A general guide to removing Malware infections from a Dell PC

Summary: A general guide to the removal of Malware infections from a Dell PC. Dell strongly recommends you recover the system image on your PC instead.

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Symptoms

 


This article provides a general guide for malware removal on your Dell PC. Please be aware that most of the steps below will not be covered under your warranty and will be carried out at your own risk.


Table of Contents:

  1. A quick description of Malware and the support possible under the warranty
  2. Removal Guide
  3. Scanning Software
  4. Removing the Infection
  5. Prevent Re-Infection

 

A quick description of Malware and the support possible under the warranty

 

We see multiple versions of these nuisance viruses each year and every year it is harder to get them off your system without extraordinary measures. Some want you to enter an activation code to disable most of the interference effecting the system, some want you to pay a ransom to get your PC back, some just want to either steal your information or narrow what you can do or see on your PC. 

This guide is a removal process that works for the majority of these infections.

 

SLN284154_en_US__1icon Note: As always the decision to use this information is at the end user’s risk as malware removal is not a pro-support entitlement. This information is provided AS IS.

 

The surest way to resolve this kind of problem is to either perform a factory restore or a clean Operating System install on your system. Taking you through this reinstall is what is covered under your pro support warranty. However you can also find articles taking you through this for your particular operating system and situation on the links articles listed in one of the sections below.

While the infection is on your system it will also show a variety of security alerts that are worded to make you think that your computer is infected or has other security issues. These alerts include things like:

Malware intrusion! 

Sensitive areas of your system ware found to be under attack. i.e. Spy software attack or virus infection possible. Prevent further damage or your private data will get stolen. Run an anti-spyware scan now. Click here to start.

Stealth intrusion! 

Infection detected in the background. i.e. Your computer is now attacked by spyware and rogue software. Eliminate the infection safely, perform a security scan and deletion now.

These security alerts are all fake and should be ignored. Malware will also hijack your web browser so that you are shown a security alert, whenever you visit a web site. This alert will state that the page you are visiting is a security risk, even though its perfectly harmless.

This malware was created with the sole purpose of scaring you into using your credit card. Please do not purchase anything relating to this infection. If you already have, then please contact your credit card company and stop the charges. Report that the program is a computer infection and a scam and has your information.


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Removal Guide

 

  1. Disconnect your PC from the Internet and power it off, until you're ready to remove the malware.

    Think of it like cutting off all communications and putting a patient into a suspended state.

  2. When ready to begin, Boot your PC into Safe Mode. Only the minimum required programs and services are loaded in this option. If any malware is set to startup when Windows starts, booting in safe mode should prevent it.

    To boot into Windows Safe Mode, Please follow whichever guide below matches your Operating System (OS). This should bring up the Advanced Boot Options menu. Select Safe Mode with Networking and press the Enter key.

Eventually you will be brought to a menu similar to the one below:

 

Windows Advanced Options Menu
Please select an option:

      Safe Mode
      Safe Mode with Networking
      Safe Mode with Command Prompt

      Enable Boot Logging
      Enable VGA Mode
      Last Known Good Configuration (your most recent settings that worked)
      Directory Services Restore Mode (Windows domain controllers only)
      Debugging Mode
      Disable automatic restart on system failure

      Start Windows Normally
      Reboot

Use the up and down arrow keys to move the highlight to your choice.

 

You will find that your PC runs faster in Safe Mode. If it does, it could be a sign that your system has a malware infection or it could mean that you have a lot of legitimate programs that normally start up with Windows.

  1. Delete your temporary files before starting any other steps. Doing this could speed up the virus scanning, but it's will clear the downloaded virus files and lessen the amount the scanners will have to check. You can do this through the Disk Cleanup utility or from the internet options menu.


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Scanning Software

 

  1. Sometimes running a scanner is enough to remove most malware infections. You've most likely got an antivirus program active on your PC, you should use another scanner for this check.

If your current antivirus software didn't stop the infection, you can't expect it to find it now.

 

SLN284154_en_US__1icon Note: No antivirus program can detect 100 percent of the millions of malware types and variants.

 

There are two main types of antivirus:

Real-time antivirus programs
They constantly watch for malware.
On-demand scanners
They search for malware infections when you open the program manually and run a scan.

