Conficker Worm Removal


UPDATE 4/10/2009: Reports are coming in identifying SpywareProtect2009 as being another of the specific scareware tactics being used after Conficker’s latest update. The victim receives a warning and is prompted to purchase the removal tool @$49.99, then the download streams in from the Ukraine. Do not under any circumstances follow instructions from one of these prompts.

Making its first appearance in late October of 2008, the Conficker worm is due to morph from its current developmental stage and sprout wings on April Fools Day 2009. Is it a big deal? Big enough for Microsoft to put a bounty on the head of this
outlaw and it’s creator, to the tune of $250,000.00. Big enough for the Department of Homeland Security to release an announcement and provide a removal tool for it’s federal, local, and state governments and commercial vendors.

This worm is considered extremely dangerous and has already infected between 9 million and 15 million systems. Known to save a copy of its .dll files to random files in the Windows System folder, it then loads each time you boot Windows.

Once infected it can disable system devices, reset and remove restore points, and stop automatic updates. This is in addition to stopping Windows security, Windows Defender and Error Reporting. This worm possesses the latest technology to help spread its destruction and avoid detection and removal. On April 1st. this nasty worm will emerge and return to it’s creator for even more instructions.

All of this leads to a sluggish and unresponsive system that prevents the user from navigating to any website that offers useful help. That’s right, trying to access sites like PC Pitstop, Avast, Malwarebytes, is almost impossible after being infected.

I suggest that everyone who reads this go to Microsoft Updates and be sure you have all the latest security updates. Every neighbor within walking distance has asked for help removing the first wave of this insidious threat. Teachers and students alike have been ringing my doorbell with laptops in tow. I’m curious to see what happens when the April 1st emergence date arrives. Will the seemingly cleaned systems spring forth with the mutated worm? It won’t be long before we know.

What do do? First install all Microsoft security updates. Then in an effort to beat the bug to the punch, make sure your antivirus definitions are up-to-date. If you haven’t done so already download the free Malwarebytes or Avast trial in case you do become infected. I can speak first hand to the issue of being able to navigate to helpful sites. Once infected it’s a must to get help quickly. Be aware that you need to download and run while in SafeMode with Networking , then again with System Restore turned off. Just don’t forget to turn it back on and set a restore point when done. With Avast you will be prompted to check the system memory and also the boot sector on reboot. Be sure to do both as they are definitely known hiding places.

Known As


win32 Conficker

Win32 Downup


Net Worm Kido

Affected Systems

Windows 2000

Windows XP

Windows Vista

Windows Server 2003

Windows Server 2008 (beta thru RC)

Windows 7 beta (all beta versions)



Means Of Infection

No MS Patch

Previously infected system on network

AutoPlay enabled

Weak Password Protection

Good luck and keep your worm defenses up!


Links and Tools

Microsoft Removal Tool


Turn Off Autoplay

MS Worm Removal

Avast Free Edition


MS08-067 Patch

Sunbelt Vipre Technology

PC Pitstop Exterminate Free Scan

Department of Homeland Security

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57 thoughts on “Conficker Worm Removal”

  1. James Blanchard

    The websites suggested to remove the virus are being blocked by the virus. I downloaded Avast Free Edition, but the program failed to connect to install itself. I don’t know what to do to remove Conficker.

  2. i use avg and zonealarm and have so for years i have never had any infections and i do update my protection everyday plus i use ccleaner and atf-cleaner norton is a joke one u install it it is hard to uninstall as in it spiders through everything somewhat like a virus or worm i know from first hand but that is just my opinion

  3. Everyone has opinions on security and like too share thier ideas, we all have I,am sure the best protection for our needs, but for 1 I like to hear what you are all using and Thank You for sharing, also I would like to Thank the people at PC Pitstop for years of great service ( O how you have helped me in the pass ) and how I will be using your services in the future !!!
    Thanks Again for the great work you do


  4. A lot of the viruses out there are temporary files, so if you go to tools and remove all temporary files and then reboot your computer you will be surprised how good it may work.

