If you’ve had a computer for a while then you most likely know that viruses are dangerous. What you may not be aware of are some shocking statistics about viruses. For instance, did you know that viruses have cost households an estimated $4.5 billion dollars in damages? It is also estimated that a million households have lost money or had their accounts or identities compromised by phishing activities. As we begin to accept laptops, internet banking and connectivity as a way of life, it is important to realize that these technologies are not without certain risks. These risks however don’t preclude you from taking advantage of the technology. There are ways to ensure that your data and personal information remains secure. Investing in good anti-virus and good malware detection programs is one way of averting the danger. And if you find your system has been infected, then you need to act quickly to remove the virus.
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One of main virus culprits people suffer from is the recycler virus. The recycler virus is a variation of the W32.Lecna.H worm. The virus is generally spread via removable devices like USB drives, memory sticks, CD-ROMs, DVDs, or other portable devices. The virus enters your PC via the autorun feature found on these types of devices. The Windows autorun feature is initialized by the autorun.inf file. The virus can also infect a system via an executable file.
When the recycler virus enters a system, it creates hidden files and batch folders on each drive on the system. These hidden files can rewrite registry files. The biggest threat posed by the recycler virus is that it can connect to the internet and download malicious codes or programs that allow hackers to steal personal information from the system. Credit and debit card information, logins, usernames and passwords can be accessed by the hackers and this information can be used for illegal or criminal activities.
The recycler virus is notoriously difficult to get rid of because of the number of files it affects within the system and because of the fact that it infects the registry files as well. Antivirus programs are sometimes able to identify the virus, but more often than not, antivirus programs cannot remove the virus from the system.
It is possible to remove the recycler virus manually, but these steps are not recommended for new PC users. If you are not comfortable making changes to the registry or using the task manager, then the best advice is to seek professional help and allow the experts to remove the virus from your device. If you want to try to remove it yourself, make a backup of your system before you attempt any of the following steps. If something goes wrong, you will at least have a backup of your data and present system settings.
Steps to Remove the Recycler Virus
The steps below are designed to help you try to remove the recycler virus. Since the virus copies itself to a number of different locations and onto all drives on the computer, you may need to follow some of the steps for the different drives or devices you use.
Try Your Antivirus Software
There is no harm in trying your antivirus program first. This is often the easiest way to get rid of a PC virus. If you do not have antivirus software then download a free version from a reputable website. AVG have a free virus program and AVAST also offer a free version of their virus protection software. If the software finds the virus and safely removes it, then you are done with the least amount of hassle or risk to your data.
Search for “cftmon.exe”
If your antivirus program does not remove the virus, then first create a restore point on your PC. Once the restore point has been created, right click the windows taskbar or press Ctrl, Alt and Del and select task manager to start the task manager. This is what the task manager screen looks like:
Click the processes tab and then search for “ctfmon.exe”. Select the file and click “end process”. Close the task manager.
Search for ctfmon.exe
Once the process has been disabled, click the windows start button:
Search for “ctfmon.exe” using the search bar and delete any copies of the file that you find. Once you have deleted all copies of the file, then restart your computer in safe mode.
Restarting in Safe Mode
To restart in safe mode, click F8 as the computer starts to force Windows to start in safe mode. Once the computer has started in safe mode, look for all autorun.inf files. Check within the hidden files too. Delete these files. Repeat the search on all of the drives and then once you’ve deleted the files, make sure you empty the recycle bin.
Delete the Entries Within the Registry
Once you’ve completed the above steps, then click the Windows Start icon and type regedit to edit the registry:
Click Edit and then select find and search for “NoDriveTypeAutoRun”. Restart your computer.
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