Welcome back to Computer Repair Vancouver. Today, we will be finishing off our discussion on how to repair an infected computer in safe mode. Just as a brief reminder, safe mode is a special mode in Microsoft Windows which provides limited functionality. Normally, this would be viewed as a problem; however, when dealing with particularly troublesome viruses and malware, it becomes a godsend. So, without further ado:
Computer Repair Vancouver’s Guide to Dealing with Severely Infected Computers
Please note that this guide is designed specifically for newer versions of Windows (Windows Vista and Windows 7). Similar processes will work on XP and prior; however, you will have to make a few modifications.
1a) Reboot your computer. As it boots up hit the F8 key a number of times until you see the Windows Advanced Boot Options. Use your arrow keys to move down to the option which states Safe Mode and then hit the enter key. If you are unable to access the Windows Advanced Boot Options via the F8 key then head down to step 1b, else head to step 2.
1b) Assuming that you have been unable to access the Windows Advanced Boot Options using the F8 key (which unfortunately occurs on one our computers here at Computer Repair Vancouver); you should load up Windows normally and log into a Windows administrative account. Once you have logged into an administrative account, click on the start menu in the bottom left corner (it’s a circle in Windows 7) and enter “msconfig” (without the quotation marks) into the search box, and hit the enter key. At this point you will need to click on the Boot tab and then click on the Safe boot check-box. If you don’t need network access then select the Minimal option; if you need network access then select the Network option (we recommend the latter). Click on one of the options, at which point your computer will ask you if you want to restart. Do it.
2) Log into your user account like normal.
3) Verify that you are in Windows Safe Mode. Simply take a look at the top right corner of the screen. Does it say Safe Mode? If it does, then you are in safe mode. If not, retry the instructions above.
4) If you already have Malwarebytes then go ahead and run it. If not, download it, install it then run it. Make sure to remove whatever viruses or threats it finds.
5) If you already have SUPERAntiSpyware then go ahead and run it. If not, download it, install it then run it. Make sure to remove whatever viruses or threats it finds.
6) If you were forced to do step 1b then perform the following (else move down to step 7). Click on the start menu in the bottom left corner of the screen, type in “msconfig” (without the quotation marks) and hit the enter key. Under the General tab click on Normal startup and hit the OK button. Restart your machine. Members of Computer Repair Vancouver can’t stress enough how important this step is (if you performed step 1b). If you don’t perform this step, your computer will continue to load into safe mode each and every time; this is not what you want!
7) Log back into your Windows user account and see if your virus/malware problems have been fixed. If they have, great! If not, repeat the steps above using additional anti-virus and anti-malware software. If, after trying various anti-virus and anti-malware programs you simply can’t get rid of the problems then we recommend that you take your machine into a computer repair shop.
So there you go, a step by step guide stating how to deal with a computer which has become so infected that it is virtually unusable. As usual, we make no guarantees that this will work (as it is largely dependent upon the applications you use to rid your machine of malicious code – Malwarebytes and SUPERAntiSpyware in this case). Nonetheless, we here at Computer Repair Vancouver has had a reasonable amount of success in the past using this method, and we definitely advise its use.
As you can see, something as simple as the use of Windows safe mode can make all the difference when dealing with a given problem. So go ahead, give it a try!