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Remove Viruses & Malware From Your Computer (Windows 8)

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If your computer is showing any of these symptoms, it may be infected with malware or a virus. Follow the instructions below to remove malware and viruses from your computer and close major security holes in your operating system. If you have difficulty at any point, contact the IT Help Center.

Note: If your network connection has been turned off due to virus infection or detected vulnerabilities, please visit or call the IT Help Center (A109 LGRC Lowrise• 413-545-9400) when you have finished these steps for disinfecting and/or removing vulnerabilities from your computer.

IMPORTANT! If you suspect your university-owned computer is infected, STOP. Do not attempt to remove the virus or shut down your computer. Because this may constitute a data security incident, contact your IT Administrator or the IT Help Center immediately.

Step 1: Download/save all files & print this document

Before you can begin fixing your computer, you have to obtain the necessary files (below) and print this document. Your computer will not be connected to the network while you are disinfecting it, so you will not be able to access these files on the web.

Note: Even if you already have McAfee VirusScan installed, reinstall the latest version.

You can also get these instructions and software on CD from the IT Help Center by going to A109 LGRC Lowrise with your UCard. Each CD costs $3 and includes additional malware removal software and Windows updates not available directly from the UMass Amherst IT website. You can also download an .iso image of the CD free of charge and burn it to disc yourself:

Download a free ISO image of the IT Anti-virus CD

An ISO Image is similar to a zip file in that it groups several files into a single download that is easier to manage. When you burn this image to a CD, it produces a full copy of the IT Anti-virus CD from which you can install the software and updates you need to disinfect your computer. See Burn a CD in IT Computer Classrooms for more information.

Remember to print or save this document!

Step 2: Disconnect your computer from the network

Your computer should not be physically connected to a network (e.g., cable modem, DSL, wired Ethernet). Unplug the network cable from your computer and do not reconnect it until you have finished this process.

If you are connected to eduroam or another wireless network, follow these steps to disconnect your computer from wireless networks:

Disable Wireless Networking in Windows 8/8.1

  1. Press the Windows Key and start typing Wireless.
  2. From the search results, you should select Turn wireless communication on or off.
  3. From here, you can toggle the WiFi, Bluetooth mode and Flight Mode. Turn the WiFi off.

Step 3: Disable System Restore

  1. Press Windows Key + X and select System from the list of options. This will bring up the System window.
  2. In the System window, select System protection from the left sidebar.
  3. In the System Protection window, under Protection Settings (middle), select any drive where Protection is set to On, then click Configure.
  4. In the System Protection for (Disk Name) window, under Restore Settings, select Turn off system protection.
  5. Click OK. When prompted to confirm that you want to turn off system protection for this drive, click Yes.
  6. Click OK to close System Properties.

Step 4: Scan with Malwarebytes

Start Your Computer in Safe Mode

  1. Press Windows Key + I  and select Power.
  2. While holding the Shift key, press Restart.
  3. From here, a blue screen will appear with the title "Choose an option". Choose Troubleshoot.
  4. From here, select Advanced options and go to Startup settings.
  5. The next screen will have a list of settings that you will be able to change when you boot. Click Restart to reboot the machine and go to Safe Mode.
  6. Once the machine is rebooted, your boot options will be displayed. Press F4 to start your computer in Safe Mode.

Install Malwarebytes

  1. Open the Malwarebytes install file mbam-setup.exe that you downloaded in Step 1 above.
  2. Follow the installation wizard instructions to install Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware. For detailed information, see our Malwarebytes installation and scanning instructions

Scan for Malware

  1. Open Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware and click the Scanner tab.
  2. On the Scanner tab, select Perform quick scan, then click Scan.
  3. If Malwarebytes detects a suspicious file, it will place it in quarantine. After the scan is complete, click the Quarantine tab and review the threats Malwarebytes detected.
  4. To delete a malware program, select its name and click Delete.

Step 5: Install Anti-Virus Software

Start Your Computer in Normal Mode and Install VirusScan 8

  1. Restart your computer. While the computer is starting, if you are prompted to select a boot option, select Start Windows Normally, and press Enter.
  2. Open vscan8x.exe and follow the prompts to install the software on your computer. For detailed information, see our VirusScan installation and scanning instructions.

Start your computer in safe mode

  1. Re-start your computer. While the computer is starting, press F8 repeatedly until you see the Advanced Boot Options menu. If you see the Windows startup logo, restart your computer and try again.
  2. On the Advanced Boot Options menu, select Safe Mode and press Enter .

Scan for viruses

  1. Go to Programs > McAfee > On-Demand Scan. The VirusScan On-Demand Properties - Full Scan window will open.
  2. On the VirusScan On-Demand Scan Properties - Full Scan window, select All local drives and click Start (at right). VirusScan will begin scanning your computer for viruses and malware. This will take some time, but it is important that you make sure the viruses have been removed.
  3. Take note of the names of any viruses found during your scan. You will need to report this to the IT Help Center before you can have your Internet access re-enabled.

Step 6: Enable System Restore

  1. Press Windows Key + X and select System from the list of options. This will bring up the System window.
  2. In the System window, in the left pane, click System protection. The System Properties window will open with the System Protection tab selected.
  3. In the System Protection window, under Protection Settings (middle), select the backup drive you want to enable, then click Configure.
  4. In the System Protection for (Disk Name) window, under Restore Settings, select Restore system settings and previous versions of files.
  5. Click OK twice.

Step 7: Reconnect your computer to the network

Connect the network cable to your computer. To reconnect to a wireless network:

  1. Press Windows Key and start typing Wireless.
  2. From the search results, select Turn wireless communication on or off.
  3. From here, you can toggle the WiFi, Bluetooth mode and Flight Mode. Turn the WiFi on.

Step 8: Automatically update Windows software

  1. Press Windows Key and start typing Settings.
  2. From Settings, select Change PC Settings and then Update and Recovery
  3. Click Choose how updates get installed.
  4. Under Important Updates, you can select the option that you want. You may choose to Install updates automatically, then under Install New Updates, select a schedule for when the updates will take place.
  5. Click OK. You will return to the Windows Update screen, and your machine will be set up to download and install updates automatically.

Note: If your network connection has been turned off due to virus infection or detected vulnerabilities, please visit or call the IT Help Center (A109 LGRC Lowrise • 413-545-9400) when you have finished these steps for disinfecting and/or removing vulnerabilities from your computer.