GEEK TO ME: Some may be without Internet services after Monday

July 27, 2012 by  
Filed under Every thing you Need to Know

Question: my Mom, who lives in Ft. Walton Beach, gave me your e-mail address.  my computer has a virus (sbchost.exe).  at least that is what a technician told me.  How can I remove it?  I have Norton and MyCleanPC, but they do not remove it.  MyCleanPC wants an additional $215 to remove it!  I do not recommend their service, as the $40 sign-up does not do anything.  Thanks for any help that you can give.

Dave B.Tyler, Texas

Answer: Let me start by saying that I agree with you – I do not recommend that type of online service in general, much less any specific one.  I imagine that you could spend far less than the kind of money you’re talking about and take your computer to a service center for repair, and in the process you’d be supporting a local small businessman and keeping the money in your local economy.  beyond that, I believe you’ve either got the wrong name, or you’re simply spelling it wrong, but the name you’re looking for is SVCHOST.exe, not SBCHOST.exe.  now, you need to know that SVCHOST is not itself a virus.  rather, it is an integral part of the Windows operating system.  That having been said, there are viruses that do their nasty business by infecting the SVCHOST.exe file.  it seems likely that your system is infected with one of those.

This isn’t a particularly virulent virus, and I’m a bit surprised your regular scanner didn’t remove it.  You might try scanning again after restarting your computer in Safe Mode (turn the system off and back on, but press F8 before the Windows logo appears, and then select “Safe Mode with Networking” from the list).  If that still doesn’t work, try Microsoft’s Malicious Software Removal Tool.  it runs automatically once a month, but you can run it on demand by clicking Start->run (or WinKey+R) and entering MRT.  Go through the wizard, and select “Full Scan”. If for some reason the MRT is not installed on your system, you can get it from the Microsoft download.  If even that fails to remove it, you might need to try a more powerful scanner.  a few other scanners that give good results are PC Tools Spyware Doctor with Antivirus, True Sword (free to try), Avast!, and Kaspersky.  All of these are available via a simple web search.

Q: Here it is, plain and simple. Do you make house calls?

M. C.Niceville, Fla.

A:  Tempting as that may be, since I’m currently between jobs (anyone hiring an experienced Senior Software Engineer/Project Manager/Geek?) I’m afraid the answer must be no.  I am not set up in any way to bill for in-home services.  I suggest you visit and send me a comprehensive description of your problem. 

FINAL WARNING: Regular readers will recall that back in May I mentioned that the FBI would soon be taking down a server they are operating that is providing Internet service to about half a million people whose computers had been taken over by malware.  it seems when the FBI busted the computer crime ring behind the malware, they were kind enough to maintain the server rather than letting so many people suddenly lose Internet access.  That server is scheduled to go offline on Monday.  the odds of you being infected are somewhat small (only about 60,000 computers in the United States are thought to be affected), but to be absolutely sure, you should visit the site will perform a quick, free check of your computer.

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