The MicroAntivirus microav.exe Trap

September 24, 2008

Yesterday an 89 year-old Microsoft business client of Onsite Computer Services in New Orleans called for service of his recalcitrant PC.  While surfing the web, our client received a pop-up from MicroAntivirus declaring his system was infected with a virus and a ‘free’ virus scan would eliminate the problem.  The client authorized the ‘free’ Windows virus scan, and following the purported scan his system was crippled.  The open MicroAntivirus scan window would not respond to any keyboard or mouse input and dominated the desktop, preventing other programs from running.

A cursory examination of the system revealed MicroAV was installed in the Programs folder without any mention of the program in the Control Panel’s Add/Remove ProgramsMsconfig provided evidence that MicroAV was installed in Startup, and regedit revealed more than 30 registry entries for the file microav.exe.

At Onsite Computer Services we regularly discuss ‘free’ software from the Internet.  In Economics 101, the first concept students are taught is the notion there is NO free lunch.  The lure of ‘freesoftware is simply a ploy to inspire a careless click of the mouse.  The ‘free’ software often contains malicious code which can do harm to your system, your wallet, or your identity.  A user who unknowingly installs malware can breach their online security and open their PCs to a host of undesirable and expensive problems.

If you get trapped by the microav.exe, free virus scan, RUN don’t walk.  Use the ESC key to exit the initial popup.  If necessary, hold the power button for six seconds and stop the PC.  Upon restarting, boot into safe mode.  Use msconfig to examine the startup folder.  Uncheck the entries that are associated with MicroAntivirus or microav.exe.  Manually delete the MicroAntivirus directory in Programs as Add/Remove Programs will not uninstall MicroAntivirus.  Hopefully these measures will save a migraine and restore your PC to operation.

If you’re searching for New Orleans computer service or repair of your Microsoft based system or network, then call the Microsoft specialists at 504-469-6991. Onsite Computer Services, Inc. in New Orleans

You may also be interested in Onsite Computer’s Blog.

This New Orleans On-Site Computer Service post was provided by Eli Lucas. Eli can be reached at eli@onsitenola.com. Onsite Computer serves the Microsoft computing needs of small businesses throughout the Greater New Orleans area including Uptown, Lakeview, Broadmoor, Mid-City, Metairie, Jefferson, Kenner, Westbank, French Quarter, and the Warehouse District. Please visit our website for New Orleans Computer Service.

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