When you’ve got a PC completely infected with viruses, sometimes it’s best to reboot into a rescue disc and run a full virus scan from there. Here’s how to use the Avira Rescue CD to clean an infected PC.
We’ve previously covered how to clean an infected PC using the BitDefender or Kaspersky rescue disks, and loads of readers have written in saying thanks, and reporting that they were able to clean their PC easily. Be sure and check out our previous articles on the subject:
- How to Use the BitDefender Rescue CD to Clean Your Infected PC
- How to Use the Kaspersky Rescue Disk to Clean Your Infected PC
Otherwise, keep reading for how it all works with Avira, a well-respected anti-virus solution.
Download and Burn the Image to a Disc
The first thing you’ll need to do is head over to the Avira site and download the latest version of their rescue CD—there are .exe and .ISO versions of the rescue CD available.
If you download the .exe version of the Rescue CD, you can actually use it to directly burn the image to a disk without any other software required. Just download, open it up, and then stick a disc into the drive.
If you have any problems with the integrated burning application, you can download the ISO instead and then use an application to burn that ISO image file to an optical disc—we prefer using ImgBurn, but there’s plenty of ways to burn an ISO to a disc.
Using the Avira Rescue CD to Clean an Infected PC
Once you’ve rebooted and put the CD in the drive, you’ll see a menu that lets you boot from the rescue system, or boot from the drive. If you don’t select anything, it’ll automatically boot into the rescue CD.
The first thing you’ll want to do is switch to the Update tab, and then choose Yes to apply the latest updates.
Now switch back over to the Virus scanner tab and click the Start Scanner button—it’ll take a long time, but it should clean up your PC.
It’s as simple as that. Enjoy your virus-free PC.
Download the Avira Rescue System
Download ImgBurn from Ninite
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Avira has launched Rescue System for Windows PCs, available in ISO and exe format, you, even non-Avira users can download and burn this ISO to CD as well as to USB drive to clean and repair non-bootable systems, that are infected with malware, viruses and Trojans after booting. Avira Rescue System is an emergency boot disk based on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS desktop system with registry editing and Team Viewer options lets you repair infected PCs and allows you to backup your data.
Andreas Flach, vice president for Avira products and services said “Just as everyone should have a first aid kit in the house, we want everyone to keep a copy of Avira Rescue System handy.” “In most cases it will help you get your system up and running again, and you don’t need to be an Avira customer to use it. Rescue System will even back up your data”, he added.
Downloading Avira Rescue System
You can download AVR from here in ISO or exe format, if you want to boot your PC using optical media, after downloading the ISO file burn it to CD, label it as Avira Rescue CD, useful for future purposes.
If you’re using a system that has no optical drive like Netbook, you can get Avira Rescue System on USB Stick, read the instructions here.
Updating Avira Rescue System virus definitions
After an internet connection is established, Updater component integrated into the product checks updates for virus definitions and scan engine of AVR and makes sure they’re always up-to-date.
Avira Registry Editor that has GUI allows editing, deleting, creating and renaming of registry keys. Caution: this should be used by Experts only.
Team Viewer tool has been included in Rescue System which if Avira customer agrees Avira Experts of support department help to solve the problem.
Avira Rescue System supports Windows 8 Secure Boot/UEFI function, and if your Windows 8 system goes blank during start of AVR you need to disable Secure Boot in your BIOS configuration.
Avira Rescue System works for Windows XP/Vista/7/8, read its user manual and how to use files in PDF format for more details.
How do you remove malicious software (malware) from a Windows computer?
A Marx Brothers fan might say, “wrong, every time”. That is, the correct strategy may well be not to attempt removal, but instead backup all the files by booting to a Linux Live CD and then restore a non-infected copy of Windows, be it from a recent image backup or factory fresh state.
But Star Trek fans want that third alternative. Something better than running anti-malware software inside the infected operating system (where the malicious software can defend itself), yet less drastic than a total re-install of the operating system.
Software such as Avira’s AntiVir Rescue CD is that third alternative. Rather than try to poke a hole in the defenses setup by the malicious software, an end-around approach is used. The infected copy of Windows never boots, instead Linux is run from a bootable CD and that clean OS treats the internal hard drive as data and scans it for viruses, Trojans, and the like.
I’m a big fan of this approach and wrote a series of articles* last year about using The Ultimate Boot CD For Windows (UBCD4WIN) which not only includes a handful of anti-malware programs, but can also enable networking of the infected system so that it can be scanned by your favorite antivirus programs over a LAN. Of the included anti-malware applications my favorites are SUPERAntiSpyware and AntiVir. Among the others are McAfee’s Stinger and Spybot Search and Destroy.
But, there are a couple downsides to UBCD4WIN. One is that it can be confusing to create the CD. At the least it will be an unfamiliar process to many.
What got me to try the Avira AntiVir Rescue CD was that the last time I built a UBCD4WIN CD, the included copy of AntiVir refused to run (something about a licensing issue that I didn’t feel like debugging).
Both UBCD4WIN and Avira’s Rescue CD are free. But the process of creating Avira’s CD is straightforward; you download a 78MB ISO file and burn it to a disc. Windows 7 makes this even easier, as all you need to do is right click on the ISO file to see an option to burn it to an optical disc. If ISO files are intimidating, Avira also offers an EXE based CD creator.
RESCUE IN ACTION
I tested Avira’s Rescue CD on a Windows XP SP3 system. The machine was infected with a ransomware program and as a result it wouldn’t do anything other than let the victim pay for the scam software. Even starting up Task Manager was intercepted.
The initial Avira screen is shown below, it’s the only text mode screen you encounter, the rest of the user interface mimics that of their Windows software.
I was impressed with the screen resolution options. The rescue CD is Linux based and should there be a problem with the Linux video hardware detection, these options let you force it to use a safe low resolution.
The second line ends with a date. In the example above, the CD was created December 1, 2010.
An online search that I ran ahead of time turned up a Tutorial for Avira Rescue CD at the Avira support forums. It’s a good thing I read it beforehand since the user interface defaults to German. Clicking the British flag in the lower left corner changes it to English.
A number of things, however, seem to be lost in translation.
For one, the user interface tallies “records”. As far as I can tell, this seems to be the number of virus infected files. Also, the “required time” appears to be the elapsed time of a scan.
Another important fact to know up-front is that the default behavior is to report on detected malware, but not to remove it.
This can be changed by clicking on the Configuration button, but, here too, language fails us. The default behavior is described as “protocol malware records only”. Clear as mud. To remove viruses, change this to “Try to repair infected files” and opt to rename files that can’t be removed.
My scan encountered quite a few errors.
Many of the errors were that a file could not be read. This is probably a defensive tactic put in place by the malicious software. Still, it seems reasonable to expect an antivirus application to be able to get around this sort of thing. Especially since it’s running Linux, not Windows.
At the very least, Avira should report the name of the files that couldn’t be read. It did not.
