- Learn How Virus Writers Think: The Giant Book Of Computer Viruses. From VXHeaven. Every viable computer virus must have at least two basic parts, or subroutines, if it is even to be called a virus. Firstly, it must contain a search routine, which locates new files or new disks which are worthwhile targets for infection. This routine will determine how well the virus reproduces, e.g., whether it does so quickly or slowly, whether it can infect multiple disks or a single disk, and whether it can infect every portion of a disk or just certain specific areas. As with all programs, there is a size versus functionality tradeoff here. The more sophisticated the search routine is, the more space it will take up. So although an efficient search routine may help a virus to spread faster, it will make the virus bigger.