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Solutions

Solutions: Stamping out a virus once and for all

I use a Gateway PC with up-to-date XP operating system and Microsoft Security Essentials. Security Essentials pops up often saying I am at risk. I click "Clean Computer" and it tells me that I am infected with "Trojan:Win32/Stresid.gen." Security Essentials cleans this up, but then a little later we repeat the same thing. I have tried to fix this using ComboFix and AntiMalware, but it is still there.

First, let's get rid of any old System Restore files as follows: Click Start then right-click Computer and select Properties. In the left pane, click System protection. Under Protection Settings, click the Configure button. Under Disk Space Usage, click Delete, then Continue and then OK. Reboot into Safe Mode with Networking (press F8 as the computer starts but before Windows loads). Download and run Malwarebytes AntiMalware program directly from www.tinyurl.com/2fwj868. This will initiate a download of AntiMalware from MalwareBytes.org without first navigating to a new screen, so be aware for the Internet Explorer download dialogue. Ignore any trial offers along the way. An important part of this download link is that it gives a random name to the downloaded executable setup to sneak past your virus. Let it install and run performing a "Full Scan" and follow all recommendations when it completes. Reboot normally.

I keep a high-capacity USB flash drive connected to my Windows Vista computer. I am concerned that my personal files on that drive would be at risk if the drive was stolen. Is there any way I can password protect to make it unreadable if it falls into the wrong hands?

Forget passwords on folder or individual files. They are easy to defeat and are not really true safeguards. Other options are flash drives with built-in encryption such as the Kingston DTVP-M or you can go the software route using free programs such as TrueCrypt (www.truecrypt.org) or FreeOTFE (www.freeotfe.org).

When logging into my Yahoo e-mail from the inbox, I lose my vertical scroll bar and my ability to page up/down. I have a Gateway laptop with IE 9, and Vista Home Premium. I did a system restore, but that didn't help.

First thing always is to make sure your antivirus/malware software is up to date and returning clean scans. Next, try running Internet Explorer in no add-on mode as follows:

For Windows Vista, click Start, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools, Internet Explorer (No Add-ons). If it seems to fix the problems you were experiencing, restart Internet Explorer normally, click Tools, Manage Add-ons. Disable all add-ons but one. Exit and then restart Internet Explorer. Keep repeating until you come to the add-on that causes the problem. If the issue still persists, try resetting Internet Explorer back to factory standard by clicking Tools, Internet Options, Advanced Tab, and click the Reset button. First try it without checking the Delete personal Settings option, then with it if still no luck.

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: Stamping out a virus once and for all 09/18/11 [Last modified: Sunday, September 18, 2011 8:05pm]

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