This article is from the Computer Virus for New Users FAQ, by Nick email@example.com with numerous contributions by others.
First, keep in mind "Nick's First Law of Computer Virus Complaints":
"Just because your computer is acting strangely or one of your programs
doesn't work right, this does NOT mean that your computer has a virus."
1. If you haven't used a good, up-to-date anti-virus program on your
computer, do that first. Many problems blamed on viruses are actually
caused by software configuration errors or other problems that have nothing
to do with a virus.
2. If you do get infected by a virus, follow the directions in your
anti-virus program for cleaning it. If you have backup copies of the
infected files, use those to restore the files. Check the files you restore
to make sure your backups weren't infected.
3. For assistance, check the web site and support services for your
4. The "[alt.comp.virus] FAQ Part 1/4" (see below) includes an excellent
section on initial steps for dealing with a suspected virus infection.
5. For discussions about viruses and help dealing with them, visit
<news:alt.comp.virus> or <news:comp.virus>; please check the newsgroup FAQs
before posting. Keep in mind that posters in c.v and in a.c.v, like posters
in any newsgroup, have a wide range of technical expertise and motivations.
Note: in general, drastic measures such as formatting your hard drive or
using FDISK should be avoided. They are frequently useless at cleaning a
virus infection, and may do more harm than good unless you're very
knowledgeable about the effects of the particular virus you're dealing with.