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Hubby’s laptop was recently infected with a computer virus. The virus disrupted the computer’s browsers (Mozilla Firefox & Internet Explorer), causing any search links that were returned from Google to be redirected to spammy websites when they were selected. The only way Hubby could get to a website he wanted was to type the URL in the address bar at the top.

Another feature of the virus was that it had disabled most of the anti-virus/anti-spyware software we had installed. (I know, I know. The techies in the audience are saying, “But you’re not supposed to have more than one type of anti-virus software on your computer at a time. They fight with each other.” The programs on the laptop were ones installed as part of a process to clean up a previous virus, a process that is outlined in a Malware Removal Guide from Major Geeks.)

An AVG Free virus scan identified the virus as Win32/Cryptor. While we were able to scan with AVG and remove some instances of the virus, the program could not remove all of the infection.

As I made my way through the Major Geeks’ Malware Removal Guide, I discovered that no matter what I did to clear the infection, Win32/Cryptor managed to disable every anti-virus program I tried. When I did a little research on Win32/Cryptor, I found out that this was one of the features of the virus and that whoever was behind it managed to keep changing the virus so that it would overcome any attempts to beat it. An evolving computer virus. How nice.

In the end, Hubby and I decided to purchase a new laptop. The virus was only part of the reason for our decision. His laptop had seen daily use for three years. The battery was worn out; the buttons under the finger pad were no longer working; and we couldn’t keep the power cord plugged into the back of the machine.

I’m sure there is some way to lick Win32/Cryptor, some program out there designed to kill it. In the meantime, I’ve always wanted to try wiping the harddrive of a computer. Now I have my chance.

Keep on top of those virus scans, people! (You, too, Hubby!)