Monday, May 02, 2011

Step by Step walkthrough on Malwarebyte's AntiMalware

If you suspect your Windows computer is infected with some malicious software, you have a variety of tools at your command to deal with the threat. One that I really like is Malwarebyte's AntiMalware, also called MBAM.

If you don't have MBAM installed on your computer already, please for CNet's Download.Com page and click the Download Now button to start the download. Once it's done downloading, you can save the file in a place you can find it easily. I like to create a "Downloads" folder and store each program in it's own folder. (I tend to keep older installers for some of my older machines.)

Double-click the installer to start the install process. For MBAM, the only thing you might need to change is if you use the Quick Launch bar and allow MBAM to put a program button there. Otherwise, just click Next and allow MBAM to finish installing. Windows Vista and 7 might ask your permission at first start the process.

Allow MBAM to download updates. I like to double check that it has found all the updates once the program starts by clicking the Update tab. If MBAM has not already started, you can start it by double-clicking the red square with the white M in it. Then click the Check for Updates button. MBAM will check for and install any updates it finds. It might need to shut off MBAM to install program updates too. It'll tell you if it needs to do that. Just restart MBAM when that is done.

Once the update process is complete, click the Scanner tab. I like to have MBAM Perform Full Scan. Click the radio button to select that. Then click Scan. If you have only one Hard Drive, it will start the scan. If you have two or more Hard Drives or Partitions, it will ask you which ones you want to scan. I like to scan any that are there.

This process can take upwards of two hours, depending on computer speed and how many files you have to scan. Get a cup of coffee or a soda.

If MBAM finds anything, it will tell you on the third line: Objects infected: ##

If it does find something, Do Not Panic!

MBAM is just doing it's job.

When MBAM is finished, it will post a "The scan completed successfully. Click 'Show Results' to display all infected objects." Click the button and read through the list. Most of them will probably be Tracking Cookies. Those are fairly harmless as they are text files that can only be read by a few sites.

If you see something like Rogue Antivirus Center, that's bad. It's a program that tries to get you to give a site your credit card number and then run up charges. Leave everything on the list checked and MBAM will remove it for you.

Click Remove Selected to do that function.

MBAM will create a log file of what it found and what it did to remove it. This will open in Notepad. You can close this.

Then MBAM will tell you that your computer needs to be restarted to finish the job. Click Yes, and let your computer reboot/restart.

If you get something that does not allow MBAM to run or interferes with the normal operation, you can start your computer Safe Mode by pressing F8 as the computer boots. it will bring up the Boot Menu. Use the arrow keys to select Safe Mode with Networking (in case you need to update MBAM or other security software) and press enter. Windows will warn you that it is going into Safe Mode, click Yes to continue and then run MBAM or other software at this point like normal.

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