How to prevent Windows viruses

Discussion in 'Community' started by kylos, Apr 7, 2004.

  1. kylos macrumors 6502a

    kylos

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2002
    Location:
    MI
    #1
    Funny stuff. Just moved back to school. My housemate started having problems with his windows 2000 NT computer. It looked to be a virus, and since he didn't have any antivirus software installed at the time, he got a copy of something (can't remember what, possibly Mcaffe sp?). However, he couldn't get rid of running processes, and so stuff kept popping up. So we checked the process viewer (his computer would halt somewhere between login and starting user processes (desktop appeared and nothing else)) and found a process running 80 - 90% cpu time, name winaii.exe. Now when messing with programs on your computer that you don't know much about, you obviously want to have a vague idea of what it might be doing so you don't mess yourself up good. This one didn't seem to be a core file so he renamed it in safe mode to see if the problem persisted. It helped somewhat, but not a lot.

    The good part, after getting fed up with all that headache, he started deleting programs that he thought were suspicious without second thought, one of them called ntoskrnl.exe. yup folks, he got the main virus itself, the NT kernel. And so, it seems the best way to deal with viruses on windows is to get rid of windows.

    So very appropriate.
     
  2. Dippo macrumors 65816

    Dippo

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2003
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #2
    The best way to prevent Windows viruses....don't turn on the PC!

    It sounds more like it was spyware, which can sometimes be worse than viruses.

    Of course there are SO MANY services running under Windows, it is hard to tell what is required and what is not.
     
  3. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
  4. kylos thread starter macrumors 6502a

    kylos

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    Nov 8, 2002
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    MI
    #4
  5. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2003
    Location:
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    #5
    Hey, no one has posted the obvious answer! "The best way to prevent Windows viruses is to buy a Mac!" :D

    If you're stuck using Windows, though, you can do a reasonable job by:

    • Using an e-mail client other than Outlook.
    • Using a browser other than Internet Explorer.
    • Run a recent version of McAfee Virusscan. They now have the feature of auto-updating their virus signatures on a schedule specified by the user.
    • Never, EVER, click on an attachment you weren't expecting to receive!
     
  6. stoid macrumors 601

    stoid

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2002
    Location:
    So long, and thanks for all the fish!
    #6
    I can't seem to find the story right now, but I think I remember reading once that virus protection software once determined that Windows itself was a virus and tried to uninstall it.

    *continues to search*
     
  7. blue&whiteman macrumors 65816

    blue&whiteman

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2003
    #7
    a good friend of mine is a big xp head. he really seems to know the os well. what he uses to keep viruses out is an app called PC Cillin'

    this keep his box tip tip and does other things as well.
     
  8. kylos thread starter macrumors 6502a

    kylos

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2002
    Location:
    MI
    #8
    Yeah, my housemate managed to actually do it.
     
  9. davecuse macrumors 6502

    davecuse

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2004
    Location:
    NYC
    #9
    If you run into this problem again, you should be able to reboot into safe mode tap the F8 key at boot up and you'll see "advanced startup options" go into safe mode then do this

    Start>Run>type in msconfig>select Diagnostic Startup>reboot>install your antivirus app>get rid of the virus

    Diagnostic Startup stops all the non-essential services from running when you startup. Once everything is cleared up go back into MSConfig, go to the startup tab and uncheck anything that doesn't look familiar.
     
  10. Powerbook G5 macrumors 68040

    Powerbook G5

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Location:
    St Augustine, FL
    #10
    You'd think that the name would tip him off that it is a rather important file if it is Windows NT and the file is "ntoskrnl.exe".
     
  11. davecuse macrumors 6502

    davecuse

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2004
    Location:
    NYC
    #11
    PC Cillin' is a software firewall, essential if you're running a Windows box... It isn't actually an antivirus app, it just tells you if something is going on with your peecee that looks like viral activity.
     
  12. rueyeet macrumors 65816

    rueyeet

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2003
    Location:
    MD
    #12
    Add to that a decent firewall, especially if you're on broadband.

    Of course, all that is beyond the Average Joe/Jane home user who may not understand the concept that Internet Explorer is not the Internet itself, but a Web browser, and is actually one choice of browser among many. It boggles my mind, but there are a fair number of users who have to have an "expert" install and configure software for them. Such people just can't be expected to have that "properly maintained installation" that Windows security depends so much on.

    Hey, I know: maybe Windows should be restricted to corporate environments in which the presence of a fully trained, staffed, and funded IT department is assured. :D
     
  13. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2003
    Location:
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    #13
    Crap, you're right - I can't believe I forgot that! Probably the most important item anymore, given DCOM and Slammer and ...
     

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