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Retired Bill_F
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I think I have a virus what can I do?

Desktop PC

How can I tell if I have a virus? What do I do? How can I prevent these in the future?



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I think I have a virus what can I do?

Typically you will see one or more of the following symptoms:


  • The computer takes longer to boot to the Windows desktop
  • Applications will not load or frequently stop responding
  • Frequent system error messages or errors loading applications
  • Unfamiliar icons are added to the desktop
  • Generally slow system performance, especially while browsing the Internet
  • Browser windows close unexpectedly or stop responding
  • The browser home page changes and cannot be reset
  • Pop-up windows display more frequent and/or when the browser is not open
  • Unfamiliar toolbars are added to the browser
  • Default web search engine has changed
  • Clicking a web link does nothing, or goes to an unrelated website
  • Webpages are automatically added to your favorites list
  • Email messages or social media posts are sent from users address without their knowledge
  • Unexpected and near constant hard disk access


There may be other symptoms, but this is a pretty solid list.


What to Do If You Have a Virus


If you think your computer has a virus, check out the appropriate document below for more information on how to diagnose, deal with, and prevent future infections:


HP PCs - Computer Might Be Infected by a Virus or Malware (Windows 10, 😎

HP PCs - Computer Might Be Infected by a Virus or Malware (Windows 7, Vista, XP)


Just a heads up that typically, virus or malware infections are not covered under hardware warranty. You may be referred to a pay service like SmartFriend or asked to run a recovery.


Some Malware or Viruses can be very persistent and hard to effectively remove.  Ultimately, preparation for viruses if the best defense.  Reset to a factory state can sometimes be quicker and easier, assuming you are prepared. With that in mind:

  • Remember to back up your data regularly, especially the data that is most important to you (photos, videos, personal documents, unfinished homework).
  • If possible back up to more than one place like an external drive, CD, or DVDs.
    * Having clean back up of everything important will take some sting out of having to start over*
  • Make sure you have created your recovery media and have it available. If you need assistance with this, review one of the following documents:


Performing an HP System Recovery (Windows 10)

Performing an HP System Recovery (Windows 😎
Performing an HP System Recovery (Windows 7)

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