This article was previously published under Q317321
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Microsoft highly recommends that you use antivirus software before you upgrade your operating system to Windows XP. Antivirus software scans your computer to detect and to fix computer viruses. By taking these preventive measures, you can avoid virus-related problems during your Windows XP upgrade.
This article describes how antivirus software works and includes a link to a website that lists antivirus software vendors.
How Antivirus Software Works
When you use e-mail programs or browse the Internet, you subject your computer to viruses. A virus can infect your computer when you do something as harmless as clicking a file attachment in an e-mail message that is sent from someone on an infected computer. The more that you use your computer for communication, whether this communication is through the Internet, through e-mail, or through file sharing, the more susceptible your computer is to viruses and virus-related problems.
Protect your computer and your contacts by using antivirus software before you upgrade to Windows XP. Antivirus software detects, fixes, and prevents viruses from spreading to and from your computer. Antivirus software searches for latent viruses on your computer, including viruses that may have spread to your system without your knowledge. The software can also install antivirus fixes on your computer, which protect your system from future infection and prevent it from inadvertently spreading viruses to other computers.
Unfortunately, some computer viruses are not discovered until you try to upgrade or to modify your software. Therefore, we recommend that you use antivirus software proactively before you install Windows XP. For a list of companies that provide consumer security software that is compatible with Windows, click the link below:
Microsoft provides third-party contact information to help you find technical support. This contact information may change without notice. Microsoft does not guarantee the accuracy of this third-party contact information.
The third-party products that this article discusses are manufactured by companies that are independent of Microsoft. Microsoft makes no warranty, implied or otherwise, regarding the performance or reliability of these products.