Identifying viruses

Revision as of 08:21, 11 July 2008 by Christopher Hunt (talk | contribs) (IdentifyingViruses moved to Identifying viruses: Page names can be multiple words.)

A lot of problems are assumed to be virus problems but actually are hardware, software, or user issues. Let's discuss.

Likely signs of a virus

  • Pop-ups
  • Error msgs mentioning filenames that reaaally don't sound valid
  • Are programs like AIM and LimeWire installed? Does the user seem like a big media consumer? Without generalizing too much, I've found that these users are much more likely to have virus problems.
  • User controls the mouse. You might have bigger problems than just viruses here.

--Hunt, Christopher 18:14, 9 July 2008 (EDT)

Ambiguous symptoms

  • Slow usage.
    • Is it slow in general, or just slow on startup? Check what programs start automatically. (Autoruns, msconfig, HijackThis)
    • Does the user complain about one particular program being slow? Check IE and Firefox for toolbars.
    • What does the add/remove programs list look like?
    • Check the computer specs. You can't expect Windows XP to run well on 128 MB RAM (or Vista to run well on 128GB RAM) no matter how many programs you might remove.
  • Error messages re: a particular program - reinstall? Maybe a file is corrupt, which might be a sign to check for hard disk problems. (But if you're going to run HD diagnostics, back up crucial data first...)
  • Computer writes text randomly. The one time I've seen this, it was actually caused by a speech-to-text function that the user didn't know about!

--Hunt, Christopher 18:14, 9 July 2008 (EDT)

Symptoms that probably mean something else

  • "Memory at <hex code> cannot be referenced". More likely a RAM problem. Try switching out the memory card(s) or run diagnostics on the memory.

--Hunt, Christopher 18:14, 9 July 2008 (EDT)

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