How do I detect or identify viruses?
A computer virus is a program that can copy itself and infect a computer without permission or knowledge of the user. The virus may modify the copies, or the copies may modify themselves and spread from one computer to another when its host is taken to the uninfected computer, for instance by a user sending it over a network or the Internet, or by carrying it on a removable medium such as a CD, or USB drive.
Many personal computers are now connected to the Internet and to local area networks, facilitating the spread of malicious code. Today's viruses may also take advantage of network services such as the World Wide Web, e-mail, and file sharing systems to spread. Some viruses are programmed to damage the computer by damaging programs, deleting files, or reformatting the hard disk. Others are not designed to do any damage, but simply replicate themselves and perhaps make their presence known by presenting text, video, or audio messages.
The most obvious symptom is the Anti-Virus Software detects and warns that a virus was found, then requests input on what should be done with the virus.
Is Anti-virus Software loaded? If you do not have anti-virus software, Gateway recommends the Gateway Complete Security Suite, complete with Webroot's SpySweeper and Windows Washer applications.
- Is the antivirus virus definitions file" up-to-date?
- Is there a message saying, "Virus has been detected?"
- Has an antivirus scan been run?
- If a virus is detected during the scan, follow your prompts in the software to quarantine and remove the virus.
Check for unrecognized programs in System Configuration Utility (MSConfig) on the Startup tab
- If an unrecognized program is found, remove the checkmark from the item, update virus definition files, and run a virus scan.
Are any of the following occurring?
- You are unable to run virus scan.
- You are unable to access antivirus application.
- You are unable to update virus definitions file.
- You are unable to browse to antivirus software websites.
- You are receiving different types of error messages.
- There are files being deleted without user intervention.
- File sizes are increasing for no apparent reason.
- You are receiving various messages in files or on programs for no apparent reason.
- File and memory size randomly changing for no apparent reason.
- You are having cross-linked files.
- The name of a directory may not be readable.
- Directory order may be modified so files such as COM files, will start at the beginning of the directory.
- You are experiencing an unusual display of pictures.
- There are icons on your desktop that you do not recognize.
- You have desktop icons that are distorted.
- You have desktop icons with paths that are not found.
- You have opened email attachments that have extensions of .exe, .vbs, .bat (these are most common).
- Changes volume label.
- Attempts to access the hard disk drive, which result in error messages such as: Invalid drive specification.
- Cause activity on HDD or FDD randomly.
- Marks clusters as bad in the FAT.
- Randomly overwrites sectors on the hard disk.
- Replaces the MBR with own code.
- Create more than one partition.
- Causes a "sector not found" error.
- Logical partitions created, partitions decrease in size.
- Increase disk access times.
- Extended boot times.
- Causes the system to run slow.
- Causes system to hang or freeze randomly.
- Causes hardware problems such as keyboard keys not working, printer issues, modem issues etc.
- Causes keyboard keys to be remapped.
- Causes computer to make strange noises, make music, clicking noises or beeps.
- Disables ports such as LPT or COM ports.
- Alters system time / date.
- Increases or decreases memory size.
Additional tools to detect viruses:
If following the above procedures did not resolve your problem, please contact Gateway through one of
the following methods: