I was reading Coding Horror’s How to Clean Up a Windows Spyware Infestation, and it struck me as surprising that someone of Jeff’s calibre could get himself in such a situation. However, I’m very appreciative of the fact that he shared his experience.
I have done a few Windows XP installations for friends as well, and I would like to share a two tips to make the process less painful:
- Always perform the installation offline! Do not even connect to your local network
- Always have a Windows Protector USB Toolkit in hand
In case you’re wondering why you should be performing a Windows XP installation without having an active Internet connection, you might want to read this article. Apparently, an Internet connected fresh Windows XP installation could be infected by malware in as soon as 12 minutes!
And what about the Windows Protector USB Toolkit thing? Well, that’s just a fancy name for a thumbdrive that has essential Windows applications that will help your installation be more secure.
What’s In The Windows Protector USB Toolkit
My Windows Protector USB Toolkit has the following stuff on it:
- The latest version of Spybot S&D along with its latest spyware detection update file
- The latest version of AVG Free along with a recent virus definition file
- The latest version of the Firefox web browser
- Up to date Windows Update files
For those of you who are wondering how to download Windows Update files in bulk, you will find this post by Jake Ludington to be very useful. It guides you how to do this in a very easy to understand manner.
I’m recommending Spybot S&D and AVG Free because they’re free (gratis) software. You can of course replace them with your own preferred anti-spyware and anti-virus programs. The most important thing is to remember to also have the latest definition files for your chosen programs as well.
Although IE is a capable browser, you need to update it as well for safe browsing. The only reason I’m recommending that you have Firefox in your Windows Protector USB Toolkit is that you may need to get on the web for a quick browse or two. Should such needs occur, you’ll be much better using a browser that has a small installer footprint.
What are your thoughts? Do you have your own Windows Protector toolkit?