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How to Delete a Self-Replicating Virus

Updated April 17, 2017

A self-replicating virus is one that copies itself, either from computer to computer or many times internally on a single computer. These latter are particularly irritating, because even if you try to delete the file containing the virus, other virus files will immediately restore it. For this reason you need to do a full computer scan with a Windows tool to delete all traces of the self-replicating viruses in one fell swoop.

Run Microsoft's "Malicious Software Removal Tool." To do so, open your PC's Start menu and then click the dialogue labelled "Run." Type "MRT" when it opens, then hit your "Enter" key. This application comes pre-installed with Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows 2000 and Windows Server 2003. If the repair tool is missing, you can download a new copy from the link in Resources.

Click on the button labelled "Next."

Select the option labelled "Full Scan." While this does take longer than the "Quick Scan" default, it gives a better chance of deleting a self-replicating virus from your PC.

Click on the button labelled "Next." Wait for the program to complete the scan of your infected computer.

Follow the prompts that appear to delete the self-replicating virus off your PC. Depending on the virus, it might show up as one virus or several. Delete them all.

Click on the button labelled "Finish."

Restart your computer.

Things You'll Need

  • Malicious Software Removal Tool
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About the Author

Based in New York City, Ray Padgett has been writing about music and technology since his 2009 graduation from Dartmouth College. He has a degree in religion, with a minor in English. He has been published in SPIN.com and in "The Celebrity Café," "The Noise" and an upcoming Bob Dylan anthology.