Our home network recently suffered a Win 7 Internet Security 2012 infection, and it was a rather inconvenient annoyance to say the least. The worst part was that it was on a system for which I have no restore disks, so reformatting the hard drive was not an option I was willing to consider. After a quick search online through a different computer, I was able to find a number of resources to consult in order to remove this nasty virus. The problem was trying to determine which one would be the one to really try.
There were two fairly well established sources with different approaches on how to best deal with this nasty virus, and I tried the first most reliable I could find: Norton’s FREE Power Eraser Tool which can be downloaded here: http://us.norton.com/support/DIY/. This powerful tool will zap just about any virus you may be infected with, however, it may also remove some legitimate programs, so it needs to be used with care. From their website “Misleading applications are programs that intentionally misrepresent the security status of a computer. The program and the alert may look legitimate, and prompts you to pay for removing the nonexistent or fake threats. Some common misleading applications are System Tool, MS Removal Tool, Best Malware Protection, Vista Total Security 2011, and Windows Repair Tool. To remove these programs, restart your computer in Safe mode, and run the FREE Norton Power Eraser.”
Norton has a page devoted to “How to run the free Norton Power Eraser tool to remove Vista Home Security, Win 7 Home Security, XP Home Security, and other misleading applications” which outlines step by step on how to go about removing these nasty infections from your computer, however their instructions did not work for me because the clever virus was one step ahead! It would not let me launch any programs!
Yes, After downloading the free Norton Power Eraser tool and trying to install it, my efforts were foiled by the nasty virus every single time! The virus would launch a fake warning window with fake virus scan telling me the laptop had been infected and I needed to install and register its “Internet Security 2012” program. Every time I wanted to launch a program, activate the firewall, or any other preemptive measure to fight the virus it would launch the fake antivirus window. It would not, even, let me get online! I could not re-start the laptop in the safe mode like Norton suggested, what to do?
So, after some more reading, one of the suggestions in the answers.microsoft.com forum directed users to a detailed process on how to remove it posted at bleeping computer.com: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/virus-removal/remove-win-7-antispyware-2012 which I was happy to find out, but the solution was so long (19 steps), full of geek speak and winded that I lost interest by the second or third paragraph. I decided I would try a hybrid solution of the two.
I decided I would download and execute the registry fix first which would stop the virus from launching itself every time an executable file would be launched, and then run Norton Power Eraser. Power Eraser is also able to scan for rootkit viruses which are the type that launch upon turning on the laptop even before the operating system (windows) loads onto the system. I know I am using a lot of geek speak, but bear with me for a bit.
HERE IS HOW TO REMOVE WIN 7 INTERNET SECURITY 2012 FROM YOUR COMPUTER IN 3 STEPS:
STEP ONE: I went to the bleepingcomputer.com page and downloaded the fixNCR.req and once it was finished downloading onto the infected computer, I double clicked on it.
STEP TWO: Then, I was able to download and run the FREE Norton Power Eraser. Once you download it and launch it, make sure you also allow it to scan the boot record or search for rootkit viruses (I can’t remember the exact wording) which will then re-start your system automatically so that it scans the boot file. Just let it do its thing. WARNING: Please run the Power Eraser carefully, as it may delete legitimate programs you have installed on your computer. It deleted Adobe Photoshop on mine. You will have a chance to select which items to isolate/delete from your computer. So, make sure you pay close attention to the scan results and uncheck those links that refer to legitimate programs. You have been fairly warned.
STEP THREE: After the first two steps, I checked for the latest updates on Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) and then ran a full scan which uncovered some other infections. If you do not have MSE, you can download it from the Microsoft Security Essentials section of the Microsoft site.
That’s it. If you have this problem, I hope this is helpful to you.