I recently shared the 10 best free antivirus programs, and these tools are all worth checking out. Some scan constantly to protect, while others are great failsafes for when something slips through the cracks. Sometimes, however, none of these programs will work, because Windows simply won’t start or the virus is blocking the installation of other anti-virus programs (even in safe mode!)
In situations like these you need an antivirus that runs on an operating system other than your default.
You could attempt to get your antivirus program of choice running from a self-built Windows live CD, but if you’re looking for something a little simpler I highly recommend the BitDefender Rescue CD.
This little-advertised free product can scan your unbootable or corrupt Windows setup safely from a Linux Live CD.
To start go ahead and download the ISO file from BitDefender’s semi-secret system rescue CD site. Now you need to burn it. You can probably use whatever CD burning application your computer has, but if you need a simple free one for Windows I recommend one of these free alternatives to Nero, any of which can burn ISO images.
Finally, you need to boot from your CD. How to do this varies from computer to computer, but typically you need to press a certain button as the computer’s manufacturer displays on the screen. On a Dell, for example, one usually presses F12 to bring up the boot menu. Select your CD drive to boot from and the Bitdefender Rescue CD should start.
Scan Of Hard Drive
Make sure your computer has access to the Internet before you start your scan, so BitDefender can update. Plugging your computer directly to the Internet is your best bet, but you might be able to get the Wireless working by using the networking icon on the bottom panel.
It really doesn’t get more complicated than that. Bitdefender will start and will scan everything on your system, removing any malware that might be making your system unwieldy.
Once the scan is done BitDefender will remove the infections and hopefully leave you with a completely clean computer.
A number of other useful tools are included on the BitDefender Rescue CD, including:
- Thunar File Browser.
- Firefox (browse while you scan!).
- Foxit Reader for Linux.
- Terminal, with access to entire Ubuntu repositories via apt-get.
Note that the virus scanning portion of this Live CD cannot legally be used for business purposes. The only exception is if you’ve purchased a license for use with this tool.
There you have it: a tool that can remove viruses from systems that seemingly can’t run any antivirus applications. Be sure to install proper protection after you clean everything out!
Does this seem useful to you in a jam? Do you have any stories about this tool, or one like it, working? Or do you have any similar tools to recommend? Commenting is awesome, and can even make you awesome, so you should do so.