Every time I get asked to remove a virus from a panicked Windows users computer, I think it will be the last. I continue to be wrong, and I see the same viruses appear over and over again on different computers. Since my days in PC boot camp, new technologies have changed the way I remedy a Windows virus. This is how I eradicate those stubborn viruses on todays Windows machines.
First, I Google the Windows virus message and write down the virus details and files associated with the virus.
Second, I insert a bootable Puppy Linux CD into the machine and power on and boot into Puppy. I then use file manager in Puppy Linux to navigate the hard drive of the effected computer, locate the virus files and delete the offending virus files (from the notes I took above during my Google search). I remove the Puppy CD and reboot back into Windows. This works EVERY time.
To create a Puppy Linux CD you need to download an ISO image from the Puppy site and burn a bootable CD. If you run an Ubuntu operating system you will find this the easiest way to make a bootable CD, you simply right mouse click on the ISO image once it is on your hard drive and select make CD. For creating a bootable CD in Windows youll need to read your CD Burning software instructions as they all do it differently.
A bootable Puppy Linux CD allows me to mount the windows drive in Unix, open a unix based file manager, find and delete the virus executable files (.exe). (identified in my Google research on the virus)
In my experience infected Windows computers ALWAYS have outdated virus software (AVG is good and free), have not received regular windows updates from Microsoft and have Microsoft Defender either disabled or not installed. Those are the three keys to healthy Windows laptops and PCs: Anti-Virus (AVG is free), MS Updates (enable auto-update, its free) and Microsoft Defender (Free). After I delete the virus files it can take another 60-90 minutes to download and install all of the updates.
I realize that these instructions are geared for someone who has spent some time with different flavors of Unix, but with Puppy Linux you don't have to be a Linux genius. In fact once you boot into Puppy you will notice it looks a lot like any Windows system you have ever used. I have had computer novices use Puppy to grab a web browser and balance their check book on-line during lunch break.
As an IT Professional I keep the Puppy Linux CD in a safe location so I always have it ready when the next panicked Windows user calls me because they are missing deadline due to a virus that has crippled their computer.
To fix broken Windows use Unix. Puppy Linux (and Google) is all you need!
To be fair to the hard working Linux distribution community, you can achieve the same results with any one of at least eight different Linux distributions. Click here for more cool Linux options and reviews
And for the smallest of all Linux distributions:Dont forget BasicLinux:
http://distro.ibiblio.org/pub/linux/distributions/baslinux/Download is 2.8 megs and runs on 386 in 3 megs of Ram. Thats what powers the OSULRC-1 with a touch screen, Stylistic, Fujitsu 1000, booting to a pcmcia hard drive.