CNET Editors' note: Please note that running this program without supervision of an experienced helper can cause your computer to not operate correctly.
CNET Editors' review
Combofix is a freeware utility that scans your PC deeply for spyware and malware, especially in combinations. It's a powerful tool that can remove stubborn infections but also delete files you need, if you let it, so inexperienced users who run Combofix without expert guidance do so at their own risk. Used properly, it can clean your PC much more deeply than typical tools, free or not, and not just of malware but other junk, too. It finishes with a detailed log that reports each step.
Combofix is portable freeware that runs when you click its extracted program file. We disabled our antivirus and firewall software, as Combofix recommends. Most programs advise you to close everything before you install them, but Combofix means it, and it'll tell you if an open window or running process needs to end before it can proceed. The program also automatically backs up your settings and creates a System Restore point, which is reassuring.
Combofix is mostly automatic in operation. It scanned our system and started deleting files at a rapid pace. A look at the scrolling log reassured us: Combofix was throwing out hundreds of tiny JPEGs left over from an uninstalled app. Other cleaners (which shall remain nameless) had missed them, and we were pleased to see them go. Most scans take less than 10 minutes, but infected PCs may take much longer; ours was clean, thankfully. Finishing requires a reboot. Things seemed to load and run faster; an extra benefit of this deep cleaner.
Combofix was designed to scan a computer for known malware, spyware (SurfSideKick, QooLogic, and Look2Me as well as any other combination of the mentioned spyware applications) and remove them. ComboFix allows the manual removal of spyware infections. It's a specialized effective cleaning tool, which is useful compared to other malware and spyware removers. After Combofix finished, a report will be created. You can use this report to search and remove infections which are not automatically removed.
What's new in this version: Version 188.8.131.52 may include unspecified updates, enhancements, or bug fixes.
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All versions:3.6 stars
out of 96 votes
Current version:0 stars Be the first to review this product
My rating:Write review
"Too geeky, which means nasty."
Version: Combofix 184.108.40.206
How would I know?
In regard to finding malware: I have no idea. In regard to user-friendliness: Where the hell is the plain English? A couple of sentences in plain English wouldn't kill these geeks. The attitude stinks. I have no idea whether the prog worked or not. I'm going completely on faith, based on CNET's glowing review. Still...
I don't care whether Combofix disappears tomorrow.
Version: Combofix 1.0.0
None that I can think of.
Totally messed up my windows 7 pro. did not let me uninstall. Messed up numerous files and programs. Took quite a lot of work to restore my system - eventually was able to totally restore, but had to manually remove the program from the registry and files.
Program is NOT READY for prime time. I would give it a while to develop.
"This one always works"
Version: Combofix 220.127.116.11
None really, but if I have to ding something, you have to disable virus scanners while using this then manually re-enable them
Has never let me down. Always finds everything. This is the tool I use when everything else fails. Older versions used to remove recently used file pointers, but that was on XP. The latest version either doesn't or it has been improved not to. If you not using this, you should be. If you're using something else, you're wasting your time.The last time I used this, I suspected root kits or other malware damage as I was unable to re-enable windows firewall after going through all of Microsoft's support pages and procedures which all failed. It was also after running more popular malware removal software which I use as first resort because most infections are light. 1 run with the newest version of this software not only cleaned up the system, but automatically re-enabled the firewall at default settings. Excellent! Consider this software as your big gun software when nothing else works.
Updated on Jan 19, 2014
Version: Combofix 18.104.22.168
I have Windows 7. I downloaded this program, not knowing what to expect. I was surprised what a great job this program did. My computer was full of malware that no one else picked up. After it deleted the mess I had, I had no problems with the program and no problems with my PC after the deletion. Some of the reviews were very negative about the program, I had no problems with it.
None at this point.
Version: Combofix 22.214.171.124
Combofix can and will rid you of malware that absolutely cannot be removed by any other program. Having fixed and cleaned computers since before some of you were born, one of the things I have done was test an obscene amount of software that never lives up to the task.
With Combofix browser hijacks, transformer type virus's, replicators, it just gets em all.
Anyone who knocks this software must have motive, ie., get's paid for other peoples misery and problems. I have seen commercial pc repair centers offer to wipe drives for a fee, yet I took these same machines and restored them to like new condition with the help of Combofix. BTW, that includes fully hijacked machines.
Using software like Malwarebytes is a powerful way to avoid mishaps, but, we do venture out, putting ourselves at risk. And when some type of malware slides on through it's Combofix to the rescue.
