General Question

kayyyyleigh's avatar

Can I use a computer with a virus?

Asked by kayyyyleigh (404points) December 21st, 2009 from iPhone

my computer has had a virus for about six months.. and I just haven’t told my parents yet because I know it’s going to be very expensive to fix or replace.

we got an iPod for a Christmas gift for a family member, and the iTunes is on my computer. is it safe to set up the iPod on my computer with the virus? I know Macs can’t get PC viruses (I have a PC) but I don’t want to risk it if it’s not safe.

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19 Answers

dpworkin's avatar

It is not difficult or expensive to fix it, but it is a bad idea to use it.

kayyyyleigh's avatar

@pdworkin well right now it has two viruses and something called “SKYNET” which I think is something like a rootkit. it’s my fault I got it and my parents were planning to wait until next year before I go to college to get me a new computer. a mac.

pouncey's avatar

yeah u can but it has its glitches. well it depends how many are you talking about and what kind i believe.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

Viruses are, in general, not hard to get rid of. If it has not destroyed your computer in the six months it has been infected, then the chances are it is a basic virus that shouldn’t be hard to fix. First do this, and once you are sure it is safe again you can resume normal use.

The “one size fits all” fix is a reformat. Don’t do this unless you have exhausted all other options, but a virus is never a reason to buy a new computer.

dpworkin's avatar

You can get rid of rootkits and other problems. Spybot, Adaware, Spyware Dr., P.C. Tools, AVG free, and Microsoft Security essentials are all free downloads

kayyyyleigh's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh I meant my computer has been getting then constantly over the past six months. also they take over my computer. I can’t use the internet and nothing works in safe mode. and I have had this laptop for like five years… it’s still windows XP. it’s time for a new one.

also I have to have the iPod ready by probably tomorrow… is it safe to plug it into the computer?

PandoraBoxx's avatar

If you load music onto it from your computer, doesn’t any new music added to it also have to come from your computer? If they try to do it from their own computer, it will wipe out what you put on, and you could spread the virus to their computer.

kayyyyleigh's avatar

@PandoraBoxx their iPod will stay on my iTunes account. they will not use their own. can I spread the virus from my computer to the iPod?

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@kayyyyleigh It sounds like you need a new antivirus, not a new computer. I have had my desktop for four years now, but with a few hardware upgrades and installing SP3 of XP it still works great. Old computers are fine, you just need to keep good care of them.

I wouldn’t plug in the iPod. Fix the computer first.

dpworkin's avatar

@kayyyyleigh Put on your listening ears. You can’t use that computer in the state it’s in. No iTunes, no nothing.

Also you can fix it. Easily. Don’t be a dope.

LeotCol's avatar

If you can’t use the internet then you should download AVG free/Other antivirus or get a friend to download it and put it on a USB stick. If the computer allows you to then put it in your laptop and run it from there.

I’d fix it before using the ipod with it

kayyyyleigh's avatar

@pdworkin I COULD fix it. but I’m exhausted with trying. also I’m not going to be able to fix it in time to give him the iPod for Christmas.

philosopher's avatar

Go to . Get the free version . This should get rid of your virus .

kayyyyleigh's avatar

@philosopher I’ve tried several times but the virus blocks me from using it. tells me there’s an error and deletes all of the download.

LeotCol's avatar

@kayyyyleigh then I suggest you get one of your friends to put it on USB seriously. Its not that hard

BhacSsylan's avatar

Okay, there is one sure way to get rid of it, and in time for christmas: Reformat. If the viruses are that invasive, reformat is the easiest and surest way to get rid of them, and you can have it done in a day, easy. I suggest looking online for a step-by-step and printing it out (using a friends computer, if necessary), and following them. It should be a farely simple process. Just remember to back up any and all data you need before you reformat, as it will be lost in the process.

You should not use itunes for setting up the IPod. I do not know if there are any widely occurring viruses that can transfer through an IPod, but I do not doubt that it’s possible, and since IPods are so prolific, I’d be surprised if at least a few big ones won’t be able to. At the very least, IPods also act as portable hard drives, and PHDs can get infected very, very easily.

Lastly, to your comment “I know Macs can’t get PC viruses”. This isn’t entirely true. Less true if the family member has a PC, as the IPod OS doesn’t matter at all, it’s just a transfer mechanism. Even if they do have a Mac, it’s possible to get infected with a PC virus. It’s just that since Macs have such a low market share, it wouldn’t be worth a hacker’s time to write the code to have it do that, so it would be incredibly rare. Same reason Linux systems almost never get hit. They’re just not viable targets.

AstroChuck's avatar

Just make sure you wear a medical mask.

jerv's avatar

I would not use an infected computer, but they are not hard or expensive to fix.

Personally, I do not trust AVG. The only virus I ever had on a system I owned was one that AVG let slip through. I use something that many tests put in the top three (if not the #1 spot) in effectiveness: Avira Free . As you may have guessed from the name, it costs $0.00

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