Symptoms and Effects

It can be difficult to determine if your computer is infected with a virus, which is why it is necessary to have a reliable anti-virus software installed on your computer. There are however symptoms that you can look for which indicate the possible presence of a virus. A virus infection can cause the following symptoms, but keep in mind that these symptoms can also be the result of other problems on your computer.

  • The computer shuts down and restarts for no apparent reason.

  • The computer takes a long time to start and runs very slowly. This can be caused by having too many programs open, problems with the network, but also by a virus infection.

  • Sudden reduction in disk space or memory capacity. This may be an indication of a virus infection as viruses can sometimes consume all available free space.

  • If the same file appears twice, one with an .EXE extension and the other with a .COM extension, it is very likely that the second file is infected.

  • A file is missing, it cannot be opened, or there is an unexpected change in the file's properties. Viruses can delete files or alter them, making them unusable.

  • A program closes suddenly for no apparent reason, it won't run, or your computer stops responding when you try to use the program. Viruses can alter or delete files associated with a specific program causing it to no longer function properly.

  • The anti-virus program is disabled and cannot be restarted.

  • Strange messages or dialog boxes appear on the screen.

  • Other strange effects that can be indications of a virus infection include the CD-ROM tray opening and closing, keyboard and mouse actions taking place automatically, and windows appearing and disappearing at random.