How to get rid of viruses from your PC

Who I am
Judit Llordes
@juditllordes
Author and references

Traditional antivirus

Let's start with a couple of so-called "traditional" antivirus: those to be installed and kept constantly active on the computer to prevent, and eradicate, infections caused by computer viruses. Here they are.


Bitdefender Free


In the area of ​​free antivirus, it is difficult to find better solutions than Bitdefender Free, which manages to offer an excellent balance between effectiveness, performance and ease of use. It is very easy to use but in order to be exploited it is essential to create a free account at installation time.


To download it to your computer, connect to its official website and click on the button Download now. Once the download is complete, open the antivirus installation package (bitdefender_online.exe), click the button Yes and wait a few moments for all the components necessary to install the software to be downloaded from the Internet.

Next, open the installation package named bitdefender_online.exe and click on Yes. Wait a few seconds for all the components necessary to install the program to be downloaded from the Internet and then click on the button install. Then wait for the entire procedure for downloading the software, scanning the system and installing the antivirus to be started and completed and then click on Sign In to Bitdefender.


Proceed now to create your free account. Fill out the form displayed in the window on the screen by typing your name, your surname, your e-mail address and the password you want to associate with the account, then click on the button Create Account.

Then you will find yourself in front of the main window of the program and you can immediately start the first system scan by clicking on the button System Scan. At the end of the procedure, you will be shown a report indicating all the files analyzed, any relevant threats and the related actions taken. Instead, to scan individual files, drag them directly into the Bitdefender window.

Manual scanning aside, Bitdefender is always active on Windows, constantly analyzing the system and intervening by blocking any computer threats in the bud. The antivirus resides in the notification area, next to the Windows clock, and you can easily recall it by right-clicking on its icon (if you can't see it first click on the frequency next to the PC clock) and then on the voice Show In the menu that comes mostrato.


Avira Free Antivirus

Avira Free Antivirus it has a level of effectiveness practically equal to that of Bitdefender. According to the latest comparative tests it is slightly "heavier" than the latter, but we are talking about almost imperceptible differences. Its only real flaw is that it does not check the content of the e-mail in advance, a function reserved for the paid version of the software.


To download the free version of Avira on your computer, connect to its official website and click on the button Free download. When the download is complete, open the installation package named avira_it_av_xx__ws.exe and click first Accept and install and then Yes.


Once this is done, the download and subsequent installation of the actual antivirus will begin. You can keep track of the progress of the procedure by clicking onred icon with umbrella located in the notification area, near the Windows clock. The procedure, I warn you right away, could go on for a few minutes given that approximately 130 MB of data will have to be downloaded from the Internet, it all depends on the speed of your Internet connection.

Furthermore, during the antivirus download phase you will be offered to download some additional software developed by Avira: Phantom VPN to browse securely through a VPN; Avira System Speedup to optimize the PC; the browser add-on SafeSearch Plus and Avira Software Updater to download updates for programs installed on your PC. I advise you to leave them all alone, and then close the installation window by clicking on the button "X" located at the top right.

Once the download is complete, immediately start a full system check by clicking on the Avira icon in the notification area of ​​your PC and selecting the entry Free antivirus from the menu that appears. Then select the item System scanner from the left sidebar, click Local drives, presses the button with the magnifying glass and the flag of windows and wait for the scan reont to be provided to you.


If you need to, you can also start scanning individual files. To do this, just right-click on them and choose the appropriate item from the context menu that is shown to you.

“Self-starting” antivirus to be copied to CD or USB sticks

When the going gets tough, that is when you are unable to eliminate viruses from your PC using the classic antivirus, you must necessarily try to cope with the situation by downloading ad hoc tools that can start before the operating system and act more thoroughly with respect to the latter. Below you will find those that in my opinion represent the best in the category.

Bitdefender Rescue CD

Bitdefender Rescue CD is the "self-starting" version of Bitdefender Free which can be copied to a floppy or USB stick and started before Windows to perform a full scan of the PC. It requires an active Internet connection, as it updates the antivirus definitions each time it is started to detect even the most recent threats.

To download the Bitdefender Rescue CD image on your computer (which weighs approximately 667 MB), connect to the program's website and click on the item To create a Bitdefender Rescue CD on a CD/DVD you need the ISO image which care be downloaded from here. Then choose whether to burn the antivirus to a CD / DVD or to copy it to a USB stick.

