OK, I don’t know how many of you have ever been infected by a virus or malware but those who have know the nightmare you go through to get your system clean. I have dealt with machines that have had some real nasties on them. Some I have been able to clean. Some it is the “Format C:” and then reload. Before I get into the utilities let me first say an ounce of prevention is worth a ton of cure in this case. Some of these things can cause lose of data that maybe unrecoverable from, and if you do not have a back-up than you will be crying. So A., make sure you are backing up, and B., have a good anti-virus. I always recommend the free version of AVG to anyone who is looking for a good anti-virus. I know the saying, you get what you paid for, but with AVG they have done it right. This is all they do and they know it. We use it at our office and I can hit the road in peace not worrying about computers becoming infected.
But now let’s get to what the title is mentioning which is bootable A-V utilities. If you are infected, many times they will install in a way that you cannot get rid in a conventional matter or with a regular A-V product. This is where you need a bootable removal product. What and why do you need this? Some virus or malware programs install so that when the system boots they load right away and once they are running you cannot delete the file because of a share violation since the file is locked. You need to boot in a way that will not load the file so it can be removed. Even safe booting doesn’t work because of how the virus/malware has installed itself. The boot utility allows you to boot from a flash drive or CD and then it scans and cleans the drive of the virus/malware so that you can safely bring the machine up. Now I will warn that I have seen some virus/malware programs that are nasty enough that when removed the system will not boot up. Windows will error on the boot and then shutdown, even in safe mode. The only solution is a re-install of the system. With Windows Vista and later you may be able to do a boot repair and fix this so you can get back up and running. For a list of the boot utilities click here and good luck. I hope you never need them.