Do I Have A Virus?
The only sure way to know if you have a virus is to scan your computer with an antivirus program with up-to-date virus definitions. If you don't have an antivirus program installed, or if your antivirus program is being disabled for some reason (viruses can do this!), try one of these resources:
- Online FreeScan from McAfee at http://us.mcafee.com/root/mfs/default.asp. This is a free service without an install - it simply scans your computer for viruses
- Download and run Stinger, a stand-alone scanner for the 40 or so most current viruses, at http://us.mcafee.com/virusInfo/default.asp?id=stinger
- If you detect a virus, try to remove it with the scanning software. If the virus can't be removed, see our How To Remove a Virus page.
If you encounter, or suspect, a virus you are encouraged to contact the IT Service Desk.
Below are some possible virus symptoms. Any of these symptoms could also point to problems with the operating system, software, hardware, adware, and/or spyware. Still, here's the list:
- Your computer is noticeably slower than it used to be, or seems to be busy doing something else.
- Your network connection is slower than usual, or seems really busy (this can just as often be the network or ISP).
- Your computer freezes or crashes repeatedly.
- Your antivirus program stops running without an error message.
- You notice strange processes running on your computer (this assumes you know what the usual processes are).
- Folders on your computer start sharing themselves across the network.
- Files start appearing on your hard drive, perhaps in multiple locations.
- Microsoft Word or Excel suddenly start warning you about macros existing in your documents.