In the first case you can use any of the programs that I recommended in my guide on how to burn ISO, if instead you prefer to copy Bitdefender to a USB stick you can use the free software provided by Bitdefender itself: download it by clicking on the item Stickifier executable which is located in the middle of the page (to use it just start it, check the option Select an exixting ISO image and select first the ISO image of the antivirus and then the drive of the key to copy the files).

Once you have created your diskette or your key with Bitdefender, insert it into the computer to be "cleaned" and restart the system. So wait for the antivirus home screen to appear and choose the option Start the Bitdefender Rescue CD in english to start Bitdefender Rescue CD in English. If Bitdefender does not boot and Windows starts normally, try adjusting your computer's BIOS so that the CD / DVD drive or USB port is set as the primary boot drive (instead of the hard drive).

At this point, the Bitdefender desktop should appear and the window with the software license agreement should appear. Then put the check mark next to the item By checking this box I agree to the license agreement liste above and click on Continue to move forward.

The search for the most up-to-date antivirus definitions will start and then the actual antivirus will start. To start a scan, first press on Scan now and then Home (bottom right).

To update antivirus definitions, you must be connected to the Internet. You can establish a wired connection (Ethernet) or connect to a wireless network by clicking on the icon monitor located at the bottom right.

Kaspersky Rescue Disk

Another very valid antivirus agolable in a "self-starting" version is Kaspersky Rescue Disk, which as easily understood from the name itself is made by Kaspersky, the well-known software house in terms of IT protection. It offers users the ability to clean their computer of viruses totally free of charge using the most up-to-date antivirus definitions.

To download the ISO image of Kaspersky Rescue Disk (which weighs just under 300 MB), connect to the program's website and first click on the item Downloads & Info located in the left sidebar and then on the button Distributive.

So choose whether to copy the antivirus to a floppy disk using the software listed in my guide on how to burn ISO that I linked to you in the previous lines or whether to copy it to a USB key (using the program provided directly by Kaspersky), then restart the system and boot from the newly created media.

When the message appears on the screen Press any key to enter the menu, press any key on your PC keyboard and Kaspersky will start automatically. Then select the use of the English language, press the button 1 on the PC keyboard and select the item Kaspersky Rescue Disk. Graphic Mode give the menu to compare.

At this point, wait for the Kaspersky Rescue Disk desktop to appear and start updating the antivirus definitions by first clicking on the tab My update center and then on the button Start update (you must have an active internet connection to perform the update). Next, go to the tab Object scans, make sure there is a check mark next to the items Disk boot sectors, Hidden startup objects and C: and presses the button Start objects scan to start the full system scan.

Malware and Adware

Unfortunately there are also some particular types of malware (malicious software) that common antivirus can escape. These are generally less aggressive threats than viruses, but still annoying. An example above all are browser hijackers that change the default settings of browsing programs, such as Chrome and Internet Explorer, installing toolbars and redirecting the user to sites and search engines full of advertisements (e malicious content).

To counter this type of threats, you can use the specific software I told you about in my guides on how to eliminate malware and how to eliminate adware, first of all the excellent and free ones AdwCleaner and Malwarebytes Antimalware Free.

Antivirus for Mac

When it comes to eliminating viruses from the PC, it is now a must to bring up the universe as well Mac, which, contrary to what is claimed by "urban legends" is not exactly immune to viruses. Certainly the threats designed for the Apple operating system are fewer than those for Windows - also because this is installed on a much higher number of computers in the world - but this does not exempt Macs from malware and other “devilry”.

To all this must be added the fact that those who often share files with Windows users could be a "healthy carrier" of viruses for the PCs of friends and / or colleagues. Therefore, installing an antivirus that can also detect threats to the Microsoft home operating system and using it to check the files you have to share with Windows users is therefore essential for prevention purposes.

For all the reasons mentioned above, I therefore recommend that you download a good antivirus also on your Mac. Given the situation, for the moment it is not yet essential to use a solution capable of monitoring the computer 24 hours on-deme tool, such as Bitdefender Virus Scanner (free) that allows you to scan the system when requested by the user or is definitely recommended. For further information on the matter, I suggest you read my guide dedicated to antivirus for Mac.



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