Rescue that infected Windows machine with Trinity Rescue

Jack Wallen
Mar 10, 2010
Updated • Dec 27, 2012
Antivirus, Windows

Sticking with our current theme of rescuing, we will now focus our magnifying glass another another useful Linux tool - Trinity Rescue Kit.TRK is another live Linux distribution, but with a different spin. Instead of being a live CD who's purpose is to do just about everything, Trinity wants to really only do two things: Recover data and remove viruses. But it's the latter task that really sets this apart. You will find most live Linux distributions tend to neglect antivirus. Sure you could take an existing live distribution and add an antivirus package to it. But why bother when TRK already has numerous antivirus tools ready for work.

In this article I will introduce you to Trinity Rescue Kit and how you can use it to scan an infected Windows machine and remove dastardly viruses.

Getting TRK

The first step is to download TRK and burn it onto a disk. If you are unsure how to do this let's walk through the process.Download an iso image of TRK from the TRK download page (make sure you scroll down to one of the four mirrors and download from their). Once you have the iso downloaded you only need open up a tool like K3B and burn the image (check out my article "Burn CD and DVD ISO images with K3B" for more information). You could also put this image on a USB drive to easier portability. The easiest way to do that is to use Unetbootin (see my article "Install Linux on a USB drive with Unetbootin" for more information).

With your CD or your USB drive in hand it's time to march over to that infected machine and get to work.

Using TRK

The first thing to do is stick the CD or the USB drive in the machine and reboot. If your machine is not set to boot from either the CD or USB you will want to enter the boot menu of the machine and select either device (depending on which you are using). With TRK you can just let the boot process happen - there is no interaction necessary. Eventually you will wind up at a root prompt. There is no GUI to mention here. TRK is all command line goodness. But never fear, the commands are not too terribly challenging. In fact, to rescue a machine from virus infection there is really only a couple of commands you need to issue.

Mounting the drives

The first thing you have to do is mount the drives on the machine. TRK has a very simple command for that. At the command prompt enter:

mountallfs -g

Which will mount all of your drives in read/write mode. This is necessary in order to rid the machine of any infection. You will want to see where all of your drives have been mounted. Take a look in the / directory with the command ls /. You should listings like /hda1, /hda2, /hda3, etc. These are your mounted drives that you will want to scan.

Now, with the drives mounted, it's time to scan. This is done with the following command:

virusscan -a clam,bde,va -d /MOUNTED_DRIVE

Where MOUNTED_DRIVE is the drive to scan. You can scan multiple drives by separating them with commas like so:

virusscan -a clam,bde,va -d /hda1,/hda2,/hda3

In the above command clam is for ClamAV, bde is for BitDefender, and va is for Vexira Antivirus. Yes you can scan with multiple antivirus engines, but know that the more engines you use the longer the scan will take.

Once the scan is done you will have a report on what the scan process found and what action was taken.

Final thoughts

Trinity Rescue Kit is an outstanding tool to place in your toolbox for disinfecting machines. Get to know it and start using it, you won't regret the time spent.


Tutorials & Tips

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  1. Dan Donx said on January 15, 2023 at 10:29 am

    What mental age of reader are you targeting with the first sentence? 10?

    Why not write an article on how to *avoid* upgrading from W10 to W11. Analogous to those like me who avoided upgrading from 7 to 10 for as long as possible.

    If your paymaster Microsoft permits it, of course.

  2. Dexter said on January 15, 2023 at 11:14 am

    5. Rufus
    6. Ventoy

    PS. I hate reading these “SEO optimized” articles.

    1. cdr said on January 15, 2023 at 3:32 pm

      I used Rufus to create an installer for a 6th gen intel i5 that had MBR. It upgraded using Setup. No issues except for Win 11 always prompting me to replace my local account. Still using Win 10 Pro on all my other PCs to avoid the bullying.

  3. sv said on January 15, 2023 at 6:40 pm

    bit pointless to upgrade for the sake of upgrading as you never know when you’ll get locked out because ms might suddenly not provide updates to unsupported systems.

    ps…. time travelling?
    written. Jan 15, 2023
    Updated • Jan 13, 2023

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 16, 2023 at 5:49 am

      This happens when you schedule a post in WordPress and update it before setting the publication date.

