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Solutions: So you installed a virus. Now what?

I downloaded a file to my C drive. I am not able to delete the folder and all of its files. I deleted all but two files. I cannot rename them or move them. It says I need permission to delete them. The name of the folder is PCHEALTHCENTER. It told me I had spyware installed on my hard drive. I ran Windows Defender and AVG. Neither found any spyware or any other problems. How can there be files on my hard drive that I cannot delete? How can I delete them?

You downloaded and installed a virus. I can't stress this more strongly: Don't ever download any program that says you have spyware or viruses. Make sure your Windows Defender and AVG are up to date — they should have found this problem if they were. Also, make sure Windows Automatic Updates are turned on. If you have the paid-for version of AVG, contact support and find out why it failed. To remove the problem, follow the instructions on this page: spywareremove.com/remove PCHealthCenter.html. Just follow the manual steps. Do not download any automatic removal tools.

I am finally getting around to using processlibrary.com, which you wrote about in the June 16 column. When I open the ProcessLibrary, I see there is a scan called ProcessScanner. There is also a SpyEraser. Are these okay to use? Are they helpful? Or is this one of those things that will tell me I have all kinds of problems and need to pay a lot of money to fix them?

While ProcessLibrary.com provides a great service with its free process reference library, it is, after all, in the business to make money. I would be hesitant to download and run programs advertised on these sites. I've said it many times and I'll repeat it: All you need to run a healthy and safe PC is a good antivirus program (I recommend either Microsoft One Care or Norton AV), Microsoft Windows Defender — which is free — and the built-in firewall that comes with Windows XP and Vista. Common sense is also a vital component — not sold in stores.

Send questions to personaltech@sptimes.com or Personal Tech, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. Questions are answered only in this column.

Solutions: So you installed a virus. Now what? 10/03/08 [Last modified: Sunday, October 5, 2008 9:40am]
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