In the digital age in which we live, security is a greater concern than ever before.  This constant battle has a considerable back-and-forth, with each new virus being met with new remedies, and each remedy then being avoided by the next wave of malware.  While virus scanners help with this, they sometimes experience issues given their launching environment.  In simple terms – if you need to get into Windows to perform a scan, and a virus is preventing you from entering Windows, then you’re at a bit of an impasse.  This is where programs like Avira Rescue System come in, as full-featured virus scanners which can boot directly from a USB device.

Backup Safety

While the development of USB booting virus scanners is often overlooked by the average user, a quick look at comparison websites like Best Online Reviews show that they aren’t as uncommon as we think.  The real problem here is usually the result of our own complacency – we don’t look to solve a problem until we have to, which, in the case of viruses, might be too late.  This is the enormous advantage which these devices have over regular scanners; they are capable of avoiding infected operating systems entirely.  While this does necessitate a large initial download, it can also mean a much more agile program and one which is far less prone to interference.

Additional Helpful Features

Not simply a virus scanner on its own, the Avira Rescue system comes with a variety of other additions which help ensure a greater coverage of computer health bases.  These include:

  • A web browser to help you search for additional solutions or help
  • Windows registry editor to help roll back changed entries
  • Disk partitioning tool to manage broken, infected, or damaged sectors

Combine these with the automatic ability to search and update the scanning software, and the capacity to search compressed files and you have a program which can sit among even the most fully features desktop variants.  In addition to this, and unlike many other tools, the Avira Rescue System includes a standard and easy to understand graphical user interface.  This is an especially big help for those not familiar with systems like DOS prompts, which is most average users.

Getting Started

Getting this program ready and installed is just as quick and easy as we would hope and, even better, its free.  Just head on over to the official download page and download either the EXE or ISO version.  Both include the same data, though the ISO will operate as a burnable disk image, so it will require an extra CD/DVD writing program in order to work.  It should also be noted that the USB which is being used should be a dedicated device with no other data on it, just for the sake of efficiency.  It will also require at least 700 Mb of space, though we would recommend a drive with at least 2GB for the sake of swap files, and future proofing for later updates.

USB Stick” (CC BY 2.0) by iRubén

Download, install, and you are ready to go.  Remember that booting from a USB might require changing BIOS launch options, but this is usually a very straightforward and self-explanatory process.  Keep it on your keychain or in your desk drawer and you’ll always have an effective antivirus within reach.