  5. Thanks for all the information. I always find these forums so helpful and educational.

    However, I have a major problem. I’m currently using a friend’s computer as my PC has been attacked, I think. Just as I was finishing my taxes, my PC froze so naturally, I rebooted. But something took over and my PC continued like it had a mind of its own…it rebooted and rebooted and rebooted and rebooted…my computer wouldn’t stop rebooting! After turning it off/on myself a few times with the same result, it did stop rebooting and the screen simply read “A problem with the hard drive has been detected. Consult the Troubleshooting section of your user’s manual. Press the Enter key to continue.”

    When I do press the Enter key, the screen simply shows “Press to Resume” but nothing happens when I actually do press F4.

    What is my next course of action? Lost the user’s manual a long time ago. I had a similar problem when this PC was less than a year old and a gracious neighbor was able to fix it very quickly (he worked for Microsoft). I’m no longer lucky enough to have this brilliant neighbor so I don’t know what to do…trying to figure this out on my own. Does this sound like a virus/worm? What kind of leg work can I do before calling in the professionals? Do I throw in the towel as this PC is 7 years old now? It may cost more to fix than it is worth. I don’t have a great deal of disposable income with a 20 month old baby running around but I really need my computer back not to mention all those pictures of my little one, ugggg!

    Please advise! Thanks for your time!

  6. the best and most practical way to protect and prevent these issues is setting up limited user accounts while the administrative accounts are password protected !

    many may find this annoying because they cannot install programs without privileges, this is a sacrifice many are willing to take.

    first thing is to make sure the system isn’t already infected, the second thing is maintenance like a defrag, the third’ make sure you have all the programs you need.

    you will be able to use these programs in a limited user account, you won’t be able to defrag unless you switch accounts to an escalated account, you will be able to receive your mail and browse www as before.

    your system will be secure, just remember to log off your administrative account when switching.

    limited accounts are what they are, they are least privileged and it’s almost impossible root will get infected.

    good luck and enjoy, i hope my suggestions helped.

  7. SOSDD.. Use Windows if you do anything much at all on your PC. Never use Nortons or McAfee. Always use freeware like MalwareBytes, Spybot, SuperAntiSpyware, Avira, AVG, CCleaner, etc. Keep Windows updated (Automatic Updates). Stay off porn sites. Dont use P2P for stealing. Defrag once a month. Enjoy computing at its best.

  8. I’ll stick with ESET Smart Security, and ThreatFire(free) simultaneously. Excellent protection, with unnoticeable degrade in resources and performance.

  9. Michael, Plymouth UK

    Ever since starting use of the internet 10 years ago I have always made it a habit of each day that I connect to the internet I do a manual update search of Windows, all the internet security I have which now includes Norton 360, WinPatrol, Threatfire and a couple of anti-spyware programs. I have recently installed a free program from Secunia which advises any security patches that I have missed and Filehippo update checker (the last two being completely free). I do have the programs set to update automatically but it seems sometimes if the computer is turned off at the time the updates are meant to be downloaded it seems to take a little time to come through without checking manually. I understand that some people don’t download all updates as they have had trouble with them in the past, I do not know the reason for this as I have always accepted all updates and not had any trouble in doing so. To check all my programs it takes about 10 to 15 minutes at most often nothing like this length of time. I think that most of us could spend a little more time in doing these checks and being careful about visiting websites and opening unusual emails and we would all have safer use of the internet. I have also (although it is not my responsibility to do so) done the same at work.

  10. Yeh , it’s me again I meant to say also I use
    Zonealarm Security Suite , Spyware Doctor , Spybot Search and Destroy .Spyware Doctor has picked things that have slipped through ,quite well . Avast scan tool I have sitting dormant ,and send it on a run on special occasions, recently deleted it and reloaded it from website in case of a newer version . I keep laptop backed up occasionally, then maybe 1 or 2x year , reformat “wipeout”.I keep specific files ,copy some settings ,backup favourites . Then thats it , wipeout time .
    It is especially important for safety/integrity of system and password protection ,if doing online banking ,etc . Ian , West Australia .

