Kaspersky Rescue Disk is a software suite with tools like a free bootable antivirus program, a web browser, and a Windows Registry editor. The virus scanner lets you scan any file or folder on the computer without requiring you to scan the entire hard drive, which is a very useful feature. Note: This review is of Kaspersky Rescue Disk version 10.0.32.17, released on June 01, 2010.
Though Kaspersky Rescue Disk is a large download, it has its benefits:
- Has a friendly graphical user interface
- Scans compressed files
- Supports heuristic scanning
- Can edit exclusion rules
- Definition updates can be downloaded within the program
- Easy to run scans and updates
- Lets you scan specific files/folders
- Supports more advanced scan options
- Includes other free tools
- Scan results can be exported to a file (TXT or CSV)
- Download size is nearly 300 MB
- The program itself hasn’t been updated in a long time
Install Kaspersky Rescue Disk
To install Kaspersky Rescue Disk, first download the ISO image file from the download page by choosing the “Distributive” button. The file will download as kav_rescue_10.iso. At this point, you can choose to create a bootable disc or a bootable USB device. Either one will work but the latter is a bit more complex. If you’re wanting to use a USB device instead, Kaspersky has a very detailed step-by-step guide to doing so in their User Guide (PDF file).
My Thoughts on Kaspersky Rescue Disk
When you first boot into Kaspersky Rescue Disk, press any key to open the menu. Next, choose your language (English is selected by default) and accept the agreement by pressing 1 on the keyboard. Finally, you’ll be asked if you want to enter the graphic or text mode version of the program. I highly recommend the graphic mode so you can point and click on menus like you would in a regular desktop application.
The virus scanner will open automatically so you can scan the disk boot sectors, hidden startup objects, the whole hard drive, or any specific file/folder. This is my favorite feature – that you can scan only part of the hard drive instead of the whole thing. This is very useful if you already know what you want to scan so you don’t have to waste time checking the whole drive for malicious files.
The My Update Center section of Kaspersky Rescue Disk’s virus scanner lets you update the signature databases to the most current version. This is really handy so you don’t have to re-download the software each time you wish to update the virus definitions. From the settings, you’re able to adjust the scope of the scanner so only executable files are scanned. You can also skip scanning files and archives larger than a specific size, scan installation packages, and scan embedded OLE objects.
There’s a regular desktop within Kaspersky Rescue Disk that lets you edit the registry, browse the internet, and even explore the operating system like you would if you were logged into a user account, which is very helpful if the malware is preventing you from booting to the system.
The only thing I can find that I don’t like about Kaspersky Rescue Disk is that it may take some time download because the ISO image is rather large.