Check out the six best bootable antivirus programs to help clean your infected computer of malware.
And suddenly the computer got stuck with some malware. Usually in such cases you can't safely boot your computer because you might do more damage to it.
Or worse, the malware won't even let you launch it. The only way to clean your computer is to use a bootable antivirus program.
Anti-malware protection programs are now a must on modern internet connected computers. They make sure to keep your machine online free of viruses or malware. At least, that's what they do most of the time, because even those, as good as they are, have loopholes.
Not to mention the human factor that while all messages warn the user of danger, he insists on opening the strange email that just arrived.
When the unexpected happens, and your antivirus program couldn't protect you, you should look for an external bootable antivirus program.
A bootable antivirus disk is a malware removal environment that works like a Live CD with an operating system. Below are six free, bootable antivirus programs that you should always keep in mind.
The order is alphabetical and related to quality or any of our suggestions.
1. Avira Rescue System
Avira Rescue System is a bootable rescue disk based on Ubuntu. Avira Rescue Disc is one of the best bootable antivirus environments for beginners, as it includes a handy wizard to guide you through scanning your discs.
Avira unfortunately offers very little in the way of scan customization, but again, this might suit a novice user.
The Avira Rescue System environment is easy to navigate, with a streamlined interface of labeled boxes. Like the other options, Avira Rescue System includes, among other things, a web browser and a disk partitioner.
As Avira is an Ubuntu-based rescue disk, it also works well with Linux-based systems.
Download: Avira Rescue System. Instructions from here.
2. Comodo Rescue Disk
Comodo Rescue Disk is not that well known to the general public. On its features page it's mentioned that only supports Windows machines and up to Windows 8.
It includes three different scan types: smart scan, full scan or custom scan.
Smart Scan is a handy way to check for rootkits and other malware hiding in your system's boot sectors, while Custom Scan lets you scan individual files and folders to check for a specific threat.
Download: Comodo Rescue Disk
3. Dr.Web Live Disk
Dr.Web Live Disk offers a wide range of virus scanning options in a bootable live-cd environment. Compared to alternatives, Dr.Web's range of scanning options is extensive.
For example, you can configure file types and sizes to include or exclude.
You can set individual actions for specific types of malware, such as bootkit, dialer, adware, and so on. You can also limit the time the virus scan spends on individual files, which is useful if you have many types of large media files.
Dr.Web Live Disk is designed to run on Windows operating systems (64-bit versions)
Download: Dr. Web Live Disk
4. ESET SysRescue Live
Another bootable antivirus disk to consider is ESET SysRescue Live.
It has extensive scan control as you can scan files, email folders, links, boot sectors and more or use ESET scan profiles.
ESET SysRescue Live CD also includes a disk analysis tool to check for defects and other failures, as well as a memory test tool to check your system's RAM for errors.
The rescue environment also comes with Chromium browser, GParted partition manager, TeamViewer for remote system access and a number of other handy utilities.
Download: ESET SysRescue Live
5.Kaspersky Rescue Disk
Kaspersky Rescue Disk allows you to easily scan an infected machine. It has a wide range of virus scanning options, including scanning individual folders, startup objects, system drive, etc.
It also comes with a number of additional tools such as Firefox, a file manager and more. Another handy feature of Kaspersky Rescue Disk is its graphical interface.
Download: Kaspersky Rescue Disk
6. Trend Micro Rescue Disk
Trend Micro Rescue Disk is perhaps the smallest size, bootable antivirus disk. But don't laugh, it has a handy tool to help you regain control of your system.
Given its size (about 70 MB), you can forgive Trend Micro Rescue Disk for not having a graphical user interface.
Instead, you use the rescue disc exclusively through plain text menus. It sounds a little scary, but in practice, the text menus are simple to navigate and you will easily find your way around.
Download: Trend Micro Rescue Disk for Windows
Which one to use
If you are wondering why only six solutions, we inform you that AVG Rescue has ceased to exist since 2020, and Bitdefender Rescue CD since 2019. You can find old versions of them on the various sites that specialize in providing programs, such as filehorse, softonic, majorgeeks etc, but beware, they are not up to date.
So our list now consists from only 6 solutions. When you find yourself in such a predicament then don't wonder which one to use. If you can use them all, one by one.
All are possible and will clean your system if you are infected with any virus that will not be 0-day.