avast! 2014: Creating and using avast! Rescue Disk

How to create and use avast! Rescue Disk shipped with avast! 2014?

When a computer is infected with malware, like some kind of lockscreen ransomware which uses a full-screen image or webpage to stop you from accessing anything on your computer, or a file infector which prevents avast! Antivirus from being installed, you can try to remove infected files from your computer by using avast! Rescue Disk shipped with avast! 2014. To do so, please follow these steps:

Create avast! Rescue Disk as a bootable USB flash drive or CD

In order to be able to create avast! Rescue Disk, you'll need another uninfected Windows computer with Internet connection, where you can install avast! 2014, and an empty USB flash drive (500 MB or higher), or alternatively a blank recordable CD with CD/DVD-writer and burning software that is capable of writing CD images in ISO file format. When it's ready, please follow these steps:

  1. Download and install avast! 2014 on another uninfected Windows computer with Internet connection. For detailed step-by-step instructions on how to install avast! 2014 please read the following article:

    avast! 2014: Installing avast! Premier | Installing avast! Internet Security | Installing avast! Pro Antivirus | Installing avast! Free Antivirus

  2. Right-click on the avast! orange ball icon in the system tray and select 'Open avast! user interface' from the menu,
    Figure I. A

    ...or double-click the desktop icon of installed avast! antivirus software to open the avast! user interface.
    Figure II. A

  3. From the main menu, select ' Tools', and then click 'Rescue Disk'.
    Figure III. A

  4. Now, you have to choose target media type you want to use for avast! Rescue Disk. If you prefer:

    • USB flash drive - insert an empty USB flash drive into the USB port and click the 'USB' button to proceed.
      Figure VI. A

    • Recordable CD - click the 'CD' button,
      Figure V. A

      ...when asked for a location, click 'Browse',
      Figure VI. A

      ...in the displayed navigation dialog choose where you want to save ISO file (CD image) on the computer and click 'Save',
      Figure VII. A

      ...and then proceed with specified location path by clicking 'Create ISO'.
      Figure VIII. A

  5. avast! 2014 shows an overall progress of avast! Rescue Disk creation. It may take a few minutes, depending upon the speed of your computer and Internet connection.
    Figure IX. A

  6. When avast! Rescue Disk is successfully created, click 'OK'.
    Figure IX. A

If you have chosen Recordable CD as your target media type for avast! Rescue Disk, you have to burn the ISO file you just created, on a blank recordable CD using CD/DVD-writer and burning software that is capable of writing CD images in ISO file format. On computers running:

  • Windows 7 or Windows 8 - you can burn ISO files to a recordable CD by using built-in Windows Disc Image Burner - for detailed step-by-step instructions please read the following article on Microsoft website:

    Burn a CD or DVD from an ISO file

  • Windows Vista or Windows XP - you have to use any third-party burning program capable of writing CD images in ISO file format - for more information, including links to other resources on how to write ISO files, please read the following article on Wikipedia:

    Wikipedia - ISO image


Start up your computer from external bootable media with avast! Rescue Disk

Once you have created avast! Rescue Disk you'll need to ensure that the infected computer will boot from the external USB flash drive or CD with avast! Rescue Disk instead of the internal hard drive with infected Windows. To do so, please follow these steps:

  1. Insert bootable media with avast! Rescue Disk to the infected computer, i.e. if you have created avast! Rescue Disk on:

    • USB flash drive - turn off the infected computer and insert your USB flash drive with avast! Rescue Disk into its USB port.

    • Recordable CD - insert your CD with avast! Rescue Disk to CD/DVD drive on the infected computer and turn it off.

  2. Turn on the infected computer, and as soon as it's powered on, look for text on the computer's BIOS boot splash screen (usually a computer manufacturer's logo and/or hardware initialization details, shown for a few seconds before Windows starts) that tells you how to access the "Boot menu". Because of the wide variety of computer and BIOS manufacturers, there are numerous ways to access the Boot Menu. The keys that are commonly associated with enabling the Boot Menu are "Esc", "F12" or "F11", but some specific computer models or manufacturers use also other keys, like "F10", "F9", "F8" or "F5". Once you determine the proper key that you need to press to access the Boot Menu, restart the computer again and start immediately tapping that key.
    Figure I. B

  3. Once you get to the Boot Menu, you need to select bootable media with avast! Rescue Disk inserted to the computer, i.e. if you have created avast! Rescue Disk on:

    • USB flash drive - select a device listed as "Removable Devices", "USB Flash Drive", "USB Storage Device", "USB", "USB-HDD" or similar, sometimes it can be listed on a sub-menu with the other storage drives.
      Figure II. B

