Article ID : 00010702 / Last Modified : 12/16/2015

How to detect and clean a virus, spyware, malware or other malicious software.

Applicable Products and Categories of This Article

A virus is a program that can copy itself and infect a computer without permission or knowledge of the user. A virus can only spread from one computer to another when it's host is taken to an uninfected computer, for instance by sending it over a network or the Internet, or by carrying it on removable media such as a floppy disk, CD, or USB drive. The term virus is commonly used to refer to malware, adware, Trojan horses or worms, although these are all technically different.

IMPORTANT: This article applies only to specific products and/or operating systems. Check the Applicable Products and Categories section of this article before starting these steps.

  • The removal of any viruses or malware infection is not covered under Sony’s limited warranty. Sony is not liable for the loss or corruption of your confidential, personal, or proprietary information or other data located on your VAIO® PC (on your hard disk drive, removable media, or otherwise).

To attempt to remove a virus infection, please follow these steps:

  1. Open and run the installed security or antivirus software.


    • If multiple security or antivirus software applications are running, they may conflict with each other, thus leaving the system unprotected. If this is the case, uninstall all but one of the applications, preferably the one that originally shipped with the computer.
    • If there is no security or antivirus software installed, we recommend that you download and install either the Kaspersky® Anti-Virus or Microsoft® Security Essentials software. Other free third party security and antivirus software applications may also be available, but cannot be specifically recommended.
    • If model-specific information is required to complete any of the steps in this solution, refer to the operating instructions supplied with the computer. Manuals are posted on your model support page.
  2. Update the security or antivirus software to include the latest definitions.
  3. Follow the security or antivirus software instructions to complete a full system scan. If the security or antivirus software itself has not been corrupted by the infection, the software should be able to identify and then either quarantine or remove the virus infection.
  4. If you are unable to access or use the security or antivirus software, restart the computer to Safe Mode  and attempt to use the software again.
  5. If you are unable to use the security or antivirus software in Safe Mode, perform a System Restore  back to a date when the computer was working properly, and then attempt again to use the software to detect and clean the virus.
  6. If the security or antivirus software has also been corrupted by the infection, it may not be able to complete a full system scan or to remove the virus infection, even after performing a System Restore. If this is the case, contact the security or antivirus software manufacturer for any further assistance they may be able to provide.
  7. If all other steps have failed to remove the virus infection, then it will be necessary to perform a full format recovery of the computer.

    IMPORTANT: If a data backup procedure was not performed prior to the virus infection, then performing one now has the potential to include the virus infection within the backup.