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How to Use the Kaspersky Rescue Disk to Clean Your Infected PC

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When you’re dealing with a PC that is completely infected in viruses, sometimes the best thing to do is reboot into a rescue disk and run a full virus scan from there. Here’s how to use the Kaspersky Rescue Disk to clean an infected PC.

There’s lots of ways to clean an infected PC, like booting into an Ubuntu Live CD and scanning for viruses, but this is an extremely simple—and free—solution from a trusted anti-virus vendor.

Download and Burn the Image to a Disc

The first thing you’ll need to do is head over to the Kaspersky site and download the latest version of their rescue disk, and then use an application to burn that ISO image file to an optical disc—we prefer using ImgBurn, but there’s plenty of ways to burn an ISO to a disc.

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Using the Kaspersky Rescue Disk to Clean an Infected PC

Once you’ve got the disc in hand, put it into the PC and reboot—you should see a new screen that says “Press any key to enter the menu”, at which point you should probably press any key. To enter the menu, of course. If you don’t, it’ll boot normally into Windows.

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At this point you’ll be able to choose whether to use the Graphic or Text mode, and we’d recommend using the Graphic mode unless there’s some problem, which there really shouldn’t be.

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You’ll be prompted to type the letter “a” to accept the agreement. What’s weird is that it didn’t work with a capital letter “A” for us, even though that’s what it shows in the screenshot.

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Within a few short seconds you should see the full working environment, with the Kaspersky Rescue Disk screen front and center.

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The first thing you want to do is switch tabs over to the My Update Center, and then click the Start update button to load the latest anti-virus definitions from their web site—this is a critical step!

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Once done, switch back over to the Objects Scan tab, select the drives you want to scan, and then click the Start Objects Scan button.

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The scan will run, and clean up any viruses that it finds. You’ll be prompted when you do encounter a virus, and you’ll have to choose whether to clean or quarantine the files—the typical anti-virus behavior.

If you need to do some more work or research on the PC, you can access some tools directly from the menu below, which has a fully working web browser, command line, and a file manager.

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You’ll be able to access your Windows partition through the /discs/C: folder, and do any other maintenance work you need to do.

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That’s pretty much all there is to it. Enjoy cleaning viruses.

Download the Kaspersky Rescue Disk from support.kaspersky.com

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 11/26/10

Comments (44)

  1. spioneer
  2. Merlin

    Looks good.

    Is there a way to put the tool on a usb-stick?

  3. rino

    would it be beneficial if the tool be used from a usb key since the av db needs to be updated it will be useful for offline computers.

  4. nt0xik8ed

    i grabbed this last week, updated and ran it. on my test machine it found a trojan.dropper. i thought i did a good job of keeping it clean until now.

  5. Daryl
  6. Anonymous

    To those asking about USB…

    Yes you can use a USB stick to boot and run the Kaspersky Rescue Disk. Kaspersky’s web site even documents this too ( http://support.kaspersky.com/viruses/rescuedisk/all?qid=208282163 ). Of course, they want you to use their USB “Recorder” tool to do it (it’s less than 500K to download).

    When you run Kaspersky’s “rescue2usb.exe” utility it will make a folder which you can delete later and decompress some files into it and then run. Don’t worry, “rescue2usb.exe” only decompresses to a subfolder from wherever your run it from and does not actually install (to your “Program Files” folder) or anything like that. So once you run Kaspersky’s “Recorder” utility you basically tell it what USB device to use and then point it to the “kav_rescue_10.iso” file that you hopefully downloaded – that’s it. All you have to do after that is boot with the device and proceed with anti virus operations as the article shows.

    So to reiterate, download the “kav_rescue_10.iso” file as well as the “rescue2usb.exe” file. Run the “rescue2usb.exe” file and make your bootable USB key. Boot with the USB key and follow along with the article.

    Of course to boot with a USB device, you may have to diddle with your BIOS settings and/or “boot order” somehow. But that’s a topic almost unto itself. So if you simply can’t boot from a USB device or don’t know how then I would suggest just burning another CD and go that way.

