Free Microsoft Standalone System Sweeper Beta AV – Boot From A CD Or USB Stick

Much of today’s malware can be extremely difficult to identify and remove – despite a user relying on frontline antimalware applications to do the job. So, from my perspective, I don’t see any advantage in running full scans * on a live system – instead, once a week I run a Linux-based antimalware application (a live CD), which scans from the outside looking in. Malware generally can’t hide if it’s not running.

* I do however, run a Quick Scan with both Microsoft Security Essentials, and Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware, on a daily basis. Combined running time for both applications is less than five minutes – so, it’s worth the minimum effort involved.

I can now add one more CD/Flash Drive based, antimalware application to my arsenal of  boot CDs – the just released Microsoft Standalone System Sweeper Beta. System Sweeper Beta operates much like Panda SafeCD, Kaspersky Rescue Disk 10, Avira AntiVir Rescue System.

Microsoft says:

Microsoft Standalone System Sweeper Beta is a recovery tool that can help you start an infected PC and perform an offline scan to help identify and remove rootkits and other advanced malware.

In addition, Microsoft Standalone System Sweeper Beta can be used if you cannot install or start an antivirus solution on your PC, or if the installed solution can’t detect or remove malware on your PC. It is particularly useful for detecting and disinfecting malware infections which give regular AV products running within Windows a hard time.

To get started with System Sweeper Beta – first, download and run the installer which will open up the following series of windows.

Click on any graphic to expand to original size.


Choose the media or the device you want to install the application to.


Then sit back and relax – more or less.


For additional help and information, checkout – Microsoft Standalone System Sweeper Beta Help & How-To.

System requirements (from Microsoft):

The following is a list of minimum requirements for both the computer infected with a virus or malware and the computer on which you are creating the bootable media.

  • Operating system:Windows XP Service Pack 3; Windows Vista (RTM, Service Pack 1, or Service Pack 2, or higher); Windows 7 (RTM, Service Pack 1, or higher).
  • Required processor:
    Windows XP: 500 MHz or higher1.0 GHz or higher
    Windows Vista and Windows 7: 1.0 GHz or higher
  • Required memory:
    Windows XP: 768 MB RAM or higher
    Windows Vista and Windows 7: 1 GB RAM or higher
  • Required video card: 800 × 600 or higher
  • Available hard disk space: 500 MB

The following requirements apply only to the computer infected by a virus or malware:

  • The computer infected with a virus or malware must have the same Windows operating system architecture as Microsoft Standalone System Sweeper Beta, either 32-bit or 64-bit.
  • In addition, BitLocker must be disabled to use Microsoft Standalone System Sweeper Beta.

The following requirements apply only to the computer on which you are creating the bootable media:

  • Internet connection: Required for installation and download of the latest virus and spyware definitions for Standalone System Sweeper.
  • Internet Browser: Windows Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher or Mozilla Firefox 2.0 or higher.

Download: at Microsoft

In the constantly evolving world of cybercrime, all users are well advised to scan their computers regularly with an antimalware application that does not rely on the native operating system.

Please keep in mind that Microsoft Standalone System Sweeper Beta, is not an intrusion prevention system – it is not a replacement for your installed antimalware application/s.

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Filed under 64 Bit Software, Anti-Malware Tools, Antivirus Applications, CD/DVD Recovery Tools, downloads, Free Anti-malware Software, Freeware, Malware Removal, Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware, Microsoft, Software, USB, Virus Repair Tools, Windows Tips and Tools

8 responses to “Free Microsoft Standalone System Sweeper Beta AV – Boot From A CD Or USB Stick


    Excelent heads uup for a potentially excelent tool – though I hope I’ll never need it!

  2. Michael Cole

    Hi Bill:

    Ran MSSS from USB stick couple days ago. Like it, scan time much longer than Panda or Avira, scans many more files.

    Off Topic: Running Breadcrumbs on Win 7 x64, I think they are on to something.


    • Hey Michael,

      Good to get your experience with this.

      I’m with you on the Breadcrumbs thingy. I’m hopeful we’ll see a real push into this market by other developers.


  3. Hi Bill,
    I hadn’t heard of this one, it appears Microsoft is really taking security serious this time around (about time) but as you’ve said many times the user is the most important equation. Not getting malware often involves the user making a series of choices along the way, keeping the OS updated, not browsing sleazy sites and not clicking on popups and email links.
    Take care

  4. Thomas Bearman

    Thanks for the info Bill, i have just tried it out. Didn’t find anything on my own computer, but I think it will do well on infected ones. I always prefer scanning an infected computer by disconnecting it’s HDD and scanning from a clean computer. I totally agree that doing a full scan from infected system doesn’t give wanted results.

    • Hey Thomas,

      I agree – scanning an HDD as a slave, has definite benefits.

      Good to see you agree that scanning on an infected system with an on-board AV is often ineffective.