  11. Conficker.. Ha ha ha.. I laugh at thee… my four computers and the 7 im in charge of here at work are fine, despite all the sites they go to on a daily bases… at work we get hundreds of emails per day, per user… from all over the country.. and they are all clean as a wistle. We use “Trend-Micro” server security.. at home I run only the free version of Threat Fire.. I do basic maintenence using ccleaner, malwarebytes and run and check a Hijack This scan once a month.. I havent had any viruses for as long as I can remember.. Just get some Anti-virus software, run regular scans and keep windows updated.. youll be fine. Having a PC is like having a car, you dont do basic up keep, it dies!

  12. Yeh , it’s me again I meant to say I use and subsribe to Zonealarm Security suite , Spyware Doctor ,and Spybot Search and Destroy.
    I have picked up a lot of things with the Doctor.That Zone alarm has missed .
    I also have Avast’s latest scan tool sitting “dormant” to run occasionally.

  13. Yeh , gidday folks ,crikey some of you people get wound up, and mispell a lot as well . quite a laugh .
    I have found we are our own enemy at times , as pop up messages from the antivirus and antispyware installed ,at times gets the okay from us to pass something through too quickly and easily, without reading into it properly. This is how things slip through ,just keep everything updated weekly .I keep a separate antivirus tool away and off , with which I can run through my system later when I have finished on the net ;so some things that have slipped through will get picked up then ,same for spyware . Ian, Western Australia

  14. do not use a usb stick if you have any doubt’s of it being infected as you don’t even have to click on the usb stick the virus auto loads as soon as the stick is inserted,read that on many of the secruity sites as i build an am a lic. OEM custom computer builder,an do a lot of secruity research on OS and computers,Norton is very hoggish as well as Mcafee just removed it from a custermers computer it took 15 mins. to just load,as for Linux,who ever is flaming it does’t know it it is a good operating sys, with many flavors i have about 20 as well as the windows from 95 all the way to vista Ultamate,and do alot of beta testing on os’s and linux with the right emulator will play any game if set up righti won’t get into the flaming or name calling it’s childess, look at what you are using and if it makes you happy use it don’t knock us that like varity,and diff. OS’s it’s the worm u should be worried about and under stand how to rid your computer of it,use another computer to down load the tools,one that u know is not infected put on a clean usb stick or cd copy to the infected computer and use.after ridding the computer of said virus then do a through cleaning of the computer useing any tools such as antispyware,antivirus defrag set a restore point,and get a registery defragger to as these are two diff.types of defragging tools and your computer should run much much faster and cleaner,get a good firewall that works both ways, and you should be able to surf or whatever without fear of getting infected again, stay patched with the latest patches and there are many free tools that work very well,haven’t had a problem in years as i’m a gamer as well,good free programs, avg works if kept updated one of the most widespread used free antivirus out there avira,i use,Iobits windows advanced,Iobits defragger and it has many options,if you get any tool or program be sure to read the readmes on it use and read the reveiws educate your self,it dosn’t take as long as you think,to be able to use the net and do safe computing as you think,don’t let scare tactics scare you if you get on a link and it trys to download an you can’t navagate away from it or stop it, shut down the computer completely,by holding in the start button on your computer,u can always restart your computer happy computing

    Yellow Eagle

  15. Computers alone are a perfect example of how amazed most people would be at how much better life would be for us all if everyone just had a conscience. The amount of money, time, and especially opportunity for advancement in communications that are wasted because we all have to worry about some hacker and his/her teenage groupies is astounding.

  16. I keep hearing all these things about Linux, Microsoft, and Norton all the time on different posts like these and on different websites, so I’m finally going to just throw my 2 cents in:

    1. Yes, if you keep Windows up to date and protected it will be fine….always.

    2. Yes, if you run Linux, you will be even safer….and, yes, it is because fewer people use it and malware writers don’t care about it. Plus, many of them probably have an affection for it.