There was also an error (number 2) that it couldn’t read a “record”. Even their own tutorial shows examples that include this error. Again, what’s a record?
When it did find a virus, none of the infected files could be deleted. Fortunately, it was able to rename them.
I’m not sure why this would happen, but it must be a common occurrence as Avira provides a file rename option for repair type scans.
This might be an NTFS file name issue. I have seen Windows XP create files with strange names that it later can’t delete. No malware involved at all.
In this case, I had copied the “C:/Documents and Settings” folder to an external hard drive and then moved it to a clean system with the intention of scanning it with another anti-malware application. First though, I went to delete the Internet Explorer cache files, only to find that many of them would not go away. Whatever this issue is, it’s not unique to AntiVir.
In the end, I gave up on repairing the system in question and restored it to factory fresh state.
When the scan finished, the summary reported 15 alerts and 1 suspicious file, but the main user interface reported 16 records. I’m guessing they are the same.
The end of scan summary also included a message that it did not scan a file on “hdc” called initrd.gz because it was too big. What is hdc?
In Linux, “hd” refers to a hard disk and what comes afterwords is a drive sequence letter and a partition number. The C disk on the internal hard drive was “hda1”. Perhaps hdc was the CD drive?
All told, I’d rather run AntiVir from the Ultimate Boot CD for Windows. That said, I’m very grateful to Avira for providing their virus scanner as a free, self-booting CD.
Why AntiVir? I have recommended AntiVir both in print and in person. Just a few days ago, PC World reviewed antivirus programs and said AntiVir had “excellent malware detection and blocking”. And I will never forget the first time I installed a recent copy of AntiVir and it warned me that I was running with Administrative rights. That is indeed a security risk and one that users should be warned about.
If you’re wondering, the Avira Rescue CD can download updates over the Internet, but I didn’t test this feature.
*The Best Way to Remove Viruses and Malware:
The version of AntiVir that I tested was 2.1.12_318. The VDF version (virus definition file?) was 22.214.171.124
Michael Horowitz is an independent consultant who has long been focused on Defensive Computing.
If your computer is infected with trojans, viruses and malware, and is not able to boot, then you can repair it using the Avira AntiVir Rescue System. Avira AntiVir Rescue System is a free Linux-based application that allows accessing computers that cannot be booted anymore. Using Avira AntiVir Rescue System it is possible to rescue the infected system, recover the valuable data, and scan and clean the infected files.
You can download the Avira AntiVir Rescue System from http://www.free-av.com/en/products/12/avira_antivir_rescue_system.html. The download is available in form of a executable. The file name is in the form rescue_system-common-en.exe. The program can be used to create a bootable rescue CD.
Download this file and save it on the Desktop of the infected computer. Insert a blank CD-R in your CD/DVD writer drive and then run the downloaded file rescue_system-common-en.exe. Click on the Burn CD to start burning the CD and creating the Avira Rescue CD.
If you want to save the ISO image file for the Avira Rescue CD instead, then do not click on the button Burn CD but click on the button labeled Exit. You will see a prompt asking you if you want to save the ISO image. Choose Yes and then choose the location of the ISO file.
After you have created the Rescue CD, insert it in the CD/DVD drive of the infected computer and boot from it. For this you have to changes BIOS settings and make the CD/DVD drive as the first boot device. After you have booted from the Avira Rescue CD, you would see a screen where you have to choose boot options. Type 1 and press Enter to boot into the Avira Rescue System.
The Avira AntiVir Rescue CD starts into a graphical user interface. The default language is German. Click on the UK flag at the bottom-left to set the interface language to English.
You can click on the Update button on the left side, to update to the latest virus definitions. For updating it is necessary that your infected computer is connected to the internet. Avira AntiVir Rescue does not repair infected files by default, so before you start to scan your infected system, you need to make configuration changes. Click on the Configuration button on the left side to open the configuration page. Select Try to repair infected files and check Rename files, if they cannot be removed checkbox as shown.
After making configuration changes, click on the Virus Scanner button on the left side and click on the Start Scanner button at bottom to start scanning for viruses. When scanning is done, a summary of how many infected files were found, how many were repaired and how many were removed etc. is shown.
When you are done repairing your system, choose the Miscellaneous button on the left side and click on Shutdown as shown. This would shutdown your system. After this you can remove the Avira AntiVir Rescue CD and restart computer into Windows.
On my test computer, it took about approximately 25 minutes of deep scanning and found 30 infected files (deliberately placed). All the files were trojan viruses so all of them were renamed. The renaming process renders them unable to run anymore. The Avira AntiVir Rescue CD is a very good emergency malware and virus scanner and cleaner. It did a great job in scanning and removal of the malware and viruses. It is very useful in the virus removal of a system unable to boot due to infection.
We’ve already covered posts on Rescue disks offered by Kaspersky and Avira AntiVir. AVG has also introduced a free AVG Rescue CD which is a powerful toolkit for the rescue & repair of infected machines.
AVG Rescue CD is a free portable version of AVG Anti-Virus supplied through Linux distribution. It can be used to recover your computer when the system cannot boot or loaded normally, such as after an extensive or deep-rooted virus infection.
AVG Rescue CD enables you to fully remove infections from an otherwise inoperable PC and render the system bootable again. It provides essential utilities for system administrators and other IT professionals and includes the following features:
- Comprehensive administration toolkit
- System recovery from virus and spyware infections
- Suitable for recovering MS Windows and Linux operating systems (FAT32 and NTFS file systems)
- Ability to perform a clean boot from CD or USB stick
- Free support and service for paid license holders of any AVG product
- FAQ and Free Forum self-help support for AVG Free users
The rescue CD is available in the form of a bootable CD or bootable USB flash drive which you can use to Clean Virus without Booting in Windows.
Does it fetch the definitions from network or do I download another ISO?
You want 'Avira Rescue System'. There's a description down below the downloads list:
Avira AntiVir Rescue System
The Avira AntiVir Rescue System a linux-based application that allows accessing computers that cannot be booted anymore. Thus it is possible to repair a damaged system, to rescue data or to scan the system for virus infections. Just double-click on the rescue system package to burn it to a CD/DVD. You can then use this CD/DVD to boot your computer. The Avira AntiVir Rescue System is updated several times a day so that the most recent security updates are always available.
For the Avira Rescue System, you need a PC/ Notebook with: RAM: at least 512 MB, 750 MB recommended CD-ROM drive or free USB slot Keyboard (mouse recommended) Resolution: at least 800×600 Pixel
I actually used it a couple weeks ago to fix a badly infected system where a clean install was the absolute last resort (why don't people make backups? *sigh*). I was pretty pleased with it; it didn't get everything, but it got the vast majority and came close enough to use malware bytes and nod32 to finish the job (before, the system was rebooting without warning any time I tried to install any AV, run hijack this, launch msconfig, etc. Very annoying.)
The thing about it being regularly updated so you know that the definitions are current to within a day at most is extra nice. One less thing to deal with. burn, boot, fix; no need for network or other downloads. The downside, of course, is that you have to re-download the whole thing to use it again, but it's not that big of a download.
Cleaning up a computer infected with a virus can be frustrating and a little scary.
Getting rid of the virus is not easy. Doing it by yourself can take hours, and there are times when a malware infection requires professional help.
The first step is to avoid getting a virus in the first place, by any means necessary. That’s best done through smart computer usage — don’t click on unknown attachments, and verify links before clicking on them — and to have good antivirus software.
However, even the most savvy computer users can find themselves fooled by a good phishing scheme.
And while antivirus programs do a good job of preventing infections, they cannot defend against malware they don’t know about. Some forms of malware even disable antivirus software as part of an attack.
Brendan Ziolo, vice president of marketing at Kindsight, an identity-theft protection service based in Mountain View, Calif., suggested following these steps to clean an infected computer:
Inspect your system with a free scanner
Many antivirus software vendors have free scanners available on their websites to detect and remove many types of malware. You can either download them or run them via your browser.
Some of these online scanners include the Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool, Norton’s Power Eraser and McAfee Labs’ Stinger.
“These online scanners have the advantage of not being on your computer when you were infected, so they are not compromised like your existing antivirus software,” Ziolo said. “If the scanner removes the threat, then you are on your way to fixing the program.”
If the first step doesn’t work, use a rescue disk
Sometimes malware can take control of the system and/or hide itself from these tools. If you are unable to remove the malware with the scanner, or can’t access the scanning tools on the Internet, then you’ll need to use a rescue disk.
Rescue disks contain a full operating system and boot the computer from the disk itself. (You may need to change your BIOS settings to enable booting from CDs.)
The disks are available from many of the antivirus companies, and make it possible to repair a damaged system, rescue data or scan the system for virus infections.
Some rescue disks that you may want to check out include Avira’s AntiVir Rescue System, Kaspersky’s Rescue Disk and F-Secure’s Rescue CD.
Many anti-virus programs allow you to create a rescue disk before you are infected, Ziolo added.
“If you need to use a rescue disk, create one on a CD or USB from an uninfected computer,” Ziolo said. “Once the rescue disk is created, boot up your infected computer using that disk and follow the instructions.”
After the malware is removed and to help prevent future attacks, Ziolo suggested these tips:
Run a browser-based system vulnerability check
Many security companies offer free browser-based services that let you see whether your computer’s applications, plug-ins and operating system are up to date, and whether all security holes have been patched.
Two good ones are F-Secure’s Health Check and Secunia’s Online Software Inspector.
Install updated antivirus software
You should also ensure your antivirus software is up-to-date, and then run a complete scan to make sure there are no further threats.
Ask your Internet service provider for network-based security
You should also have a security layer that analyzes your network traffic to provide protection when your antivirus and other security precautions do not. Ask your Internet service provider if it has a network-based security service that provides this additional layer of protection against identity theft and other online threats.
However, there are times when you just can’t solve the problem yourself, said Aryeh Goretsky, a researcher with the Slovak security company ESET.
“These days, malware is insidious, establishes all sorts of footholds within the system and can make many different changes to a system, which may be non-obvious and cause seemingly unrelated and difficult-to-troubleshoot problems,” Goretsky said.
If you’ve tried the above tips and still aren’t satisfied, or there are concerns about what damage may have been done by the infection (including data theft), it may be time to seek external assistance.
You should contact the anti-malware vendor’s support department and work with the technical support engineer to examine the system for any residual damage. The technician may be able to determine what the malware did while it was on the system.
“If the computer is used for something important and/or sensitive, the best solution may be to back up the valuable data, format the hard disk drive, and then reload the operating system and applications,” Goretsky said.
Once the operating systems and applications are re-installed, use the Internet to patch them to the latest available versions. Then restore the data from backups.
Despite our best efforts in keeping our PCs virus and problem free, there occasionally comes a time when something can go drastically wrong.
If we had a pound for every time one of our PCs suddenly stopped booting or we messed up some of the files, folders and even the Master Boot Record, we’d be rivalling the Rockefeller family for wealth.
Here are six rescue discs that’ll help you bring your PC back to life after it has seemingly died.
Formally known as Avira AntiVir Rescue, the now entitled Avira Rescue System enjoys a long history in recovery media. Indeed, 526,548,560 global installations, at the time of writing, is pretty impressive, but does it still have what it takes to help you out of digital bind?
The Avira Rescue System is a Linux, Ubuntu-based, bootable ISO image (also available as an EXE), that can scan, detect and remove all manner of malware infected, non-bootable systems.
From within the main customized Unity desktop you can open a browser, file manager, GParted, Terminal, view the system settings, enter the recycle bin, view the installed programs in the product and enter the Avira Rescue System.
The Avira Rescue system contains a number of external programs to help rescue the host system. There’s a Windows registry editor, a virus scanner, an update manager to check for and install the latest virus definitions from the Avira servers and there’s a TeamViewer assistant where you can open up a channel with the Avira support team, who can then take control of the system – providing you’re connected to the internet, of course – and run through the checks for you.
On its own, the Avira Rescue System is simply an Ubuntu live desktop, so you can easily access the Windows partitions and manipulate any files, copy folders to the network and do all the usual rescue tasks prior to wiping your system and starting again. The virus scanner is an excellent added benefit, as is the TeamViewer connected support. However, these two options are where Avira fell.
The virus scanner worked through our test virtual machine, a machine where there are three viruses present. After two hours of scanning it reported back that it didn’t find any viruses and that the system was clean. So far not so good. Sadly, for whatever reason, the virus scan utterly destroyed the Windows 7 virtual machine. We couldn’t boot back into it and what’s more we couldn’t even access the partition after rebooting with the Avira Rescue System.
To double-check it wasn’t us doing something wrong, we went through the process again, this time it only took five minutes, reported the same clean system and again did something to the file table to make inaccessible and totally useless.
We did try to use the TeamViewer assistance to help us out, but again Avira Rescue System failed and we couldn’t even establish contact the Avira support site, even though we could happily visit everywhere else on the internet.
In theory, the Avira Rescue System is a great concept and it should work brilliantly. In practice, however, it didn’t perform particularly well. Based on our brief experience we’d recommend you avoid the Avira Rescue System and instead look to any of the other rescue discs on test within this group.
Discovering that a virus has infected your systems is never a pleasant experience. Some malware programs are easy to remove, and require only a few minutes to clean your servers and restore normal operations. If a virus continues to re-infect your system, however, it could be a sign of a more serious problem. If your virus scanner cannot even delete the infected programs, you may be suffering a rootkit infection, and it may have compromised your entire network.
