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Some viruses are better than others. Particularly evil ones will prevent you from installing software to remove them. When that happens it’s time to turn to a live CD, which runs in spite of the operating system you may be using. This is good, because if your default operating system (typically Windows) is compromised completely you need to attack the virus from outside it.
Let’s take a look at the Kaspersky rescue disk and how it’s used.
First things first: you need to download and burn a copy of the disk. You’ll find the ISO file over at Kasperky’s official download page for the rescue disk. You’ll also find a tool for making a bootable USB disk here.
It’s best, however, to burn the ISO from a disk and then boot your computer from it. You probably have software on your computer capable of burning an ISO image, but if not check out the best free alternatives to Nero Burner to find a program right for you.
Once you’ve burned the file, you need to boot from it. Doing this varies from computer to computer, but most the time it’s as simple as inserting your disk and rebooting the computer. If not, watch carefully when your computer first turns on for instructions regarding the “boot menu”. On most Dells, for example, you’re going to need to press “F8” before Windows starts. If you see a bootscreen of options congratulations: you’ve started the CD. Select the GUI and let’s get started!
Using the Scanner
Eventually you’ll see a GUI, which will begin operations by mounting your hard drive(s). This might take a while, so don’t worry. When the disk boots you’ll be presented with a familar virus scanning interface:
Don’t get ahead of yourself. You could scan your computer right now, but odds are if you’re infected badly enough to need this disk your malware is fairly recent. For this reason, you should click the “update” tab before you start your scan:
Go ahead and click the “Get Updates” button to get started, and you’ll see the uploads take place. This may take a while, depending on your Internet connection, but it’s well worth it. Once you’ve updated everything you might want to take a look at the settings:
There’s not too much to configure here; just the level of security and whether malware is to be removed automatically or at your discretion. Configure to your taste and you’re not ready to scan. The scan shouldn’t last too long, depending on the amount of data on your hard drive, so don’t be surprised if it finished quickly.
What You Get
The main aspect of this CD, obviously, is the malware scanning capabilities. As you can see above, this tool can remove a variety of malware from your computer.
But there’s a bit more here. There’s a terminal, if you want command-line access to your computer. There’s also a Mozilla-based browser; useful if you want to research a particular virus or file before removing it. Finally you’ll find the XFE File Browser, for those who want a GUI way to browse their files.
Kaspersky isn’t the only rescue CD on the block: the BitDefender Rescue CD is another tool for cleaning your computer when all else fails. Keep both of these disks in your toolkit and you’ll be able to save your friends from just about any infection!
Neither of these tools are an alternative to a real-time scanner, so I highly recommend you check out the top ten free antivirus programs and find the program right for you. Use the Kaspersky rescue disk only as a last resort!
Does a tool like this seem useful to you? Are you excited to have free access to Kaspersky’s respected anti-malware technology? Share in the comments below!