If malware hinders your ability to run normal antivirus software Bootable rescue disks can aid. These tools allow you to scan your PC without Windows and usually find files that regular antivirus software may fail to detect. Certain tools can scan for the Master Boot Record of the hard drive. This is a feature which is especially useful in removing persistent or difficult-to-clean threats.
These bootable tools come with an interface that is text-based. However, they do provide options for customization, so you can select to only scan certain kinds of files, folders, or even select specific size files. The best of these tools will feature a an interactive user interface that is graphical and support for more advanced security threats, such as rootkits or ransomware.
AVG Rescue CD, with its simple but extensive GUI and a variety of scanning options, is an excellent example. It’s also one of the few that offer an entire MBR scan which is typically impossible to achieve with an unbootable program. However it’s not the most efficient on this list and its text-only interface doesn’t suit everyone.
Kaspersky Rescue Disk is another top option that is fast, has a well-designed interface and can handle more advanced malware. It comes with features that are not often found in other bootable antivirus applications like the ability to scan boot sectors, hidden startup objects as well as fileless files and the entire hard drive. You can also exclude files to cut down on the scanning time. It was able to detect all malware we sent, even those that weren’t detected by other antivirus software.