You have two basic choices when it comes to deciding what to do after a successful virus attack on your system. You can try and repair the damage after you have made sure the virus is gone for good and has not left any nasty bits behind, or you format everything and start anew.
If you select the first option, you may need to spend quite some time fixing and repairing things, depending on what damage the malicious code caused on your system.
While it is certainly possible to repair Windows manually, it is sometimes better to use a program for that, especially if you are not really sure what needs to be done.
Automatic System Cleaner is a free program for Windows that you can use for that purpose. The portable program provides you with action lists that you can customize to your needs.
The program displays options in the first tab, and the various scanning, repair and reset options in the five other tabs it makes available.
It is set to create a restore point and to backup the Windows Registry by default, and will reboot the PC when it has run all operations. You can modify the behavior here if you like, but it is highly suggested to create a backup of sorts before you click on the execute button.
The security tab offers integration for CCleaner, Malwarebytes and Vipre, that you can use to scan the system, or perform a rescue scan in the case of Vipre.
What this means is that the selected programs will be run one after the other by Automatic System Cleaner. The documentation confirms that the required programs will be downloaded by the program, even if they are already installed on the system.
Here you can also update the host file, which will replace it with the MVPS hosts file, remove installed toolbars, and disable security notifications which turns off UAC and the security center during program run.
The performance tab contains actions to prune the autoruns using an internal list of programs that do not need to be run on start up.
Services will be reset to their default values if the action is selected. The author notes that this should not be used if the system is connected to a domain.
Here you can also enable various other performance related optimizations, such as optimizing the system's resource usage (by applying various tweaks such as enabling large system cache, disabling page zeroing or paging executive.
The maintenance tab schedules system file defragmentation, hard drive defragmentation using Defraggler, and a Checkdisk run on the next start up.
In addition, it is set to reset file and Registry permissions on the system.
The last two tabs contain various fixes that reset ir repair Windows features such as Windows update, Network Interfaces, Windows Installer, file associations, the Task Manager, or printer install errors.
The majority of actions are selected by default which is not necessary in most cases. It is recommended that you go through each tab manually to uncheck actions that you do not want to run.
The program displays a help icon next to each action that you can click on for additional information. This loads a documentation page on the author's website where everything is explained in detail.
Tip: Click on the uncheck all button under Options to deselect all actions.
Automatic System Cleaner is a useful program for Windows users who need to repair the operating system after a virus attack. While part of the options that it makes available are not linked to the recovery, they may prove useful nevertheless.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.