 

SLN284154_en_US__1icon Note: You should only run one real-time antivirus program on your PC at the one time. However you can keep a few on-demand scanners stored to run scans with multiple programs.

 

  1. The best course of action is to use an on-demand scanner first and then follow up with a full scan by your real-time antivirus program. There are several free and effective on-demand scanners available. We have a few we are familiar using and have used in some of our previous guides. You can use these programs or go with programs you are more familiar or comfortable with. These programs are not from Dell and are used at your own risk. A few examples have been listed below :


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Removing the Infection

 

I'm using Malwarebytes for this example. You can use another program that accomplishes the same thing, but it's the one I'm most familiar with. You can download the program from the link below and install it. You will need to reconnect to the Internet for this. Once the download is complete, disconnect from the Internet again. If you can't access the Internet or you can't download Malwarebytes on your PC, then download it on another system and save it to a USB flash drive or CD/DVD and transfer it to the infected PC.

  1. Run the program setup and follow the installshield wizard. Malwarebytes will check for updates and then launch the user interface (UI).

 

SLN284154_en_US__1icon Note: If it reports the database being outdated, choose "Yes" to download the updates and then click OK when prompted that they have been successfully installed.

 

Keep the default scan option - Perform quick scan and click the Scan button.

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The program offers a full-scan option, however its recommended that you perform the quick scan first. Depending on your PC specifications, the quick scan can take anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes, but the full scan could take up to 60 minutes or more. You can see how many files or objects the software has already scanned, and how many of those files it has identified either as being malware or as being infected by malware.

  1. If Malwarebytes disappears after it begins scanning and won't reopen, then the infection could be more serious and stopping the scanner from running. There are ways around this if you know the type of infection, however you might be better off reinstalling Windows after backing up your files, as it could be quicker, easier and guaranteed to resolve the infection.

  2. If Malwarebytes' quick scan reports nothing found, it will display a text file with the scan results. If you still think that your system may have acquired some malware, consider running a full scan with Malwarebytes and you can try other scanners - such as one of the others in the section above. If Malwarebytes finds the infections, it'll show a warning box. To see the suspect files click the Scan Results button. It should automatically select the ones that are dangerous for removal. If you want to remove other detected items, select them as well. Click on the Remove Selected button to get rid of the selected files.

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  1. After removing the infections, Malwarebytes will open a log file listing the scan and removal results. Check to confirm that the antivirus program successfully removed each item. Malwarebytes may also prompt you to restart your PC in order to complete the removal process. Restart the PC if its requested.

  2. If your problems persist even after you've run the quick scan and it has found and removed unwanted files, then follow the advice above and run a full scan with Malwarebytes and the with the other scanners mentioned earlier. If the malware appears to be gone, run a full scan with your real-time antivirus program to confirm that result.

  3. If you can't seem to remove the malware or if Windows isn't working properly, you may have to reinstall Windows. Please see the appropriate link below for a guide to suit your particular situation.


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Prevent Re-Infection

 

To minimise the risk of a repeat infection, make sure that you have a real-time antivirus program running on your PC and see that it stays updated. If you don't want to spend money on a paid service, then you can install one of the free programs that are available.

  1. In addition to installing traditional antivirus software, you might consider consider reading the guide below for some basic rules for safe surfing online.

  2. Always double check any online accounts such as online banking, webmail, email, and social networking sites. Look for suspicious activity and change your passwords, you can't tell what info the malware might have passed on.

  3. If you have an automatic backup for your files you will want to run virus scans on the backups to confirm that it didn't backup the infection as well. If virus scans aren't possible such as online backups, you will probably want to delete your old backups and save new versions.

  4. Keep your software current. Make sure that you update then frequently. If you receive any messages about this and aren't sure of their validity, then always contact the company in questions support to clarify it.


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SLN284154_en_US__12Secure  Get general information and guidance to secure your system/data on our Security and Antivirus page.

 

Article Properties


Affected Product

Desktops & All-in-Ones, Laptops, Inspiron, Latitude, Vostro, XPS, Retired Models, Fixed Workstations

Last Published Date

21 Feb 2021

Version

4

Article Type

Solution

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