Malicious software, like viruses or trojans, can damage a system in a way that it becomes impossible to boot. It may cause damage that renders the operating system unusable so that you need to either format and start anew or try recovery options.
The Kaspersky Rescue Disk is a standalone bootable CD that can be used to scan the system for malicious software without the need for an operating system that you can boot in to.
The approach has a few advantages but also a disadvantage. The advantage is obviously that you can use it to remove known viruses, trojans, worms and other malicious software even if the computer cannot boot the operating system anymore.
And since it is a standalone client it is not dependent on an installed anti-virus client but can be used on any computer that can be booted from CD. This means as well that the program is independent from the installed operating system so that you can run it on a Linux system as well as on Windows or Mac systems.
The disadvantage of the approach is that the virus definitions cannot be updated easily and that it normally means that the full boot disk would have to be downloaded and burned to CD again meaning that this has to be done regularly to stay up to date.
The good news is that you can download the Kaspersky Rescue Disk freely from the Kaspersky website and burn it to CD or DVD using a CD burning software like Nero or our favorite ImgBurn.
You need to configure the computer to boot from optical drives prior to booting from hard drives. This may mean that you need to change the boot priority in the BIOS or UEFI before the rescue disk gets picked up and booted from.
In essence: make sure that the computer checks the DVD drive for a bootable device before it pulls the data from the hard drives.
The interface of the Rescue Disk is straightforward. It allows you to scan the computer for malicious software and offers ways to remove malicious files found during the process.
This does not guarantee that the computer can be booted again after the cleanup though. A damaged file normally does not get repaired by anti-virus software which means that you may still need to run system restore or a backup afterwards.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.