Scan a Windows PC for Viruses if a Virus Prevents Windows from Booting Up

Edited by Michael J., Robbi, Anonymous, Eng

A computer virus can cause you headaches of different degrees. Some just wants to fool around by hiding your files, turning your files into executable files or shortcuts. But a virus reaches the apex of evilness once it starts messing with your Windows installation and locks you out of your Windows 7 PC. Perhaps only then would you realize how essential it is to perform a regular virus scan with a good anti-virus software.

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But let bygones be bygones.

The ideal and the logical step now is on finding a way to eliminate the virus without booting up to Windows 7. And this article intends to detail the process on how to do that.

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Scan with AVG Rescue CD

AVG Rescue CD is a portable and bootable version of AVG's popular free antivirus software. The rescue CD comes in two different types: one for creating bootable CDs and one for bootable flash drives. Apart from the antivirus software itself, there are also a couple of useful tools packaged with the rescue disk. These include the Midnight Commander, Windows Registry editor, Ping and TestDisk. With its wide array of PC restoration and recovery capabilities, the AVG Rescue CD is a must-have repair toolkit. Outlined below are the steps to creating a bootable flash disk or CD with AVG Rescue CD to scan a virus-stricken, unbootable PC. Obviously, you need to perform these steps on a "normal" PC so the first general step is to find one.

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Creating a Bootable USB with AVG Rescue CD

  1. 1
    Download the AVG Rescue CD.
    The rescue CD is free for download at the official AVG site. Take note that there are two options for download. There is an ISO version of the tool intended for making a bootable CD and a compressed version for creating a bootable USB flash drive. In this case, you need to choose the latter.
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  2. 2
    Plug in a USB flash disk to your PC.
    Make sure that the flash disk is in good condition and is not physically corrupted. Back up important files that are stored in the USB stick if there are any.
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  3. 3
    Extract the AVG Rescue Disc to the USB drive.
    If you do not have a software that could open and extract compressed RAR files, you should download WinRAR or similar software.
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  4. 4
    Navigate to the USB drive.
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  5. 5
    Find the "Makeboot.bat" file and open it.
    A command line window will appear and display some important warnings and instructions. The most important warning is to make sure that the "Makeboot.bat" file is launched on the USB drive you wish to make a bootable AVG Rescue Disc from. Opening the "Makeboot.bat" file from a computer's system drive e.g. Drive C can make the computer unbootable.
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  6. 6
    Press any key on your keyboard and wait until a prompt stating "The AVG rescue USB should be bootable now" displays.
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Creating a Bootable CD with AVG Rescue CD

  1. 1
    Download the AVG Rescue CD.
    The rescue CD is free for download at the official AVG site. Take note that there are two options for download. There is an ISO version of the tool intended for making a bootable CD and a compressed version for creating a bootable USB flash drive. In this case, you need to choose the former.
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  2. 2
    Insert a blank CD or DVD in your PC's optical drive.
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  3. 3
    Burn the downloaded AVG Rescue CD ISO file using Nero or other similar software (e.g.
    imgburn, BurnAware Free, PowerISO, etc.). You should not burn the file with Windows default burning application as it will not make the CD bootable. These software should have a "Burn Image File" option or something similar to that.
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  4. 4
    Wait until the burning process is completed.
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Scanning Your PC using AVG Rescue CD

  1. 1
    Configure your PC's BIOS to boot from CD or USB.
    Entering the BIOS may differ from one computer model or brand to another. The usual way of doing this is by pressing a designated key (e.g. Del or Esc keys) immediately after the computer is booted up. You may need to refer to your computer's manual to know this. After successful enter to the BIOS, you must find the option for setting the "Boot Order" of recognized bootable devices. Set it so that the optical drive (in the case of a bootable AVG Rescue CD) or the USB drive (in the case of a bootable AVG Rescue Flash Disk) is given the top boot priority. Make sure to save the changes you made before exiting the BIOS and restarting the PC.
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  2. 2
    Hit the Enter key once the AVG Rescue CD Boot Menu displays.
    This will bring you to the AVG Rescue Disk user interface.
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  3. 3
    Update the virus definitions if you have a working internet connection.
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  4. 4
    Select the "Scan" option in the AVG Rescue Disk user interface to start the virus scan.
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  5. 5
    Wait until the scan is completed and keep the USB plugged in or the CD in the optical drive while the scan is ongoing.
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  6. 6
    Clean or remove the infected files.
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  7. 7
    Restart your PC and remove the USB flash disk or the CD.
    See if it boots up to Windows normally now.
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Scan with Avast through Ubuntu Live USB

