How to Remove Spyware, Adware, and Malware from a Windows Computer

Submitted by ptelesco on Fri, 2010-07-16 09:04

There are many methods for removing Adware and Spyware from your computer. Each method depends upon how much spyware is on your computer, what spyware programs are on your computer and what spyware or adware programs are actually “running” while your computer is on.

The simple method listed in this article should help you remove some, if not all Adware and Spyware, however if the steps deviate due to your unique circumstances, you may want to call us 623-695-1512 or email our support box helpatazgotnerd [dot] com for assistance.

Typically, GOT NERD uses off the shelf software, free Utilities that can be downloaded from www.download.com. The two utilities we use and recommend are Adaware and Spybot. We’ve found that given the plethora of Spyware and Adware variants that can affect or infect your PC, it’s best to run multiple removal tools to be sure to get as many variants as possible.

Once you have Adaware and Spybot installed on your computer, first thing to do is to reboot so the products can register their .dlls.

Then you will need to visit each products update page and download the latest definitions. Once new definitions are installed, reboot again to make sure both products accept the new changes to the definition files. Adaware I’ve noticed doesn’t require a reboot, but Spybot most often works best after a reboot.

Once you get back to the desktop after your second reboot, run Adaware first. Run the full system scan. This can take some time so you may want to plan this scan around another activity as it can be painful to sit and watch. Once that’s complete, make sure there is a check-mark in all the items that it found and click next to delete the Adware and Spyware Objects found. If you’re unsure how to use Adaware, please consult with the help file.

You may get a message that says “some objects could not be removed”. That’s because those objects are currently running on your computer, meaning the Adware and Spyware programs are actually running at the time you attempt to delete them, therefore they are in use by the program and cannot be deleted. To remove these items you will need to reboot your computer and run it in safe mode. If at anytime you have trouble running either of the Spyware/Adware removal products, you might consider running your computer in safe mode. To run your computer in safe mode, you hit F8 repeatedly upon boot up. This should give you a startup menu which will allow you to choose safe mode from the menu using the arrow keys.

Once you have successfully run Adaware, run Spybot and remove anything it finds. This process of running Adaware then Spybot may have to be repeated several times until both products detect no Adware or Spyware running on your computer. If after running both products, the same Adware and Spyware products keep returning, then you have something on your computer that’s going to take a little more grunt work to get rid of. It would be best to consult with us at this point as this would involve hunting down the culprit in the system registry and windows system files and manually removing the objects. This can be a time consuming and tedious process and if done incorrectly, can do more harm to your computer than help.

Again, this is just a guideline for removing unwanted and unknown Adware and Spyware objects from your computer. This process works well in some environments but given the infinite number of variables, the process may not always apply. Once Adware and Spyware are removed from your computer, GOT NERD also recommends running these products every two to four weeks, just to keep your computer system clean of any unwanted objects you might encounter while surfing the internet. Remember to also check for updated definitions before you start your scan.