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Old Viruses in the Registry


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#1
Elysia

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I have viruses/programs that were once on my computer a while ago removed. I recall whoever cleaned me up say that they can still remain in the registry where they are harmless. Just making sure this is true.
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#2
pip22

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Viruses themselves do not exist in the Registry as it's just a database with entries of where files and applications are located. What you may have are old entries in the Registry pointing to locations where a virus once existed, but these entries are not viruses themselves. In any case, a good virus cleaner should remove the Registry reference as well as the actual virus files.

What's more important is that after removing a virus you should also remove all the System Restore points, since this is where viruses can lie dormant and harmless until you perform a System Restore -- then they become active again. You delete all the Restore Points by turning off System Restore which automatically deletes all the restore points. Then you can turn System Restore on again so it can start creating new restore points of your clean system.

To turn off/turn on System Restore:

1. Control Panel (classic view) ->System->System Restore (tab)

Many people choose to turn SR off permanently because of the virus issue (in case they forget to delete the restore points after an infection) but that's entirely up to you.

Edited by pip22, 07 February 2008 - 07:49 PM.

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#3
Elysia

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So it is perfectly safe to delete it out of the registry? And then as you said, do a system restore?
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#4
Will_00

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I will add that -generally- when spyware/adware/malware/virus', etc. is directed in the WINDOWS folder and/or Win32 folder, it is that much worse. When removing registry references in such, it can create a large amount of problems with booting, general use, explorer.exe, numerous dll files, etc. But if you have good Anti-Virus software, sometimes problems can be dismissed easier.
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