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16-10-2017, 07:15 PM (This post was last modified: 16-10-2017 07:37 PM by Free.)
Free Tech Support
This is a tech support thread designed to help our users who may be having problems accessing the forum due to computer problems.

About 2.5 years ago I started a thread offering tech support to fellow members who are having problems with their computers. That thread is now outdated as there have been several changes with Microsoft Windows, as well as new threats (file-less infections etc) have surfaced.

Therefore, this thread will include a new guide on how to do a cleanup of your computer and get rid of various malware infections. Also, you can ask any questions you like and I will attempt to answer them as quickly as possible.

Without further adieu, below you will find a guide with links to the tools you should use, as well as an explanation on how to use them.

Tools & Technique:

Step 1. Ccleaner

Ccleaner is a tool that safely removes internet junk files, temp files, and Recycle Bin files from your computer. It is what is known as a "cache cleaner" program. Not only does it clean out all the rubbish, but it can recover a significant amount of hard drive space.

Simply click the link, scroll down a bit, and click the Download button under the "Free" column. Depending on your browser, you can either choose to save the file you are downloading, or run it. If you save it, you will still need to double-click it to install the program.

As you are installing it, keep your eye open for any extra software it recommends that you install, and uncheck the boxes so that you don't install any other software along with it.

After it has been installed, you will find a Ccleaner link on your Desktop screen. Unless the program has already automatically started, you can double-click the shortcut link on your desktop.

The rest is very straight forward. Simply click the button to analyze your computer, and when it has finished, click the Run Cleaner button. That's it. When it finishes, simply close the program.

Step 2. AdwCleaner

AdwCleaner is an adware cleaning program. It is very simple to use. Simply download and save it on your computer, then find it and click it up on your screen. You may get a Windows advisory asking you if you want to allow the app to make changes, so just click yes. After that, click the Agree button, and you are all set.

Simply click the scan button and it will do a quick scan for malware/adware etc. When it's done scanning it will pop up a text file with details of what it found. Close that file, and then click the Clean button. It will remove what it found, and then ask to reboot your computer. Go ahead and reboot. After your computer starts up again, it will show you that text file again, and you can just close it and move on to the next step.

Step 3. Junkware Removal Tool (JRT)

The Junkware Removal Tool does much of the same thing as the previous tool, but uses a different approach in an effort to detect those really malicious and stubborn malware files. After you click the link above, simply click the Download button on the Malwarebytes website, and save the file to your computer.

After you have downloaded the file, find it, but this time right-click the file, and choose to left-click on "Run as Administrator." This will give the tool "elevated rights" to go into parts of your computer where malicious files like to hide.

The first thing you will notice is that it looks old-style, dos type, but it's really just running in a Command Prompt window. It will ask you to click any key to continue, so just do that it and will begin scanning. It should only take a couple minutes, but keep your eye on it as sometimes it fails to create a Restore point and will ask you to click any key again to continue.

When it's done, it will have automatically removed all the malware it finds, and pop up a text file for you to read. You can read it if you want, and then simply close it and move on to the final step.

Step 4. Malwarebytes

Malwarebytes is a program that has now been around for several years and is, in my professional opinion, the best security program on the planet. It is far superior to any anti-virus program for the simple reason that it considers all threats as being harmful (and I agree wholeheartedly), and not just viruses. It finds adware, spyware, malware, hijackers, rootkits, file-less infections and a host of other harmful threats too numerous to mention.

The link above takes you to their website where you can download the free version. You can choose to buy the program and get "real-time protection" if you like, as it is certainly worth the money. But for now, we will use the Free version.

Again, click the "Free Download" button on their website, and download the file as usual, find it, and double-click to install. When it's done installing, just click Finish and the program will automatically start. It may take a few seconds to pop up on your screen as it likes to check for updates first.

It will pop up a small window that says Welcome to your 14 Free trial. Just click the "X" on that window and continue. Now, the next few things are very important to ensure you get a real deep scan, so I will list how to set it up for a deep scan below.

1. Click the Scan button on the left side of the program's screen.
2. Click the middle column for "Custom Scam"
3. Below the Custom scan column, click "Configure Scan."
4. Check the box for "Scan for rootkits" and also check the box for "C:"
5. Click "Scan Now."

