deep breath and listen true to me. The odds are that you have a pretty common infection, unless you've personally pissed off a hacker or something. If such is the case, I doubt if I can help you. If somebody is legitimately out to burn your computer, and they have the skills to do it, and you don't have skills to match... they will probably be successful. But you haven't experienced an attack from an enemy, have you? Of course not.
If your computer is acting more sluggish than normal, it is possible you are infected. If you are being sent to an obscure search engine every time you open a browser, you are likely infected. If you are being plagued by popups that claim to be caring anti-virus programs saying you've got an infection, you definitely have a problem. So what to do?
If your problem relates to being sent to an obscure search engine, or other website when you clearly do not want to be there, then first disable the matching extensions and addons on your browser of choice, in addition to uninstalling the matching program from your computer. Do this by going to start, control panel, then programs/features (or add/remove programs. Whatever gives you a list of installed programs) and uninstalling it. Then you should put your computer into safe mode. To do this, restart your computer and spam the F8 key until you get a menu, select safe mode with networking. Now run your virus scans and quarantine the infection. Any time you know that a program or addon is causing a problem, do this.
But what if your computer is just damn slow? Try to open your anti-malware and anti-virus programs. If you are able to open them, run them and quarantine the infections. If the scans come up empty, attempt the scans in safe mode with networking before moving on.
If you are UNABLE to open your anti-virus programs, or maybe even your internet browser, then you must get into safe mode and run scans there. Quarantine the infections. Sometimes an infection can lock you out of programs, sometimes going into safe mode is a loophole to this. Sometimes not. So what about "not"?
Sometimes no matter what you do, the infection will have the upperhand. If all scans come up empty or if you remain unable to open your programs, or if your computer remains ill after your endeavors to cure the infection, don't give up just yet. There is probably a solution, and that solution goes by the name of Rkill.
What is Rkill? Well certain malware is incredibly intelligent. I mentioned before how certain infections can sort of LOCK you out of using your protective tools. These are malware processes. What's more intimidating than a piece of malware that can prevent you from accessing your anti-malware programs? Rkill is. What Rkill does, basically, is shut down all of those malware processes preventing you from accessing your healing tools. This is ESPECIALLY useful when you are being plagued by popups, and those ads claiming to be anti-virus (but are really viruses and scams in disguise). Plug Rkill in and BAM. Those popups and ads disappear and you are able to OPEN your anti-virus, and anti-malware programs. Huzzah! Now. RUN THEM. Quarantine the infections!
How do you get Rkill? I will include a link to the brilliant BleepingComputer website at the bottom of this column. The best part? Rkill is FREE. It is one of the most useful free things on the internet. Everyone should have this thing just in case. I once contracted a virus from a friend's hard drive. I connected my Rkill to my computer and saved my system from being as trashed as his was.
How do you plug Rkill in? You need a thumb drive. Rkill is very small, so any size of thumb drive will work. You can use any sort of external drive at all. How do you get Rkill onto the thumb drive? Use an uninfected computer, download Rkill, open the thumb drive by going to My Computer and double clicking on it. Then you drag your Rkill download right over to your thumb drive. Make sure it is on, and then take the drive out and plug it into the infected computer. Run the file by selecting "run" or double clicking on it. Wait until Rkill informs you it is done. Now fix your computer!!
What if Rkill doesn't work? I suggest going to a uninfected computer and googling the exact details of what you are dealing with. There are many lovely computer savvy people on the internet who will be only too happy to help you. Odds are, someone else has had your problem, there may be whole forums explaining how to get rid of the virus.
If all else fails, you can always reinstall the OS, or do a system restore (assuming you made some). Now the Rkill LINK: