Tips for Removing Malicious Software

The convenience of using computers does not come without caveats. At one time or another, the computer user will encounter malicious software—or viruses—inadvertently installed on a device. The most common scenarios are when computer users, who are generally unaware of the dangers of surfing the web, are seeking various types of free programs and eventually land on a website that looks appealing. The site will offer various programs for “free” and when the user installs the software, some type of (hidden) malicious program will be installed along with it—although there are varying degrees of danger the malicious software poses. Sometimes the unwanted software is merely some type of annoying ad that can slow the computer or interrupt computer user tasks. In some extreme cases, however, malicious software will cripple a device or render files unusable. Therefore, using somewhat of a proactive approach where careful vetting of software is done before installation, can save headaches. But when the going gets tough, there are effective procedures for the removal of the malicious software.

Tips for Removing Malicious Software

The starting point will generally depend on the given circumstance, although in some cases it’s abundantly evident what type of malicious software is causing a problem. The following steps can be used to remove malicious software from Microsoft Windows—the operating system that is generally most affected by malicious software. Start with rebooting the computer and when the computer brand logo screen appears, tap the F8 button until the alternate boot menu appears. Select “safe mode with networking.” When the computer is booted into this state, download and install Kasperkey’s TDSSkiller anti-rootkit program and run it. With rootkit type viruses gone, download and run RKILL—this will eliminate malicious, currently-running processes that are “safe-mode aware” and allow normal antivirus programs to run unaffected by malicious software hindrances. Once this is done, uninstall all programs not being used, and programs that were downloaded from sites that are potentially shady. Finally, run reputable antivirus software downloaded or purchased from trusted vendors. Make sure the software’s virus definitions database is up to date before running. After the antivirus runs, reboot the computer and the computer should run without issues, assuming normal maintenance has been maintained.

Please contact us at PC Geeks for assistance.

Building a Gaming PC – A Beginner’s Guide

You have made the decision to venture into the world of building a gaming PC. Good for you! The task may seem daunting at first however, building your own PC is a fun and rewarding experience. Now that the decision to tackle a DIY build has been made, you may be wondering where to begin. Any PC build project can be broken down into 4 major milestones: determining the budget, selecting hardware, assembly, and first power-up. Before diving in, ask yourself the following 4 questions:

  1. How much do I want to spend?
  2. Which components do I choose?
  3. What goes where?
  4. What do I do once my build is complete?

Building a Gaming PC - A Beginner's Guide

Determining the budget

The first milestone in the build process requires you to do a little math. Unfortunately, there is no one size fits all answer to how much you need to spend. At the time of this writing, a low to mid-tier baseline for the PC components (minus peripherals) would be ~$500-$600. One major consideration to be made when determining the budget is whether or not you require peripherals (keyboard, mouse, monitor, etc.) If you do, you will need to account for that cost in your budget.

Selecting hardware

A lot of time will be spent deciding how to most effectively spread your budget out amongst the components required to build your new gaming machine. You will need to acquire the following Components:

  • CPU (Central Processing Unit)
  • CPU cooler (only if purchasing an Intel CPU. Modern AMD CPUs include a great stock cooler)
  • Motherboard
  • GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) aka “video card”
  • RAM module(s)
  • Hard drive
  • PC Case
  • Additional case fans for cooling (if your case does not come with any pre-installed)

Pay close attention to compatibility when shopping for components. Further detail is outside of the scope of this post, however, documentation can typically be downloaded from the manufacturers’ websites which will provide all of the detailed information you should need.

Time to build!

At this point in the project, you will be familiar with your hardware and ready to get hands-on. Do not be afraid! This is the fun part. It is essentially building blocks for grown-ups. There are no special tools needed other than a Phillips screwdriver and a couple of cable ties. If you have zero experience inside of a PC, it is recommended to utilize a guide (plenty of video guides available online) or phone a friend who does have experience. Just remember that the CPU pins are very fragile. Otherwise, it is pretty hard to break anything else that you are installing.

First power up

Your machine is assembled, your OS has been installed, and you have a fully functioning DIY gaming PC build. Congratulations! But what’s next? Before you dive into a game of Fortnite or Minecraft, you need to install drivers and update, update, update.

  1. Perform all required Windows updates
  2. Update the motherboard’s BIOS to the most recent version
  3. Download and install all up to date drivers for your components and/or peripherals (GPU is a must)

Now that everything is assembled and updated, go enjoy your new gaming PC! If the task still seems monumental after reading this beginner’s guide, contact us today. We would be glad to help you with building a gaming PC!