Let's say I am about to set my Grandmother up with a wallet. I have no idea what she has on her computer. There could be a host of malware, keyloggers etc. Let's also say that a complete wipe and reinstall is not an option.

I was thinking of what steps I could use to give the maximum protection.

  1. I could use CCleaner to wipe any temporary files. This will remove any excess past data she has generated.

  2. I could then use a program spybot search and destroy to check for any malware.

What else could I do to check if there are any threats on the computer?

  • 2
    Pave it and start over? If you suspect malware, why do anything less? – Greg Hewgill Mar 22 '14 at 19:29
  • Do a backup, then format and reinstall her computer, next install a bitcoin client within a virtual machine appliance and not directly on the real machine's OS. Or better yet: buy her a Raspberry Pi, configure it as a single purpose computer/tablet and install a client onto it. If she can't install sw. nor navigate the web on it she'd be most safe! – Joe Pineda Mar 23 '14 at 1:38
  • Thanks guys I added some clarity, I meant if a total reinstall is not an option also. – SeanyMcA Mar 23 '14 at 10:16
  • 5
    This question appears to be off-topic because it is about general virus cleaning a Microsoft machine. It would likely better be asked on another StackExchange site. – dchapes Mar 23 '14 at 20:16

If a reinstall is not an option for you then you should do the following:

Requires: CCleaner

  1. Boot in Safe Mode so that any malware start up entries don't get executed.
  2. Use CCleaner to clean up disk space and registry.
  3. Inspect the Start Up list for any suspicious/unwanted entries and remove them.
  4. Reboot the computer.
  5. Use any anti-virus to remove any present malware and clean infected files.

This should clean your old pc.

Source: Experience

  • Terrible advice! Anything short of complete wipe and reinstall is insufficient. And even then you have to hope there's nothing hidden in any BIOS of the PC or the harddisk or any other flash ROMs. – Jannes Mar 23 '14 at 21:58
  • You cant remove BIOS infection by a reinstall. Also the virus on the hard disk would get removed by using the av but before that safe mode has to be used so that they don't get executed and prevent access to av sites ie ransomware. Why the down votes then? – LRNAB Mar 24 '14 at 4:37
  • Bios: that's what i said, and there are many more places where malware may hide. Downvotes: cause you're better off just removing the answer. It's misleading as 'accepted answer'. The whole question is off topic and on hold anyway. – Jannes Mar 24 '14 at 9:02
  • It's not misleading. It's according to the requirement of the question. – LRNAB Mar 24 '14 at 9:06

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