How to disinfect a PC after a malware attack
Has your PC become slow out of the blue? This sluggish performance could be because of a virus. But do you how to disinfect a PC after a malware attack? Wait a second, how do you confirm if this is a malware infection and not a hardware failure?
There are a few ways to do that. Is the computer displaying ads or banners which say your computer is at risk? Do you see a phone number displayed in the window of a cleaner or antivirus application’s screen? Are your web searches redirecting to unknown websites?
Yeah, your PC is infected by malware. Never ever call the phone number or contact the email address which you see in such fake programs. Why? They are scammers who want nothing more than your credit card information, so they can rip you off.
The best thing to do after a malware attack is, to download a proper antivirus or antimalware tool to try and rid the PC of infections. We recommend disabling the network on the infected PC, to avoid spreading the malware to other devices which are connected to the same network. The last time I tried this on a friend’s laptop, the browser’s search results would not display the URL of the application which I wanted to download. The malware had hijacked the search results too.
So, how to disinfect a PC after a malware attack?
This method is simple, reliable, and free. We recommend using Emsisoft Emergency Kit. It is a portable application, which you can download from https://www.emsisoft.com/en/software/eek/
Just remember the URL emsisoft.com and you can easily find the EEK, the acronym the program is known by. Use a second computer and a flash drive to download the program. You can use it on PCs running Windows 7/8.1/ or Windows 10. Plug in the flash drive on the infected PC and run EEK, it will extract the contents directly to the main directory of the C: drive. Open the C:\EEK folder in Windows File Explorer and run the start emergency kit scanner.exe. This brings up the familiar interface which we are accustomed to in Emsisoft Anti-Malware.
Usually, when you download EEK, it has the latest updates for the virus definitions. But you can download the updates anytime, from the home screen of the program. If installed on a flash drive, make sure to update it, before plugging the drive on the infected PC.
Once you have the latest updates, click on the scan tab, and select from the quick scan, malware scan or custom scan option. Try them all in that order, to see what the program finds. You don’t need to know how to disinfect a PC after a malware attack manually. EEK will quarantine the threats on its own. Once all malware have been disinfected, you can use your PC normally. If it only PUPs (potentially unwanted programs), you are good to go.
But in extreme cases i.e. ransomware or powerful malware which can embed themselves secretly, you may have to format the hard drive and reinstall Windows to ensure no traces of the malware remains.
Do keep in mind that the Emsisoft Emergency Kit, does not offer real-time protection. If you need that, you might want to get Emsisoft Anti-Malware instead. You can also use EEK as a second opinion scanner, even if you already have another antivirus installed.