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The latest Techie Question comes from Orlando, Florida:
Hi, Techtite. First of all, love your YouTube videos! Jumping to the purpose of my email. I noticed you answer techie questions and I have a real problem here. All of the sudden my computer is unworkable. It's so unworkable I am sending this from my office PC!
Here's what happened, as far as I know. I always log onto trusted sites though my daughter wanted a rare gift for the holidays so I was foolishly searching less heard of sites for an out of stock toy. Minutes later my PC became totally unusable. The screens seem legitimate enough though they tell me that I have to install this or that virus program and all I have to do is input all my personal information including my credit card to buy their pricey virus removal software. Don't worry, I didn't do it! Though I seem to be given little choice due to Windows no longer functioning. Even shutting down and restarting freezes the whole system and brings me back to their obviously faked "virus detected" window which is even more obviously fake because unlike all other windows I cannot close the window or see anything else on the screen as I normally do. HELP!
---George, Orlando Florida
You are already halfway to salvation George by not falling for the most powerful virus "scam" out there. Had you "purchased" their fake virus software by sending your credit card data, it would be a whole bigger problem! However, to get rid of this pesky virus once and for all, the problem can be corrected relatively easily, in as little as 10 minutes.
First step: Disconnect your internet connection from your PC. This should be as easy as unplugging the Ethernet cable going from your internet box (modem, DSL, etc) to your PC. You will not need an internet connection until after your computer is safe, and this makes the virus all but powerless. If the virus cannot connect to the internet, then it can't steal your data...and in just a few more minutes, the virus will be gone for good.
Next step: Restart your PC in safe mode. I'm presuming you're using a PC with Windows XP, Vista, or 7. In any case you press F8 while the system is booting, which will lead to an option to enter safe mode. Do so and wait until Windows fully boots. You will notice many changes to your desktop in safe mode, like a smaller screen resolution. This is normal.
Third step (we're almost there!): go to "All Programs" via the windows icon at the lower left. Then go to the folder "accessories," and in the "System Tools" folder choose "System Restore." Optionally you can simply use the search window and look for "System Restore." After clicking on it, you want to "Restore to an earlier checkpoint." Then choose the OLDEST date they give you. You want to make sure the virus is gone, and if any updates to windows were downloaded since then, they will download again, safely and automatically.
Final step is to wait patiently for System Restore to do its thing. It takes at least 10 minutes so don't worry if your PC looks like it has "hung up." BY the time Windows restarts the virus should be gone for good! This should work for most modern viruses. Good luck...and thanks for the compliment about my YouTube videos. I'm glad you like them!
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