|This page is being updated to support Windows XP and later. Please bear with us as we clean this article.|
The PC Cleanup page has been converted into a wiki for faster, easier updates. Therefore should there ever be any changes to the programs recommended this page can be updated much faster than before. Also, since the PC Cleanup page is now a wiki version, pages should load faster and images can be loaded separately. When a machine needs to be repaired and is infested with malware, pages do not always load quickly. This is always kept in mind when creating these kind of pages so that even dial-up users may load these pages with ease.
We highly recommend using the Anti-Malware Toolkit to help download the Recommended Software and other useful tools to clean and perform maintenance on your computer.
This is very highly recommended software for all users. Many of these programs will help prevent and even protect from malware infections.
|Title & Homepage||Version||Size (approximate)||Type of Application||Download Link|
|Mozilla Firefox||25.0.x||22.0 MB||Browser||Download|
|Mozilla Thunderbird||24.1.x||21.0 MB||E-Mail Client||Download|
|Microsoft Security Essentials *||4.0||7.5 MB - 9.5 MB||Anti-Virus||Download|
|Avast! Home Edition *||8.0||55 MB||Anti-Virus||Download|
|Agnitum Outpost Security Suite Free||7.1||95 MB - 105 MB||Firewall (also offers anti-virus)||Download|
|Anti-Malware Toolkit||1.13.326||421 KB||Toolkit||Download|
|Lunarsoft recommends using either Microsoft Security Essentials or Avast. Do NOT under any circumstances run two or more anti-virus products on your computer.|
Online Virus Scanners
While having a virus scanner on your computer is a plus, you should still scan with one of the scanners below. You may have an infection that your current anti-virus has missed. Below is a list of free online virus scanners to help simplify this process for you.
|Title||Supported Browsers||Supported Windows||Status||Link to Scanner|
|ESET Online Antivirus Scanner||Internet Explorer 5.0+||Windows 98, Me, NT 4.0, 2000, XP, Vista||No information available||Scan Now|
|BitDefender||Internet Explorer 4+||No information available||No information available||Scan Now|
|Trend Micro Housecall 7.0||Browser Independent||Windows XP, Vista, 7||Beta||Scan Now|
|Trend Micro Housecall 6.6|| Internet Explorer 6+
Mozilla Firefox 1.5+
|Windows 2000, XP, Vista||Stable||Scan Now|
|Trend Micro Housecall 6.5|| Internet Explorer 6+
Mozilla Firefox 1.0.5+
|Windows 9x/Me, NT 4.0 SP6a, 2000, XP, Server 2003, Vista||Stable||Scan Now|
|Kaspersky||Internet Explorer 6+ Only||No information available||Stable||Scan Now|
This process has been found to be the very best in eliminating and terminating infections. This process will also help to prevent infections from spreading as the infections are removed. You will also want to update each programs definitions/database if updates are available.
- Install SpywareBlaster.
- Install CCleaner.
- Install Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.
- Install SUPERAntiSpyware.
Order of Operations
By following the directions listed below, you increase your chances for a fast reply on getting your HijackThis log and your computer cleaned.
|Windows Vista and Windows 7 users will need to right click these programs and choose Run as Administrator.|
Please follow these directions:
- Run SpywareBlaster.
- Run CCleaner.
- Scan for viruses with the Recommended Software and Online Virus Scanners.
- Run Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.
- Run SUPERAntiSpyware.
At this point you should reboot your computer and run HijackThis to post a log on our forums.
- Run HijackThis.
- Run Windows Update.
Unable to run Windows Update?
- You can also use Microsoft Fix It's Reset Windows Update if you're on Windows XP or higher.
- Fix most common errors with DjLizard's Dial-a-fix on Windows XP and Server 2003!
Cleaning & Settings
This section will describe how to update the recommended applications and allow you to configure each program with the best settings for malware removal.
SpywareBlaster doesn't scan and clean for spyware - it prevents it from ever being installed. It will also stop malware from communicating with its host server. This helps to stop popups and malware from functioning and further spreading the infections.
- Under "Quick Tasks" click "Download Latest Protection Updates".
- Click the "Check for Updates" button.
- After updating, click "Protection" near the top.
- Under "Quick Tasks" click "Enable All Protection" and you're finished with SpywareBlaster.
Need further assistance? Refer to the SpywareBlaster screenshots.
CCleaner helps to clean more than just junk files in your computer. It can also help to clean out and remove malware from your %TEMP% folders and other common temporary directories where malware can reside.
- Select the "Windows" tab and check every option.
- Select the "Applications" tab and check every option.
- Click the "Run Cleaner" button.
| The following items should not be checked.
- The Memory Dumps cleaning option will remove any memory dumps that are generated when a program crashes on your computer. Many technicians can use these memory dumps to tell you exactly what caused the crash. These memory dumps are also sent to a crash analysis center at Microsoft when you use the Error Reporting feature. Reporting these errors and sending the crash dumps help all users because hotfixes are often issued to fix the very problem that made the program crash.