    • Recordable CD - select a device listed as "CD-ROM Drive", "CDROM", "CD/DVD/CD-RW...", "CD/DVD: model type", "ATAPI CD: model type" or similar, sometimes it can be listed on a sub-menu with the other storage drives.
      Figure III. B

  4. As soon as your computer boots from the external USB flash drive or CD, a message telling you to "Press any key to boot from CD or DVD..." will be shown for a while. Press any key to start-up avast! Rescue Disk wizard as soon as the message disappears.
    Figure IV. B

Note:
If you cannot find how to access the Boot Menu and boot from external USB flash drive or CD, please refer to the computer's user guide, or documentation on manufacturer's website, or try to contact manufacturer's support. Computer manufactured around year 2001 or before may not have ability to boot from USB flash drive.


Scan your computer for viruses using avast! Rescue Disk

Once you have started avast! Rescue Disk wizard on the infected computer from the external USB flash drive or CD, you'll need to scan your files to check if there are any viruses on the computer. To do so, please follow these steps:

  1. On the welcome screen you can start scanning the computer for viruses with one of these two options selected:

    • All hard discs (by default) - if you want to scan the entire computer.
      Figure I. C

    • Selected folders/discs - if you want to scan only a specific folder/disc or multiple folders/discs on the computer. In order to do so, you have to click the 'Change' button...
      Figure II. C

      ...to open the navigation dialog, and as soon as you check the boxes besides each folder or disc you would like to scan, click 'OK'.
      Figure III. C

    Note:
    If necessary, you can also check that you want to 'Scan all archives', i.e. CAB, ZIP, RAR and other compressed files. However, it could take much longer, depending on number and size of all archive files on the computer.

  2. When ready, click 'Start scan' to proceed.
    Figure IV. C

  3. Then an overall scan progress will be shown. It may take a few minutes to complete the scan, depending on the computer's performance, and the amount of the data you have selected to scan.
    Figure V. C

  4. When the scanning is finished, a scanlog file containing a scan report will pops up in the Notepad over the screen. You can save the scanlog file in case you need it. If any infected files are found, they will be listed in the scan report,
    Figure VI. C

    ...and as soon as you move, minimize or close the scanlog window to get back to avast! Rescue Disk wizard, you'll also see a number of infected files in the scanning results.
    Figure VII. C


Repair or delete infected files using avast! Rescue Disk

Once you have finished the scanning of the infected computer, avast! Rescue Disk wizard shows you how many infected files were found. If there are any files indentified as infected, you can select one of these two options to remove the infection:

  • Fix automatically

    1. If you click this option, avast! Rescue Disk tries to remove the malicious code from all infected files, while keeping the rest of each file intact. If it fails to repair any files, they will be automatically deleted from the infected computer.
      Figure I. D

    2. When it's done, on the next screen with the results click 'Quit and restart computer' to exit avast! Rescue Disk.
      Figure II. D

  • Do it manually

    1. If you click this option, avast! Rescue Disk lets you select the infected files you want to try to repair or delete completely.
      Figure III. D

    2. On the next screen you'll see all infected files listed in the table. In the first column you can tick the checkbox besides each file you would like to repair or delete. After that, you can click:

      • 'Fix automatically' - to try to remove only the malicious code from the selected files, while keeping the rest of each file intact. Infected files that fail to be repaired will be automatically deleted from the infected computer.

      • 'Repair selected' - to try to remove only the malicious code from the selected files, while keeping the rest of each file intact. Unfortunately, some of them cannot be repaired as the whole file is malware, therefore you have to manually delete those files that fail to be repaired.

      • 'Delete selected' - to permanently delete selected files from the computer.
      Figure IV. D

      ...and when the action is over, click 'OK' on the confirmation message with the results.
      Figure V. D

      Note:
      In case that you have selected 'Scan all archives' on the welcome screen of avast! Rescue Disk wizard, and any infected archive was found, you can also check, that you want to 'Delete infected archives'.

    3. Once you have finished, click 'continue...
      Figure VI. D

      ...and on the next screen with the results click 'Quit and restart computer' to exit avast! Rescue Disk.
      Figure VII. D

As soon as the computer is restarted you can remove the external USB flash drive/CD with avast! Rescue Disk from USB port/CD-DVD drive.


Conditions

avast! Premier 2014
avast! Internet Security 2014
avast! Pro Antivirus 2014
avast! Free Antivirus 2014

Operating systems:


Microsoft Windows 8.1 / Pro / Enterprise
Microsoft Windows 8 / Pro / Enterprise
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Basic / Home Premium / Professional / Enterprise / Ultimate
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Basic / Home Premium / Business / Enterprise / Ultimate
Microsoft Windows XP Home / Professional / Media Center Edition

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