Unlike standard viruses, which simply spread and cause damage, rootkits are sophisticated programs capable of performing many different types of attacks. These programs insinuate themselves into a computer system, burying parts of their code deep within the operating system to hide from virus scanners. If your computer falls victim to a rootkit, the malware program can disable your anti-virus program and firewall, record data and copy files for transmission to a third party. It may also launch remote attacks on other computers, and even interfere with your Web browsing and continually reinstall itself in order to prevent disinfection.
Disconnect and Quarantine
One wrinkle in removing a rootkit from a networked computer is that many of these programs have the ability to attack other PCs across your network. Disabling your internal network, especially wireless access, can be an important step in limiting the damage to other systems. Leaving wireless access open to an infected system can allow the program to attack mobile devices and laptops. If you provide network or Internet access to employees and customers, you should definitely shut down this access as quickly as possible to prevent a possible spread.
You may be able to delete the virus by rebooting the infected system into Safe mode. This disables a number of key features of the operating system, allowing you to shut down things like the network connection and prevent many programs from running at startup. Safe mode may disable the virus's ability to protect itself, and allow you to run your virus scanner and remove it. However, if the rootkit's hidden code remains on the infected system, it will reinstall itself quickly.
The best way to remove a rootkit is by using a boot-time virus scan, such as Avira AntiVir Rescue System, AVG Rescue CD and ArcaNix (links in Resources). These programs consist of specially designed CD images that contain a bootable operating system and a specialized virus scanner that can scan a PC before Windows starts up. This allows the anti-virus to prevent the rootkit from interfering with the removal process, and may allow the scanner to eradicate every trace of the malicious code. You need to download and burn the image on a clean PC, to prevent any possible infection of the bootable disc, and then reboot the infected machine with the rescue disc in the optical drive. Your system may automatically detect the disc, or you may need to press a key or enter the BIOS to boot from the secondary drive, but once it starts the prompts will guide you through the virus scan process.
Sometimes when your computer is badly infected with a virus or malware it will not boot (Start) Windows. You will have to start your computer from a Rescue CD to clean out the infection. Booting from the Avira Anti-Virus Rescue CD allows you to clean the infection before Windows starts.
If your PC is badly infected you may have to start Windows in Safe Mode. You may also have to use an uninfected PC to download the Rescu CD.
Download the Rescue CD here (It’s free). Burn the file to a blank CD. Insert the CD in your drive.
Restart your computer.
If your PC detects Boot CDs automatically the Rescue CD will start , so miss out: If CD fails to boot.
If CD fails to boot:
If Windows starts or attempts to start-up instead of the CD, you will have to go to the boot menu to modify the boot sequence. To go to the boot menu, you have to press the Delete key or the F12 key (Check with your pc manual) during the restart of your computer. Then, go to Boot tab or options and to Boot Device Priority to put the device in which the Rescue CD is in first position. Save changes and exit the BIOS setup.
At restart, the computer will boot from the CD.
To start the Avira AntiVir Rescue System, type 1 (Boot AntiVir Rescue System (default)) and press Enter to confirm.
The program will automatically load and perform self checks.
Update Tab: If you have just download the Rescue CD before launching it, it is not necessary to update it as it is already the most up to date version. Otherwise choose yes and update your old version.
Configuration Tab: If you are unsure what you are doing then the default settings will be good enough to clean out any infection. If you know what you are doing then click on the Configuration tab and choose your settings to your liking.
Miscellaneous Tab: In the Miscellaneous tab you can change the font size, use the command line or integrated browser.
Return to the Virus scanner tab and click on Start scanner. The scan will run and the detected malware files will be repaired or renamed.
When the scan is finished, you can save the scan report by clicking on Save and then by choosing where to save it. (Hint: Double click on devices to locate your hard drive).
To finish, click on Shutdown and then on Restart.
Windows will boot up normally.
Run a full system scan with Avira Free AntiVir Programme to quarantine all the renamed files.
If your operating system no longer boots, use this utility to rescue data or perform a system scan in the shortest time possible
Virus infections as well as any other type of damage sustained by a system may lead to it being completely non-functional, thus making recovery a very difficult task, even for experienced users. In case the PC or laptop can't even boot up, there are very few solutions one can try for repairing or saving data from the affected computer.
Among the most sought-after software that is especially created to carry out such challenging operations is Avira Rescue System. It is an independent environment that can be deployed from a CD or DVD, as soon as the package is written on such an optical disc.
With the help of Avira Rescue System you can scan for disk errors, test the on-board RAM or attempt booting from the first hard disk that is recognized. It comes with several operating modes for you to choose from so, apart from the 'Normal' one, you can try 'Use driver update disc' or 'OEM install'.
Well equipped for all scenarios, Avira Rescue System provides numerous accessibility options from a dedicated menu. Thus, you have the possibility to activate the high contrast or the built-in magnifier for better visibility.
There is also a 'Screen Reader' tool included in the package, which is accompanied by a 'Braille Terminal', 'Keyboard Modifiers' and a most useful 'On-Screen Keyboard'. Fixing most problems can be done through the 'Scan and Repair' wizard that is able to discover and handle issues automatically, without requiring complex configurations.
In case Avira Rescue System is able to detect the Windows installation on any of your HDDs, you will also have the possibility to modify manually the system registry, which may take care of some problems which prevent the computer form booting correctly.
All in all, Avira Rescue System offers a rather easy to use set of tools that will prove very valuable for anyone troubleshooting a system that is either virused or otherwise damaged.
It could happen that if your system is infected to such an extent that an Anti-Virus update is no longer possible, or infected files can no longer be deleted, then the DE-Cleaner System Rescue CD should be used. The CD will be able to remove malicious files from your system where conventional methods have failed.
Minimum Requirements for the DE-Cleaner System Rescue CD:
- 768 MB RAM
- CD/ DVD Drive
- Active Internet Connection (recommended)
DE-Cleaner System Rescue CD – Version 2
[iso-file, 390 MB]
Alternatively the DE-Cleaner Rescue System can be started from an USB-Stick. Here you can find a guideline on preparing the USB-Stick.
The System Rescue CD is provided with friendly support from
- To prevent any problems, please read and follow the instructions on DE-Cleaner System Rescue CD before downloading and running.
- Be sure to secure your personal data before you begin cleaning, i.e. graphics, documents, or videos. A guideline to securing your data you can find at Computerbild-Special: Backup.
- You will need a blank CD, a CD burner and a CD burning program. If you do not have a CD burning program, please install a program which is able to burn CD images, i.e the freeware version CDBurnerXP.
- Instructions on CD burning you will find here: Instructions image burning [pdf; 397KB]
- You will have to eventually change the boot sequence, so that you PC starts from a CD drive and not from its hard drive:
Change Boot Sequence in BIOS [pdf; 778 KB]
- Once your computer has been checked by the System Rescue CD you should however scan your computer with an anti-virus product.
- If malicious files have been removed and your PC no longer starts, we suggest a new installation.
