Free Malware Removal Tools

9 Feb, 2010 By: Robert Green

CAD Manager's Toolbox: It doesn't have to be difficult — or expensive — to eliminate nasty invaders from your users' machines.

Allow me to start out with a brief rant: If I have to fix one more computer because somebody ran a Facebook application or downloaded a screen saver that gave their machine a virus, I'm going to scream!

Lately I've seen a rash of malware (malicious software) attacks being triggered from social networking sites like Facebook that get past traditional virus checkers like Norton and McAfee. And once these malicious bits of code make their way onto a machine, they act like worms by offloading valuable information (like passwords, accounting data, and so on) while making themselves very tough to remove. I know that many CAD managers function as full or part-time IT staffers and have to fix these types of problems, so I wanted to pass along some information on useful free utilities that can help.

If one of your users falls victim to one of these pesky pieces of code, here's what you can do to get it purged out:

Step 1: Stop the malicious code from running by using a program called RKILL (you can download it from my web site at RKILL will invoke a DOS prompt (see below) and will terminate any malicious processes it finds, thus allowing you to remove the offending program in the next step.

Step 2: After stopping the malicious code, download and run Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware to scan your machine for malicious code segments. The full scan (as shown below) can take up to several hours, but it is worth it.

Step 3: After Anti-Malware finishes running, it will instruct you to reboot the machine — and chances are, you'll be OK. If not, repeat the procedure again.

Fabulously Free Tools

Neither of these products will cost you a penny. Anti-Malware does offer a professional version for $24.95 that includes virus checker–like functionality, but I've always used the free version with great success. Both of these tools have provided flawless malware removal for me on about 20 infected XP and Vista machines over the past year, so I feel pretty sure they'll work for you.

Do you have a helpful tip or item for the CAD Manager's Newsletter? Send it to me at If I use your tip in the newsletter, you'll receive a cool Cadalyst prize!

About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green


Re: Free Malware Removal Tools
by: Nancy_Johnson
February 15, 2010 - 4:43pm

Andy Stankovics sends the following feedback for Cadalyst readers:

This is great information to pass along. I ran into a very pesky version lately and was able to remove it with the exact tools you have mentioned. One thing that helped was to download the latest update of Anti-Malware. Running the full scan just once did not catch one of the files. After the update the file was found and everything returned to normal.


Re: Free Malware Removal Tools
by: Nancy_Johnson
February 15, 2010 - 4:59pm

John Cole sent this follow-up to Robert Green:

Since you mentioned Rkill by bleepingcomputer, I decided to share with you what they used. It's called "combofix"

And you can download the tool from:

Basically, just download and run it in safe mode, and answer yes to let it do whatever it wants.  One thing it asked me was permission for it to update Microsoft Net framework; I just clicked OK and watched it install that item, and continue running. This has been very effective at removing the false virus warning malware programs.

This came in very handy at our next occurrence of the attack, this time at a drafting workstation. I had to run it twice, but after that, everything was fine, and our architect could go back to work. I could exhale again.

Now that I know about "Rkill", I'll add that to my toolbox. Keep up the good work with your useful articles.