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HijackThis – for moderate to advanced users

HijackThis is a small program from Trend Micro that can be download and run or used as a standalone executable file. It examines vulnerable parts of your system such as certain types of registry keys and browser helper objects. Clicking the fix object button will let you remove the selected malware. This is a very serious tool for users to remove serious infection but the program should be used with caution. Luckily there are options to restore deleted files if you accidently remove a file that you may have thought was malware but actually wasn’t.

 Next I will take you through some steps for basic use of the HijackThis program.

Below is the start screen upon firing up HijackThis. Click the bottom button, “None of the Above”.



Next you will need to click the button the config button towards the lower right of the screen.




The next screen is the configuration screen. You will want to make sure the following options are selected.


The options you selected above are vital in making sure you have a backup of the information. This is very important, due to the fact you may accidentally delete a file that was not infected.

Once you have configured the program your options will be saved the next time you run HijackThis. You may now exit and return to the original screen and press the “Scan” button (indicated on the first screen shot by the red arrow).  The screen below is what will appear after the scan is completed. These are all of the files that were found in the areas scanned. If you have noted a consistant pop-up or process running using an excessive amount memory, find the name of that process and check the box next to its name on this list. Also if you are un-sure about a file, research it before deletion. A simple Google search of the file name should help you identify what is harmful or not. Next you shall save the log.

Once you are sure you have the correct files selected that are harmful and need to be deleted, then you can click the final button “Fix Checked” 


Lastly, if you do accidentally delete something that you shouldn’t have, see the screen below to restore your back-up that you have created.  Click back-up and select the back-up you last created.









about the author

More about David Perreault:
David Perreault David's interest in computers is mainly in the security field, and he has network+ and A++ Certifications. He is a Senior and will be graduating next year with a Bachelors in Telecommunications Information Management, with Minors in Management, Computer Science, Graphical Design and International Studies. David is currently the IT Support Director for the History Department at WMU. He plays with computers at work, at class and at home. David is striving to be a network security analyst while working his way into Ethical Hacking.

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