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Being infected by virus or malware is something very common these days. Sometimes it’s very hard to remove these infections. Modern forms of malware try to avoid detection by altering the Operating System. Others attack your antivirus so it cannot work properly. This means that if you get infected by a virus newer than your antivirus definitions there is a chance you can’t get rid of it.

In this post I am going to address this problem and show you a way to solve it.

Safe Mode and How Important is to Control Viruses

As I have explained before a virus tries to hide its activity by changing the default Operating System’s behaviour. To do that it usually load programs at Windows Start Up. A way to stop this is using the Safe Mode. In Safe Mode, Windows only loads the essential services making it harder for the antivirus to work.

The way I prefer to enter Safe Mode is using MsConfig. Of course you can use F8 at boot but sometimes you miss your chance (or can’t be sure when) to press that key when Windows is loading.

Safe Mode In Windows XP

Press WinKey + R, type msconfig and press Enter.

Go to Boot.ini tab and select /SAFEBOOT and MINIMAL. This way the minimum number of files will be load in the next reboot. Once you enter on Safe Mode you have to change this so Windows start in normal mode.

Next time you boot you will see something like this:

Safe Mode In Windows Vista and Windows 7

As we have done before with Windows XP, press WinKey + R , type msconfig and press Enter.

Go to Boot tab, select Safe boot and minimal, don’t forget to press Set as default. As you can see is very similar as we have done on Windows XP.

Here you can see a Windows 7 in Safe Mode.

Portable Antivirus Software – Why it’s so Important

I have written how common it is that viruses change antivirus software so these programs can be rendered useless. You cannot always rely on your installed antivirus if you have an infection. So you need a program that don’t need to install. You cannot install anything while in Safe Mode; however, most antivirus software have a portable version. These portable versions don’t need to change anything in your machine so they can work in Safe Mode.

The best way to download the following software is on another machine that is not infected. Once you have it you only need to double click to execute. Usually they will need to update before you use, so do it before entering in Safe Mode (on the other machine on which you downloaded it.)

SuperAntiSpyWare Portable Scanner

Before using it you need to update the definitions so is better if you do this in normal mode.

ClamWin Portable

Before using it you need to install on the device, you can do that on a USB and update. ClamWin will download the updates.

Here we can see ClamWin scanning a drive.

Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool

This doesn’t need to download anything.

Press Next and select Full Scan.

There are tons of portable antivirus, has you used some of them? Please leave a comment and tell us what antivirus you like to use.

About Angel Luis

I am an Engineer of Telecommunications that love computers. My first computer was a Commodore 16kb, about 25 years ago and since then I am always fighting computers problems. Please visit my entries and ask me about whatever problem you have, I will be pleased to help you. My email is discoveryourpc [at] gmail [dot] com. You can follow me on twitter @agenlu or read my blog www.discoveryourpc.net

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4 thoughts on “Remove Viruses And Malware in Safe Mode [How To]”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Well there is malwarebytes antimalware, Dr.WEB CureIt – Portable Antivirus , Rizone Virus Cleaner – ViruClean, Emsisoft Emergency USB, HouseCall – Free Portable AntiVirus Tool, Norman Malware Cleaner…

    1. Angel says:

      Yeah, you are rigth

  2. WindsorArgote says:

    What are the next steps after win key + r, then putting safe boot and minimal and set as default is not highlighted. I clicked apply, it restarted and brought me back to safe mode so what are the next steps to delete all viruses. I put safe mode & networking to access Internet to download anti virus but Mozilla fire fox nor windows explorer is not connecting to Internet or not loading up. Windows 7 (64 bit)

    1. Angel says:

      You need to have access to internet for this to work.

      If you don’t have you can use another computer to download the antivirus and the updates after that you execute that on safe mode. You can download the database for superantispyware aqui:


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