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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a Dell laptop I bought less than 6 months ago. I got a virus and it completely corrupted my operating system. I can't even do a factory restore on it. The software that told me I had the virus was Microsoft Security Essentials. I don't remember downloading it. I just saw it was on my computer and started usung it. I assumed it was pre-installed. When I first got the computer I used the Macafee free trial. Anyway, the next thing I knew,all hell broke loose and my computer is down for the count. The Dell tech support told me Microsoft Security essentials is a virus. Has anyone heard of this? Of course they wanted me to buy the software warrenty for 200 plus dollars. i eventually convinced them to help me. They are sending me the operating systemcd so they can hep me restore everything.

Any suggstions on a good virus protection software? I don't want this to happen again. Hope this makes sense.
 

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I use AVG free with no issues, AVAST is decent as well. Alot of the paid AV software now is full of gimmicks that are useless if your windows is updated and patched properly. Microsoft security essentials is a real product and will be added to your auto updates if you do not have an AV program installed. It works well also. I have heard windows 8 will have AV included with it.
 

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That "Windows Security Essentials" As you may have guessed was in fact a virus in itself, my mother got this one once and so did my girlfriend, both times it took me 4 hours to scan everything on a separate computer system and get theirs back up and running.

AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition 2012 - Download.com

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware - Download.com

Download both of those and make sure you select the free version so it doesn't cut you off after 30 days or whatever the trail period is.

AVG will run by itself and update itself on start-up, Malwarebytes will have to be manually updated now and then, however it is good for if something slips through AVG because it sees to catch alot of the things AVG seems to miss, both are free (don't click anything that asks if you want to start a free trail or anything, and make sure you read which little boxes are checked off, I think AVG tried to make your homepage Ask.com or something, but no big issue, just unclick the box) I use both of these on my machines and they run perfectly, almost like they were made to work together.

I have built 5 or 6 client computers with this combo installed and they have all been without a virus from the day I built them, I run a small business called NT Computers and I have been working with computer software and hardware systems for the past 6 years.
 

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I used to use AVG, until it gave me a false positive on the PS3 media server software. After that, I switched to Avria, which is known to be just as good as AVG with fewer false positives.

Never, ever use the free trial software that comes with a laptop. It's just bloatware, there just to be uninstalled.

Microsoft Security Essentials is not an virus, but an anti-virus. You probably downloaded it after downloading something else from windows and it suggested you also download MSE. It's not the virus that totaled your laptop.

It's too bad you don't live closer, I'd help you out. IT is what I do for a living. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm using my brother's laptop now. Dell is sending me the operating cd, the cd with all the drivers, even though my computer came with that one and one other cd for some other stuff that was pre-loaded. I was told that after it is all installed, it will be like it was when I bought it. I sure hope it works. I'm just glad i was smart enought to make copies of all my pictures and other important stuff and put it all on a flash drive.

Thanks for the suggestions. I'll check into AVG and download it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Believe me Scars, if Dell can't help me, I just might contact you for an estimate and driving directions! Then maybe you coud introduce me to your neighbor! LOL!!
 

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I used to use AVG, until it gave me a false positive on the PS3 media server software. After that, I switched to Avria, which is known to be just as good as AVG with fewer false positives.

Never, ever use the free trial software that comes with a laptop. It's just bloatware, there just to be uninstalled.

Microsoft Security Essentials is not an virus, but an anti-virus. You probably downloaded it after downloading something else from windows and it suggested you also download MSE. It's not the virus that totaled your laptop.

It's too bad you don't live closer, I'd help you out. IT is what I do for a living. ;)
AVG gives false positives usually on things that could also be USED as a door to your files, or pirated software (they kinda work with the companies so they will flag and delete pirated software) just add them to the exceptions list for AVG to leave them alone, also Windows Security Essentials is kind of old and outdated and not usually installed on factory PCs anymore (although it is still offered on the Windows website), they usually have Norton free trails, there is a specific Virus that pretends to be the WSE program but it isn't judging from this I'd say that is what he picked up and that is what crashed the system really bad.
 

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The Dell tech support told me Microsoft Security essentials is a virus. Has anyone heard of this? O

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Microsoft Security Essentials is not a virus. It's one of the better protections but you do have to download if from Microsoft and install it.

Unfortunately, there is a Microsoft Security Essentials Alert that is a trojan and can harm your computer.

I recently had one of those alerts pop up on my screen. I'd never seen one before and I always get suspicious when something different happens on my computer. I googled it and learned about the trojan. I was therefore able to remove it before activating it.

You can learn more about the trojan at:

Remove the Fake Microsoft Security Essentials Alert Trojan and AntiSpySafeguard

You might have to use somebody else's computer.

If it's too late to use those instructions then read the Security Forums as there are likely others whose computers crashed from this trojan and there might be instructions on how to get into your computer through safe mode and remove the malware.

