Thursday, November 18, 2010

Quick Tech Tip: Access the Desktop when a Virus Knocks it Out

I helped a coworker today who snagged a virus (av8 to be exact) and thought I would do a quick write up of what to do if you can't even get to your desktop.

His problem: AV8.exe took over his machine (Windows 7 machine) and when he rebooted the machine, it gave the log-on page and after that it was just black.  He couldn't access the desktop.  That was when panic set in for him.

The easiest solution to this problem is to CTRL-ALT-DELETE and bring up the 'Task Manager'.  Click the 'Applications' tab if it isn't defaulted.  Once up, click the lower-right-hand button for 'New Task'.  Then type 'explorer.exe'.  This will bring up Windows Explorer and you should be able to access programs that will help to eliminate the virus. 

It is always a good idea to have a back up CD or Flash drive with Malwarebytes, an anti-virus program, and CCleaner for situations where you cannot use the programs loaded on the hard drive.

BTW, if you are curious how to get rid of AV8 or Antivirus8, here is what I did (this is for Windows 7).

End the process: av8.exe

Delete the following registry keys (never mess with your registry without backing it up):
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\WinJS (it also can be WinFD)
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run (find AV8 and delete)
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\explorer.exe

Then delete the .lnk from the desktop, and C:\program files\av8.  Then do a search of your C:\ and search for av8 and see if you find any other remnants.  Reboot.  Run virus scan to grab anything that may be missed.  Don't click Antivirus8 again!

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