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PC Security: your questions answered

The answers to your most burning security questions

At PC Advisor we're deluged with your PC security questions. So here's our guide to getting rid of spyware, shrug off spam, and staying safe on unsecured public networks.

More tips for removing spyware-carrying programs

Tried everything on the previous page and still can't get rid of the vicious thug? Try HiJackThis, a free utility now from TrendMicro.

HiJackThis creates a very technical report on your system's suspicious Windows behaviour. You probably won't be able to make heads or tails of it, but there are plenty of internet forums where friendly people can help you decipher HiJackThis reports and recommend a course of action.

Go to Trend Micro's Analysing your HijackThis Log page for links to many of these forums.

If nothing else works, reformatting your hard drive is the last desperate measure to take. But back up your data first. In fact, if you already have a full backup of your data (as you should), make an extra backup, anyway. The more, the safer.

We can't tell you exactly how to reformat your hard drive and reinstall Windows, because that depends on whether you have a good backup of the operating system made before the infection, what kind of recovery capabilities came with your PC, and if you have a genuine Windows XP or Vista disc.

If you have a good system backup made with an imaging program such as Ghost or True Image, restoring that is much easier than reinstalling everything.

The next best option is an actual Windows disc. Pick the option that erases everything on the drive before installing Windows. It's safer. Otherwise you'll have to use what recovery features came with your computer. In most cases, this will return the hard drive to its factory condition. Then you'll have to remove the programs you don't want.

However you do it, once Windows is working, you'll need to install your security software and your applications, update everything, and then restore your data from the backup.

NEXT PAGE: Why am I sending myself spam?

  1. The answers to your most burning PC security questions
  2. More tips for removing spyware-carrying programs
  3. Why am I sending myself spam?
  4. Find out just how safe unsecured networks are

Visit Security Advisor for the latest internet security news

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