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:

  1. Connect
    Internet Explorer to the Malicious
    Software Removal Tool page
  2. Click
    the Check My PC For Infection button.
  3. In the
    resulting Microsoft End-User License Agreement dialog box, read the
    license agreement, select the I
    button, and then click Continue.
  4. Follow
    the onscreen instructions to set up the tool.
  5. Wait
    while the scan runs in the background.
  6. 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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