The Best Antivirus Rescue Disks

Bootable rescue disks can be useful when malware prevents you from running normal antivirus software. These disks let you run a scan on your computer without having to run Windows, and they can often uncover files that antivirus software might miss. Certain tools can scan for the Master Boot Record of the hard drive. This is a feature that can be particularly useful in removing persistent or difficult to clean-up threats.

These bootable software tools feature an interface based on text. They do however, provide customization options, which means you can select to only scan specific kinds of files, folders, or even specific size files. The most effective of these tools come with a visual interface and support for more sophisticated threats, such as rootkits and some varieties of ransomware.

AVG Rescue CD, with its basic but robust GUI as well as a wide range of scanning options, is an excellent example. It’s also among the few programs that perform a full MBR scanning, which is normally impossible with a non bootable program. It’s not the fastest program on this list, and its text-only user interface isn’t for everyone.

Kaspersky Rescue Disk, another excellent option, is fast and has a well-designed user interface. It also supports more advanced malware. It offers features that you won’t find in other bootable antivirus tools like the ability to scan boot sectors, hidden startup objects as well as fileless files and the entire hard drive. You can also set exclusions in order to cut down the time it takes to check for malware. In our tests, it detected all malware samples we sent it, including some that evaded detection by other antivirus programs.

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