Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

Discussing Internet security in (mostly) plain English

Malware infection update

Malware infection update

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Well, I finally got my other home PC (the one in my parents’ place) cleaned up from all of the infections.  I backed everything up to an external hard drive, formatted the computer, scanned the external drive and cleaned it, reinstalled Windows XP (SP2), installed AVG and Microsoft Security Essentials, found more malware, cleaned that, and finally proceeded to delete all of the old files.  I still have to clean up my brother’s laptop; I am not looking forward to that as it is an older laptop (c2000).  He’s transferring files between the two of them which explains why I continue to find malware infections on the one I just spent the better part of two days cleaning.

When I first formatted it and reinstalled Windows, I was unable to install Microsoft Security Essentials.  Instead, I had to install (the free version of) AVG.  When I got all of the updates from Windows Update, then I was able to install MSE.  So which one do I like better?

I much prefer MSE for two reasons:

  1. It is smaller – it consumes less disk space and less system resources.  When I uninstalled AVG, I noticed a definite performance boost to my system.  It’s already kind of slow, so anything less in memory is better.

  2. It works better – I did a full system scan of the computer with both AVG and MSE.  MSE found infections that AVG did not.  Furthermore, I found MSE a little easier to configure than AVG.

Now, I know I am biased because I work for Microsoft, so obviously I am going to push MS products.  That is not the case, however.  There are a number of products that I use for which Microsoft has an equivalent piece of software and I prefer the competitor.  For example, I prefer Firefox to Internet Explorer (sorry, IE team).  I prefer Google Talk to Live Messenger (because it is smaller and cleaner).  I prefer Thunderbird for my personal mail than Outlook.  However, there are many other instances where I prefer MS software; I very much prefer Outlook for my business mail.  I prefer Office to any other equivalent software out there from any other company.  I prefer Bing to Google (including the maps).  The whole point of this is that I am not biased, I go with the ones I prefer.

So, the point is that I quite like MSE.  I’ve now gotten experience using it personally and I can recommend it.  Now if only I could get my brother to stop installing rogue A/V…

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  • I like MSE as well but I think they should remove the WGA restriction on it to get a bigger market share.

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