PC Cleanup

From Lunarsoft Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Welcome to Lunarsoft's PC Cleanup page!

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.

Disclaimer

TemplateWarning.png Disclaimer: Lunarsoft (This includes the members, staff, moderators, administrators and affiliates. Referred to from here on as Lunarsoft) is in no way, shape, or form affiliated with these applications. By viewing this page and/or downloading any files, you agree that Lunarsoft is in no way legally responsible for damage to your computer software or hardware. The entire risk as to the quality and performance of the covered code is with you. Should any applications, software or other items prove defective in any respect, you (Not the initial developer or any other contributor) assume the cost of any necessary servicing, repair, or correction. By seeking the assistance of Lunarsoft you hereby waive any possible means of legal action or otherwise.

Recommended Software

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 30.0 28.0 MB Browser Download
Mozilla Thunderbird 24.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 * 9.0 90 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


TemplateImportant.png 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 7.0+ Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 Stable Scan Now
BitDefender Browser Independent No information available No information available Scan Now
Trend Micro Housecall 8.0 Browser Independent Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8. 32 and 64 bit Stable Scan Now

Installation Order

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.

  1. Install SpywareBlaster.
  2. Install CCleaner.
  3. Install Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.
  4. 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.

TemplateImportant.png Windows Vista and Windows 7 users will need to right click these programs and choose Run as Administrator.

Please follow these directions:

  1. Run SpywareBlaster.
  2. Run CCleaner.
  3. Scan for viruses with the Recommended Software and Online Virus Scanners.
  4. Run Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.
  5. Run SUPERAntiSpyware.
    At this point you should reboot your computer to allow the scanners to remove any infections that were found.
  6. Run HijackThis to post a log on our forums.
  7. Run Windows Update.

Unable to run Windows Update?

  • You can 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

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.

Update Instructions:

  1. Under "Quick Tasks" click "Download Latest Protection Updates".
  2. Click the "Check for Updates" button.

Activation:

  1. After updating, click "Protection" near the top.
  2. Under "Quick Tasks" click "Enable All Protection" and you're finished with SpywareBlaster.

Need further assistance? Refer to the SpywareBlaster screenshots.

CCleaner

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.

Scan Settings:

  1. Select the "Windows" tab and check every option.
  2. Select the "Applications" tab and check every option.
  3. Click the "Run Cleaner" button.
TemplateWarning.png The following items should not be checked.
  • "Memory Dumps"
  • "Windows Log Files"
  • "Old Prefetch Data"
  • "Hotfix Uninstallers"
  • "Advanced" section

Explanation:

  • 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.
  • When it comes down to it, you really don't need to have anything in the Advanced section checked. CCleaner doesn't explain any of what it will touch and "clean" for these things, leaving users with a vague assumption of what it will do. Because of this it's hard to safely recommend users have anything under this section checked. It's just not worth having settings and things reset unless you absolutely have to.

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.

  1. Click the "Issues" button and check every option.
  2. Click the "Scan For Issues" button.
  3. Click the "Fix selected issues..." button.
  4. Click "Yes" when asked to backup changes to the registry.
  5. Save the backup for repairing these issues so you may find it easily when you need it in the future.

Would you prefer an alternative to CCleaner? You might like to give the open-source BleachBit disk cleaner a try. It offers explanations of what it cleans and does a very good job with disk cleanup.

Need further assistance? Refer to the CCleaner screenshots.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is a free program that will scan your computer for numerous infections, including Vundo, SmitFraud and other dangerous malware.

Update Instructions:

  1. Click on the "Update Now »" text.

Scan Settings:

If you want to do a quick scan and have Malwarebytes Anti-Malware scan the top, commonly used infected areas of your computer run a Threat scan. However, we recommend running a Custom scan the first time you believe you're infected and scanning over your entire drive. This will allow for any infected files found on your system to be quarantined.

Threat Scan

  1. Click "Scan" at the top.
  2. Click the top option, "Threat Scan".
  3. Click "Scan Now".

Custom Scan

  1. Click "Scan" at the top.
  2. Click the middle option, "Custom Scan".
  3. Make sure all the checkboxes on the left are checked.
  4. Click to select your hard drive(s).
  5. Click "Scan Now".

Scan Results

  1. When the scan has completed, click "Show Results".
  2. Ensure all entries are checked, then click "Remove Selected".
  3. If prompted to reboot, click "Yes".

Need further assistance? Refer to the Malwarebytes Anti-Malware screenshots.

SUPERAntiSpyware

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.

Update Instructions:

  • First Install:
    • Click "Yes" on the message box that appears asking about updating.
  • Regular Use:
    • Click the "Check for Updates..." button.

First Run:

  • A Setup Wizard will appear to assist you.
  1. Click "Next"
  2. Do not enter any email address and then click "Next".
  3. Make sure there is a check applied to Automatic Update checking and then click "Next"
  4. Uncheck "Send a diagnostic report to our research center"
  5. Protect Homepage appears, click "Do NOT Protect".

Scan Settings:

  1. Click the "System Tools & Program Settings" button.
  2. Click the "Preferences" button.
  • Under "General and Startup" uncheck the following:
    • Uncheck all options.
    • Optionally, you can check to "Disable anonymous threat reporting".
  • Under "Scanning Control" uncheck the following:
    • "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 "Back" and then "Home" as all settings have been set accordingly.

Scanning:

  1. Make sure "Quick Scan" is selected (it is by default).
  2. Click "Scan your Computer..."
  3. After the scan completes, a Scan Summary will appear. Click "OK".
  4. In the Scan Results window, make sure all results are checked and click "Next >". Reboot if prompted.

On Exit

  • Click "Do not show this message next time" if it appears.

Need further assistance? Refer to the SUPERAntiSpyware screenshots.

HijackThis

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.

Scan Settings:

  1. Uncheck "Show this frame when I start HijackThis" at the bottom.
  2. Click the "Scan" button.
  3. Click the "Save log" button.
  4. 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.

Conclusion

Haven't registered yet for the Lunarsoft website and forums? Then please register with us!

If you have registered with Lunarsoft already, please post your log on the HijackThis Logs forum.

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.

Good luck, Tarun - Lunarsoft