It strikes horror in the heart of every PC owner. Your computer has a virus. The first thing you need to do is take a deep breath and try to remember that all (hopefully) is not lost. Next, you need to confirm the fact that you actually do have a virus. If a message appeared on your computer screen saying that a virus was detected, that is actually positive news. That means your antivirus software detected a virus and it has been removed. If you are still leery, go into your antivirus program and check its virus detection log to put your mind at ease. But what happens if your antivirus software has expired or you never installed it in the first place? The first thing you should try to do is to install it. If all goes well, the antivirus software you install should be able to detect and remove the virus (if you really do have one). Many people assume that if their computer is running slow, they have a virus. This is not always the case which is why you need to install antivirus software. The best case scenarios are the ones listed above. Unfortunately, some sophisticated viruses and malware infect your computer and download other types of malware. In such cases, boot your computer into safe mode. Windows will not allow third-party software to load while it is in safe mode so by doing this you’ll be able to run your antivirus program without interference from the virus. If this doesn’t work, try an antivirus rescue CD. An antivirus rescue CD is able to do its work while the hard drive is not enabled, making it much easier to clean up infections. If your worst nightmare comes true and all truly is lost, you need to clear your computer to the condition it was when you took it out of its box after purchase. This means erasing everything on your computer. After this is complete, you will have to use your Windows reinstall disc. Hopefully you have backed up your computer files and programs on your computer but if not, you should do this before you reinstall Windows. Erasing everything off of your computer is always the last resort. If you have questions or are unsure if you are doing the right thing, it is always good to contact a reputable IT support service for assistance. Bringing in a professional in a case like this can make things go a lot smoother – after all, it is better to be safe than sorry. Finally, even after you are up and running again, it is vital to find out how your computer was infected in the first place. If you don’t, you might find yourself in the very same situation sooner than you think.