A majority of the top antivirus providers provide a free bootable recovery disk that can be used to clean your computer following an infection. These are Linux-based programs that can be used to cleanse the computer of malware when it isn’t able to start up or can’t be scanned by an antivirus program that is running on Windows. For ease of use, I recommend the Kaspersky disk (though it will not work on certain Dell systems).

You can also get similar features using the Avira or ESET rescue disks, which have an interactive interface, but require a CD/USB device to start. Both options are able to identify and scan for malware on your computer however their virus definitions aren’t updated as frequently as the Linux-based rescue disks.

The Trend Micro Rescue Disk is another excellent choice. It’s also one of the smaller disks on this list, at around 70MB. It doesn’t come with a graphic user interface but it does work quickly and has a variety of options for customization. This includes the capability to mount and scan specific volume volumes, files and even specific folders.

You can also get a good virus scan from the Comodo rescue disk even though it’s not as flexibility of the Linux-based options mentioned above. It is a very effective tool to detect and eliminate virus that may be hidden in Windows files, which prevents detection by normal antivirus software. You can select to use a text-only interface or a full-graphical interface. You can also conduct a smart scan or a custom scan.

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