    3. Fewer people use Linux mostly because it has driver support issues….because, well, fewer people use it. The real problem is that Linux got into the game late and has had to pay many, many times over by trying to compete with a virtual monopoly. Macs?–Oh, they’re just way too proud of their little toys (which probably are a little superior) and they charge way too much for the hardware. The monopoly SHOULD be Macintosh, but they will never swallow their pride.

    4. Yes, Norton was a resource hog; but, a lot of experts agree that it has corrected this problem and it has always (well, generally) been one of the best in terms of pure protection. I still don’t use it, but things do change.

    5. Virii might screw up your PC, but spyware could screw up YOU and your life. Remember that when you are considering what protection to use. Who makes the best anti-SPYware software and do they have integrated antivirus? Firewall? Oh, yes, please–integrated or otherwise.

  17. pps sorry about spelling mistakes, long fingernails do not help typing and I rushed the send before I checked the spelling…apologies.

  18. Many thanks to Rokitman for sage advice, sadly toooooooo late. It has just cost me over £60 to have my poor computer fixed. I fell for nearly all the malware site click ons, ruined my computer by ignoring the PC Pitstop advice and totally lost so much from my computer, photos, work, records…you name it I lost it. NOW I have Spybot search and destroy,Avasti,Register Cleaner and Malware and I keep my computer cean.
    Best advice I can give:- DON’T click on malware advertisements. DON’T forget to keep up to date. NEVER IGNORE PCPitstop advice and always remember the names of my friends because the amount of requests from ‘friends’ I never heard of to be added to my Friends List only to find some unpronounceable so called name and a nasty little virus attatched. I don’t know why people create worms and the like ecept to pinch all our private details but I would certainly like to meet whoever created Conficker because I have a few deliveries of my own I would like to give them .free but I think the resulkting bruises might get me in trouble. STAY UPDATED.
    regards and best wishes.
    ps: Lynn, I learned the hard way but since then I have read PC Pitstops guidelines and results are very dependable the advice column and articles are backdated and show us mere mortals how to fix just about anything without having a degree in IT.

  19. Lynn,
    One hundred percent spot-on. One of the first
    items of education needed is an IT Language/English dictionary.
    Trial and error is also my teacher. Every so often something clicks with a previous comment and makes sense.
    As for all the use this or use that commentary
    for years now I have followed the advice of PCPitstop and use every one on their programs
    plus a few that have been suggested to me.
    I have had problems, mostly of my own making, but they have been sorted out.

  20. As far as norton slowing the system I did find some older versions did. I have used Norton 360 for a few years and I believe (even on some of my older systems) it is far more system friendly and has worked with out fault.

  21. I did it all — installed all security updates to xp, kept Norton up to date, and I’m a savvy user. I still got the damned infection. Spent a few days tweaking the registry and deleting files, but the thing kept reappearing. I just reloaded the OS and am finally back in business. Best insurance policy: back up user files and always have restore disks at hand.

  22. Please–remember that “it’s” is a contraction for “it is”; the apostrophe denotes the missing letter. “Its” is the possessive of “it”, just as “hers” and “his” are possessive for “her” and “him”.

  23. Thank you, Larry Kuch, for pointing out that not all of us can just jump in there and do all the maintenance our computer needs on our own. Some of us work full time, take care of a family, and a dozen other things and don’t have the time, money or resources (live in a tiny town with no computer classes other than how to search on the internet!) to learn all we need to about computers. I have learned what little I know mostly by trial and error. Where and how are you supposed to learn all these things about cleaning the registry, bios, etc.? Even when you use some of the free programs that supposedly do these things, you still have to make choices as to what to fix/remove. And then spend the time reversing it when you made the wrong choice. Any info on where to go to learn all this stuff at a reasonable cost (or free) would be very useful to me and I am sure to a lot of other people.