"Wonderful and Effective!!!"
This program isn't for people who don't know what they're doing but I have found Combofix to work quickly and effectively on serious viruses and malware that nothing else could crack. It is not meant to be a complete solution. If you have a virus you can't stop, try it. Then you can run Malwarebytes and Superantispyware etc. to finish up. It is much better than reformatting which is often the only alternative. I've never known it to do the things some of these other people are complaining about and I've used it a lot. Hats off to sUBs and the other volunteers at Bleeping Computer who help a lot of people remove viruses for free. After you run it some of your programs might not work until you reboot. Combofix turns off programs (viruses are programs) just until it can remove the malware. After you reboot everything will go back to normal.
It doesn't yet work on Windows 8.
It has saved many a computer from being reformatted.
"Works great when used properly!"
When downloaded from BleepingComputer ONLY it will run as it was designed to do. Always refrain from downloading software from any 3rd party links.
I have used this program for years now on to many computers to count from personal to professional.
You must follow directions, and save vital information before running any software like this. People need to use common sense is all, and simply downloading a program and ignoring what others have already stated is ignorance only.
When used as designed it is a great lifesaver for many that want to keep their current setup as is minus the slow issues from possible malware/spyware/hijackers/etc......
"DO NOT USE THIS "PRODUCT" !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
1. Destroy all of your settings,
2. Shut down your Clipboard,
3. Delete the settings for and make inoperative your System Restore feature (you can't even access the feature console),
4. Lock other protective software such as System Protector (Systweak), Malwarebytes, the spyware feature of Advanced System Optimizer -- all three of which are Microsoft Gold Certified --
5. Your Microsoft Computer Management Console will become inoperative.
6. Make your Taskbar inoperative except for Quickstart and the clock . . . .
And this is just what I've discovered so far . . .
MALWARE, SPYWARE !!!! AND WHO KNOWS WHAT ELSE.HERE IS A POTENTIAL FIX:
A PIECE OF CRAP THAT CNET SHOULD BE ASHAMED TO RATE "EXCELLENT"
Updated on Nov 3, 2013
Took a lot of searching and analysis, but here is the fix for XP USERS (don't know if it works for later Windows versions):
What Combofix does is delete data instructions from the XP Registry and in effect shuts down the Remote Procedure Call. I don't claim to be an e-geek, but the RPC is sort of a server through which many functions must pass in order for your PC to operate correctly. The initial information I dredged up (not from Microsoft.com which was virtually useless) is from Here:
wherein the author instructs the user in the following manner:
"Boot into safe mode and install this registry patch. It will place RPC service back into automatic. After applying the registry fix, you should be able to boot normally.
This file contains only the "Start" key:
Go to FIRST REPLY . . .
Updated on Nov 3, 2013The "RpcSs" service, this information is applied:
Download File Name:
RpcRepair.zip ~ 288 bytes ~ Version .01 ~ October 28, 2002
If this does not fix the problem, you can attempt to reinstall Windows on top of the old installation. This usually repairs the OS, but keeps user data still accessible. However, I do not support such actions for obvious reasons and you will need to reapply all patches, driver updates and service packs.
Anything on this page is offered with zero guarantee. Back up everything vital."
This didn't work in my case but gave me an idea. I have an older Toshiba laptop that runs XP (not the Media Center I have on here) so with nothing to lose I opened the RpsSs there. It was full of instructions that simply didn't exist on the Media Center. A bit of Copy and Paste later and VOILA!! The Media Center came back to life!
"Works and works well."
Easy to use and thorough.
It didn't come with cake.
Gave such relief (again). I'm pretty sloppy when it comes to security. Put bluntly, I dont use any because 99 times out of 100 the security software causes more headaches than malware.
But theres eventually always that one time. So I do run some big name anti-malware. Combofix always finds and kills what my antimalware doesnt. It saves me from trying to manually hunt down the problem, usually severe, arcane ones and is my 'magic bullet' "big gun' when I am up against malware that's above my skill to remove otherwise.
I dont really know what it is or how it works, I just know it works better than anything else Ive used. And I am very grateful. Thank you, sUBs.
"Good and Bad!"
Seems to have helped remove unwelcome files.
Did not eliminate the problem! Bad guys still on my computer. Using Windows and various permissions to track them down.... Did not keep me informed of progress other than a few numbers.
Overall, I don't think Combofix is that great.
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