Spyware, Adware, Malware Removal : Speeding and Cleaning Your Computer

My cousin constantly kept cribbing about his slow computer. So I finally decided to try to give him a visit…

He had a Windows 98 running on a Pentium 2 with a 128MB Ram. When I opened Word 97, it took 46 seconds to open the first screen. Just clicking on My Computer took us 30 secs to load all the icons. Dont ask me how long it took to open Progam Files with all the folders and hundred of games and exe files there. There were funny dial up pop ups from time to time with the web browser.

But I owned a simialr PC with PII long before. It was not so bad. So something was wrong…..

Armed with my new found knowledge about spyware, adware, viruses and malicious software that stealth installs which run in the background undetected, I decided to give them a try.

Lets see…

First to fix up any virus running alongside our applications.
He had Norton Antivirus 2000 installed, with virus definitions 1 year old and a full system scan done 6 months back..
The current version available is Norton Antivirus 2005, but I could not get that now anyway.
First I updated the antivirus definitions by downloading the Intelligent Updater Virus Definitions from their site, so that they are up to date. You dont want to run a full scan for hours and leave undetected viruses happy.
So lets start it first…. and after a long wait of about 1.5 hour for the full antivirus scan, we got hold of 2 common low risk viruses. Norton Antivirus fixed them up in a jiffy. Restarted but no increase in speed.

Then I downloaded and run the famous freeware antispyware software Spybot Search & Destroy. Update the definitions and go. After a pretty fast scan in 20 min, it found 66 objects to remove. That was quick. Well now we are getting somewhere.

Then I tried to get hold of Microsoft Windows Antispyware Beta. There was much hype about it and I thought that Microsoft Antispyware may be able to detect such spyware better in Windows, since both were their products. But guess what happened. After starting the install, a prompt jumped up saying we needed Windows XP. Since we were stuck with Windows 98, goodbye to Microsoft Windows Antispyware.

Then we decided to run Ad-Aware SE Personal. It is another popular antispyware tool. It truly gave me an impression of a thorough deep scanning as it went through each and every file. It took much more time about 100min, much more than what Spybot took, but detected 361 items in total. Then it took care of all these items.

After a quick restart, The My computer window loaded in 5 seconds. Office 97 opens in 8 seconds. The icons show up fast. No wonder all these detected items were slowing the PC so much by tagging along. The windows open quickly and PII is back in action. So the computer was not so slow after all.

Just a tweak by these effective free spyware tools did the trick. Why dont you speed up your slow outdated computer by giving these tools a try. Your computer might be housing hundreds of such spyware, malware and adwares!

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About the Author: P Chandra is editor of QOT, one of India's earliest tech bloggers since 2004. A tech enthusiast with expertise in coding, WordPress, web tools, SEO and DIY hacks.