The following detailed instructions can also be downloaded as a PDF-Version:
Instructions DE-Cleaner System Rescue CD [pdf; ca. 864 KB; To date: 08.December 2010]
For viewing this file you will need a PDF Reader i.e., the freeware version Foxit PDF Reader. On most computers a PDF reader is already installed.
Instructions DE-Cleaner System Rescue CD
Starting from CD
Insert the DE-Cleaner System Rescue CD into the CD/ DVD drive and start your PC via CD drive. From the Start screen select “DE-Cleaner System Rescue CD”.
Terms and Conditions
“Acknowledge” Terms and Conditions.
Update Virus Signatures. Click “Ok”.
Start Virus Scanner
Switch to the “Virus scanner” tab and start a scan.
The DE-Cleaner System Rescue CD is scanning.
The search has finished. Malicious files have been renamed.
Congratulations! You have successfully used the DE-Cleaner System Rescue CD and have thereby made the most important step. Please follow our additional guidelines, especially our Prevention Measures at “Prevention”.
Everyone hates virus infections. They cause loss of data, time and effort. But, most of the viruses are curable if you have a good anti-malware software installed. At the least, you can use some manual methods to get rid of the viruses from your PC in the end. Nevertheless, there are some particular malware that affects the booting process of your computer. Shortly, you won’t be able to access your computer properly and that’s the nastiest thing a virus can do.
But, don’t worry, there is an effective solution to get you out — Bootable Antivirus Programs. As the name says, bootable antivirus can be booted up and used even before the OS is loaded. That is, if there are some virus that impacts your booting process, you can clear those malwares from your PC.
Using these rescue discs are pretty easy. These files are available in .ISO format and you can easily write them into a CD / DVD. Alternatively, if you prefer that, you can create a bootable USB Drive and load it while booting. Either way, you will be able to remove the causing malware from your infected PC.
In this article, we have a list of the best bootable antivirus programs you can use to rescue your infected computer. Shall we get into the list?
Bitdefender Rescue CD is undoubtedly one of the best bootable antivirus programs. It’s a completely free rescue CD you’d find in web and there aren’t much limitations either. The most important aspect of the Bitdefender Rescue CD is the size of package. You need to download around 700MB to get the ISO file to get the job done. That having said, Bitdefender is bringing the best anti-malware and malware-removal algorithms to the rescue disk. It’s powered by a Graphical Interface and you can remove malware easily. Also, when compared to the other bootable antivirus tools out there, Bitdefender is offering better customizability as well. For instance, you can use the Advanced Scan options to control what the bootable utility is scanning.
AVG, as you know one of the major developers of popular antivirus solution, is offering a minimal yet impressive solution to have access and repair your infected computer. One thing to be noted here is that AVG Rescue CD does not come with a Graphical User Interface. On the other hand, it’s more of a traditional dialogue box that does things. However, with file size of just 170MB, anyone can get this bootable drive ready in a few minutes. That having said, AVG Rescue CD has a cool set of features as well. First of all, you can update the virus definition either using Internet or via offline files. Similarly, it has customized scanning options. If you want to exclude or include certain areas, you can set that up in AVG Rescue CD. Still, the lack of GUI can be an issue for most.
In our previous articles, we had talked about ransomware and how they destroy your data and make your PC inaccessible. So, there are times when you are not able to boot up your PC due to the ransomware attacks. At such times, you can use the HitmanPro Kickstart for fixing the errors and re-accessing the device. In fact, it isn’t fully-fledged bootable antimalware program to use. However, if you are not able to boot up your Windows PC due to ransomware attack, you can load the HitmanPro Kickstart from a USB drive and deal with it. You can download this easy-to-use utility from the official website and the file size is just 10MB. We repeat, HitmanPro Kickstart isn’t for virus removal, but for ransomware removal.
You may be familiar with the Comodo Antivirus solutions, and they are offering a Rescue Disk as well. Using this disk, you can repair and clean malware-infected PC. It is meant to clean viruses, problem-causing registry keys and rootkits etc even before the actual boot-up of the device. Despite having to create a bootable device and boot the software, looks and feel of Comodo Rescue Disk is similar to the actual software. So, you won’t have any problem when it comes to protecting the infected PCs from further damages. Indeed, it comes with a bunch of features, such as different scanning types, automated updates, support for online and offline updates, smaller download size etc. nevertheless, some people find it to use the tool for scanning particular folders or files.
Yet another virus scanner, this bootable utility comes with a bunch of cool tools for better protection of your infected PC. the best part of Dr. Web LiveDisk is the advanced level of customizability it offers. When it comes to finding & removing the infected stuff, there are a lot of options you can select. For instance, if you want to detect some adware stuff only, it can be set as the preference via Dr. Web LiveDisk interface. Thanks to the simplified User Interface, you won’t have any issue in setting up the bootable setup ad moving on. In addition to these features, Dr. Web LiveDisk comes with a bunch of additional utilities too. Though you have to download around 600MB to create a bootable Dr. Web LiveDisk, it’s worth the effort.
Last but not in the list, we have Trend Micro Rescue Disk, which is another user-friendly bootable antivirus program you can count on. It is meant to thoroughly examine your computer even before the boot-up of Windows OS. So, if there are some viruses, Trojans, ransomware etc that impact your computer booting, Trend Micro Rescue Disk will help you detect them in no time. When compared to the other bootable antivirus programs, the size and setup of Trend Micro Rescue Disk is pretty low. You can use almost all drives to get the most out of the utility. Also, it needs to be noted that the UI is equally awesome for common users.
So, these are six best bootable antivirus programs you can use to regain your infected computers. Some of these will help you in dealing with a variety of malware, such as viruses, Trojans, rootkits etc. On the other hand, if you go with something like HitmanPro Kickstart, it’s a dedicated solution to protect your device from the impacts of ransomware. Although there is no absolute surety, these tools may help you in the time of crisis. In case if you didn’t notice, all these are free to use.
About Editorial Staff
We are the Team AI and we love to play with computers. We are very interested in and passionate about computer security. We have a long experience in removing computer virus . We review various antivirus programs on this blog. Team is manged by Barry.
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Avira Rescue CD is a free bootable antivirus rescue disk to clean virus without booting Windows operating system first. As I have written a lot of free bootable rescue CD review before. Now i will write about Avira Rescue CD review.
For me, Avira rescue CD is definitely one of bootable antivirus software out there can remove virus under clean and safe operating system environment. It helps to detect malware before it gets active or before it is difficult to remove once the operating system is active. Stealth viruses no longer remain hidden: The Avira Rescue System blocks the disguised harmful programs providing a clean operating system.
Avira Rescue CD is similar like other bootable Rescue CD, which developed under Linux Live CD distribution. It can load a simple operating system without writing any system files on your hard drive. Meanwhile, Avira AntiVir Rescue System is updated several times a day (contains the current virus definitions VDF) so that the most recent security updates are always available.
