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Should I Reinstall After Anti-Virus Errors?


Adam’s got a question about his Antivirus software: “Hi Steve.  I have a Windows 7 32-bit system. I recently scanned my hard drive and my antivirus program (AVG Free) displayed over 50 infected files on the computer. I selected to remove them all from the computer, then I restarted it. When it came back on, I checked the virus log, and AVG said that not all were removed. My computer was upgraded from Windows Vista about 2 years ago. My main question is if I should reinstall s? Also, I have my Windows 7 disk, but it’s an upgrade version for Vista systems. Should I use this disk to reinstall Windows?”

Hi, Adam.  Thanks for the great question!

So the screen that you’re getting looks something like this:


Reinstalling Windows is kind of an extreme solution to the problem.  There are a couple of other things that you can and should do first.

If you have the option of reviewing the threats first.  Sometimes AVG will identify something as a “potentially unwanted program”.  If that’s the case, you can choose to manually remove the program or ignore the threat.  If it’s a program that you know that you want to keep, you can simply ignore the warning.  Not everything that AVG has listed as a “potentially unwanted program” is an actual threat.

On this screen, many times, you can also choose how to handle the threat, so many can be manually quarantined or removed.

It is also possible that the threats are adware or spyware, which AVG Free is not designed to handle.  There are many excellent programs designed to handle such threats that you can download, such as Adaware that will help you diagnose and remove threats like this.

You might also consider upgrading to the paid version of AVG, which I find to be an excellent program.

Finally, although this will be an added expense, but will avoid the hassle of trying to reinstall Windows, would be to take your machine to your friendly neighborhood computer geek to diagnose and remove any potential threats.  They have tools such as, Hijack This, which are not only difficult for the average user to use, but potentially damaging to your system if you use them without the proper care.

I hope that this helps!

~ Randal Schaffer


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