2.0.2 / July 7, 2007
|Type||Malware diagnostics & removal|
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HijackThis can generate a plain text logfile detailing all entries it finds, and most entries can be removed or disabled by HijackThis. Inexperienced users are often advised to exercise caution, or to seek help when using the latter option, as HijackThis does not discriminate between legitimate and unwanted items, with the exception of a small whitelist of legitimate entries — thus allowing a user to unintentionally prevent important programs from running, which may cause their system or its peripherals to stop working. HijackThis will, however, attempt to create backups of the files and registry entries it removes, which can be used to restore the system in the event of a mistake.
A common approach is to post the logfile to a forum where more experienced users will help decipher which entries need to be removed. Automated tools also exist that analyze saved logs and attempt to provide recommendations to the user, or to clean entries automatically. Use of such tools, however, is generally discouraged by those who specialize in manually dealing with HijackThis logs; they consider the tools to be potentially dangerous to inexperienced users, and neither accurate nor reliable enough to substitute for consulting with a trained human analyst.