Free bootable antivirus rescue CDs

Recently, I went over a lecture about security issues of business information systems in our classes at Then I got a call from a customer, who is a friend. This client’s laptop was hijacked by malware/viruses totally and no work can be done on this machine. The Task Manager and software utilities could not be started because the malware took full control of the machine’s CPU and the task manager. There are one particular file that the client did not want to lose, so re-installing the windows XP is not a good choice.

So I got on and start some searches about removing virus from a Windows computer using a Linux live CD, since the OS of this laptop was controlled by malware. After reading content of various web pages, I revised the search to “bootable antivirus rescue CD” and found a few good comments about Bitdefender, Kaspersky and Avira rescue CDs. These CD’s can be booted and can be run to scan the hard drive of a computer and remove viruses. Furthermore, they are free to download. So we downloaded the ISO image of these CD’s, (Definition of ISO image on An ISO image is an archive file (also known as a disc image) of an optical disc in a format defined by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO))

We booted the laptop with the Bitdefender rescue CD but it could not go through the boot completely. We did not have time to investigate the reason why; so we booted the laptop with Kaspersky rescue CD.Here is a screen shot of Kaspersky rescue CD on

Kaspersky rescue CD screenshote

Next, we updated the virus database using the Update button, and this took about 1 minutes. Note that we connected the laptop to the Internet via a wired network because we did not want to deal with wireless connection. Then we started to scan the machine. It took 30 minutes to the scan to be completed and Kaspersky found 4 malware, (a combination of Trojan horse and Worm).

Then we boot the laptop with Avira rescue CD and do a scan. Avira found 1 more virus. The scan also took around 25 minutes. At this time we started the machine with its Windows XP system and it ran normally. To be sure that the machine is virus-free, we installed the Clamwin open source software and scan the machine 1 more time. The scan found not virus so we concluded this repair task.

Afterward I surfed the net a little bit more and found a few more free and not free rescue CD. One free CD is Trinity and it seems to be quite powerful. I plan to use test this one in the near future.

What to read for more about Bootable rescue CDs?

I found the following pages useful:
-on Wikipedia:

How can we burn an ISO image to a CD?

Many software programs can be used: Nero, Roxio and so on. Our favorite one is an open source software program called Infrarecorder:

Please come back soon. I will write an article about online backup

Hubert Huynh

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