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Virus Removal

Computer Virus Twenty-five years ago, a 15-year-old high school freshman named Richard Skrenta wrote the world's first computer virus called Elk Cloner and the computer world hasn't been safe since. A computer virus is a computer program that can copy itself and infect a computer. The term "virus" is also commonly but erroneously used to refer to other types of malware, including but not limited to adware and spyware programs that do not have the reproductive ability. Worms and Trojan horses, like viruses, may harm a computer system's data or performance. Some viruses and other malware have symptoms noticeable to the computer user, but many are surreptitious or simply do nothing to call attention to themselves. Some will steal your data and send it to third parties. Some may try to erase your data. Some may actually try to do physical harm to your computer.

The best offense is a good defense but the unfortunate bottom line is, in most cases, defensive software is two weeks behind the current batch of the newest virii and detection/prevention is frequently impossible. These days, all it takes is an innocent click on a link to one of your friends on Facebook to catch something that will steal your email password and start sending emails to everyone you know... or worse.

The typical approach to virus detection is storing databases of all known virii... and checking all incoming files for their known "signatures". Newer approaches attempt to analyze all the various processes running on your computer looking for suspicious activity. Neither approach is 100% effective. In the end, nearly every computer user who uses the internet for anything eventually becomes infected. What happens in the first few minutes after an infection can radically affect the outcome of how much of a disaster the infection will be. The wrong step made at the wrong time can cause complete loss of your data necessitating a reformatting of your hard drive and a reinstallation of your operating system and all your software. The lost data is usually.... lost. Music. Family photos and video. Business and/or school documents.... all gone. If you are anything like us, a complete reinstall and configuration of your operating system and all the software you run can take a week or longer. Don't go there if you don't have to.

We've spent years fighting viral attacks on computers and operating systems many of you have never heard of. We know that no one piece of software will find every virus. We know that even if one piece of software finds a virus, it may not be able to remove it. It's a difficult field to keep up in because there are approximately 200 new virii or variations on older ones released every week. We've seen most of them at one time or another. Some "squads" will charge you $200 just to run a single scan with a single piece of software and pronounce it clean if the software says so. We take a more aggressive approach. Our methods, depending on an initial assessment of what we can see, typically involve scans with three separate tools that automate the removal of most of the known varieties of "bugs" because it's not uncommon to find systems with in excess of two to three hundred minor infections. Once the system has been cleaned to that point, we use another tool to take a close up and personal look at the internals of your computer, examining each running process and looking through other Windows assets like the registry, to make sure the system is, in fact, clean.

The process is meticulous but it is not fast. You can't have it both ways. Turn around time is typically 24 to 48 hours but the result is a clean system that will typically run much faster than the one you brought in. The cost is typically $80.00 which does not include the backup of any of your data prior to our process. Backup of up to a terabyte (1000 Gig) of data can be done for an additional $40. Backup isn't typically necessary but it's a field in which the unexpected happens. As previously stated, once infected, if you take the wrong step at the wrong time, all can be lost. Trust your system to people who have a lot of experience in this particular area. Your neighbor's 15 year old whiz kid may get it right. The guy at the "squad" counter who was trained last week to do A then B then C... may get it right. But this is a situation where you REALLY... want to get it right. It might cost more than the whiz kid... but it will cost far less than the "follow the chart" guy.

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