Forget everything anyone has ever told you about how to save your files and fix your PC after a Virus. There are too many misconceptions out there which may lead you to believe that your problem is in-salvageable, or that one nifty windows program will fix your virus forever. The truth is, no virus is the same across the board, therefore look below for a 4-step solution which will fix your PC from a Virus and save your files indefinitely.
1. Create a Linux Live CD to fix your PC
You’ll need a Linux Live CD to fix your PC. If you boot your PC normally, you will allow the virus to do more harm to your OS. You can find instructions on how to create a live CD or USB with Linux Puppy here
Once you’ve created the boot-able CD or USB, place it in your computer and boot your PC from the CD or USB drive; you may have to change the boot order in the BIOS temporarily.
Once the live CD boots entirely, you will have a virus-free operating system which you can use to fix you PC and save your files.
2. Save your files before you fix your PC:
Now that your Puppy Linux is up and running, it is very easy to save your files before you fix your PC. You can access your hard drive from the desktop, then drag and drop the files you want to save onto a DVD burn folder, or onto a USB drive. However, be warned that data files such as .exe, .doc, and .ppt should not be saved because they may be corrupted and allow the virus to return.
3. Fix your PC after a virus:
If the virus on your computer wasn’t very powerful, you may be able to fix your PC and save the remaining data files on your computer with this step alone. However, it’s recommended to use this step as a way to salvage your remaining files, then use step 4 to fix your PC for good.
There are tons of malware and antivirus programs out there which you can use within the safe mode or your windows OS in order to fix your PC and save your files. Here is a good tutorial which goes through it step by step.
4. Ensure the virus doesn’t return: fix your PC for good.
Finally, you should use your recovery disks to re-install your operating system if you want to fix your PC for good. The process of re-installing your OS is straightforward. You simply boot the CD and follow the installation instructions. Once finished, you can put your backed-up files back onto the computer and pretend like nothing ever happened.
If you have followed the steps above, you should now be skilled enough to fix your PC after a virus and save your files. However, the best practice you can get into is backing up your hard drive regularly. Also, bear in mind that Windows operating systems are vulnerable to attack, so the best way to ensure you fix your PC for good is by installing a Unix based system, like Linux.