As a Windows XP network administrator, a crucial part of your job is keeping your network's machines as free from dangerous software as possible. While you may not know it, each time you connect to Microsoft's Windows Update site and run a scan for updates, you're actually keeping your machines clean due to the fact that one of the things that the site does is run the Malicious Software Removal Tool. This tool is designed to detect and remove the most common malicious software, such as Blaster, Sasser, and Mydoom, from your system before updates are downloaded and installed.
However, if you'd like to check your system more often for malicious software, you can do so by visiting the Malicious Software Removal Tool page on the Microsoft site and manually running the scan. (Microsoft updates this tool on the second Tuesday of each month.) Here's how:
- Connect Internet Explorer to the Malicious Software Removal Tool page.
- Click the Check My PC For Infection button.
- In the resulting Microsoft End-User License Agreement dialog box, read the license agreement, select the I Agree button, and then click Continue.
- Follow the onscreen instructions to set up the tool.
- Wait while the scan runs in the background.
- Review the report once the scan is complete.
Note: Keep in mind that this tool is not a replacement for an antivirus product.
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Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.