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[ The PC Guide | Troubleshooting and Repair Guide | The Troubleshooting Expert | Troubleshooting Specific Components | Troubleshooting Hard Disk Drives | File System Problems ]

I think I have a virus on my system, what should I do?

Explanation: You suspect, for whatever reason, a virus infection on your hard disk and are not sure what to do about it.

Diagnosis: Viruses are commonly responsible for a number of system problems that are blamed on hardware failures or software bugs. It makes sense to eliminate them as a possible problem source before ripping the machine open. Checking for viruses is normally as simple as installing a virus scanner and running it.

Recommendation: You will want to do all of the following:

  • If you suspect a virus infection, stop using your PC immediately. Locate all floppy disks that have been used recently and stop using them as well. Make sure that no PCs networked to you are accessing your hard disk, or they could get whatever you have (depending on what it is).
  • Read this section of the System Care Guide, which discusses viruses in detail, including what they are, how to avoid infection and what to do if you become infected. If you want the shorter version, this section  discusses virus detection and removal specifically.
  • Obtain virus scanning software and follow its directions. You will normally be instructed to boot the system from a provided bootable floppy disk and scan the hard disk for viruses. You should then install the software to your hard disk and use it to scan for viruses regularly.
  • Make sure you scan any floppy disks that you have used in the system for viruses as well or you may reinfect the PC again.

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