- The Windows Log Files cleaning option will also remove another memory dump file called user.dmp that is generally placed in %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Application Data\Microsoft\Dr Watson\. This is also useful for technicians to help diagnose errors that cause programs to crash, similar to the Memory Dumps above. In addition, this cleaning option will also remove log files from both program installations and Windows Updates. A user or technician can refer to these generated logs to determine the source of the installation problem if a problem occurs.
- The Old Prefetch Data cleaning option will decrease your system performance. The impact that cleaning/deleting the prefetch data has on your system is well documented by technicians and Microsoft staff. Prefetch is designed to allow your applications to load faster.
- XP Only - The Hotfix Uninstallers cleaning option will remove every hotfix uninstaller. This is a bad option for CCleaner to have. If you have this option checked and you remove your hotfix uninstallers, should you ever have an issue with an update (hotfix) from Microsoft, you would not be able to uninstall the problematic hotfix. This could potentially result in your system being crippled.
- If you're on Windows 7 and up Microsoft has built in a tool to the Disk Cleanup utility. To access this simply right click on your hard drive (C:) and go to Properties, then click on Disk Cleanup. You can also access this via the Start Menu and going to Accessories - System Tools or by searching for Disk Cleanup. This is much safer than the CCleaner method because Windows will only remove the files that are no longer needed but keep the most recent hotfix files. You can read about it on Microsoft KB2852386.
Making certain the above options are not checked will ensure your computer remains in proper working order and will have better performance.
Note: The first run can take several minutes. You may wish to uncheck some options if CCleaner takes longer than five minutes.
Advanced users only:
This section deals with changes to your computer's registry. If you do not feel comfortable making changes to your registry then skip this section. It is recommended that you create a folder named "Backups" in your CCleaner folder inside the Program Files directory and save your registry backups there.
- Click the "Issues" button and check every option.
- Click the "Scan For Issues" button.
- Click the "Fix selected issues..." button.
- Click "Yes" when asked to backup changes to the registry.
- Save the backup for repairing these issues so you may find it easily when you need it in the future.
Need further assistance? Refer to the CCleaner screenshots.
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is a free program that will scan your computer for numerous infections, including Vundo, SmitFraud and other dangerous malware.
- Click on the "Update" tab.
- Click "Check for Updates".
- Select "Perform quick scan".
- Click "Scan" to begin scanning.
- When the scanning is complete a message box will appear informing you that the scan process has successfully completed. Click "OK".
- Click "Show Results".
- Ensure all entries are checked, then click "Remove Selected". If you are prompted to reboot, do so.
Need further assistance? Refer to the Malwarebytes Anti-Malware screenshots.
SUPERAntiSpyware Free Edition is a free program that helps protect your computer against pop-ups, slow performance, and security threats caused by spyware and other unwanted software.
- First Install:
- Click "Yes" on the message box that appears asking about updating.
- Regular Use:
- Click the "Check for Updates..." button.
- A Setup Wizard will appear to assist you.
- Click "Next"
- Do not enter any email address and then click "Next".
- Make sure there is a check applied to Automatic Update checking and then click "Next"
- Uncheck "Send a diagnostic report to our research center"
- Protect Homepage appears, click "Do NOT Protect".
- Click the "Preferences" button.
- Under "General and Startup" uncheck the following:
- "Start SUPERAntiSpyware when Windows Starts"
- "Show SUPERAntiSpyware icon in system tray"
- "Show splash screen on startup"
- Under "Scanning Control" uncheck the following:
- "Ignore non-executable files"
- "Display scan option in Explorer context (right-click) menu"
- Under "Scanning Control" check the following:
- Apply a check to "Terminate memory threats before quarantining"
- You can now click "Close" for the Preferences as all settings have been set accordingly.
- Click "Scan your Computer..."
- Make sure all fixed hard drives are selected.
- Click "Perform Quick Scan".
- Click "Next >" to continue.
- After the scan completes, a Scan Summary will appear. Click "OK".
- In the Scan Results window, make sure all results are checked and click "Next >". Reboot if prompted.
- Click "Do not show this message next time" if it appears.
Need further assistance? Refer to the SUPERAntiSpyware screenshots.
HijackThis is a free utility which quickly scans your Windows computer to find settings that may have been changed by spyware, malware or other unwanted programs. HijackThis creates a report, or log file, with the results of the scan.
- Uncheck "Show this frame when I start HijackThis" at the bottom.
- Click the "Scan" button.
- Click the "Save log" button.
- Name your log with your user name.
Example: If your username is User123, then you would save your log as User123-Hijack
Need further assistance? Refer to the HijackThis screenshot.
After your computer has been given a clean bill of health, you should read the PC Security page for adding extra protection to your computer.