  24. Confused Novice

    Just wanted to say thank you to all that have shared their knowledge in this forum. Your comments are usually more helpful and clearer than the official website explanations.

  25. I would like to say that whatever A/V you use, just add “ThreatFire” to it (it is free). I will agree that Norton does slow down a computer but if a person is happy with it and it works then all power to them. I find that Norton and McAffey products don’t catch everything. I currently use AVG on my Vista Ultimate 64bit machine and all of the other 32 bit machines have AVG and ThreatFire. Do the research. Hope this helps.

  26. William Childress

    A couple of months ago I was downloading my E-Mail and my anti-virus nailed 2 that it said contained a Trojan-virus
    that was called “Downadup”! I didn’t know at that time
    that it was Conficker until all this news broke out about it. I have 2 E-Mail accounts that are separate and I know
    what they are supposed to receive so I’m not caught off guard by what I get. PC Pitstop was the first to tell me
    about this internet garbage, And I appreciate that very much. I used to get a lot of Worms and other drive-by crap
    until I found a perfect combo that kept my gear clean of this stuff. Comodo BOClean, AVG Antivirus and I use Windows Firewall on my Win XP machine for 3 years and I
    Have yet to have another infection. That does not mean that could not change Since these scumbags are getting more clever all the time, I’m just saying what has worked for me so far! I will not put down PC-Pitstops software either since it works very well, But it seems that you can’t have enough protection nowadays!
    Norton Internet Security 2009 has been re-written from the ground up for performance from what I read about it,
    So it seems that they are listening to their critics.
    Just find what works best for you and stick with it!!!!

  27. yes, yes, yes,
    — update your newest anti virus type App.,
    — update windows,
    — educate yourself as much as possible about current security issues!
    I have a stable lightning fast Mac(with Leopard) that has not needed any troubleshooting, defragging, or virus removal at all. It can run any Windows program/game with out a hitch.
    I’m happy to spend more time having fun on my machine than worrying about this.
    PC Pitstop was the best site for me before…
    Good Luck To All.

  28. Thanks Steve. Daft of me. The links look kind of like auto-gen advertisement links so I just skipped over. I’ll have a go with these tools/tips. Thanks again.

  29. My first computer was a Coleco Adam back in ’83. It used a dual tape drive, NO hard drive, had 80k ~ that’s K ~ of ram, a 3.58MHz processor, displayed 16 whole colors and came with a daisy-wheel printer. The operating system was Basic that you loaded from a cassette.

    I’ve owned almost every configuration of computer and every iteration of operating system since and serviced them all myself. I have to tell all you folks out there using anything Norton’s. YOU ARE SLOWING DESTROYING YOUR SYSTEMS!

    Norton’s is a huge resource hog, it will miss many infections and exploits no matter how often you update the signatures, and God help you if you ever want to uninstall it. Norton’s places cryptic and incoherent files all over your system that it’s uninstall program and Control Panel will never remove. You almost need to be an IT specialist to locate them all. It hijacks your system with it’s programs making it so hard to remove, that most people just give up and continue using it.

    That’s how it remains so popular. Norton’s users love it because they are led to believe Norton’s is catching all the problems. But there are tons of malware Norton’s just doesn’t alert on.

    To keep my systems clean and running fast and smooth, I use several techniques. First, whatever antivirus/spyware program you decide to use, update it regularly. Set it up to monitor continuously and update in the background. If you choose to be informed before installing updates, all of the better programs can be setup this way. Do the above for any cleaning and inspecting software you use, including Windows Updates.

    Next, don’t use Windows Security Center at all. Not the anti-vi, not the firewall. Bill Gates should be drug through the streets by his testicles for including this useless crapware in an operating system. Use a stand alone program for these functions. They are pretty much ALL better than the Windows solutions.

    Don’t click on or reply to ANY popups that warn that your system has been compromised. They are nearly ALWAYS a ploy to either sell you their software or worst, install malware to FORCE you to buy their software to remove it.

