When it comes to system security, I'm more of a paranoid user who prefers to run a truckload of security software on a system I'm working on.
While I make sure that I run only programs that do not cause stability or compatibility issues when they run at the same time, I also run second-opinion scanners regularly to get a third, fourth or fifth opinion on the security state of the PC.
You may think that this is overkill, but if your livelihood depends on the system, you would probably do the very same thing.
Anyway, AVZ Antiviral Toolkit is a free portable second-opinion scanner for Windows that you can download from Kaspersky's Support website.
It is an on-demand scanner that does not protect your system in real-time. It is compatible with all recent versions of the Windows operating system and requires quite the elaborate setup before you can run the tool.
Kaspersky asks you to turn of the firewall if it is on, launch all web browsers installed on the system, and close all other applications running on it.
Once done, you can run the program and start to scan the system. There is no explanation unfortunately why you have to turn off the firewall or run all browsers.
The program displays all search parameters in three tabs in its interface.
- Search Scope: You select the drives that you want to scan here, whether you want to include a scan of running processes, use the heuristic system check, and search for vulnerabilities. Here you also find options to copy deleted or suspicious files, and define automatic actions for select types of malware.
- File Types: Defines which types of files are scanned. This is set to potentially dangerous files by default, but can be changed to all files or files matching a user-defined string. The program will scan NTFS streams and archives by default as well, but ignore all files larger than 10 Megabytes. You can remove those restrictions and options here.
- Search Parameters: The program's heuristic analysis and anti-rootkit search parameters are defined here. AVZ Antiviral Toolkit will check Winsock Service Provider settings, for keyloggers, and may also be configured to search for TCP/UDP ports used by Trojan horses.
A scan may take a while depending on the selected parameters and performance of the PC system. The program displays a log that it updates in real-time during the scan.
I highly suggest you do not configure automatic actions on first scan to avoid the automatic handling of false positives the program may detect. The program has been designed to find threats that are not yet known to Kaspersky programs.
The menu bar displays additional tools the program makes available. The service menu alone links to more than 20 different tools that you can use. This includes a built-in process manager, services and drivers manager or injected DLLs manager to an autoruns manager or hosts files manager. Many of the tools listed here can come in quite handy if you need to analyze or repair a system.
That's not all though. You can use the file menu to save and load configurations, run a system analysis,run system restore or backups, or view infected or quarantined files.
There is a lot to explore, and the best way to learn more about individual features is to open the help file. It is very extensive and provides you with detailed information about each feature the program makes available.
The program is portable and seems to be updated regularly. While I cannot say that for all modules it makes available, most worked fine when I tested them on a 64-bit Windows 7 system.
It is definitely not a program that you should trust blindly though due to the heuristic approach in regards to detecting malware, but if you are careful and research its findings, then you should not run into any issues using it.