Suspicious programs running on your computer, strange popup windows and unusual hard disk activity are some of the telltale signs of malware infection in Windows. But if you want to be sure, then you can use the free SanityCheck software to analyze your computer and see if some of the programs running on your PC are really questionable and whether they should be further investigated. Though the SanityCheck software is geared towards expert users, but novice users can also use it to find out about what is going on in their PC.
You can download SanityCheck from the Resplendence Software website. The program is available in form of a setup installer that can install SanityCheck on your system. After the installation, you can run the program from its desktop shortcut. When you run it for the first time, it asks you to make some changes in the Windows registry so that it can better detect the rootkits on your PC. You can make these changes and restart your computer, but it will work even without making these changes.
The next step is fairly easy. All you have to do is click on the Analyze toolbar button in the SanityCheck window. It would start to analyze various areas of your system like device drivers, devices, processes, threads, files, kernel object types, kernel routines etc. These sections of your Windows PC are scanned both for possible malware, rootkits and other suspicious objects.
When the scan is over, the report is shown in the main SanityCheck window. You can scroll down to read the report and see what has been found on your PC. The report shows any possible malicious processes, files or settings on your computer. On my test PC, it detected a suspicious svchost.exe process that I had intentionally placed there.
If SanityCheck does find something on your PC, then you should read the report carefully and do a google search about the detected items. You should scan your PC with ESET Online Scanner and remove all the threats it finds. You should also install a good antivirus like avast! free antivirus, update it and run a full system scan with it. If you are a novice Windows user, then you may consider getting professional help from security experts.
You can download SanityCheck from http://www.resplendence.com/downloads.