    Don’t rely on a single source or program for detection of malware and try not to run them all at the same time. Do some research. Find good programs from reliable sources that do one thing and do it well, or a suite of progs that work well together and don’t require huge ram requirements.

    That being said, here’s what I use and I haven’t had a serious infection in years. AVG has an excellent FREE program you can download. I’d suggest you pony up the extra money and buy the AVG Internet Security Suite. It’s a collection of 12 essential programs to detect, clean and optimize your system. Next, I use the following programs in a maintenance routine at least once a month.

    Spybot – Search $ Destroy
    PC Pitstop Optimizer and
    Registry Mechanic

    Again, before using these, update the definitions and virus signatures and run theses one at a time. Some of these take a long time to run, so you might want to schedule each to run during downtime on different days of the week. You should also use Windows Disc Cleanup on all your drives before scanning. This will remove those harmless temporary files that accumulate through normal Web surfing.

    Also. Every program you install adds keys to the registry which are sometimes not removed after uninstalls. This is also true for many virus and malware programs, which is another reason many are so hard to remove. During the uninstall process, a virus may replicate and disguise it’s registry entries so that it can reinstall itself later.

    That’s where registry cleaners come in. After you have updated your programs, disinfected your system and rebooted, run Registry Mechanic ~ or your favorite registry cleaner ~ to remove these rouge files and minimize the damage that malware can cause.

    Last, run a good disc defragmenter to rejoin often used files, consolidate disc space and optimize seek times. After a final reboot, I promise you, you will notice a marked difference in the speed and stability of your system.

    Once you develop a good maintenance routine, keeping your system in top running condition will almost be automatic.

    Good luck

  30. This information is helpful but has some major flaws. The versions I am seeing kills internet access preventing one from downloading the software listed. I keep the removal software on a USB memory stick. WARNING: scan your USB device later, it infected one of mine. I recommend the real AVG from Grisoft vs Avast. Avast simply did not perform. This infection also hides it’s recovery files in My Documents. If one writes the HD to zeros and then reloads the software, copying over the original My Documents, it may be reinfected. The reinfection was located as a zipped compressed file in a users My Documents. In some cases, it cannot be removed as none of the listed software finds all the infection variants.

  31. MB, there are 5 links shown in RED at the bottom of the Article under the Heading REMOVAL. They are again shown in the list of Links and Tools, also in red.

  32. The title of this article is “Conficker Worm Removal”, yet NO solution is given! Can we please change the path of our discussions and suggest HOW to combat this virus after infection? Prevention is great, but I’ve been keeping AVG up-to-date and Windows patches installed automatically and I STILL got infected. How do I rid it from my PC? Will it help to re-install the O/S (WinXP Pro, SP2) over-top?

  33. Windows is the allies? Yeah using that comparison(big and fat and non caring…coming in when the majority of the fighting has already been done by others and then claiming they were the “ones” who mattered.){History major}
    Norton is allies material too. Slow and cumbersome with closed eyes. I dumped that years ago and won’t take it if you gave it too me.
    Have I suffered? None. Got a good German made antivirus program that catches everything(as I have used other AV programs to check my machine afterwards and not one legitamite one (Panda, Avast,AvG(and others who’s names I can’t remember at this moment.which did not find anything=nuff said)
    As for the “one” that pops up on the screen that says your computer is infected….that is scareware(ads using scare tactics to get you to buy their useless products-how did you get it?…by going to one of their web sites) How to get rid of it…try Ad-aware(by Lavasoft-the free trial and ‘Spybot Search&Destroy’. It might have been tougher than that so Google the warning and there is other antispyware that will terminate that program and protect your machine forever from that one. A Spysherriff genre(of 5)

    Oh, I do shut my computers off, because I have a life.
    (I never leave the car engine running just because I might use it.)
    In both cases, it is the mechanics or service people you will be seeing most often due to a worn out machine…not to mention the power you are unneccessarily using. Hydro “loves you”too.

