Antivirus and USB boot disks

Antivirus and USB boot disks

Most users are familiar with antivirus boot disks like Kaspersky Recue Disk or Dr.Web LiveDisk, but there are a large number of alternatives from almost all major antivirus manufacturers that are less well known. In this review, I will tell you about the aforementioned and unfamiliar bootable antivirus solutions to the Russian user, and how they can be helpful in curing viruses and restoring your computer's performance. See also: The best free antivirus.

A bootable antivirus disk (or USB flash drive) may be necessary in cases where normal Windows startup or virus removal is not possible, such as if you need to remove a banner from your desktop. In the case of booting from such a drive, the antivirus software has more options (due to the fact that the operating system does not load and access to the files is not blocked) to solve the problem and, in addition, most of these solutions contain additional utilities that allow you to restore Windows manually.

Kaspersky Rescue Disk.

Kaspersky's Free Antivirus Disk is one of the most popular solutions for removing viruses, desktop banners, and other malicious programs. In addition to the antivirus itself, Kaspersky Rescue Disk contains:

  • Registry Editor, which is very useful for fixing many computer problems, not necessarily related to viruses
  • Network and browser support
  • File manager
  • Text and graphical operation interface is supported

These tools are enough to fix, if not all, many things that can interfere with the normal operation and startup of Windows.

You can download Kaspersky Rescue Disk from the official page, the downloaded ISO file can be written to disk or made a bootable flash drive (GRUB4DOS bootloader is used, you can use WinSetupFromUSB to write to USB).

Dr.Web LiveDisk

The next most popular bootable disk with antivirus software in Russian is Dr.Web LiveDisk, which can be downloaded from the official page (you can download an ISO file to write on the disk and an EXE file to create a bootable flash drive with the antivirus). The disk itself also contains the Dr.Web CureIt antivirus utility:

  • Registry Editor
  • Two file managers
  • Mozilla Firefox browser
  • Port

All this is presented in a simple and clear graphical interface in Russian, which will be easy for the inexperienced user (and the experienced user will be happy with the set of utilities it contains). Perhaps like the previous one, this is one of the best antivirus for novice users.

Windows Defender Offline (Microsoft Windows Defender Offline)

But not many people know that Microsoft has its own antivirus: Windows Defender Offline or Windows Standalone Defender. You can download it from the official page

Only the web installer is downloaded, once it starts, you can choose what to do:

  • Write antivirus to disk
  • Create a USB drive
  • Write ISO file

After booting from the created drive, the standard Windows Defender starts, which automatically starts checking the system for viruses and other threats. Trying to run the command line, task manager, or anything else has not worked for me, although at least the command line would have been helpful.

Panda Safe Disk.

The popular antivirus in the cloud Panda also has its own antivirus solution for computers that will not start: SafeDisk. Using the program consists of a few simple steps: choose a language, run a virus scan (the threats found are automatically removed). Online update of antivirus database is supported.

Download Panda SafeDisk and read the instructions for use in English at

Bitdefender rescue CD

Bitdefender is one of the best commercial antivirus (see Best Antivirus 2014) and the developer also has a free antivirus solution to boot from a pendrive or disk: BitDefender Rescue CD. Unfortunately, there is no support for the Russian language, but this should not interfere with most computer virus handling tasks.

According to the available description, the antivirus utility is updated on startup, includes GParted, TestDisk, file manager and navigation utilities, and allows you to manually select what action to apply to found viruses: delete, cure or rename. Unfortunately, I have not been able to boot from the Bitdefender Rescue CD ISO image in a virtual machine, but I think the problem is not with it, but with my configuration.

Download the Bitdefender Rescue CD image from the official website, where you will also find a Stickifier utility to burn a bootable USB drive.

Avira Rescue System

At you can download the Avira antivirus bootable ISO to burn to disc or the executable file to burn to a flash drive. The disk is based on Ubuntu Linux and comes with a very user-friendly interface. In addition to an antivirus engine, Avira Rescue System contains a file manager, a registry editor, and other utilities. The antivirus database can be updated via the Internet. The standard Ubuntu terminal is also available so that, if necessary, you can install any application that helps you restore your computer using apt-get.

Other antivirus boot disks

I have described the simplest and most convenient options for graphical antivirus discs that do not require you to pay, register or have an antivirus on your computer. However, there are also other options:

  • ESET SysRescue (Created from an already installed NOD32 or Internet Security)
  • AVG Rescue CD (text-only interface)
  • F-Secure Rescue CD (text-only interface)
  • Trend Micro Rescue Disk (test interface)
  • Comodo Rescue Disk (requires mandatory download of virus definitions when running, which is not always possible)
  • Norton Boot Recovery Tool (requires any Norton antivirus key)

I think we can end here: a total of 12 drives to save your computer from malware. Another very interesting solution of this type is HitmanPro Kickstart, but it is a slightly different program that can be written on separately.