  4. Anonymous said on January 16, 2023 at 8:24 am

    Anyone willing to downgrade to this awful OS must like inflicting themselves with harm.

  5. basingstoke said on January 16, 2023 at 11:18 am

    I have become convinced now that anybody who has no qualms with using Windows 11/10 must fit into one of the following brackets:

    1) Too young to remember a time before W10 and W11 (doesn’t know better)

    2) Wants to play the latest games on their PC above anything else (or deeply needs some software which already dropped W7 support)

    3) Doesn’t know too much about how computers work, worried that they’d be absolutely lost and in trouble without the “”latest security””

    4) Microsoft apologist that tries to justify that the latest “features” and “changes” are actually a good thing, that improve Windows

    5) Uses their computer to do a bare minimum of like 3 different things, browse web, check emails, etc, so really doesn’t fuss

    Obviously that doesn’t cover everyone, there’s also the category that:

    6) Actually liked W7 more than 10, and held out as long as possible before switching, begrudgingly uses 10 now

    Have I missed any group off this list?

    1. Heinz Strunk said on September 19, 2023 at 3:57 pm

      You have missed in this group just about any professional user that uses business software like CAD programs or ERP Programs which are 99% of all professional users from this list.

      Linux doesn’t help anyone who is not a linux kid and apple is just a fancy facebook machine.

  6. ilev said on August 24, 2023 at 7:34 pm

    Microsoft has removed KB5029351 update

    1. EP said on August 24, 2023 at 9:21 pm

      only from windows update though
      KB5029351 is still available from the ms update catalog site

  7. Anonymous said on August 24, 2023 at 11:05 pm

    1. This update is labaled as PREVIEW if it causes issues to unintelligent people, then they shouldn’t have allowed Preview updates ot install.

    2. I have installed it in a 11 years old computer, and no problems at all.

    3. Making a big drama over a bluescreen for an updated labeled as preview is ridiculous.

    This is probably another BS internet drama where people ran programs and scripts that modified the registry until they broke Windows, just for removing stuff that they weren’t even using just for the sake of it.
    Maybe people should stop playing geeks and actually either use Windows 10 or Windows 11, but don’t try to modify things just for the sake of it.

    Sometimes removing or stopping things (like defender is a perfect example) only need intelligence, not scripts or 3rd party programs that might mess with windows.

  8. john said on August 24, 2023 at 11:17 pm

    Windows 11 was a pointless release, it was just created because some of the Windows team wanted to boost sales with some sort of new and improved Windows 10. Instead, Microsoft cannot support one version well let alone two.

    1. John G. said on August 25, 2023 at 12:08 pm

      Windows 11 is the worst ugly shame by Microsoft ever. They should release with every new W11 version a complete free version of Starallback inside just to make this sh** OS functionally again.

  9. EP said on August 25, 2023 at 3:10 pm

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released a statement regarding the “unsupported processor” blue screen error for their boards using Intel 600/700 series chipsets & to avoid the KB5029351 Win11 update:–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–Error-Message-of-Windows-11-Update-KB5029351-Preview-142215

  10. EP said on August 29, 2023 at 7:32 pm

    check out the following recent articles:

    Neowin – Microsoft puts little blame on its Windows update after UNSUPPORTED PROCESSOR BSOD bug:

    BleepingComputer – Microsoft blames ‘unsupported processor’ blue screens on OEM vendors:

  11. Leonard Britvolli said on August 30, 2023 at 10:33 pm

    While there may be changes or updates to the Windows 10 Store for Business and Education in the future, it is premature to conclude that it will be discontinued based solely on rumors.

  12. sembrador said on September 5, 2023 at 9:32 pm

    My advice, I left win 15 years ago. Now I’m a happy linux user (linuxmint) but there is Centos, Fedora, Ubuntu depending on your needs.

  13. EP said on September 6, 2023 at 11:55 am

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released new BIOS/firmware updates for their Intel 600 & 700 series motherboards to fix the “UNSUPPORTED_PROCESSOR” problem (Sept. 6):–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–caused-BSOD-on-MSI-s-Intel-700-and-600-Series-Motherboards-142277

  14. Raphael Benzo said on September 24, 2023 at 9:52 pm

    I try to disable the Diagnostics Tracking Service (Connected Devices Platform User Services) but it wont let me disable it, any help will be greatly appreciated.
    Tank you for your help

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