Ubuntu allows you to run its operating system without installing it on your PC's hard drive. All you need is to grab a copy of an Ubuntu DVD or create a bootable USB drive from an Ubuntu ISO file. Despite running exclusively on your system's RAM, the live Ubuntu operating system is still able to access your hard drive thus is capable of performing operations such as scanning the stored files for viruses. Outlined below are the steps to creating an Ubuntu Live USB and installing Avast antivirus software to scan your defective file system.

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Creating an Ubuntu Live USB

Note: You need to perform these steps on a "normal" PC so the first general step is to find one.

  1. 1
    Download the latest Ubuntu Live Disk version from here:
    http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop or the old releases from here: http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/releases/10.10/. If you are going to use the Ubuntu Live Disk on a Windows XP system, you must download the older releases of the software (e.g. Ubuntu 10.10). The 32-bit version of the operating system should suffice for this process, so download this version as much as possible.
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  2. 2
    Download Universal USB Installer from here:
    http://www.pendrivelinux.com/universal-usb-installer-easy-as-1-2-3/
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  3. 3
    Open the Universal USB Installer and from the dropdown menu, select the version of Ubuntu you have just downloaded earlier.
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  4. 4
    Click the "Browse.." button to browse to the directory wherein you saved your Ubuntu ISO file.
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  5. 5
    Plug in an empty USB flash disk.
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  6. 6
    Select the USB Drive letter.
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  7. 7
    Click the "Create" button.
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  8. 8
    Wait until the process is completed.
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Scanning Your PC Using Avast via Ubuntu Live USB

  1. 1
    Configure your PC's BIOS to boot from CD or USB.
    Entering the BIOS may differ from one computer model or brand to another. The usual way of doing this is by pressing a designated key (e.g. Del or Esc keys) immediately after the computer is booted up. You may need to refer to your computer's manual to know this. After successful enter to the BIOS, you must find the option for setting the "Boot Order" of recognized bootable devices. Set it so that the optical drive (in the case of a bootable AVG Rescue CD) or the USB drive (in the case of a bootable AVG Rescue Flash Disk) is given the top boot priority. Make sure to save the changes you made before exiting the BIOS and restarting the PC.
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  2. 2
    Select "Run Ubuntu from this USB" or "Try Ubuntu without any change to your computer" or any other similar option.
    Do not choose the "Install Ubuntu" option.
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  3. 3
    Once in the Ubuntu Live operating system, open a web browser and download Avast Linux Home Edition DEB package http://www.avast.com/linux-home-edition#tab4.
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  4. 4
    After the download is completed, locate the file, right-click it and select "Open with Ubuntu Software Center".
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  5. 5
    In the Ubuntu Software Center, click the "Install" button to install the software.
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  6. 6
    Mount your PC's hard disk by clicking the "Places" option located at the top of Ubuntu screen and by clicking the hard disk to mount.
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  7. 7
    After mounting the hard disk, navigate to Applications > Accessories > avast!
    Antivirus
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  8. 8
    Update the avast!
    software first if possible.
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  9. 9
    Select the "Selected folders" radio button in the Selected folders to scan section and then click the Add button.
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  10. 10
    Navigate to the hard disk location by going under the "media" folder.
    Select the hard disk to scan and click OK.
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  11. 11
    Start the scan.
    Be patient.
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  12. 12
    After the scan is completed, view the results and right-click on the listed infected files, if there are any, to show the available operations.
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  13. 13
    Restart your PC and unplug the USB flash disk.
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  14. 14
    See if it boots up to Windows normally now.
    Cross your fingers.
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Categories : Noindexed pages | Windows

Recent edits by: Anonymous, Robbi, Michael J.

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