Removing Fake Antivirus Software:

Copyright 2010, Rick Macmurchie - March 4, 2010

Q: A Program claims that my computer is infected by a virus and I need to download or buy a program to clean my computer. How do I get rid of this.
A: Fake Antivirus software is very common right now and there is a large number of variations the steps below should be enough to get rid of the most common current ones.

You will need two or three programs to have the best chance of cleaning up the fake antivirus software.

To download these you may need to go into "safe mode with networking" to download the programs. Restart your computer and press F8 at start-up (just before the windows logo appears) to get the menu.

Once in safe mode you may still not be able to access the internet, if so, start Internet Explorer click the Tools menu, Internet Options, Connections tab.

Remove all check marks and ok.

Try going to the Microsoft Web site ( If it opens click Security and Microsoft Security Essentials on the drop down.

Just download it. It won't install in safe mode.

Now go to the SuperAntiSpyware  web site ( download the free version. It also won't install in safe mode.

You can also download Spybot Search and Destroy now as well if you like. ( This one should actually install, update, and run in Safe Mode so it may be worth running right away.

Reboot in normal mode.

Press Ctrl+Alt+Del repeatedly as soon as the login screen clears.

Start task manager if you can. On the Processes Tab, right-click on explorer, click end process tree.

Try to install Microsoft Security Essentials and SuperAntiSpyware with the task manager File > Run menu.

The programs may not be able to update, if so start Internet Explorer the same way (with the task manager File > Run menu) just type iexplore in the Run text box and click Open. Repeat the connections check box clearing (like above).

If you get this far, update both programs and do a full scan with each. Let them fix everything they find.

If you can't get this procedure to work you may need to get professional help. Sometimes the only way to clean up these programs is to connect the infected hard drive to another computer as a secondary drive and scan the drive using the clean system.

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Rick Macmurchie
Phone: (250) 658-6319