How to create bootable Avira Rescue CD:
2. Burn the Avira Rescue CD ISO image to a CD media using CD/DVD burning software.
3. Once finish burn Avira Antivir Rescue Disk into bootable CD media, insert Bootable Avira Antivir Rescue Disk CD into CD ROM and boot the computer by loading CD ROM media first.
4. Then a DOS screen will be loading below. Choose option 2 to start booting DOS Avira Rescue system.
5. Once loading into Avira Rescue System, you will see main menu option. Then you choose the virus scan option and hit ” Enter “. You get to select whether to scan all files, only program files or only boot sectors. If Avira Rescue System is unable to repair infected files, you have the option to rename the files.
The only disadvantages of Antivir Rescue CD is can’t updating their virus definition during booting up. Unlike BitDefender Rescue Disk which able to update virus definition while booting the rescue disk.
Overall Avira rescue CD still remain a good rescue disk for certain reason.
We are using Webroot at the moment – It scans and removes but after re-scanning, it detects again and the cycle continues.
Keep your endpoints safe from cyber crooks
Brand Representative for Carbonite
I’d recommend reaching out to the Webroot support team – They can assist with removing particularly nasty malware. It’s likely you have a hidden trojan on your system that is managing to release it’s payload on your system even after an initial quarantine. This kind of issue requires a more fine tuned approach than a scan can give you (sometimes).
I did scan and removed/quarantined with Malwarebytes Premium (Trial) on a users’ PC but the malware is still detected after you do another scan.
Thank you for the recomendation. We will try contact Webroot support
- local_offer Tagged Items
- Keenan (Carbonite)
Best to boot of a an ISO Rescue disc as some are hard for the system to remove
Thank you Jono – We will keep that in mind
Brand Representative for Malwarebytes
Hey OP! If you don’t have any luck with Webroot’s support, let me know and I can try to get some on the Malwarebytes end! Seems like the same issue across both platforms so hopefully the other suggestions are of some help as well. Let me know if I can assist at all 🙂
No luck with Webroot.
We are now using Malwarebytes for Teams (Business) Trail 4.1.0 and it scans, detects and quarantines well but still does not remove the malware (doc001.exe) completely. After a while, it appears again on a PC or Server and the whole process of quarantine and reboot continues.
Did some research on this malware (doc001.exe) and it seems to be altering Windows Registry keys and will install or execute on every computer startup.
Here is a screenshot of where it gets detected and continuously and re-appears after deletion or removal by malwarebytes
spicehead-muyv0 – I did this (Run regedit.ex as admin, search and delete) but after scanning, malwarebytes still detects the malware – see screenshots
I have also deleted the malware in the path as specified by malwarebytes but it keeps reappearing.
- local_offer Tagged Items
Hard to get rid of these without booting off other media
Avira have pulled their Rescue disk (which was a great tool) so please download and boot using the Kapersky Rescue
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Security vendors know that their antivirus software can’t forever protect users. New viruses and other malware regularly appear in the wild that employs new techniques to bypass antivirus protections and defend themselves from removal attempts. If ever such an elusive, sophisticated malware infects your computer, you may have to resort to using an antivirus rescue disk.
What Is an Antivirus Rescue Disk?
An antivirus rescue disk is a bootable utility that you use to scan for malware. It runs independent of Windows and allows you to disinfect computers that cannot start normally.
Why Should You Use an Antivirus Rescue Disk?
Most of the time, you can remove malware infections by performing a full system scan on your primary antivirus software. Unfortunately, there are rootkits and advanced forms of malware that are hard to clean via the usual methods. They can be particularly persistent in that they cannot be completely removed within Windows (even in Safe Mode). Some malware can activate during the initial boot sequence and then hide completely; you cannot find and end processes of such malware from the task manager. Many forms of malware are even designed to attack your antivirus, render it useless and stop your attempts to install other security software.
You must strike where malware is weak—outside Windows. A rescue disk typically boots into a different operating system, most likely based on Linux, where malware strains that target Windows cannot activate and are ineffective. It, therefore, is where you have the best chance of successfully removing these malware strains.
Simply put, an antivirus rescue disk is what you use when your existing antivirus has allowed malware to slip past its defenses. A rescue disk is also a must-have tool for when you can no longer boot into Windows because of malware.
How Do You Use an Antivirus Rescue Disk?
First, choose and download a rescue disk from a reputable security vendor. We’ve listed a couple of choices down below. Some vendors provide them for free, but others require you to enter the license key of your paid subscription before they give you the download links. It’s best that you download a rescue disk using another computer, one that’s clean of malware.
The rescue disk of your choice is likely in an ISO file format, which means you must burn it to a CD or DVD using an image burning application. Alternately, you can use a formatting utility to transfer the contents of the ISO file to a USB flash drive and make the USB flash drive bootable. Once again, transferring the contents of the ISO file to your preferred removable media is best done on a clean computer. Some antivirus vendors include necessary utilities to create a rescue disk on a USB flash drive or DVD, which means you need not find and install an image burning application anymore.
If you’re not sure how to create a rescue disk on a CD, DVD or USB, check the security vendor’s online guides for specific instructions.
At this point, you should already have a rescue disk prepared. Insert your rescue disk to the infected computer. Reboot the computer. Your computer should automatically boot from the rescue disk instead of Windows. If not, go to the boot menu, and select the option to boot from the removable media that you’ve used to create your rescue disk. Typically, you can access the boot menu by press the ESC, F2, F8, F10 or F12 key during the Power-On Self-Test (POST) phase of the boot sequence.
Once you’re in the secured, operating environment of the rescue disk, begin scanning for malware. Always opt for a full system scan so that every nook and cranny of your computer is examined. Only do a custom scan if you specifically know where the infection is. If you are given options, always choose to clean and repair infected files. Doing so attempts to remove malware while keeping the files intact. If you must remove or quarantine an infected file, make sure that it’s not a system file that’s necessary for Windows to boot and work properly.
If the rescue disk fails to remove the malware problem, consider using a rescue disk from another security vendor. Many rescue disks often do partial cleanup only, which means you should run a subsequent full system scan using your regular antivirus when you’ve successfully booted back to Windows.
What Are Some Good Antivirus Rescue Disks?
Features vary between rescue disks. Depending on your needs, you should choose a rescue disk that allows you to choose a scanning option: quick scan, full system scan or custom scan. You might also be interested in rescue disks that can repair registry issues, scan startup entries and recover deleted files. If you don’t like to navigate using text only, you should choose a rescue disk that features a graphical user interface.
For it to be effective, a rescue disk must be able to go online and automatically check for the latest updates. A rescue disk with outdated virus definition files can’t be of much help when you’re dealing with a recently discovered piece of malware.