Let it roll. You can use your computer while it is scanning, and depending on how fast your computer is, it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours. Be patient and just let it do it's thing.

When it is finished, just click to remove all the things it found. It may want to reboot your PC, so do that.

That should be it. Your PC should now be totally clean and running with increased performance.

If you have any other questions, please feel free to post them.

Happy computing, everyone!

Thumbsup

PS: You may wish to add this thread to your Favorites list on your web browser so you can find it again in the event that it goes too deep down the list.

Having problems with your computer? Visit our Free Tech Support thread for help!
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16-10-2017, 07:51 PM
RE: Free Tech Support
I am very appreciative. Thumbs up for Free!

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16-10-2017, 07:52 PM
RE: Free Tech Support
Any thoughts on software that you have to pay for?

I've run freeware like some of the ones you've listed, on computers I don't care if they get infected cause they're just for goofing around, but I've always used "paid for" programs for the computers (& now phones) that I use cause I don't trust "freeware" with my important devices... what I've always wondered is, am I getting value for my money.

For the last 3 years I've been paying about a 100 dollars a year for trendmicro , I have the "maximum security version", it currently covers 2 computers, a tablet & 3 cellphones" my subscription renewal is coming up in December, are there any other security software you think I should look at?

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16-10-2017, 08:09 PM (This post was last modified: 16-10-2017 08:23 PM by Free.)
RE: Free Tech Support
(16-10-2017 07:52 PM)unsapien Wrote:  Any thoughts on software that you have to pay for?

I've run freeware like some of the ones you've listed, on computers I don't care if they get infected cause they're just for goofing around, but I've always used "paid for" programs for the computers (& now phones) that I use cause I don't trust "freeware" with my important devices... what I've always wondered is, am I getting value for my money.

For the last 3 years I've been paying about a 100 dollars a year for trendmicro , I have the "maximum security version", it currently covers 2 computers, a tablet & 3 cellphones" my subscription renewal is coming up in December, are there any other security software you think I should look at?

Well, I have been a tech for a couple of decades now and up until about 9 years ago I had faith in antivirus programs including the one you are using. However, as hackers and scammers became more clever, antivirus products have become virtually useless.

Sure, they will find a virus, but the reality is that most of the stuff out there that is negatively affecting the performance of a computer is not even viruses, but rather junk software that people get tricked into installing, or installs itself without proper consent from you.

The reason for this is that hackers and scammers have realized that there is simply no money to be made in simply wrecking a computer with viruses, so they upped their game into creating bogus software programs that will not only create problems for your computer, but then pop up a window in you face and try to encourage you to buy their bogus program with claims that they can fix the problem that their program created in the first place. This is similar to what "Ransomware" does.

So do you need an antivirus program? Sure, but you do not need to spend any money on one. The best free antivirus program is already built into Windows 8 and 10, and it is called Windows Defender. If you are using Windows 7, you can download the virtually identical program except the name is called Microsoft Security Essentials. Please remove all other antivirus programs so Windows Defender/Microsoft Security Essentials becomes active.

But if you are going to spend money on the best protection (in my opinion) then buy Malwarebytes. It will work perfectly with Windows Defender and Microsoft Security Essentials, unlike Norton, McAfee and other antivirus programs that fight with Malwarebytes for control of the computer.

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17-10-2017, 05:27 AM
RE: Free Tech Support
(16-10-2017 07:15 PM)Free Wrote:  This is a tech support thread designed to help our users who may be having problems accessing the forum due to computer problems.

About 2.5 years ago I started a thread offering tech support to fellow members who are having problems with their computers. That thread is now outdated as there have been several changes with Microsoft Windows, as well as new threats (file-less infections etc) have surfaced.

Therefore, this thread will include a new guide on how to do a cleanup of your computer and get rid of various malware infections. Also, you can ask any questions you like and I will attempt to answer them as quickly as possible.

Without further adieu, below you will find a guide with links to the tools you should use, as well as an explanation on how to use them.

Tools & Technique:

Step 1. Ccleaner

Ccleaner is a tool that safely removes internet junk files, temp files, and Recycle Bin files from your computer. It is what is known as a "cache cleaner" program. Not only does it clean out all the rubbish, but it can recover a significant amount of hard drive space.

