Restore your system after virus attacks with Reanimator | Download Product Review - CNET

Restore your system after virus attacks with Reanimator

Use this powerful virus scanning and cleaning freeware with care.

RegRun Reanimator from Greatis Software is a free tool that can help users remove malware such as Trojans, adware, spyware, and even many rootkits. It offers several kinds of scans, but inexperienced users may benefit most from its unique scan-report-fix process, which transmits data to the developers, who analyze it and create a one-click fix that they send back to you, apparently free of charge. We say "apparently" because the documentation's translations aren't always as clear as they might be, but more importantly because it's not wise to "fix" problems that don't exist.

Reanimator's compact interface isn't the most efficient or attractive design we've encountered, but it gets the job done. Since the program automatically checked for updates when we opened it, we clicked Backup System Files to create a backup of our system settings. A series of small tabs defines the program's primary functions, beginning with Virus Scan, which we clicked. We then clicked the large Next button, thinking that would start the scan, but it advanced us to the next tab, Send Report, so we went back and clicked Scan for Viruses. We were offered four choices: Send Report, Scan Windows Startup, Online Multivirus Scan, and Reveal Hidden or Infected Files, though the last tool requires additional software on a CD-ROM. We selected the startup scan, which has a reboot option as well as an advanced deep-scan option requiring a reboot. The first scan notified us that our system was infected and that we'd better send a report. We wanted to see for ourselves what the scan turned up, and it's lucky we checked, because the "virus" was actually part of our antivirus software. We added it to the program's clean list, and subsequent scans passed over it, but we were glad indeed we hadn't trusted a remote fix to catch the scan's error.

That brings up an important point about this powerful tool, which can also remove viruses, restore settings, and other things: Most of what it does is better left to experienced users, and Reanimator agrees, offering many caution messages. If you're fairly sure your system is infected by viruses or other malware but don't feel comfortable removing the infected files manually, its custom-made fixes certainly offer a viable alternative.

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