Spybot - Search & Destroy Mirror
Spybot Search and Destroy - How To Guide
If you think you might have a spyware problem (or your computer is running real slow suddenly), you might have a spyware problem. One of the very best tools to use also happens to be free. It is Spybot Search and Destroy available here. This handy tool will help you remove spyware and malware from your computer, and has several options to help protect you from additional threats.
Downloading and Installing:
You first need to have Spybot Search and Destroy installed before you can use it, so download it Here.
Downloading Spybot Search and Destroy
After you download the spybot program, you need to run it. Double click the download file and start the installation. You will need to say yes to any security warnings that windows may prompt you with. Click Run or Save.
Open or Run the Spybot Program File
Begin the actual installation by clicking next.
The installer will prompt you with it’s license, and you will have to agree to it before installation can continue. The default installation is good for most people. You can specify which programs and options you want installed. I recommend using the defaults, and you can change those options at a later time if you determine you do not need or want them.
Select Components to Install
On the additional tasks page, select where you would like icons installed. There are two additional programs that install by default. The first one is SDHelper which runs with Internet Explorer and actively works to protect you while browsing. I recommend enabling this if you do not use Firefox for internet browsing. The other file is TeaTimer, which watches computer changes, and alerts and asks your permission before changes are made to your system.
Icon Choices and Active Protection
During the first install, Spybot will try and update the program with some of the most current files for scanning. Allow this process to complete if you are connected to the internet. If you have no current internet connection, cancel it or allow Spybot to determine that.
Install some updates during install
When Spybot is done installing, make sure the box is checked to launch SpybotSD.exe.
Installation is Finished, Run Spybot for the first time
Running Spybot Search and Destroy for the first time:
Spybot will prompt you with the option to backup your registry. I recommend clicking the button to start a registry backup. This may take a couple of minutes once pressed. After it is done backing up, click next.
Registry Backup on First Run
On the next screen, spybot will allow you to search for updates to update all the definition and registry files. Click Search for updates to see if there are any new versions available.
Do a Full Update of All Definition Files
If there are updates available, select a mirror with a flag close to you.
Select a Mirror to Download From
A list of updates will be shown to you. I recommend selecting all available updates, and downloading them. On a broadband connection, this process is fairly quick.
Once the updates are downloaded, click next to go to the immunization page. Immunizing your system will block bad hosts and sites while browsing. This is also highly recommended. Click Immunize, and in the background, your system will be update. The second screenshot shows a sample of the system being immunized. This may take several minutes.
Immunize your system to protect it again Known Malware
Once you click next, that will be the last start up screen. Make sure to select Start Using Spybot Search and Destroy so you can run your first scan.
Start Using Spybot Search and Destroy
Doing a scan with Spybot Search and Destroy
If you just updated your system, you should already have the most recent definition files. If you did not update your computer, or this is a later time that you are doing a scan, always start by clicking “Search for Updates” and completing an update. You should update your spybot at least once per week.
Main Screen of Spybot
Once you have the latest updates, click check for problems. This should start a scan.
If on the next screen a scan has not begun, click the Check for problems. The status bar at the bottom should say if a scan is in progress, and its numerical progression.
Spybot Scan Screen
The scan will complete, this will take at least 10 minutes on a fast computer. The following snapshot shows Spybot actively running a scan.
Spybot Actively Scanning the System...
This screen shows spybot when it finds problems. If items come up in red, you will need to address them. If the screen ends with no red, remember to run your scan next week.
Spybot Has Found Problems
Removing problems that Spybot found:
If Spybot identifies problems, you need to make the decision to remove them or not. Entries labeled as browser entries and cookies, you may want to decide if you want to keep them. I would recommend removing them unless you can specifically identify them and trust them.
Items like trojans, and keyloggers, should be removed immediately. Potentially unwanted software should be removed as well. Be warned, that the removal of some adware may make certain programs not function properly. Read the license of these programs to determine if their adware is required to use their program.
After you have selected all of the items you wish to remove, select fix selected problems. This should remove everything. If Spybot tells you that a reboot is required to remove certain items, allow it to restart and scan. Spybot will rescan your entire system before windows has loaded and remove any additional threats that could not be removed while Windows was running.
Removing items that were found.
Congratulations. You are well on your way to an adware and malware free computer. Although Spybot is a great program, remember to install an antirvirus program on your computer, and keeps both the antivirus and the Spybot programs fully up-to-date.