How do I remotely solve a malware issue?
July 6, 2010 5:21 PM   Subscribe

How can I remotely solve a malware issue on a Windows XP computer?

My mum has been complaining her PC isn't working properly. We've spoken over the phone and it sounds like malware. I've had a few odd emails from her, offering the usual rubbish for sale. The OS, XP SP3 fully patched, is on drive C. I partitioned the hard drive ages ago, so her docs, photos, videos etc are on D and her music is on the E drive. I am in the UK and mum is in Denmark. Is there a way I can remote in to her computer and solve the malware issue. I know Windows (I'm on 7) has remote access, but it's the malware part I'm not sure about. Is it safe for my laptop, fully patched with MSE? Can I run AV type software on her computer from mine? Mum (bless her) is a point & click PC user, so it would be so much easier to do it from here. Basically, what's the best way to go about this me-fites?
posted by Blacksun to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I've had a really good experience with Fog Creek's Copilot tool for remote access through routers, firewalls and whatever else, but it won't let you do a clean reinstall, which (depending on what you find) may well be what you need.
posted by mhoye at 6:01 PM on July 6, 2010

If you have an account with a service like Webex, create a meeting and email the invite to her. Give her host privileges and walk her through sharing her desktop, then click the "Request remote control" button. BANG, you now have control of her machine without fear of infection. Work to your hearts' content.

The only thing to keep in mind is that if you do anything that requires a reboot, or requires her to go offline, you'll obviously lose connection and will need to guide her back into the meeting after she comes back online.
posted by BZArcher at 6:05 PM on July 6, 2010

Best tool ever in my experience is Teamviewer. Works over/through/under every firewall I've ever come across.

Set it to auto start with Windows and also set up a password and set auto allow connections and you're away - re install, reboot and auto connect. It's great.

Nuke it from orbit. It's the only way to be sure. :)
posted by DrtyBlvd at 6:12 PM on July 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

You can also use LogMeIn which is a free remote control software that will let you take over and clean.
posted by msbutah at 6:23 PM on July 6, 2010

This is like the gazillionth time this question has been asked, including the time I asked it, which was 20 million times ago. I've got a clear winner after trying pretty much every option:

Works in safe mode w/ network access, no firewall tunneling issues, ability to send files...and super easy for them to login. I actually wrap the login page into a frame on my website so clients can find it super easily.
posted by TomMelee at 7:08 PM on July 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

Install Malware Bytes Pro on her machine and it will fix itself.
posted by gallagho at 11:36 PM on July 6, 2010

Opps wrong URL
posted by gallagho at 11:38 PM on July 6, 2010

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