    BTW! The ability to burn an .iso file to a CD/DVD is already included in Windows 7 – the utility is called “Windows Disk Image Burner.” I believe even Vista has something like this too. So there is no need to even download/install the ImgBurn utility if you use Windows 7 or Vista. However, if you use Windows XP or something like that then you will likely need some sort of .iso burning utility. However, I would suggest “CD Burn XP” instead of “ImgBurn” which is mentioned in the article simply because there are more tools with “CD Burn XP.” You might also note – contrary to it’s name – that “CD Burn XP” even works with all versions of Windows including Windows 7 and Vista and that it is also free. (Here’s their URL: http://cdburnerxp.se/en/home )

  7. gad
  8. ankit

    @merlin i think you have not read article properly…go to last link in the article follow the link and then you will finde the issue you have regarding your boot from usb
    or go here
    http://support.kaspersky.com/viruses/rescuedisk/all?qid=208282163

  9. dave

    If you go to the site you’ll see a USB option

  10. Hatryst

    That is insanely awesome… :)

  11. Andy

    Love it, great post!

  12. The Geek

    I probably should have detailed the USB method as well – the thing is, most of the time, older PCs are the ones being infected, and most of them don’t support boot from USB anyway.

  13. Niks

    AWESOME !! :)

  14. Hatryst
  15. Merlin

    Thanks for the many remarks about usb usage. I actualy DID read the article, but I had no time to go to the Kaspersky site yet. I was working you know. Some of us do that every now and then ;)
    Anyway, I’ll go over and have a look now. My working day has finished. 8)

    @The Geek: I wouldn’t be to sure about that. My brother in law has a fairly new PC with an antivirus and a firewall. Yet he manages on a regular base to get infected by adware, spyware and virusses.
    I guess he’s some sort of malware magnet :D

    I was allready thinking about moving him to Linux because that is less vulnerable for those things. At the moment anyway. Who knows what the future brings…

  16. Kevalin

    I couldn’t get it to load to usb in Win 7 x64, as I recall (been a few weeks since I tried it).

  17. Kevalin

    “I probably should have detailed the USB method as well – the thing is, most of the time, older PCs are the ones being infected, and most of them don’t support boot from USB anyway.” -The Geek

    Older than what? I used this to do a clean up on my parent’s 100GB Compaq, running XP, about three weeks ago. To say nothing of my Gateway 6023GP (40GB, IDE hard drive). If your computer is older than these, having a virus is the least of your problems.

  18. Raven

    why my screen go to sleep while my computer is still runing

  19. Shahzad Shah

    I have installed Kaspersky on a Flash Drive but the problem is that you have to download the same updates over and over again when you are working on a different computer and sometimes you may not have a fast connection available. Is their a way to incorporate the latest signatures to the USB drive so that it won’t take so long to update signatures?

  20. William

    Hi guy’s, Please can some one tell me how I keep my comp clean of all these virus spy etc. and how do I know when I have picked one them up. I use my comp every day and go onto the internet every day.
    Are there FREE anti virus programs and do the really work. ??
    billnyati

  21. John Vieira-McEldowney

    Ok, seems to be a very comprehensive scan. But:
    After running, every message in my Thunderbird inboxes was gone. Only the inbox in two accounts, no other folder.
    I could not get the graphic interface to work, so used the text interface.
    Anybody else have this happen?

  22. bill

    when you boot from the cd, there is no internet connectivity. how to you update latest virus signatures?

  23. cooldude48

    How long does it take for the scan to scan the computer files?

  24. minusten

    Looks good on paper…but how are you going to update a security tool when you don’t have internet connection or even a browser available in safe mode? Everything I read says “update, update, update,” but what if you can’t?

    Nobody will address that in detail.

  25. m

    i don’t want to stay on kaspersky rescue disk forever! the format does not work for me..Where is the microsoft word and all the other other programs i’ve had on my windows Xp? Why is that when i restart my comp. and go back to the original format of my computer (Windows XP), there are still viruses everywhere? I NEED HELP!!!

  26. jjonz

    Great tool thanks a million

  27. krushna

    Thanks for info.

  28. theneil

    I used Kaspersky on an old dell the other day and could not get my C drive to show up. Turns out Kaspersky doesn’t have all the drivers and whatnot to access all computer drives out there. I tried mounting and forcing things and nothing worked. I finally had to boot up with ubuntu and scan with that. (It had that pctools or whatever that virus is that scans before windows opens up) They’re apparently working on it but I would go with Avira or one of the others suggested before working with older chipsets and computers.

  29. John

    I created the cd and have it running on a desktop that only has internet access through an external wireless usb drive. The usb drive only works in windows. Is it possible to update the virus definitions on a different computer and tranfser to the desktop?

