Emergency Instructions

Compromised Computer

What to do if your computer becomes infected with a virus or malware

  1. Call – Call your LSP or LAN Manager
  2. Review – Security status
  3. Backup – Backup Your Files
  4. Rebuild – Reinstall OS


1. Call – Call your Local Support Provider or LAN Manager

Contact your Local Support Provider (LSP) or LAN Manager and tell them your computer may be compromised with a virus or malware. A backup of data, wipe of the hard drive and reinstall of the Operating System (OS) is the recommended course of action if your computer has been infected with a virus.  

Review –  Is there Sensitive Data present on the System?
Your LSP or LAN Manager should ask whether you store or regularly access sensitive information
(personally identifiable information, student or patient data, credit card, p-card, or other financial information).
If so, it may be necessary to notify the security team before proceeding.
The best practice is to NEVER store sensitive information on your hard drive.

3. Backup your Files.
Backup your files. This should be done for you by your LSP; however, you should look through your computer and verify you don’t have items that may be missed because they are located outside the standard Windows User Folders. Standard “user” folders are My Documents, My Music, My Pictures, etc. Also check .pst files (Outlook local folders) as they are sometimes located outside the My Documents/Documents structure.

4. Rebuild
Virus and malware detection/removal tools are only about 37% effective. Increasingly complex viruses are released every day that burrow deep into computers systems infecting them with code which is very difficult, if not impossible, to remove without reinstalling the OS. The only way to be sure your machine is clean is to rebuild. Once you backup your files, your computer will be wiped and reinstalled. All files on your hard drive will be erased and a fresh copy of Windows installed. All other non-Windows OS programs will need to be replaced. You’ll need to find your installation CDs or download software packages for your programs and Product Keys to reinstall your software.  Your backup files will be scanned with an Antivirus program and then copied back to your computer.

While You Are Waiting For Assistance

It is standard procedure for your LSP/LAN Manager to backup your files (including your Outlook .pst) before attempting a reinstall of the OS. However, you may also want to begin the process yourself to make sure all your files are saved.

Instructions on How to Backup your Files

(Note: Scan your backup files with an Antivirus program before adding them back to your computer.)