Simply click the link, scroll down a bit, and click the Download button under the "Free" column. Depending on your browser, you can either choose to save the file you are downloading, or run it. If you save it, you will still need to double-click it to install the program.

As you are installing it, keep your eye open for any extra software it recommends that you install, and uncheck the boxes so that you don't install any other software along with it.

After it has been installed, you will find a Ccleaner link on your Desktop screen. Unless the program has already automatically started, you can double-click the shortcut link on your desktop.

The rest is very straight forward. Simply click the button to analyze your computer, and when it has finished, click the Run Cleaner button. That's it. When it finishes, simply close the program.

Step 2. AdwCleaner

AdwCleaner is an adware cleaning program. It is very simple to use. Simply download and save it on your computer, then find it and click it up on your screen. You may get a Windows advisory asking you if you want to allow the app to make changes, so just click yes. After that, click the Agree button, and you are all set.

Simply click the scan button and it will do a quick scan for malware/adware etc. When it's done scanning it will pop up a text file with details of what it found. Close that file, and then click the Clean button. It will remove what it found, and then ask to reboot your computer. Go ahead and reboot. After your computer starts up again, it will show you that text file again, and you can just close it and move on to the next step.

Step 3. Junkware Removal Tool (JRT)

The Junkware Removal Tool does much of the same thing as the previous tool, but uses a different approach in an effort to detect those really malicious and stubborn malware files. After you click the link above, simply click the Download button on the Malwarebytes website, and save the file to your computer.

After you have downloaded the file, find it, but this time right-click the file, and choose to left-click on "Run as Administrator." This will give the tool "elevated rights" to go into parts of your computer where malicious files like to hide.

The first thing you will notice is that it looks old-style, dos type, but it's really just running in a Command Prompt window. It will ask you to click any key to continue, so just do that it and will begin scanning. It should only take a couple minutes, but keep your eye on it as sometimes it fails to create a Restore point and will ask you to click any key again to continue.

When it's done, it will have automatically removed all the malware it finds, and pop up a text file for you to read. You can read it if you want, and then simply close it and move on to the final step.

Step 4. Malwarebytes

Malwarebytes is a program that has now been around for several years and is, in my professional opinion, the best security program on the planet. It is far superior to any anti-virus program for the simple reason that it considers all threats as being harmful (and I agree wholeheartedly), and not just viruses. It finds adware, spyware, malware, hijackers, rootkits, file-less infections and a host of other harmful threats too numerous to mention.

The link above takes you to their website where you can download the free version. You can choose to buy the program and get "real-time protection" if you like, as it is certainly worth the money. But for now, we will use the Free version.

Again, click the "Free Download" button on their website, and download the file as usual, find it, and double-click to install. When it's done installing, just click Finish and the program will automatically start. It may take a few seconds to pop up on your screen as it likes to check for updates first.

It will pop up a small window that says Welcome to your 14 Free trial. Just click the "X" on that window and continue. Now, the next few things are very important to ensure you get a real deep scan, so I will list how to set it up for a deep scan below.

1. Click the Scan button on the left side of the program's screen.
2. Click the middle column for "Custom Scam"
3. Below the Custom scan column, click "Configure Scan."
4. Check the box for "Scan for rootkits" and also check the box for "C:"
5. Click "Scan Now."

Let it roll. You can use your computer while it is scanning, and depending on how fast your computer is, it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours. Be patient and just let it do it's thing.

When it is finished, just click to remove all the things it found. It may want to reboot your PC, so do that.

That should be it. Your PC should now be totally clean and running with increased performance.

If you have any other questions, please feel free to post them.

Happy computing, everyone!

Thumbsup

PS: You may wish to add this thread to your Favorites list on your web browser so you can find it again in the event that it goes too deep down the list.

Might want to pass on CCLEANER, I think those others should do the job.

Hackers hid malware in CCleaner software

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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17-10-2017, 07:56 AM
RE: Free Tech Support
Also: for any generic PC issues, I'd like to throw my hat in there as well. 6 years spent on a general IT tech support desk, and currently working in software support Smile I'm happy to help, Free, should you need a hand Smile

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17-10-2017, 08:12 AM
RE: Free Tech Support
(17-10-2017 07:56 AM)OakTree500 Wrote:  Also: for any generic PC issues, I'd like to throw my hat in there as well. 6 years spent on a general IT tech support desk, and currently working in software support Smile I'm happy to help, Free, should you need a hand Smile

Please feel free to jump in any time. The more help the better.

