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Speed Up Vista: Remove Computer Viruses

written by: Dianna Monda Dill•edited by: Lamar Stonecypher•updated: 5/12/2009

This Windows Vista tutorial provides instruction on how to get rid of viruses from your system.

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    A sluggish computer can sometimes be a dreaded symptom that it has been infected by a virus, spyware, or other malware. Viruses can wreak serious havoc on your system. They not only threaten the security of your system, but also are particularly notorious for increasing your PC’s hard disc load and severely hampering system speed and performance. The most aggressive of these malicious applications can go so far as to hijack control of your PC and then use it to target other computers, essentially turning it into a zombie.

    Using a reliable antivirus program is the easiest and safest way to rid your system of these malicious programs. Here’s how:

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    Tip #20: Use Microsoft’s Malicious Software Removal Tool

    You can install and run the Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool (MSRT) to get rid of specific, widespread viruses. A list of the viruses that it targets is updated on the second Tuesday of every month.

    If you choose to use this tool, do not rely on it alone because it only targets specific viruses, and is a strictly post-infection tool. You should use it in conjunction with commercial antivirus programs which not only remove the infection, but also protect your against infection as well.

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    Tip #21: Run a Full System Scan Using an Anti-virus Program

    Install and run an up-to-date antivirus program to detect and get rid of viruses from your system. You can easily get information on security programs that are compatible with Vista at Microsoft’s Security provider’s website.

    If you already have the program installed on your system, you should update it before running a scan. This is important because there are always new viruses being written, and antivirus developers are writing frequent updates to get rid of them. You can usually download the latest updates from the manufacturer’s website.

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    Quick Tip

    Before installing antivirus software, you should first check if you already have one on your PC. If so, you will need to remove the currently installed program before installing the new one. Having two different antivirus applications on your computer at the same time will cause them to interfere with each other.

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    Run a Full System Scan in Safe Mode

    If your system has been infected with a particularly virulent virus, a regular antivirus scan may not be sufficient to get rid of it. In this case, boot up your PC in safe mode and then run the antivirus program once again. When in safe mode, your computer will have nothing but the most essential processes running. Running the antivirus program in this mode will prevent certain viruses from automatically starting up and evading the antivirus scan.

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    Want more?

    If you just can't get enough of these tips about how to speed up Windows Vista, you're in luck! We've added 21 more. Find the link below.

    21 More Great Ways to Speed Up Vista - Continuing this excellent series, Dianna Monda Dill brings us twenty-one more handy, useful, and well described tips for speeding up Windows Vista.

    Did you miss the first part?

    21 Ways to Speed Up Vista - Want to speed up your Vista PC? This series will tell you how - from the basics to more advanced techniques. Soon you'll have your Vista PC humming along in tip-top shape.

21 More Ways to Speed Up Vista

Here are some creative, careful, thoughtful, and useful tips for improving the performance of a Vista PC. From the quick and simple to the detailed, we show you how it's done.
  1. Speed Up Vista: Disable Multiple "svchost.exe" Processes
  2. Speed Up Vista: Manage Startup Programs
  3. Speed Up Vista: Boost Start Up Time
  4. Speed Up Vista: Install Windows Updates
  5. Speed Up Vista: Adjust Your Power Settings
  6. Speed Up Vista: Remove Computer Viruses