  34. Good insights. Wouldn’t it be nice if we all treated our computers like cars & got regular, professional tune-ups & inspections? I, too, have sufficient knowledge to care for my own (& others’) computers, but realize that many don’t/can’t do so. Unfortunately, education is the most crucial yet most difficult part of keeping a computer secure today.
    btw, I read a recent review stating Norton 2009 is greatly improved and is no longer as much of a resource hog. I, personally, though, stay away from Norton & McAfee both. So many other, better choices out there — they just don’t come preloaded…
    The key, as others have stated, is knowledgeable diligence (or have a tech adviser right along side of your financial adviser!).

  35. Stephanie there is a tool that will completely stop this type of infection from making changes to your computer. It’s called Spybot Search and & Destroy. It is free to download and use. They ask for donations but that is voluntary.

    For those who say switch to Linux, I’ve been a Linux admin for long enough to have had servers hacked and root kits installed on them. It’s not a virus but it does result in someone else trying to control your server.
    For those, like Mike, that say that open source software is more vulnerable you need to do more research. OSS has a track record of less vulnerability to attacks of all types than closed source software.


  36. I HATE NORTONs. I repair computers and Nortons is the worst. I had to do a system restore on a brand new dell computer after the owner installed Nortons suite. Even the dell rep told the owner not to put it back on .

    You like it…good for you but I have seen lots of problems created on perfectly good computers after nortons has been installed. You live and learn.

  37. I have to agree with Paul, each and EVERY PC I’ve ever installed Norton (or McAffee) on has become so very bogged down, it can hardly run the anti-virus, let alone your own apps. Today’s programmers think everyone has unlimited memory, CPU and disk space, and their programming shows their illiteracy, as they require more resources, instead of less.

    If APPLE would migrate OSX to “ALL” Intel based PC’s, I’d gladly replace Microsoft in a minute with it, hands down.

    I kind of agree with Graham, too. Linux is a more secure OS, granted it won’t run your favorite games, but provides a complete Office Suite that is “supported” (and compatible) by Microsoft. Having an OS that isn’t so overridden with security holes and bugs is quite nice to have. You don’t have to reboot Linux every 30 – 45 days. Linux is a REAL OS, does True Multi-tasking, and handles Security well, it has from the very start.

    You want to run REAL programs, run Linux. You want to play GAMES, go ahead and run DOS.

    How many years has Microsoft been in business, and they still haven’t gotten security right ?

  38. @Paul – I couldn’t agree more about Norton. When I uninstalled it and put Avast on intstead it found a whole mountain of baddies that Norton had never picked up, as did PC Pitstop’s Exterminate. I was shocked and have since told all my friends not to bother with Norton.

  39. Well, Paul seems to have the right idea, pay attention to your maintenance and upkeep, and never rely on just one source.

    And yeah, there are no big bugs for Linux, because who cares? Besides, isn’t it open software? If so, then the risk of nasties is gonna even be worse, assuming any number or people in developed countries start using it.

    As for Norton hogging the OS and memory, and slowing the system to a grind, I say get a modern computer. Not that I’m pushing Norton, I have a few peeves with the program, but with a fairly decent system, I have never noticed any slow-downs. Maybe you can measure how it slows the system with a clock that runs in milliseconds, but its still way faster than my biological input systems can register. Besides, if your using two independent systems it make at best a good second.

    Anyway, all it takes is a little attention, routine maintenance, and some common sense to avoid the whole issue. As apparent by all the posts here professing no problems no matter which pet program we run. By the way, if you do perform routine maintenance, routinely, it doesn’t really take very long, because there isn’t so much to do each time. It also helps to stop by the PC Pitstop site on a regular basis.

  40. I’ve Got To Agree With Paul On Norton. I Used It For Acouple Years And It Did Slow The System. Also Having Afew Good Programs For Checking/Cleaning Is A Must. Good Luck To All.

