Kaspersky Rescue Disk – The Ultimate Malware Solution?

Guest writer Mark Schneider gives you some very important pointers on how to kill malware dead, with a great free tool – Kaspersky Rescue Disk.

image You find your computer getting slower and slower to boot, and when it finally does boot it’s so slow everything runs at a crawl. So you try running the antivirus you have and just get a message that says the definitions are out of date and you can’t connect to the update server.

Or you may find an annoying pop-up coming up every time you boot telling you PC Antivirus has found 70,278 infections and for $49.99 they will remove them for you. Well my friend, you are hosed! Your machine is so badly infected that you have to try desperate measures.

At this point you can try pulling your hard drive out of the machine and putting it in another mounting it as a slave, and using your other machine to try to clean it.

Another way to get this thing up and running is to try some kind of bootable rescue disk to clean it. Bootable rescue disks are bootable CD’s/DVD’s that contain small operating systems, with some preinstalled tools contained for repairing your computer.

When you turn on your computer hit F10 or F12, select your CD/DVD drive and your computer boots into an operating system contained on that CD. There are a lot of great rescue disks out there, the problem is most are very complicated, and some take forever to boot.

I found one great exception to this though. Kaspersky Labs, creator of the very capable Kaspersky Antivirus line of products has built a great free bootable rescue CD that is simple to use.


Unlike many other bootable rescue disks it has one purpose, to clean your system. To create a Kaspersky Rescue Disk, download the ISO image from this link , then burn the image to a CD.

Depending on what operating system you are using you may need to download a CD burning program if you don’t already have one. If you are running Windows 7 it has a built in, burning program that’s simple to use and works great. If you are running XP or Vista, I like Image Burn, or CD BurnerXP – both do a great job of burning .ISO images, and are free.

Once you have your rescue CD built, start your infected machine pushing F12/F10 to get it to the boot selection screen. Boot to the CD Rom drive as I stated earlier and relax, although faster than most rescue disks it’s hardly fast.

Follow the prompts and when it boots into the Kaspersky Rescue system you first need to update the virus definitions. Once updated do a scan, and go read the newspaper or get some coffee, it takes a while.

Once it completes the scan go ahead and let it remove or quarantine all the files it has found. I’ve never had it delete anything that caused the machine it was fixing not to boot. But of course before you do anything like this, BACK UP YOUR DATA!!!!! But you already did that so proceed.

Do the scan, remove the junk and log off Kaspersky. Just turning off your computer with the power button won’t hurt anything when you are running a rescue CD.

The reason rescue CD’s are so effective is, you’re not trying to disinfect a computer with an infected OS. When you boot to the hard drive of an infected machine, you’re playing on the bad guy’s home turf. They control the machine and in many cases they’ve hidden the infected files so your antivirus can’t see them.

The rescue CD can scan your boot sector, and you hard drives from the outside looking in. The malware doesn’t have a chance to hide if it’s not running. It’s become the first step I now use when I’m dealing with an infected machine.

There are other rescue disks out there and many are very complicated and take a very long time. The Kaspersky Rescue Disk is the fastest and easiest I’ve found to clean an infected machine enough to allow me to boot back into Windows and complete the process by adding my favorite automated antimalware tools to keep the system clean going forward.

This is a guest post by Mark Schneider of the Techwalker Blog, who brings a background as a high level techie, to the blogging world.

Why not pay a visit to Mark’s site today.

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.


Filed under Anti-Malware Tools, Don't Get Scammed, Don't Get Hacked, downloads, Free Security Programs, Freeware, Malware Removal, Software, System Security, Viruses, Windows Tips and Tools, worms

30 responses to “Kaspersky Rescue Disk – The Ultimate Malware Solution?

  1. Pingback: » Kaspersky Rescue Disk – The Ultimate Malware Solution? « Bill … RWPS

  2. Thank you Bill and Mark for posting this. My laptop has been infected before and I’ve had to resort to reformatting, and losing everything. This idea sounds much better. I’m downloading the file right now. Thanks.

    Hope you’re getting nearer 100% health now Bill.

    Oh God, I miss the body working properly like it did when I was young. Not to mention the memory. lol

    Have a great day.


    • Bill Mullins

      Hey Paul,

      Yes, I remember when you had to reformat. Sometimes that’s simply unavoidable though. Frankly, I reformat and reinstall on my personal machine roughly once every 6 months or so. Old habits die hard I guess.

      Getting older is a definite bummer, that’s for sure! Can’t seem to quite kick this infection, and the antibiotic makes me sleepy and grumpy (make that, grumpier) LOL


  3. A rescue disk can be a great solution, I used to use Kaspersky’s primarily but it requires an internet connection to update it’s signatures, and on newer computers it seems to have trouble configuring the NIC. I’ve been using Avira’s rescue disk lately, the ISO is updated almost daily with new signatures, when I need to do a scan I download the latest ISO and burn to the same CD-RW.

    Go to http://www.avira.com/en/support/support_downloads.html and look for the download entitled Antivir Rescue System.

    • Bill Mullins

      Hey Dave,

      Great minds think a like – but you knew that! I do exactly the same as you, but after reading Mark’s article I’m going to give Kaspersky a look see.


  4. Murphy

    Yes….. great tool . I’m a Kaspersky fan 🙂
    Best regards to you and Mark Schneider !

