General clean up and Prep (Do prior to any AV scans)


By: websfty001
May 25, 2010

Step 1. You must uninstall all but one anti virus program.

If you have multiple anti virus applications installed on your PC, please choose the one you prefer and uninstall all others. Do this now before continuing because you will be asked to do it later. This does not mean online scanners. It is only referring to full antivirus applications like McAfee, Symantec, AVG, Avast, AntiVir, Kaspersky, etc.

Step 2. You must uninstall all but one software firewall.

Only use one software firewall. Running multiple software firewalls is unnecessary and using more than one software firewall on the same connection will cause issues with connectivity to the Internet or other unexpected behavior including excessive use of system resources which will slow down overall PC performance.

Step 3. Go To Add/Remove Programs for the below programs and uninstall all that you find (do not worry if you don’t see any, that is a good thing):

MyWay or MyWay Search Assistant

Viewpoint Manager (Remove Only)

Viewpoint Media Player

Viewpoint Toolbar

Viewpoint Toolbar (Remove Only)

Also any other Toolbar software or Application that is there that you do not recognize should be removed.

If you are unsure about a toolbar or an application please verify with a helper at computing.net before you remove it.

Step 4. Uninstall ALL old Sun Java versions, they have vulnerabilities.

Then get updated.

See: Updating Sun Java

Step 5. Empty ALL Quarantine type folders for antivirus and antispyware applications. This step will save a ton of time later (by reducing the scanning time) and will significantly reduce the logs you will post later on. Here is an example for doing this with Symantec/Norton:

Removing Files From Norton Anti-Virus Quarentine

Step 6. Empty your Recycle Bin

Step 7. Empty Norton Nprotect folder (if present) - If you are Symantec/Norton user make sure you empty their Norton Nprotect folder guarding the Recycle Bin.

Emptying Norton Npotect Recycle Bin

Step 8. Enable viewing of hidden files, system files and file extensions.

Some programs hide themselves by making their files invisible in normal Windows settings. Run the steps in the below link (this has steps for ALL Windows Operating System's) to make them easier to find. This is very important.

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How to view hidden, system files & folders

Some malware programs can hide themselves from being visible. The below instructions (for each Windows Operating System) will allow you to configure your system to show all files and file extensions.

Not doing this could allow file extensions commonly used by trojans and spyware to be hidden, for example a file ending in .exe or dll making manually finding it, if needed, difficult to impossible.


Windows Vista

Right Click Start

Select Explore

Select Organize

Select Folder and Search Options

Select the View tab

Under the Hidden files and folders heading select Show hidden files and folders.

Uncheck the Hide extensions for known file types option.

Uncheck the Hide protected operating system files (recommended) option.

Click yes to confirm that you really want to do this.

Click Apply

Click OK


Windows XP

Right Click Start.

Select Explore

Select the Tools menu and click Folder Options.

Select the View Tab.

Under the Hidden files and folders heading select Show hidden files and folders.

Uncheck the Hide extensions for known file types option.

Uncheck the Hide protected operating system files (recommended) option.

Click yes to confirm that you really want to do this.

Click Apply.

Click OK.


Windows 2000

Right Click Start.

Select Explore

Select the Tools menu and click Folder Options.

Select the View Tab.

Under the Hidden files and folders heading select Show hidden files and folders.

Uncheck the Hide protected operating system files (recommended) option.

Click Yes to confirm

Click OK.


Windows ME

Right Click Start.

Select Explore

Select the Tools menu and click Folder Options.

Select the View Tab.

Under the Hidden files and folders heading select Show hidden files and folders.

Uncheck the Hide extensions for known file types option.

Uncheck the Hide protected operating system files (recommended) option.

Click Yes to confirm

Click OK

If you do not see all the files you may need to click on an underlined link for the drive being accessed the link will say:

View the Entire contents of this drive.


Windows 98

Right Click Start.

Select Explore

Select the Tools menu and click Folder Options.

Select the View Tab.

In the Hidden files section select Show all files.

Click OK.

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Step 9. NOTE: It is VERY IMPORTANT to do this step, not doing this would allow file extensions commonly used by Trojans and Spyware to be Hidden, for example a file ending in .exe or .dll, making manually finding it, if needed, difficult to impossible.

MSconfig must be set for Normal Startup mode

If you do not do this you will be delayed in getting help with your problems!!!!

You MUST make sure that MSconfig is not being used to control Startups.

Note: That some Window's Operating Systems (like Win 2K, 2003) do not have MSconfig!


Windows 95, NT and 2000 Users

You don't have MSconfig


Windows 98, 98SE, ME and XP Users

Click Start > Run > type msconfig and click OK

Select the General tab and select Normal Startup.

Then click Apply and OK and reboot PC before continuing.

Remain in this Normal Startup mode while your PC is being cleaned of malware.


Windows Vista Users

Click Start and type RUN in the Start Search box and hit enter, then in the RUN box type msconfig and hit enter.

Select the General tab and select Normal Startup.

Then click Apply and OK and reboot PC before continuing.

Remain in this Normal Startup mode while your PC is being cleaned of malware.


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