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comodo_rescue_disk_2.0.261647.1.iso | 50.58 MB | VirusTotal Scan report
|Penerbit||Comodo – https://www.comodo.com – United States|
Comodo Rescue Disk (CRD) is a bootable disk image that allows users to run virus scans in a pre-boot environment (before Windows loads). CRD runs Comodo Cleaning Essentials on a lightweight distribution of the Linux operating system. It is a powerful virus, spyware, rootkit scanner and cleaner which works in both GUI and text mode. The tool can provide a more comprehensive and thorough scan than regular malware cleaning applications because it cleans your system before Windows is loaded. CRD is intended to be used when malware embeds itself so deeply into your system that regular AV software cannot remove it. The rescue disk is also very effective at removing infections that are preventing Windows from booting in the first place. Apart from the virus scanner, CRD also provides tools to explore files in your hard drive, take screenshot and browse web pages.
Features of Comodo Rescue Disk:
Comodo Rescue Disk is an invaluable addition to any computer owner's security toolkit and forms a great complement to 'regular' AV software such as Comodo Antivirus.
TETTNANG, Germany–( BUSINESS WIRE )–Security expert Avira announced today the launch of Avira Rescue System, a software “First Aid Kit” for scanning and repairing PC computers that are already infected with viruses, Trojans, worms or other malware. The Avira Rescue System will also back up data that would otherwise be lost.
The Avira Rescue System works for Windows OS and is available in both German and English languages. It can be downloaded for free onto any CD or USB stick to keep for emergencies.
Users do not need to be Avira customers, and Avira invites everyone to download a copy to keep in case their current antivirus software should ever fail them.
“We can save you a trip to the computer repair shop, and a lot of headaches as well,” said Andreas Flach, vice president of products and services for Avira. “Just as everyone should have a first aid kit in the house, we want everyone to keep a copy of Avira Rescue System handy. In most cases it will help you get your system up and running again, and you don’t need to be an Avira customer to use it. Rescue System will even back up your data and give you a second opinion to any scan or repair diagnosis coming from another antivirus product. ”
The Avira Rescue System is designed for non-technical people to be able to clean and repair their own computers by following a wizard that leads users step-by-step. Yet the tool is powerful enough for pro PC users, too. Avira Rescue System includes:
- A Live System that scans and repairs Windows PCs that do not boot or are unresponsive for other reasons where it is assumed that the system is infected by malware.
- A rescue system that allows copying data that would otherwise be lost to a safe place.
- A registry editor that allows manual edits to the Windows registry.
- A tool that allows Avira Support staff to remotely access the computer (if the customer agrees) to assist the customer in repairing their computer system.
The Avira Rescue System itself runs on the Ubuntu platform as an independent application, and therefore it can be used on a variety of different computer hardware and it supports a huge number of drivers.
- Download Avira Rescue System for free: http://www.avira.com/en/download/product/avira-rescue-system
- Follow Avira’s TechBlog: http://techblog.avira.com/en
- Join the Avira community on Facebook: www.facebook.com/avira
More than 100 million consumers and small businesses depend upon Avira’s security expertise and award-winning antivirus software, making the company the number-two market share leader globally. Avira is ranked #1 in technology innovation according to ABI Research; recommended by Consumer Reports for its free antivirus software; cited by OPSWAT as the #1 fastest-growing antivirus vendor in 2012 and the #2 largest vendor worldwide in 2011; and has received a nearly unbroken string of Virus Bulletin VB100 awards for the last decade.
Avira provides IT-security protection to computers, smartphones, servers and networks, delivered as both software and cloud-based services. Visit www.avira.com.
Rocket Science PR, for Avira
Rich Mullikin, APR, +1 415-464-8110 x216
Mobile: +1 925-354-7444
Flutlicht GmbH, for Avira
Veit Kollera, +49-911-47495-17
Mobil: +49-170-225 2603
Avira offers a "First Aid Kit" emergency start-up disk to scan, clean and restore your computer after it has been infected with malware. Called Avira Rescue System, it will also back up data first
A rescue CD is an additional tool provided by most antivirus companies to assist in removing difficult-to-remove malware without booting in to Windows. This is especially useful when the computer is so badly infected that Windows couldn’t be booted up, or is crawling really slowly and you can hardly run any diagnostic tools inside Windows to investigate and clean the virus.
A huge advantage in using a rescue CD compared to the antivirus installed on your computer is the chances of a successful removal is much higher because the malware is inactive since Windows is not even loaded in the first place. Unlike when a virus is active on the system, it can be very resilient and block any security tools from being run, making it really difficult even for experienced users to delete it from the system.
Rescue CD’s mostly come as an ISO image file that can be written to a compact disc (CD) or installed to USB flash drive which is then used to boot up the computer to run the live operating system in memory. Most of the rescue CD’s provided by the antivirus companies are free while there are a few that are exclusively available only to their paid customers. Here is an extensive list of 26 available rescue CD’s that can be downloaded and used for free.
Operating System: Linux
File Size: 262MB
Signature Update Method: Not Available
Default action(s) for detected items: Ask for action
Last Release: Updated daily
Additional Information: Has basic and advanced modes. The basic mode asks as few questions as possible while the advanced mode gives you complete control over the configuration. Testing shows that the scan is very slow and even missed a publicly released malware sample that we copied to the system.
2. AVG Rescue CD
Operating System: Linux
File Size: 85.9MB
Format: ISO and EXE (install to USB)
Signature Update Method: Online (Automatic), Offline and Download (Manual).
Default action(s) for detected items: Prompt for action (Heal, Rename, Delete, Report)
Last Release: 22 November 2012
Additional Information: Uses menu based selection and not graphical desktop environment. Comes with extra utilities such as Midnight Commander, TrueCrypt, Registry Editor, TestDisk, Smartctl, PhotoRec, Ping and Links. Allows you to install to a bootable USB flash drive from the main menu.
3. Avira AntiVir Rescue System
Operating System: Linux
File Size: 262MB
Format: ISO and EXE (burn to CD and save to ISO)
Signature Update Method: Online
Default action(s) for detected items: Repair, rename by adding .vir extension to the file if repair is not possible.
Last Release: Updated daily
Additional Information: Press Alt+F7 to return to graphical user interface if you accidentally end up in command line shell mode. You can launch Midnight Commander, a file manager to assist in backing up files by pressing Alt+F5 only from the shell.
4. Bitdefender Rescue CD
Operating System: Linux
File Size: 379MB
Signature Update Method: Auto online update on startup.
Default action(s) for detected items: Prompt for action (Disinfect, Rename, Delete)
Last Release: 06 July 2012
Additional Information: Can be installed to USB using UNetbootin. Comes with additional utilities such as GParted, TestDisk, Thunar File Manager, Firefox web browser and Foxit PDF reader.
5. Comodo Rescue Disk
Operating System: Linux
File Size: 50.5MB
Signature Update Method: Online and Offline
Default action(s) for detected items: Prompt for action with clean (quarantine) option selected as default.