  30. TMS

    Hello do that fix Trojan.gpcoder.G ransomware ???????

  31. nuXNub

    “What’s weird is that it didn’t work with a capital letter “A” for us, even though that’s what it shows in the screenshot. ”

    Discovered quite by accident that you have to firstly, left click anywhere within the EULA before hitting ‘A’ to accept the agreement. Had been pulling my hair for it to work before the discovery!

    Also discovered that the virus update engine can be quite slow; and that the update may not complete.

  32. Chris

    Just bought Kaspersky AV 2011 with the rescue disk.

    How are you supposed to use it when:
    (a) the whole reason you bought it was that a virus shut down both Task Manager and Windows Explorer (in Safe Mode also) on your Windows XP laptop;
    (b) the Kapersky rescue disk says the file system cannot be mounted (without damage to it) because your operating system has not “been shut down properly” (I mean, of course it hasn’t, that’s why I needed the rescue disk in the first place – Windows will not finish the boot so I can get in and shut it down)!

    I mean, am I missing something here?

    Cheers

  33. Yeti

    I run Kaspersky recovery cd as intructed above, but after hit enter key for Graphic Mode it star loading modules, that what it says and it had been stock there for ever. Any help please!

  34. vactor

    for me after the licene agreement it take really long time till the next step and right now im still waiting

  35. Lucky.

    If you are getting stuck when selecting graphic mode (as i was), Try Text mode, and from there go to graphic mode. You will get a drop down menu, select the 1st option (“Autoconfig” or something to that effect) and press enter. After I did that step, its working like a charm in the graphic mode.

  36. Brumm

    I m gonna get it right now

  37. Alexia

    I followed all the way through, but got stuck at the update…keep getting an error message. Is there any way to get the updates manually while in rescue disk mode?

  38. Eyeinthehills

    Wow there are some really interesting posts on here. First thing I would like to reply to is the “Safe Mode” post. You are not in safe mode by any means. This rescue disk contains a version of linux and is NOT booting up any windows components. Secondly if you are on the computer/internet everyday and haven’t by now figured out that there are many good free AV (Anti-Virus) Programs out there. The program that you are all talking about being one of them. This rescue disk/USB Boot Disk contains drivers for network cards and tools that will let you browse the net and your files. Honestly that’s what I am using right now as my PC is being scanned.

    Please step outside of the box and realize that there are Free Operating Systems and softwares that do almost everything that you are currently paying for. Due to working in an office I use windows but Linux is much less volnerable, much more powerful, and oh did I say FREE…

    People need to realize the risk of being online isn’t what it was 10 years ago, It’s worse than ever and knowing them risks will save you much frustration and money if you pay someone else to clean up your PC. Those advertisments on the internet are not your friend. Stop Clicking them, everyone can hit that guy with the football and get the bullseye. Not everyone can get you running again without data loss.

    Kapersky works great… Just try it out there is alot of info on it and how to use it on the net and on the actual boot disk. Good luck to all…

  39. Warren Alcarioto

    hi,
    i would just like to ask if anybody has already tried using it on a infected windows 2000 server ?did it work?

  40. joey

    i followed all the prompts but now i cant seem to log on to my pc, every time i try nd log on it logs off by itself i tried logging on in safe mode with networking then log on again but it still wont log on what can i do

  41. Uncle David

    I use only Kaspersky now- nothing else. I like PURE and Internet Security best because they are effective. The August 2011 post by EYES was spot on. THINK dammit Think!

    I don’t this for almost 20 years, long enough to remember downloading McAffee to a 5.25 disk every couple of days. It was free too. Unfortunately, the bad guys have gotten really bad and we have to stay a few feet ahead of them.

    Kaspersky boots live to a Linus shell which can mount your hard drive then run a antivirus module AFTER it self-checks for current signatures. Do it right and it works with out fail. I always reboot to windows, then shutdown and run PURE again.

  42. Uncle David

    Warren, the Rescue Disk could pretty much care less what sort of OS is on the machine. I’d try it on a WIN2K Server. Just curious,though- how the hell did your server get dirty?

  43. Jim

    I used the kaspersky rescue disk. Now I don’t know how to get to all my programs and open them up including Outlook. I see them but I don’t know what to do?

  44. Ali

    I used this software but there is one problem it could not recognize the D drive were I store all my data, Why?

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