Can I install MSE to clean up my already-infected computer?

Q: My computer came with an anti-virus application preinstalled but the free trial period already expired. I haven't had an anti-virus application installed for ages. Can I install MSE to clean up my already-infected computer?

A: Speaking from experience, it's doubtful that MSE or any other anti-virus/antispyware application would install (or install properly) on an already-infected computer.

You have two choices:

1. Back up your personal data (none of which should be considered 100% trustworthy) then format your HDD and do a clean install of Windows.

     NB: A Repair Install or In-Place Upgrade will not fix an infected computer!

2. See if you can get the computer cleaned-up with the assistance of an knowledgable expert in such matters. You will find such assistance in,,,, and other appropriate forums.

MS PCSafety also provides home users (only) no-charge support in dealing with malware infections such as viruses, spyware (including unwanted software), and adware. Start here: 

Helpful References:

Protect Your PC

5 steps to help protect your new computer before you go online

Steps To Help Prevent Spyware 

Steps to Help Prevent Computer Worms

Avoid Rogue Security Software!

~Robear Dyer (PA Bear)
MS MVP (IE, Mail, Security, Windows & Update Services) since 2002
Disclaimer: I neither represent nor work for Microsoft
Also see...

     Help: I Got Hacked. Now What Do I Do? 
~Robear Dyer (PA Bear)
Microsoft MVP (Windows Client) since October 2002

14 people were helped by this reply


Did this solve your problem?

Sorry this didn't help.

Great! Thanks for marking this as the answer.

How satisfied are you with this reply?

Thanks for your feedback, it helps us improve the site.

How satisfied are you with this response?

Thanks for your feedback.


Question Info

Last updated May 19, 2020 Views 142,704 Applies to: