Virus - Removal and Prevention

Published 05/04/2005 14:26   |    Updated 23/04/2008 14:10
How can I remove a virus and prevent getting one in future?
  • It's well worth keeping up to date with the latest security updates for your operating system.
  • If you use a PC running Windows, visit for more information.
    If you're an Apple Mac user, visit Apple's website.
  • Always make a backup of important files on your computer, and save the backup on a device such as a floppy disk or CD that can be removed from your computer and kept safe. Even if your computer doesn't get a virus, this can be invaluable if your computer breaks, or if you decide to upgrade to a new machine.
  • Never open an email attachment if you don't recognise the name of the person who sent it. Even if you do recognise the name of the sender, think twice about opening any files that are attached to an email, unless you are aware that the sender is likely to forward an attachment.
  • Remember that viruses can come from floppy disks and CDs as well as email messages, so think twice about using free disks and CDs that you get from friends, magazines and shops.
  • And finally, remember to install a firewall and anti-virus software on your computer and to update the anti-virus definitions regularly - it's the best protection against infection.
  1. What to do if you get a virus

    If you've installed a firewall, kept your anti-virus software up to date, and downloaded the latest security patches for your operating system, it's unlikely that a virus will infect your computer.

    If you have not, and you find that your computer gets a virus, you can use McAfee's VirusScan or Norton AntiVirus to check your computer, then clean or delete any viruses that are found.

    If you're having problems staying online long enough to download updates, or your computer keeps shutting down, we've provided further information below:

  2. Stop your computer from shutting down

    If your PC shuts down before you can install anti-virus software, a firewall, and any required Windows security patches, you will need to change settings for the Remote Procedure Call (RPC) service on your computer. To do this, follow these steps:

    • Click on Start and select Run.
    • Clear any text in the Open field, then type:
      and click OK. This will open the Services window.
    • Under the Name field, right click on Remote Procedure Call (RPC) and select Properties.
      NOTE: There is also a service named Remote Procedure Call (RPC) Locator. DO NOT confuse the two!
    • Select the Recovery tab.
    • In each of the drop down lists; First failure, Second failure, and Subsequent failures, change your computers response to Restart the Service.
    • Click Apply, and then OK.

    Remember: Once you have removed the virus, and installed the Windows security patch, it is important to change these settings back to Restart the Computer.

  3. Virus alert: MyDoom

    MyDoom-O is a new virus that is sent to you in an email attachment. The email sent by the virus has a spoofed sender address.

    You may see emails from people - both known and unknown to you - that claim you are the source of spam and/or unsolicited emails, that there are network problems, or some other service-related message. There are instructions in an attached file which you are asked to open. Do not open the file. Delete these emails from your system.

  4. Virus alert: Sasser

    Sasser is a self-executing worm that spreads by exploiting a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows. Once installed, it typically shuts down and restarts computers running Windows 2000 and Windows XP. However it can spread via other Microsoft operating systems, so we advise that you download and install the patch from Microsoft to secure your computer against the flaw.

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