    • Bill Mullins

      Hi Murphy,

      Yes, Kaspersky has developed some high quality products – without a doubt.

      Glad to see you dropped by today.



  5. Bill and company,
    Thanks for all your comments. I will be trying the Avira product, sounds like another great tool to try. The time it takes to download updates is an issue with the Kaspersky Rescue Disk especially if you have problems getting online.
    I’ve also used the The Trinity Rescue Disk which runs up to 4 AV engines to clean your system. The problem is it can take all night, but its very effective. http://trinityhome.org/Home/index.php?wpid=1&front_id=12
    Regards to all.

    • Bill Mullins

      Hey Mark,

      As always, a GREAT article. Haven’t heard of the The Trinity Rescue Disk – will have to check that out.


  6. John

    So now I’m confused (which is not very difficult), should we be looking at Kaspersky or Avira?


  7. Ranjan

    As usual.. Nice article by you Bill..
    Just one question, you told that before scanning, it’ll ask to update the signatures. But the OS hasn’t loaded and so how we’ll be able to update it..? I mean, will the modem work since its driver hasn’t loaded…
    And a request, can you review BitDefender Rescue disc please…?

    • Bill Mullins

      Hey Ranjan,

      The OS has loaded (a version of Linux), included on the rescue disk. I’ll put BitDefender Rescue disk in the line for testing.



  8. achugh

    Great article…thanks for sharing it. Will look forward to more!


  9. You have to have an arsenal available to you nowadays, there’s so much junk floating around out there you can’t just use 1 or 2 scanners and be confident a system is clean. I usually use 1 or 2 boot CD scanners, a live CD to delete obvious stuff like antivirus 2010, then at least 3 Windows based scanners and hijackthis, followed up with some manual snooping around and registry editing, usually end up spending more time on a system than I bill for, no point in a system cleanup if it costs the same as buying a new computer.

    • Bill Mullins

      Hey Dave,

      Thank you for explaining just how careful a user needs to be in cleanup.

      *Regular readers will recognize Dave as a frequent guest writer on Tech Thoughts, where he shares his experiences as a certified computer technician. * Bill

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  11. vhick

    Thanks for mentioning this sir Bill. I primary used Avira also and Kaspersky for the reminants. Its good and effective that I used in repairing a workstation in a computer shops.

  12. Ranjan

    Oh.. Thanks for clarifying Bill… 🙂

  13. This is never going to stop, only education will remedy the malware

    PS: Do not click if you do not know what it is. 🙂

  14. I downloaded and ran the Avira product last night and I think I slightly prefer it to Kaspersky. The only reason really is the fact that Avira keeps the build up to date, Kaspersky at this time does not.
    If I had a really badly infected computer I was dealing with I’d run both. But that would be under extreme circumstances.
    They both do the job, as intended, and if people simply get the idea of cleaning their machines with a bootable disk from one of the virus vendors (Bit Defender is next) then I feel pretty good about the post.
    Thanks for all the comments!

    • Bill Mullins

      Hi Mark,

      You article (justifiably so), has proven to be very popular, with over 450 reads in the first 24 hours. By any measurement that makes it a “hit”, and it will continue to generate hits in the future. There is a very important lesson to be learned from your article. I thank you, and my readers thank you.

      Avira has long been my choice, (for the reasons you mention), but having an additional tool, such as Kaspersky seems to me, to be a prudent course to follow.

      Your point is well made, ‘if people simply get the idea of cleaning their machines with a bootable disk from one of the virus vendors ………… then I feel pretty good about the post”. Personally, I run from a bootable AV once or twice a month. Is that paranoia I hear playing in the background? LOL



  15. Okay, now thanks to a post from a friend on the computer technician podcast “Podnutz” forum I found a site listing a huge number of rescue disks. Far more than I knew about.http://www.raymond.cc/blog/archives/2008/12/11/13-antivirus-rescue-cds-software-compared-in-search-for-the-best-rescue-disk/
    Go Crazy!

  16. Fathom Out


    I have quite a few malware scanners on my system and run them (all) once a week, usually over the weekend.
    I also have GData BootCD 2010 (Avast+BitDefender), but did not have to use it so far (at least I think so).

    One concern (already answered by Mark) was the engine build of Kasperksy Rescue CD.
    Now trying to visit the trinityhome page, but it’s loading, and loading, and loading… Hope I still make it today.

    I have one question:
    Would you recommend to do scan with a boot CD, say once a month, even without a suspicion of infection, just to be on the safe side?

    Advice much appreciated in advance.


    P.S. It seems I won’t make the trinityhome site today. Which engines does it use?

    • Bill Mullins

      Fathom Out,

      You’ve been very busy commenting – very cool.

      Frankly, I run a boot AV twice a month – give or take. Internet paranoia is justified given the state of the Internet.


  17. STOP: c000021

    Came across this site looking for bootable discs. I’ve got that STOP: c000021 error and tried using the Avira disc referenced here, but still get the blue screen. However, i can boot from windows xp install disc and get into the control prompt. Is there something i need to do, other then tell the computer to boot from the cd drive?

    • Bill Mullins

      The article you refer to was written by guest writer Mark Schneider, and so I cannot help you with this question. Checkout* Kaspersky* Lab Forum, or a similar forum, that deals with specific issues such as yours.