  41. My husband clicked on a news website from Google homepage and the warning threat popped up that his computer was infected. He asked me what he should do and I told him to x out of the screen and when he did another box came up asking him if he wanted to run or save the software. The only way to get rid of it was to completely shut down IE. If we could only come up with a virus protection that could recognize these kinds of things before they come up out of nowhere and the freaked out human element reacts to “save” their infected computer. That would be impressive.

  42. 1: Does anyone ‘proofread’ anymore? In the “known as” list it is spelled “Win32 Downup”. EVERYWHERE else I have EVER seen the name it is spelled: “WIN32 DOWNADUP” (notice the letters ‘AD’.) It is good to have a list of other names, but spelling them properly is important too.
    2: @Ernie – Most any ‘good’ fully updated and permanently running AV/AS will work fine. It most certainly DOES NOT need to be NORTON/SYMANTEC of ANY version!
    AVANQUEST FIX-IT UTILITIES 9 PROFESSIONAL, FOR EXAMPLE, which is what I use. …AND it costs a heck of a lot less for ‘subscription’ renewals! If you need a “SUITE” to replace your own common sense or to protect your children, well Avanquest has a Fix-It suite as well. I personally do not use “Security Suites”, but if I did Fix-It would be the one.

  43. Margaret Campbell

    Not computer related, but you might want to tell your copy-editor that s/he is flat out wrong in his/her use of its/it’s.

    Most of the use in this article is backwards. Its is like his/hers–possessive. It’s always means it is.

  44. Norton is in my opinion the worst of all protection, its the one that hogs the OS and memory and slows your system to a grind because they have so many applications within it, just look in your startup files and see.
    My computer is on 24/7 and has been for several years now and I only use the free edition of AVG which I have been using for quite a few years now, yes I have picked up on viruses many times but have not been infected, I regularly clean my system using other tools like Advanced SystemCare, CCleaner, plus I also check my startup folder too after installing any software and remove any startup items that do not need to be there.
    I come across computers all the time with startup folders full of junk where people download and install programs and do not read the messages they get while installing, thus installing toolbars and other such junk and then wonder why there computer runs so slow, I am amazed at how many people have a computer yet do not know the basics for keeping it clean and up to date.
    Ernie you say you never ever have any virus/spyware/adaware on your system, try the tools I mentioned and I bet you’ll find quite a lot, just relying on one software program is a big mistake in this day and age and I am sure many will agree with me that Norton is not nowhere near the best protection out there.

  45. For years I have been telling everyone I know to keep windows updated. I check at least once a week and suggest the same for everyone running windows. Of course keeping security software up to date at the same time is important. Last time it was the blaster virus. Yes, the patch to cure it was available as an update well before anyone was infected.

  46. There is an old saying that ignorance is bliss and that is why happiness is a smile inside of one’s stupidity to! By annoucning to people “Hey look, there’s Conicker, WATCH OUT!” YOu are only telling the hackers what to look out for and what to do more. I got the solution: Use Norton Internet Security 2009 and keep it updated and use the most current version of a NON-beta Windows operating system that is universal. NOT Apple, NOT Linux and NOT another browser. Use Microsoft products and Norton and you can leave your computer on all day everyday for days on end and NEVER EVER have spyward, adware or viruses. I am living proof. I have count em, SEVEN broadband connections in my house and business with Vista and Norton Internet Security (Soon to be upgraded to version 7 of Windows as more support follows universally), and they remain on at least 5 to 6 days out of the week and they never EVER get infections of ANY kind. WAKE UP PEOPLE!

  47. @Thomas – What mainstream games do you play on your uber Linux computer? Mainstream apps? Linux is miles away from being a universally accepted operating system.

  48. “… More folks need to use Linux. …” That’s like saying ‘more people should join the Nazi party, because it is going to conquer the world’ when the allies are Windows … 🙂

  49. That all sounds helpful. I am glad I use Linux. More folks need to use Linux. I used windows systems for years and after about 6 months I have forgotten about windows.

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