Many Windows PC users don’t know their computer has a virus until their system starts to act funny.  Maybe everything seems to be fine, but there is something that doesn’t seem quite right.  Their computer might seem a little bit sluggish or a favorite homepage has suddenly been replaced by something else.  Worse yet, their default browser can’t get access to the internet.  When this happens to you, what do you do?

Many computer users immediately head for the phone and call the local computer expert in their network to see what they should do.

Here are some suggested actions you can take:

  1. Reboot in safe mode with internet access enabled
    • Startup extensions don’t load in safe mode which means your programs might work.
    • Check your internet access by launching your default web browser
    • if default browser failed
      • check internet access by using alternative web browser like Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera
      • if alternative browser worke a setting may have been altered in your default browser
    • if default browser worke disable startup extensions using msconfig
  2. Check your internet settings
    • check proxy settings which are used to redirect the computer from the internet to an alternative location
    • I recently saw a proxy setup that prevented any communication with the outside world.  Once I changed the setting communication over the internet was restored
    • Download, install and run Windows defender http://www.microsoft.com/downloads
  3. Perform System Updates
    • System updates sometimes slip through the cracks. It is important to reach fix have fixes related
  4. Install or re-install anti-virus software
    • Sometimes the act of installing or re-installing anti-virus software replaces an infected component with a known good one and proper function is restored to the system.
    • If you haven’t chosen any anti-virus software yet then try http://www.avast.com  I have been using it for many years and have been very happy with its performance.