Ask Your Question

Angie's List Answers is the trusted spot to ask home improvement and health questions and get answers from service companies, health providers and consumers. For ratings and reviews on companies in your area, search Angie's List.

Top 30 Days Experts
Rank Leader Points*
1 kstreett 240
2 Guest_9020487 110
3 Guest_9190926 105
4 GoldenKid 100
5 mygfcxx1 95
6 ahowell 95
7 KnowledgeBase 95
8 skbloom 80
9 Guest_98024861 70
10 Guest_9311297 70

*Updates every 4 hours

Browse Projects By Category

Question DetailsAsked on 12/17/2013

can remote computer repair remove xxxx from my computer?

I'm not the only one who's used this computer and I just have a feeling, from odd pop ups, that there is xxxx on it somewhere. Can it be removed remotely, or do I have to take it into the shop?

Do you have the same question? Follow this Question

5 Answers


It depends on the nature of the problem. Some malicious software can be detected, and removed via remote support, but some cannot. Unfortunately, it is sometimes very difficult to have a good idea of what is causing the pop ups, unless there are clear messages. Even in that case, we may only get an idea of one of the malicious programs on your machine.

Once such software gains traction on a machine, protection (Antivirus, AntiSpyware etc.) programs are sabotaged and the door is thrown wide open to allow other nasty things to come in.

With the most severa cases, when the entire Operating System has been so badly messed up that removal of identified malware, and attempted repair of damaged Operating System files still leave your system crippled, the only remaining option is to wipe the hard drive and reinstall your Operating System from scratch. Hopefully you have backups of all your data. If not, then the Computer Tech must copy/backup all of your data which is best done with your assistance in making sure all of your data is identified, before wiping the entire hard drive.

If your computer was intelligently setup, not the way it comes from the factory, and you have either separate partitions (on single hard drive), or more than one hard drive, to keep the Operating System and your DATA completely separate, then it is possible to wipe only the partition that houses your Operating System, and your Data remains happy sitting on it's own partition. In fact intelligent setup also would mean that an image backup of your Operating System (OS) partition was made, so that your (OS) could be restored from the latest image backup in under 45 minutes.

When we (Tong Computer Consulting) setup a brand new machine with a single hard drive (HD) we always partition the hard drive into C: (OS and programs), D: (Data including mail) and E: (image backup). To ensure recovery in case the entire HD fails, we copy the image backup onto optical media (DVDs or Bluray), or onto an external USB connected Hard Drive (Backup HD).

Very few Computer Shops or Consultants do these things, even though if you understand the concept it is really the smart thing to do. You need to plan for emergencies ahead of the emergencies.

If I were to help you I would need to ask you lots of questions and still do some testing via remote help before deciding what would work best.

Dan Tong

Tong Computer Consulting

Chicago, IL

Answered 5 years ago by drdancm


A second reading of your question, suggests an alternative interpretation. Perhaps by xxxx you do not mean unknown malicious software but you are talking about XXX rated material or xxxx .

Often, such material, however that got on the computer is accompanied by malicious programs, but not always. An important factor is whether the material was deliberately and voluntarily downloaded or whether it "jumped" on your machine from casual sampling of X rated web sites.

If this interpretation of your question is correct then, the answer is yes, remote help can go a long way to clear off such material and usually the annoying pop ups as well. However if there is a lot of malicious software infection, then my prior answer may be relevant.

Dan Tong

Tong Computer Consulting

Chicago, IL

Answered 5 years ago by drdancm


Its always about a 50/50 shot with remote repairs unless the technician you are working with is a true technician as opposed to someone working from a cheat sheet or in a major call center. I was an IT Manager at a large support center and all we did was computer support. There were great technicians there, and then there were horrible technicians there.

The valid point made earlier was it all depends on what type of problem you have. Hardware problems cannot be fixed remotely BUT they can be trouble shot remotely, most software problems such as minor adware/spyware/etc CAN be fixed remotely while others cannot be fixed at all remotely.

There are programs that you can easily download and run yourself to help out with minor problems.. things such as MalwareBytes ( HitMan Pro ( and then do some research on

Thing is MOST of the time a visit to a good REPUTABLE local computer service center is always the best bet. It may cost a little more, but normally a hands on repair works better than a remote repair in most cases.. not always but MOST of the time.

Mike @ Mitek Computers

Berea Ky

Answered 5 years ago by mitekcomputers


One note - remote access is fine for diagnosis as described by the other good comments, but when it comes to operating system repair and virus removal, frequently the OS has to be modified or rebuilt or the virus protection program used wipes out required parts of the OS that have veen corrupted - and that generally can not be done remotely, as to maintain the connection with the remote repair center you need a fully function internet connection, which of course goes away when you wipe the OS to rebuild the drive or OS.

Remote repair or reloading of specific programs or apps usually is doable, because the basic OS and internet connection is intact, allowing communication throughout the process.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD


It depends on how bad the infection is. Light infections can be removed remotely. Heavier infections may require a reinstallation of Windows and sometimes a backup of your data. Also, to some degree, the ability to perform malware/virus removal depends on the quality of the remote assistant technology that the technician is using.

It would help to know the circumstances under which you are considering remote repair. Given the time involved in babysitting the remote assistance process, it might be easier to just take the computer into a shop, since a significant majority of malware infections that I encounter are moderate to severe, especially with computers that have been used by multiple users and/or haven't been serviced in a while.

-Paul Ronco, Computer Technician

Answered 5 years ago by paulronco

Related Questions

Terms Of Use
Privacy Policy