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Annoying Virus Threat

Posted by on June 14, 2011 0 Comments Category : Annoyances &Pickle Forum

Recently, we have seen many instances of a virus called Vista Antivirus 2012. You will be browsing the Internet and an “alert” will say something like “Your system is infected. Click here to remove.” As soon as you click the button, you are installing the virus. Windows tries to warn you, but most people are accustomed to dismissing the warnings perfunctorily.

Commonly, your desktop icons and background will disappear and your files will not be readily accessible. The virus hides your files. (They are not deleted, in fact.) (Note that there are some old viruses that manifest the same symptoms, but those are no longer commonplace. Refer to http://www.techiechips.com/windows-vista-windows-xp-blank-screen-after-login/)

To confirm the diagnosis, you may go to Control Panel and choose Classic View on the left. Go to File Options–>View Files. Uncheck “do not show hidden files”. Apply this setting, and your files should appear (but they are technically still “hidden”, and greyed-out).

A sensible person would try to use System Restore, but this virus will disable that option. The best solution is to follow these steps:
Enter Safe Mode. Reboot your machine and strike the F8 key repeatedly as soon as the machine reboots. You will be presented with boot options. Choose “safe mode with networking”. Once you are logged in to your account, copy and paste this URL into your browser:

http://www.virusremovalguru.com/download.php

Proceed with the installation of STOPzilla. (You can remove this program later, because everyone should be running Microsoft Security Essentials as their antivirus program, and it is not advisable to run more than one antivirus program.)

After installation of STOPzilla, you will be prompted to reboot. Return to your Windows account, and STOPzilla should automatically begin a full scan. This program should be able to remove the virus. After a two-hour scan, the “Hidden Files & Folders” virus should be detected, and perhaps the “”System Restore” virus. It will cost $9.95 to register for the service and accomplish the actual removal. Unfortunate? Yes. But, it works. Warning: this company charges you $39.95 and then you must use a mail-in rebate to get $30 returned. Even so, the average American makes $24 per hour, and the manual removal will take an hour.

Should you care to remove the virus manually, refer to this link:
http://www.virusremovalguru.com/?p=7580

EDITORIAL COMMENTS: If you are running Microsoft Vista, then you deserve what you get. I’d rather be running Windows 7 with a virus than Vista with no viruses.

DON”T click on anything that says “Your system is infected. Scan now.” These are tricks. Familarize yourself with your antivirus program and learn to identify genuine alerts. Basically, trust no one.

Lastly, be sure to back-up your important files. Use an external hard drive. Use a Flash drive. Burn DVD’s. Use Carbonite or Mozy. Upload to Windows Live free 25GB storage. Just have some kind of back-up. Remember: if you use Carbonite, be sure to manually right-click on EACH VIDEO FILE (or select the group) and use the contextual menu to force Carbonite to back it up. (Carbonite does not automatically back-up video files–nor do they warn the consumer with anything other than fine print.)

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