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17-10-2017, 08:17 AM
RE: Free Tech Support
(17-10-2017 05:27 AM)TheInquisition Wrote:  
(16-10-2017 07:15 PM)Free Wrote:  This is a tech support thread designed to help our users who may be having problems accessing the forum due to computer problems.

About 2.5 years ago I started a thread offering tech support to fellow members who are having problems with their computers. That thread is now outdated as there have been several changes with Microsoft Windows, as well as new threats (file-less infections etc) have surfaced.

Therefore, this thread will include a new guide on how to do a cleanup of your computer and get rid of various malware infections. Also, you can ask any questions you like and I will attempt to answer them as quickly as possible.

Without further adieu, below you will find a guide with links to the tools you should use, as well as an explanation on how to use them.

Tools & Technique:

Step 1. Ccleaner

Ccleaner is a tool that safely removes internet junk files, temp files, and Recycle Bin files from your computer. It is what is known as a "cache cleaner" program. Not only does it clean out all the rubbish, but it can recover a significant amount of hard drive space.

Simply click the link, scroll down a bit, and click the Download button under the "Free" column. Depending on your browser, you can either choose to save the file you are downloading, or run it. If you save it, you will still need to double-click it to install the program.

As you are installing it, keep your eye open for any extra software it recommends that you install, and uncheck the boxes so that you don't install any other software along with it.

After it has been installed, you will find a Ccleaner link on your Desktop screen. Unless the program has already automatically started, you can double-click the shortcut link on your desktop.

The rest is very straight forward. Simply click the button to analyze your computer, and when it has finished, click the Run Cleaner button. That's it. When it finishes, simply close the program.

Step 2. AdwCleaner

AdwCleaner is an adware cleaning program. It is very simple to use. Simply download and save it on your computer, then find it and click it up on your screen. You may get a Windows advisory asking you if you want to allow the app to make changes, so just click yes. After that, click the Agree button, and you are all set.

Simply click the scan button and it will do a quick scan for malware/adware etc. When it's done scanning it will pop up a text file with details of what it found. Close that file, and then click the Clean button. It will remove what it found, and then ask to reboot your computer. Go ahead and reboot. After your computer starts up again, it will show you that text file again, and you can just close it and move on to the next step.

Step 3. Junkware Removal Tool (JRT)

The Junkware Removal Tool does much of the same thing as the previous tool, but uses a different approach in an effort to detect those really malicious and stubborn malware files. After you click the link above, simply click the Download button on the Malwarebytes website, and save the file to your computer.

After you have downloaded the file, find it, but this time right-click the file, and choose to left-click on "Run as Administrator." This will give the tool "elevated rights" to go into parts of your computer where malicious files like to hide.

The first thing you will notice is that it looks old-style, dos type, but it's really just running in a Command Prompt window. It will ask you to click any key to continue, so just do that it and will begin scanning. It should only take a couple minutes, but keep your eye on it as sometimes it fails to create a Restore point and will ask you to click any key again to continue.

When it's done, it will have automatically removed all the malware it finds, and pop up a text file for you to read. You can read it if you want, and then simply close it and move on to the final step.

Step 4. Malwarebytes

Malwarebytes is a program that has now been around for several years and is, in my professional opinion, the best security program on the planet. It is far superior to any anti-virus program for the simple reason that it considers all threats as being harmful (and I agree wholeheartedly), and not just viruses. It finds adware, spyware, malware, hijackers, rootkits, file-less infections and a host of other harmful threats too numerous to mention.

The link above takes you to their website where you can download the free version. You can choose to buy the program and get "real-time protection" if you like, as it is certainly worth the money. But for now, we will use the Free version.

Again, click the "Free Download" button on their website, and download the file as usual, find it, and double-click to install. When it's done installing, just click Finish and the program will automatically start. It may take a few seconds to pop up on your screen as it likes to check for updates first.

It will pop up a small window that says Welcome to your 14 Free trial. Just click the "X" on that window and continue. Now, the next few things are very important to ensure you get a real deep scan, so I will list how to set it up for a deep scan below.