BleepingComputer Discussion Forums

If that doesn't help, then post a question in the "Am I Infected?" forum and you'll get specific instructions for your situation.

If you aren't familiar with Bleeping Computer dot com, please know that I have been using their guidelines for many years and they are one the best sources of security information out there.
 

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Believe me Scars, if Dell can't help me, I just might contact you for an estimate and driving directions! Then maybe you coud introduce me to your neighbor! LOL!!
I fix computers all the time for people. When you get the Windows CD (which you should have gotten with the PC originally), wiping the drive and re-installing the OS is child's play.

Then I use (on my client's Windows PCs...I use a Mac) AVG free.
 

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If you're already infected, run ComboFix in safe mode (it's on bleeping computer)...

Most AV software is ineffective post-infection. Never been a fan of AV software, bloatware IMHO. If you have kids or others who use your PC, run a malware prevention tool such as Spybot to block the thousands of known trash websites within the web browser. No solution is fool-proof, but in the Windows world avoiding the use of Internet Explorer as your web browser is a big step in the right direction. Check out Google Chrome or Firefox, both are capable browsers and aren't nearly as vulnerable as IE.
 

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If you're already infected, run ComboFix in safe mode (it's on bleeping computer)...

Most AV software is ineffective post-infection. Never been a fan of AV software, bloatware IMHO. If you have kids or others who use your PC, run a malware prevention tool such as Spybot to block the thousands of known trash websites within the web browser. No solution is fool-proof, but in the Windows world avoiding the use of Internet Explorer as your web browser is a big step in the right direction. Check out Google Chrome or Firefox, both are capable browsers and aren't nearly as vulnerable as IE.
That's not very good advice. Malware cleaners are good at finding malware, but they tend to destroy the files that the malware themselves to, such as important OS files. AVs are your first line of defense. Once that's been breached, malware cleaners are a last resort nuke.
 

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That's not very good advice. Malware cleaners are good at finding malware, but they tend to destroy the files that the malware themselves to, such as important OS files. AVs are your first line of defense. Once that's been breached, malware cleaners are a last resort nuke.
Agree, but the OP's PC is already smoked, if he wants to back up his files and dump the malware off his PC, he'll need a cleaner tool. Combofix, IMHO, is the most effective "nuke" tool out there, and I've never seen it wipe legit files from the drive. It has the best chance of restoring his system to a malware-free state, so that he can back up his files and restore to a clean slate (Win 7 or which ever OS he has). ComboFix is surprisingly effective (I've worked in IT profession for 12 years now, and run a global systems/network security dept. for an obnoxiously enormous financial institution, we use nothing but the commercial stuff (primarily McAfee on desktops) and I can tell you it's all trash). It's surprisingly easy to prevent malware intrusion, but if you find your PC infected (a) don't put all your eggs into the AV solution basket, your PC can still become infected with AV software on the front lines; (b) take measures to prevent malware by understanding your browser's security settings and how to configure them; and (c) avoid using IE as your web brower, download an alternative such as Firefox or Chrome. If you're an avid downloader of torrent files, be smart about what you're downloading.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I can give you an estimate right now, FREE! I don't charge friends and family. ;)
Hmmm.....How far are you from Horseheads??

I am trying to let all this information sink in. I'm thankful for all the advice. That's why I like this board. People are willing to help a guy who they really don't know. I knew if I posted my problem, I would get tons of help. By the way, this might help. My computer won't even let me startup in safe mode. I took a picture of the screen. No matter what I do, this screen comes up.

Font Gadget Rectangle Display device Electronic device
 

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Hmmm.....How far are you from Horseheads??

I am trying to let all this information sink in. I'm thankful for all the advice. That's why I like this board. People are willing to help a guy who they really don't know. I knew if I posted my problem, I would get tons of help. By the way, this might help. My computer won't even let me startup in safe mode. I took a picture of the screen. No matter what I do, this screen comes up.

View attachment 8071
Did you try holding down F8 while rebooting?

Horseheads is about a two hour drive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Did you try holding down F8 while rebooting?

Horseheads is about a two hour drive.
Yep.It gives me the screen with the option to do a boot in safemode, or repair my comouter and that other stuff. No matter what option I choose, it immediately goes to this screen.
 

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Hold down F5 right after your BIOS completes loading. This should start Windows bare-bones, only the basics needed by the OS will load. If Windows continues to refuse to start, your next best bet would be to start from the Windows restore CD that was included with your Dell (if you're lucky, Dell included a restore CD, if not, they may have partitioned your drive, with the original image of the laptop on the drive. You can request a restore CD from Dell directly). If you're unable to go that route, and you have important data on your drive, you can look into pulling the drive out of the laptop, installing in an external USB chassis, and mounting the drive on another PC to pull your important files. If your data is not important, you can format the drive and install Windows on a clean slate.
 
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