Even the best-protected computer can contract a virus, but it goes without saying that an unprotected computer is far more vulnerable. Many users only see the light after spending long hours in the dark, trying to cure an infected PC. Many tools can remove viruses and other malware from your PC, but it's not uncommon for one or two bugs to resist eradication. Reboot, and they're back. Symantec's Norton Power Eraser is a free tool that targets stubborn files and forcibly removes them. Because it cleans aggressively, it can delete critical system files, so it must be used with care; expert guidance is recommended.
Norton Power Eraser has a super-simple interface featuring three large buttons: Scan, History, and Settings. The Settings include an optional Rootkit scan, Multi-Boot Check, and Log Settings; History accessed the Log to review previous jobs. Experts will find this information critical to diagnosing what went wrong. We started a scan, including the Rootkit scan, so Norton Power Eraser rebooted our system, and then scanned it. It found two suspicious items, startup items left over from uninstalled apps. One was flagged as Bad. It wasn't a major threat, but there was no reason not to remove it, so out it went, and the other item, too. Norton Power Eraser recommends letting it create a System Restore Point before cleaning your system: we agree. When all was ready, we pressed Fix. Removing the startup items required another reboot. When our system restarted, Norton Power Eraser reported the job's results in the Log.
Many computer viruses can be removed without doing lasting harm to your system. We recommend trying some less aggressive tools before turning to Norton Power Eraser, though experienced users will find it can launch precision strikes against clear targets. But chances are good that you've already exhausted every other remedy by the time you turn to Norton Power Eraser, and you may be less worried about collateral damage. Don't let frustration make you reckless: pay attention, check stuff out, go slow, and double-check. You'll be fine, assuming your problem is one Norton Power Eraser can rub out.