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Remove malware step 7 -- Check for software corruption or hardware problem

Make sure you check for software corruption or hardware problems when trying to remove malware. Learn how in this part of our step-by-step guide for value-added resellers (VARs), systems integrators (SIs) and security consultants.

You may have software corruption or a hardware problem rather than a malware infection. Try reinstalling Windows or your affected application(s). If that doesn't work, try to recall any recent hardware changes you've made such as adding memory, a video card, etc. You could have some bad memory, a poorly-seated PCI card, or other issue that could take forever to figure out unless you get your hands dirty troubleshooting at that level or having it looked at by a qualified technician.

Remove malware step-by-step

  Step 1: Use several tools
  Step 2: Try free tools
  Step 3: Check obvious places
  Step 4: Dig deeper
  Step 5: Unload infected software
  Step 6: Disable system restore, reboot in safe mode
  Step 7: Check for software corruption or hardware problem
  Step 8: Don't rely solely on a search engine
  Step 9: Check for vendor-specific removal tools
  Step 10: Hash suspect files
  Step 11: When in doubt, reload
  Step 12: Create a formal security incident response plan

About the author
Kevin Beaver is an independent information security consultant, author, and speaker with Atlanta-based Principle Logic, LLC. He has more than 18 years of experience in IT and specializes in performing information security assessments. Kevin has written five books including
Hacking For Dummies (Wiley), Hacking Wireless Networks For Dummies, and The Practical Guide to HIPAA Privacy and Security Compliance (Auerbach). He can be reached at kbeaver @

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