From Mary Landesman, former About.com Guide
Understanding how programs interact with the operating system is key to understanding where to look for the signs and symptoms of a virus infection. The default configuration of the Windows operating system can stymie these efforts. Knowing what settings to tweak will enable you to troubleshoot more effectively - and provide better overall security.
Virus Removal Tools & Tips
Keeping an up-to-date virus recovery CD on hand is always a good idea. When you create the CD, add some of the removal tools that antivirus vendors often provide free of charge. Include at least three of the free rootkit detectors. That way, you'll be ready should an infection occur.