Tools I use to remove spyware/adware/badware from my computer:
This is just for general reference, but if you find you have some icky software running on your computer, it’s quite common to get lost among the free, "free" and "not-so-free" tools available. Using true freeware I’ve managed to remove MOST viruses. This is what I use:
Spybot Search and Destroy: http://www.download.com/Spybot-Search-Destroy/3000-8022_4-10122137.html
Under "Advanced Settings" there are quite a few tools that are very handy. The process list let’s you see the paths of each running process, the modules loaded by each running process and allows you to kill either. It’s updated fairly regularly and also contains a tool called "TeaTimer." This is a memory-resident app that monitors the registry and running processes, and notifies the user upon any changes (and gives you a chance to black-list or white-list anything.)
Trend Micro HijackThis: http://www.trendsecure.com/portal/en-US/tools/security_tools/hijackthis
This is a very useful tool that reports on a variety of spyware-related activities. Often times you can use this to delete bad registry keys or bad applications, though for the most part this is the key tool used in determining exactly WHAT is wrong with your computer. Forums often ask for a "HJT log," which gives incredibly detailed information that allows the forum members to discern the issue. Highly recommended.
COMODO BOClean: http://www.comodo.com/boclean/boclean.html
Another memory resident app that monitors for known baddies.
Virus Removal Tools: http://www.bitdefender.com/site/Downloads/browseFreeRemovalTool/
A large list if you should figure out what you’re infected by with free removal tools.
Avast Forums, Suggestions: http://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=5373.0
A good list of places to go, applications to try, methods to use..etc.
As I find more, I’ll put them up. These are just suggestions, and using these programs I’ve been able to successfully remove every virus I’ve ever been hit with (with the exception of 1 this weekend, which led me to start this list.)
Free anti-virus applications:
Avast, AVG, BitDefender (linux), TrendMicro Housecall (scan only), Avira, Clam AV/ClamWin
Web of Trust and Haute Secure are both useful tools at this time; so is PC Tools Spyware Doctor.
Give Trend Micro’s System Information Collector (SIC) utility a try. Like HijackThis, SIC identifies suspicious entries.
While these steps may remove malicious processes, you can’t count on them to restore your security posture. For example, if your DNS entries have been changed to use a malicious DNS server, these measures will not correct that. If your IE browser security settings were modified, these measures will not return them to their previous state.
Returning to a known secure state, a restore point, is to be preferred to an arsenal of repair tools.