Question from Bailey H.: Hi Rick. I have a bad problem and I need help ASAP.
I was browsing Facebook last night and clicked on a link that caught my attention. As soon as I clicked it my screen went solid blue and the computer froze up completely.
I finally just unplugged it and it booted back up into Windows, but now none of my programs will open. It’s running real slow too.
I’m sure the link I clicked probably put a virus on my system but my Norton antivirus software won’t open so I can’t run a scan.
Is there anything I can do to fix this problem besides just buying a new computer?
Thanks for your help.
Rick’s answer: You’re right on the money, Bailey. It sounds like you clicked on a “bad” link and your PC got infected with malware big time. All is probably not lost however.
I recommend that you try booting your PC into “Safe Mode with Networking” and running some malware scans from there.
Safe Mode is a special boot procedure that loads only the most basic hardware drivers (and none of your automatic startup programs) into the Windows operating environment. It was created specifically to help troubleshoot and resolve issues like this one.
Once your PC has booted up and is running in “Safe Mode with Networking” try running several of the on-demand malware scans mentioned in this post, starting with Malwarebytes.
After you have removed as much of the malware as possible from within Safe Mode it should be possible to completely rid your PC of whatever residual garbage is on it by booting Windows into regular mode and following the instructions in this post.
I’m very sorry this happened to you, Bailey. This is a perfect example of why we should never click links on Facebook unless we know for a fact that the landing page is on a site that we are familiar with and trust.
Don’t feel bad though. This has happened to all of us at one time or another.
I’ll never understand what motivates people to want to cause problems for others, but they do. And unfortunately the Internet makes it easy for them to do it from half way around the world.
Update from Bailey: I followed the instructions in the posts you linked to and it worked! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!
Bonus tip #1: This post explains how to make one simple Windows Settings change that can help prevent malware infections.
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