Free antivirus for Windows against persistent malware + Tips and Tricks

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Free antivirus for Windows against persistent malware

The industry offers dozens of free antivirus for Windows starting with the Microsoft Defender that Microsoft installs as part of its operating systems and that has been gaining level with successive versions, especially the latest ones for Windows 10.

The amount of malware that arrives week by week is staggering as we collect in our blog specialized in security that we invite you to read. And for this reason, in addition to the necessary prudence when browsing the Internet, downloading files or correctly managing emails and links on social networks, we need to help ourselves with these security solutions, especially on Windows for being the most used system on the desktop and the most attacked.

Generally, we install the antivirus so that thanks to its pro-active capabilities it anticipates the introduction of malware, detects it and, if necessary, eliminates it. However, this type of permanent facility affect performance to some degree of the computer and, furthermore, they are not capable of detecting a part of the malware loaded at system startup or solving security threats that even prevent the computer from starting.

Today we are going to remind you of a group of antivirus that do not need installation. They are from the group of solutions we call “rescue” and work on any computer both to check its status and to eliminate persistent or difficult-to-eradicate security threats. They use an external medium independent of the PC to be analyzed and this offers notable advantages. They do not penalize performance and allow you to get ahead of the loading of viruses or Trojans in memory, making them difficult to eliminate.

Free Antivirus for Windows

All cybersecurity software providers offer these types of solutions. And they should not be missing in any arsenal of tools. The vast majority are based on Linux as a base and use formats “Live CD/USB”, created on removable and self-booting drives without interfering with the installed operating system.

We leave you the most interesting:

Kaspersky Rescue Disk. Kaspersky hasn’t updated the interface for a long time, but its Gentoo version 18 rescue disk has the great power of the leader in consumer security solutions. You download the ISO image, save it to bootable media, and use it.

ESET SysRescue Live. ESET offers the download of an image to burn but also offers the possibility to create it directly on CD or USB. Perfectly updated interface and very easy to use.

Bitdefender Rescue CD. Personally, it is one of the ones I like the most. It uses a Linux based on Xubuntu that allows greater possibilities in addition to virus elimination. You download the ISO from the link and burn in the middle.

AVG Rescue CD. It offers two different images for creation on CD or USB. Its interface is quite spartan based on text but don’t be scared, it does its job, and like the rest, it previously updates the virus database to the latest available.

Panda SafeDisk. With the updated interface in the latest version (, it is very easy to use because it does not have too many customization options. It loads a wizard that automatically searches for available antivirus definitions and, when start is pressed, begins scanning the entire system for malicious files.

Trend Micro Rescue Disk. Very simple creation of the rescue medium at the click of a button from your website and with the option to choose CD / DVD or USB disk / pendrive. Its interface is the most spartan of the entire list, in a minimalist text mode with a few basic options.

Norton Bootable Recovery Tool. Symantec offers the creation of the startup disk with a wizard that makes it easy to create it without external applications once you have downloaded the tool. Once started with it, you will see a graphical but minimalist interface without customization options, with two main options: scan and clean.

Avira Rescue System. It offers the download of an image for creation of the medium. Graphical interface with few functions but easy to use. Like others that we have seen with a simple interface, its power lies in the search and disinfection engine and its ability to update the virus database, something that all of them do.

F-Secure Rescue CD. It has not been updated for a long time, but it is another of the classic ones, simple and easy to use. With a Knoppix base, there is no real user interface except for a text-based dialog, where you will be asked if you want to start the analysis.

Avast. It is the only one on the list that does not offer direct download of an image and the only way is to create the rescue disk from an Avast solution. The good thing is that it can be done from the free desktop version. The downside is that you have to install it first.

How they are created and work

Most providers offer their own creation tutorial. U offer the possibility of creating the medium directly from their website and others simply offer an .ISO image that the user must record, either on an optical medium or on an external disk or USB stick.

free antivirus for Windows

For the second case, you can follow one of our guides to create them. Basically, it is as simple as opening the program, selecting the ISO image that we have downloaded and the application will take care of its creation. Some applications to use to record images are:

Once the rescue medium is created, its use is simple. We restart the machine with the media inserted in its location to boot from it. If we have not done it previously, we will have to enter the BIOS to place the optical or USB drive as first boot media, always before the hard drive or SSD where we have the system installed.

The media created is a “Live CD” format so we will not have to install anything on the hard drive or SSD of our computer. Some solutions offer a visual environment and more functions, while others use a text mode dedicated entirely to malware, understanding that the main thing is the power of its engine and the updates to your virus database, something everyone does before scanning the system.

Some solutions are highly customizable, allow you to select scan and disinfection, boot sector, quick or full scan, files and folders on hard drives or external drives, network access, heuristic method and almost everything we can find in an installable antivirus.

Like any Linux, some include tools such as an explorer to delete files manually or package managers in case we need to install any Linux-based troubleshooting tool, although their main use is virus scanning and disinfection.

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