Last Release: 25 December 2012
Additional Information: Requires downloading more than 100MB of definition files before you can start scanning. Allows you to boot into graphic or text mode. Comes with PCMan File Manager, Midori web browser and screen capturing tool.
6. Dr.Web LiveCD
Operating System: Linux
File Size: 234MB
Signature Update Method: Online
Default action(s) for detected items: Attempt to cure, and move to quarantine when failed to cure.
Last Release: 04 February 2013
Additional Information: You can create a LiveUSB by running the shortcut found on the desktop after booting with the LiveCD or download the independent LiveUSB installer. Comes with a mail client Sylpheed, Midnight Commander file manager, ePDFViewer, Firefox, and CureRegistry to fix the registry damages caused by a virus.
7. eScan Rescue Disk
Operating System: Windows PE
File Size: 325MB
Signature Update Method: Online
Default action(s) for detected items: Renames infected file by adding .mwt extension.
Last Release: 08 October 2012
Additional Information: Some scanning options such as startup folders, registry and spyware are disabled. Ability to launch a command prompt from the eScanAV AntiVirus Toolkit program.
8. ESET SysRescue
Price: Available only to ESET users (paid and trial)
Operating System: Windows PE
File Size: 183MB (ISO)
Format: ISO, write to CD/DVD, install to USB
Signature Update Method: Online
Default action(s) for detected items: Automatically quarantine (delete) detected files.
Last Release: Not Applicable
Additional Information: ESET SysRescue can only be created from their security software Smart Security or NOD32. It requires Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK) which is 1.7GB in size installed on the computer to create the rescue disc.
So you've contracted a virus that's taken over your computer, and you can't even boot up to try and troubleshoot the problem. The solution: Create a rescue CD, boot into a safe environment, and rid your PC of any nefarious software while it sleeps. Here's how to do it with minimal effort.
This year, a new product called the FixMeStick came out that makes virus eradication dead simple. With just a couple of clicks, you can boot using your FixMeStick so that it can attack the viruses while they're inactive, leaving them defenseless. The only problem: the FixMeStick costs $59.99, which is more than most people are willing to spend.
Luckily, you can easily create your own FixMeStick-like rescue disc with just a blank CD and one of many free programs. Here, we'll show you how to put one together and use it to eradicate any viruses on your system.
Note: This is meant to be a beginner's guide to system rescue. If you're an experienced user, you may prefer to use something like Hiren's BootCD , which contains a ton of other diagnostic tools you can use to figure out what's wrong with your computer and retrieve important data. For the purposes of this guide, though, we're trying to make it as simple as possible, so anyone can get the job done with minimal effort. If you're already familiar with the process, be sure to send it to your friends and family so they can be too!
How to Create Your Rescue Disc
If you can't boot into your computer, you'll need to borrow one from a friend to burn your rescue disc, but other than that, all you really need is a blank CD. Here's what you need to do:
Some malware cannot be removed from your computer easily, once they get past your anti-virus protection and integrate themselves deeply in your system – sometimes making it unbootable. In such a situation, it may be advisable to use Rescue CDs. A Rescue CD will help you recover your system by removing nasty threats that resist removal by regular antivirus software.
These CDs perform a scan and remove computer viruses without booting the computer system. They then allow you to launch the operating system directly from the CD so that you don’t need Windows to be running on your PC. It is from this CD-based operating system that you are allowed to access and launch your hard drive and all your files.
Most bootable Rescue CD builds are usually based on Linux Live CD distribution, which loads a simple operating system to scan malware threats without writing any system files on your hard drive. Some use DOS or a DOS clone such as FreeDOS while some use a cut-down version of Windows called the Windows pre-installation environment. Rescue CD’s are usually available in the .ISO image file format and are required to be burnt to a media.
Windows Defender Offline is one such application capable of detecting malicious and potentially unwanted software, and then notifying you of the risks, possibly involved.
Of the half-dozen or so rescue CDs, you may find few as useful. Please note that all the tools mentioned in the list are completely free for use.
Free Bootable AntiVirus Rescue Disks for Windows 11/10
- Kaspersky Rescue Disk
- AVIRA AntiVir Rescue System
- BitDefender Rescue Disk
- Norton Bootable Recovery Tool
- Comodo Rescue Disk
- ESET SysRescue Live.
1] Kaspersky Rescue Disk
The virus removal tool scans and removes threats from an infected computer without the risk of infecting other files or computers. All you need to do is burn the ISO image to a CD, insert the CD into the infected system’s CD-ROM drive, enter the PC’s BIOS, set it to boot from the CD and reboot the computer.
After a quick loading process, you are greeted with the interface of Kaspersky Rescue Disc. Simply select the objects to be processed and hit the scan button. The tool then thoroughly scans your system and presents a report of all suspicious objects found. These objects can then be can be quarantined, disinfected, or removed.
2] AVIRA AntiVir Rescue System
AVIRA AntiVir Rescue System cuts short the lengthy procedure of creating a rescue CD. If the application finds your drive compatible, it automatically creates the rescue CD for you. All you need to do is simply insert a writeable CD in the drive and double-click the Avira rescued icon.
If the drive isn’t compatible, Avira will offer to save an .iso copy that you can burn with the help of a desired CD burning software. Once created, Avira’s rescue system is not only capable of scanning and removing malware from systems made unbootable by malware, but also provide a mean for you to safely copy the desired data from the affected drive.
3] BitDefender Rescue Disk
It is a tool that will try to restore Windows if you are not able to reboot it any longer. Once you have the Rescue CD with you, boot the affected PC from it, and follow the instructions. The Rescue CD will scan your system and resolve issues that it finds or comes across, along the way.
BitDefender Rescue CD includes a handful of useful extras, including GParted, TestDisk, Thunar File Manager, Firefox web browser and Foxit PDF reader. Also, there is ChkRootkit present to scan for rootkits.
4] Norton Bootable Recovery Tool
The Norton Bootable Recovery Tool is a downloadable ISO file that allows you to create a bootable CD that you can use to remove viruses in situations where Windows cannot be booted, even after repeated attempts, and when the ability of a virus scanner to fully remove the threat may be insufficient. The program incorporates a version of Windows PE, which is its own separate and isolated OS. With it, you can either create a CD/DVD, ISO file or a USB.
5] Comodo Rescue Disk
Comodo Rescue Disk will boot your computer scan your entire system for viruses before Windows loads. Includes full AV scanning engine capable of removing rootkits embedded so deeply they cannot be removed with CCE for Windows.
6] ESET SysRescue Live
ESET SysRescue Live bootable CD/USB is a free utility that allows you to create a bootable rescue CD/DVD or USB Drive. You can boot an infected computer from your rescue media to scan for malware and clean infected files.
Trend Micro Rescue Disk will let you use a CD, DVD, or USB drive to examine your Windows computer without launching the operating system. It can scan hidden files, system drivers, and the Master Boot Record (MBR) as well.