Remove Computer Viruses Using a Rescue Disk

Computer viruses are a headache nowadays. Although there are free antivirus programs available for downloads, these are not always efficient in removing stubborn viruses that go deep inside the recesses of the windows operating systems. A computer user is usually faced with the necessity to act outside of the computer system to get rid of the pesky viruses.

Reformat the Hard Drive

Among the best options to get rid of the stubborn viruses is to reformat the hard drive, that is if the computer user can boot up the operating system. This approach can effectively remove all of the possible viruses infecting the computer because all of the data in the hard drive are erased. This is a ‘shotgun approach’ where the computer user is not aiming to clean only certain files in the computer but all of the hard drive. Of course, it will take considerable time to reformat the hard drive. The computer user will need to reinstall once again the operating system and the different applications to be able to use the computer. Also, this prevents the computer user from saving his important files. So what would be the best option when faced with this situation? The best approach is to use a rescue disk.

Rescue Disks

Rescue disks are bootable disks, meaning these disks are capable of running the computer system by itself as a CD software package. Rescue disks take over the management of the windows computer system such as those provided by the windows operating systems like Windows XP, Windows Vista, and recently, Windows 7. The CD software package in rescue disks contain utilities. Utilities are applications that allow the computer user to manage the computer files in such a manner he deems fit such as copying, deleting, or moving files in the computer. If the computer user could not access his files due to the failure of the windows operating system to boot up because of a virus infection, using these utilities will allow him to do so. Utilities also include virus scanners which runs deeply than the conventional antivirus programs. The virus scanners can isolate the virus files which the computer user can opt to erase manually.

Kaspersky Rescue Disk

One of the best bootable rescue disks is the Kaspersky Rescue Disk. The Kaspersky Rescue Disk is based on a Linux kernel thus will operate under a Linux operating system environment. Linux operating systems are virtually immune to windows operating system viruses. The Kaspersky Rescue Disk can be created using the Kaspersky Antivirus program or downloaded from free sites like Softpedia. To create the Kaspersky Rescue Disk, the computer needs to burn the saved iso file using a CD burning tool like Nero. An iso file is unlike the conventional applications file because you cannot run it on a computer while operating under a windows operating system. A computer user needs to reboot the computer before using the Kaspersky Rescue Disk.

Changing the Boot Sequence of the Computer

In order to use the Kaspersky rescue disk or any of your favorite bootable rescue disk created from an antivirus program, this will require changing the boot sequence of the computer. This is by activating the BIOS (basic input/output system) CMOS Setup Utility of the computer. BIOS is the first code run by the computer when powered on. To access it, the computer user needs to reboot the computer system while pressing either the F2 or delete button. Usually, a largely bright blue interface will then appear (see below).


Scroll down using the arrow key until the Advanced BIOS Features (this may vary between computers) is highlighted, hit Enter, and find the First Boot Device menu. Hit Enter and change the first booting device to CD-ROM instead of HDD-0 or the hard drive. Set the hard drive or HDD-0 as the 2nd Boot Device. Hit the Esc key and find the Save and Exit Setup menu, Enter and type Y to confirm the changes that you have made. Allow the computer to reboot with the Kaspersky rescue CD in the CD/DVD drive. Your computer should now reboot using the rescue CD. Watch your screen as you may need to hit any key to reboot using the CD-ROM.

Linux Kernel

The computer will now reboot with the Linux kernel loading, quite unlike the way you boot using a windows operating system. You need to hit Enter to load the Linux kernel of Kaspersky Rescue Disk. Just watch the Linux kernel load line by line (usually white text against a black background). After a few minutes, again a largely blue green background displays where you will get to see a large arrow asking you to scan the computer or update the virus database. If you have downloaded the latest Kaspersky Rescue Disk release, you may proceed directly to scanning. If not, then you have to update the virus database which will take time. If you decide to scan, you may scan any or all your computer’s files like the boot sector, the C or root hard drive or possibly a D virtual hard drive. Select all of the radio buttons and scan the computer by clicking the scan folder. The computer scans and identifies the pesky virus in your computer and will ask you to confirm deletion of the virus file. You may also hit the Fix It Now button after scanning so the computer will automatically remove the difficult to delete viruses. When all these procedures are done, you may reboot your computer using the saved operating system in the hard disk. Just remove the Kaspersky Rescue Disk from the CD/DVD drive so that the computer system will use the hard drive as the second boot device to boot the windows operating system.

The computer virus or viruses should have been removed by the time the windows operating system boots up and displays the screen. If the virus is still there, then you have no option but to reformat the hard drive. Before formatting the hard drive, you can use the Kaspersky Rescue Disk to copy your files to a flash drive using the File Manager utility that goes with the Kaspersky Rescue Disk package.