How-To Geek

How to Use the BitDefender Rescue CD to Clean Your Infected PC


When you’ve got a PC completely infected with viruses, sometimes it’s best to reboot into a rescue disc and run a full virus scan from there. Here’s how to use the BitDefender Rescue CD to clean an infected PC.

We’ve already shown you how to use the Kaspersky rescue disk, and this method works similarly, but has a couple of advantages, like automatic virus definition updates and an integrated data recovery tool—though you can always use both to be doubly sure your PC is cleaned.

Download and Burn the Image to a Disc

The first thing you’ll need to do is head over to the BitDefender site and download the latest version of their rescue CD, 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.


Download and Create a Rescue USB

If you’d rather create a USB drive to boot from, you can download UNetbootin and use it to create the bootable flash drive—just select Diskimage and then browse to the location of the downloaded ISO file.


Select the drive that you want to write the image to, and follow the steps.

Using the BitDefender Rescue CD to Clean an Infected PC

Once you drop the disc in the drive and reboot, you’ll see a prompted menu that lets you choose the language you’d like to start with, or you can boot from the hard drive normally. We’ll obviously choose to start up the rescue CD.


Once you’ve started it up, if the resolution is too small, you can use the menu at the bottom to head to Settings –> Display to adjust it.


From here you can change the resolution to something bigger—you can use 1024×768 to make sure you’ve got enough room on the screen to see everything.


Once you’ve accepted the license agreement, the scan starts immediately.


If you need to do some work on your file system, you can easily use the File Manager to get to your files—the nice thing is that it opens up directly into your Windows drive.


There’s also a copy of TestDisk installed automatically, which can be used to recover data. If you’d like more information about how to use it, we’ve got a whole article about recovering data like a forensics expert.


It’s as simple as that. Enjoy your virus-free PC.

Download the BitDefender Rescue CD from

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 11/29/10

Comments (21)

  1. Hatryst

    Rescue USB… Now that’s something you should have in your pocket ;)

  2. nt0xik8ed

    running it now. it runs a lot cleaner than kaspersky’s. it booted right up and started with very little user input. it over took my usb with kaspersky on it, so i’m not sure they will all run of one thumb drive

  3. Michael

    TBO BitDefender sucks the best for a boot antivirus is DRweb boot cd

  4. jon_hill987

    I say we dust off and nuke the site from orbit, it’s the only way to be sure.

    I mean, back up and reinstall…

  5. Aviad Raviv

    even though it was a bit of a “hack”, i did manage to get this AV working off of the PXE server (like Ubuntu).
    so we now have two AV engines that can be run from PXE, and that should be sufficient to test for infections.
    (how to setup the PXE server is a future article series)

  6. Robert

    What about updated virus definitions? Does it update automatically?

  7. Bjarnovikus

    Same question about Robert…

  8. Derald H

    I’m gonna give this one a try too. Kaspersky was a complete bust on my vista and xp machines and I think running virus scans before bootup is a good idea. gtwyuser

  9. William

    How do I get feed back from post’s ??
    I made a post 2 day’s ago, re can one get free anti virus programs and do they really work.?

  10. TheZeDD

    Updating BitDefender could be an issue. I am still awaiting someone to actually respond on that issue. There is a newer version out now.

    I tried a few these Boot-N-Clean Anti-Malware programs sometime back on a USB Flash Drive (UFD) to no real success or top regards in interworking. No doubt, some folks took the time to make them work but I myself did not have great success and eventually threw in the towel for a more guaranteed old fashion method.

    My experience with BitDefender was that once it decided to boot from the UFD device it would just hang on a dark screen for a very long time seemingly thrashing my drive around as if it may be attempting to do something. Not having a screen of information on exactly what it was doing or control over it just didn’t fit the build.

    I’ve tried Kaspersky, AVG and Bitdefender and a couple others. This was a few months back and I know there is some better documentation now as well as updates.

    I’m sure someone behind the scenes as well as other users have the info :)

    If you have a spare clean flash drive laying around, try Unet-Bootin or maybe MultiBoot ISO (if it support the correct BD version) from PendriveLinux. These could help in creating your UFD boot device for trial and error.

    Warning… using either of these programs WILL wipe your UFD clean and all files we be lost :)


  11. Cazo

    To answer ‘Robert’ (and a few other):

    I downloaded the iso, and installed it to a USB thumb drive using unetbootin. It started up fine in both my computers, downloaded the latest virus definitions from bitdefender’s site, and began scanning my Windows drive(s) automagically.

    Unetbootin didn’t even disturb the files I already had on the USB.

  12. Bjarno

    @ Robert, myself and all the other ones

    I just insterte the disc on my other pc, works great :) Just a reminder, after the startup change your keyboard layout (if nessacery), connect to wireless network (if nessecary) and after that start the update ;) Otherwise you need to start over again wich is a pain (no, relogging in doesn’t work, the key isn’t valid anymore).

  13. Robert

    Thanks to everyone that replied!

  14. brad

    just burnt it and booted it up on a friends infected pc (thinkpoint infection) after it found 3 items…I selected “delete” from the drop down (disinfect didn’t work) and clicked finish…..rebooted the machine and it’s still there. Ideas?

  15. brad

    solution: kill hotfix.exe then run malwarebytes

  16. sultan

    I think BitDefender is one of the best antivirus program :) thank you very much.

  17. J

    “you can easily use the File Manager to get to your files—the nice thing is that it opens up directly into your Windows drive.”

    Not in my case, I had to find a folder called “media”, then choose hda1.

  18. BCC

    Bitdefender would not work for me. It boots ok but will not load the antivirus engines…..

  19. jo mama

    no way to update iso before burning to cd.

  20. First Last

    do you know anything about patches? what are the contents of them? do i really need those in the end? i could not find anything about them…

  21. Steel

    Seem this newer version of BitDefender and couple other rescue cd will not detect my nic, which is a Intel 82579LM Gigabit. Any ideas how to get update or correct drive loaded for Bitdefender? Yeah, and I don’t know Linux well.

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