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How to Tell?
Any abnormal behavior of your computer system may be an indication of virus activity. In the extreme, your computer will no longer boot up, or will hang in the process; short of the extreme, it may suddenly hang up or run slow for unexplainable reasons. If in double, check it out.

What to Do?
If you suspect that you have been hit by a virus, the following steps may help you recover and get back on track:

  1. Check the Windows Security Center to verify that system patches, antivirus software, the firewall, and antispyware applications are running and up-to-date. (See Connecting Personal Devices for details.
  2. Isolate your system (unplug it from the network, collect any and all removable media that you've recently used - it may too be infected).
  3. Assess whether or not you truly have a virus. If you have virus protection software, run it in diagnostic mode. Check to see if your anti-virus data files are current; if not, download the most current files on a clean floppy disk from a non-contaminated, networked computer. (Consult your anti-virus owner's manual).
  4. Contact the CIS HelpDesk and/or your Micro Team representative to see if any known viruses are circulating and alert them of your situation.
How To Recover From a Malware Infection:

If infection is confirmed:

  1. Determine where the virus may have come from; notify the person or site who sent it to you. Don't skip this essential step!
  2. If on-campus, notify CIS that you have confirmed or strongly suspect malware on your computer. Backup essential data onto a separate media source.
  3. Eradicate the virus - you will probably need help in doing this.
  4. Restore or rebuild your system, applications and personal files.
A number of web sites offer helpful virus alerts and diagnostic/eradication steps. The technical detail is beyond the scope of these self-help pages. The first place to go is to the web site of your anti-virus software manufacturer.
Common Problems:
People ignore early indicators that something is wrong and end up losing important data and compromising other networked systems. (Hopefully this page has convinced you of the importance of avoiding malware in the first place!!)

Last Updated: 8/20/2008