Sunday, February 19, 2012

Virus Rescue Disks

About a year ago, I started a volunteer computer repair program at the college. I am fortunate to have two very skilled lab assistants that have it humming along nicely. We have the opportunity to work on student computers that are so infested with viruses that it is impossible to boot from the infected computer and run an anti virus program. (Our record holder had over 22,000 infected objects on it!) Often we pull the disk drive and hook it up as a data drive on another computer to clean the viruses. You see, booting up an infected operating system disk makes it much harder to clean the drive.

For the typical home user this is beyond their skill. However, you can use a boot-able CD virus scanning rescue disk instead. Here are four of the best virus scanning rescue disks.

1) Kaspersky Rescue Disk 10 - Best user interface, has an update button to get the latest virus database updates.
2) AVG Rescue CD - The user interface is not as slick, but it too has an update button.
3) F-Secure Rescue Disk Spartan interface, has an update button, runs slower.
4) Avira AntiVir Rescue System Good interface, but the update button rarely connects to the internet to get those updates. This is not a problem if you run it the day you download it. Avira updates the disk each day.

Which one should you use? Several! When cleaning viruses, like going to the doctor with a serious illness, you want a second and probably a third opinion. Once several different virus scanners are showing clean, you are probably OK.

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