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How to remove a virus that blocks access to files and programs?

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OH Smeg

Pay the creator of this their fee to get access to your Data again.

This type of program is called Hostageware because it takes your data Hostage and demands payment so you can use it again.

Now the bad news is even if you pay the money you don't get a clean computer you just get to use your Data till the creator of that application wants more money and the cycle starts all over again.

Also there is no easy solution here other than Backup all your Data Wipe the HDD and then reload the entire system from scratch after you are certain you have wiped the drive with a Military Spec Wiping Utility to destroy the infection.

However you can try a Rescue Disc which doesn't involve running your install of Windows it runs off the CD that it comes on and has it's own Scanning/Cleaning Programs. You can read up on Rescue Disc's in this TR Blog

http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/security/rescue-cds-tips-for-fighting-malware/3803

Personally I like F Secure and the Avira Rescue Disc but any of the others will do to clean the system.

Now for the Bad news it is possible depending on the infection that some critical Windows Files will get deleted and you'll need to perform a Repair Install of the OS by following the directions here But first you'll need to understand that you'll need a full version of Windows XP not a Recovery Disc which is a Slipstreamed Image for your Hardware as these mostly do not support the Repair Option.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/978788

With any Windows system it's really much better not to get infected as the only real way to be sure that you have completely cleaned the system is to use something like Boot & Nuke

http://www.dban.org/

or Kill Disc

http://www.killdisk.com/downloadfree.htm

To write zeros to every sector of the HDD and kill any infection that you have picked up. If you do not do this there is the possibility that the system will be reinfected when you reinstall all f the software.

Col