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How to get Rid of MS Office Macro Viruses

A. Are you running an antivirus program? If not, get one. Now! Get it on a CD, boot from the CD and run a scan from the CD, then do an update over the Internet and scan again. This might find the macro virus and remove it.

B. Make certain your document isn't password protected. This would keep your antivirus program from scanning it.

C. If this doesn't work - well, you could always get a competitor's product, for example Open Office at openoffice.org, it's free, but not quite as full-featured.

D. Alternatively, here is the technique the Norton antivirus people recommend:

1. Rename the Normal.dot template file. The Normal.dot file contains formatting and toolbar settings. Renaming it will cause these settings to be lost when Word is restarted and the file is recreated. You want to lose this info!
a.Click Start, point to Find, and then click Files or Folders. The Find dialog box appears.
b.Type normal.dot and then click Find Now.
c. Right-click the file name, and then click Rename.
d. Type normal.old and then press Enter.
e.Close the Find dialog box.

2. Open an infected document and remove all macros.
a. Start Word.
b. Click the File menu, and then click Open.
c. Browse to the folder that contains the infected file, and select it.
d. Press and hold the Shift key, then click Open. Continue to hold down the Shift key until the file opens. Holding down the Shift key while opening a file prevents any macros from running.
e. Choose the Tools menu, point to Macro, and then click Macros. The Macros dialog box appears.
f. Select all active templates and documents in the Macros in the drop-down list box.
g. Select the viral macro, and then click Delete. Click Yes to confirm.
h. Repeat Step 7 previous step for all macros.
i. Click Close.

3. Copy and paste the text to a new document.
a. Click the Edit menu and click Select All.
b. Press Shift+Left Arrow to deselect the last paragraph marked in the document.
c. Click the Edit menu, and then click Copy.
d. Click the File menu, and then click New. The New dialog box appears.
e. Select the template you want, and then click OK.
f. Click the Edit menu, and then click Paste.
g. Open the Macros dialog box and ensure that the viral macros have not replicated, (Steps 5 through 8 in the previous procedure "Open an infected document and remove all macros.")
h. Save the document.
i. Repeat the procedures in "Open an infected document and remove all macros" and "Copy and paste the text to a new document" for any documents that you think may contain a macro virus.

To keep from getting macro viruses in the future, here are some excellent resources:

The Microsoft Office XP Macro Security White Paper.

The PC World Guide to avoiding introducing macros.

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