1. Click the Scan button on the left side of the program's screen.
2. Click the middle column for "Custom Scam"
3. Below the Custom scan column, click "Configure Scan."
4. Check the box for "Scan for rootkits" and also check the box for "C:"
5. Click "Scan Now."

Let it roll. You can use your computer while it is scanning, and depending on how fast your computer is, it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours. Be patient and just let it do it's thing.

When it is finished, just click to remove all the things it found. It may want to reboot your PC, so do that.

That should be it. Your PC should now be totally clean and running with increased performance.

If you have any other questions, please feel free to post them.

Happy computing, everyone!

Thumbsup

PS: You may wish to add this thread to your Favorites list on your web browser so you can find it again in the event that it goes too deep down the list.

Might want to pass on CCLEANER, I think those others should do the job.

Hackers hid malware in CCleaner software

Yes, but they caught it quickly at least, and have it straightened out. This sort of thing happens to a lot of popular softwares. CCleaner was purchased by Avast (yes, the antivirus company) about a month before the incident. This alone should tell us all how good Avast is, since it was purportedly protecting the server.

Let's hope CCleaner doesn't go down the tubes due to Avast. But currently, it is still an excellent tool and I still recommend it.

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17-10-2017, 08:33 AM
RE: Free Tech Support
Thanks for the information Free, and the offer of help with software issues. Thumbsup

My only comment would be for users to avoid relying solely on MS Windows Defender, which comes preloaded with Win 8 and Win 10.

The AV-TEST Institute gave Windows Defender a mediocre score of 13.5 under its 18-point rating system, whereas (paid for) Kaspersky got a perfect 18 points, and (free) Avast, AVG AntiVirus, and Avira got 16.0, 16.5, and 17.0 points respectively.

I uninstall(ed) Windows Defender, and instead use the free version of Bitdefender here https://www.bitdefender.com.au/solutions/free.html.

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17-10-2017, 09:04 AM (This post was last modified: 17-10-2017 09:09 AM by Free.)
RE: Free Tech Support
(17-10-2017 08:33 AM)SYZ Wrote:  Thanks for the information Free, and the offer of help with software issues. Thumbsup

My only comment would be for users to avoid relying solely on MS Windows Defender, which comes preloaded with Win 8 and Win 10.

The AV-TEST Institute gave Windows Defender a mediocre score of 13.5 under its 18-point rating system, whereas (paid for) Kaspersky got a perfect 18 points, and (free) Avast, AVG AntiVirus, and Avira got 16.0, 16.5, and 17.0 points respectively.

I uninstall(ed) Windows Defender, and instead use the free version of Bitdefender here https://www.bitdefender.com.au/solutions/free.html.

Over the years I have had many customers come into my shop with a fully updated Kaspersky, BitDefender, Norton, McAfee etc. Their complaints varied, but the biggest complaint was how slow their computer was.

The problem with most antivirus products is that they demand an enormous amount of system resources, which causes excessive slowness of the computer in general, and excessive delays in loading web pages.

Then there's this; after removing the antivirus product, not only does the performance of the computer increase massively, but I also run scans with those tools in my OP and find excessive amounts of threats. This happens with ALL antivirus products, including Windows Defender and Microsoft Security Essentials.

In short, it is my opinion that all antivirus products suck, therefore the question that needs to be answered is, "Which one sucks less?'

You can actually find numerous websites that rate several antivirus products differently. One will say Norton is best, another will say Kaspersky, and yet another will say Bitdefender, and on and on. Therefore, since these opinions vary so wildly from site to site, I ask the question of, "Which one sucks less."

Windows Defender and Microsoft Security Essentials may not have the world's best detection rates, but neither of these free products will slow down your computer at all. They are both made by Microsoft, the same people who made Windows, and I sense therefore that their techs have inside information on how to design the product to work seamlessly with Windows.

So what to do? As I mentioned in a previous post, the best security product available in my opinion is Malwarebytes. It will work perfectly with Windows Defender and Microsoft Security Essentials so that you have the maximum protection of these two products without any adverse effect of the performance of your computer, such as excessive slowness and slow response times.

As I previously mentioned, most infections are not even viruses, but instead other junk software. Therefore, having a healthy balance between a decent antivirus product and Malwarebytes is, in my opinion, the best way to go. And for the price of about $40 a year, you simply can't go wrong with Malwarebytes.

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