Computer Security & Viruses/viruses.

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QUESTION: The Dell computer that I got two years ago has been damaged by lots of malware, and now I can't get the operating system to work properly. I had to buy a new computer, a Gateway computer with Windows 8. And right off the bat it seems fidgety. I heard there have been issues with Windows 8 so I would like to think it is mostly a lack of updates. But in any event I would like to get this new computer the best protection possible. I know no software is perfect, but it seems to me that I should have gotten more than two years out of my last computer. Currently i deleted Norton and activated defender. And I would like to get a paid software as well. My old computer used McAfee. According to pcmag.com Norton is actually better then McAfee. Also this other software that came with the computer on a disk. I forget what its called but it also was rated highly alongside Norton. Also I wanted to get Malwarebytes, and SUPERAntiSpyware to double check everytime I scan. I'm not saying that the old computer can't be salvaged. As far as I know the hardware still works. I just wasn't sure how to get ahold of the operating system that was used at the time. What antivirus Anti Malware anti spyware anti everything would you suggest to keep a new computer clean?

ANSWER: First of all, I would suggest neither McAfee or Norton's. I have been doing this a long time now and have never used either product for more than a few weeks. I use AVG. It is free, not a resource hog like Norton and Mcafee, and will protect you from viruses. Now keep in mind, part of this is just preference. This is just what has always worked for me.
You are on the right track with Malwarebytes. Not sure if you realize it but AVG will protect you from really bad trojans and viruses but will not protect from minor spyware and malware. Malwarebytes has always worked well for me. If I could afford it I would use the paid version. I believe it includes real time scanning. As it is I just remember to update and run a scan every now and then.
Not sure how bad your old computer is. Will it come on? Can you boot into safe mode? If so I would download and run a program on it called combofix. http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/download/combofix/
It is an executable. It doesn't install. Just save it to your desktop, double-click it, and let it run. It will rid the computer of most anything. It is intensive and can corrupt files, but this is very rare and most of the time a very minor repair.  

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QUESTION: I had issues with Avg in the past and I'm  not sure it  was even rated at pcmag.com. I just know viruses seemed to have no trouble getting in with avg. I don't want a free software. I want a step up from those. Kaspersky was the disc the computer came with and it was rated well. through is the key even at the expense of speed. my old computer does start and microsoft says it is now virus and malware free. but some of my programs no  longer run right or at all  even when I reinstalled them. also had issues with the usb port when I tried to view a portable harddrive. I just don't trust it with a windows reinstall and maybe reformating  after checking hardware for full functionity. but old computer aside can you recommend a good paid antivirus software?

ANSWER: Never heard that before about AVG. My wife's office uses Kaspersky. It is a medical office so they rely on security and my wife speaks highly of it. Can you list some of the infections you've had?
On the old computer, sounds like you need to reinstall the operating system. According to what OS it is you may not have to do a complete re installation. Even in XP there is an option, upon booting to the installation disk,to pick "Repair my computer".
Good paid anti-virus and all around security tool to me would be the full paid AVG paid security suite. However, I know you do not have faith in it. I would try Kaspersky.

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QUESTION: I don't know the names or types of infections. I just know Super antispyware removed 5 spyware programs, Windows Essentials removed 5 virus items, and when I ran Malwarbytes that Microsoft left on my computer one day it picked up about 5 items, but when I continued to have issues and called Microsoft again their technican ran the software again and somehow found 500 malware programs even though my computer was off or offline the entire time between the two scans. That seems rather scary. The old computer ran on Windows 7 but didn't come with a disc. I am not sure if it is a computer that keeps the OS on a seperate portion of the hard drive for reinstallations or repairs, but definately some programs had issues after the initial breakdown of things.

Answer
That is weird about the Microsoft technician finding 485 more things when he ran the same program you did? I would run Combofix on the machine. Not doubting the intelligence of the Microsoft tech, but I believe your computer could still be infected. The link is here: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/download/combofix/
On the old computer, if there is no data you care about losing, you could run system recovery and put it back to it's original state. This would insure the corrupt system files are fixed.
Lot's of times these corrupt files are drivers for sound, USB, etc.

Computer Security & Viruses

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Keith Davis

Expertise

Advice on how to avoid viruses and spyware. Suggestions on what software to run to avoid viruses and spyware. Identification of spyware, trojans, or virus infections. Overall system security.

Experience

As a PC tech, removing and identifying many viruses and trojans from customer's PCs.

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4 classes short of a Networking degree.

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