Originally published at: http://www.howtogeek.com/187037/how-to-scan-and-repair-a-badly-infected-computer-from-outside-windows/
If a Windows system is badly infected with malware, running an antivirus from inside Windows often won’t help. You can more easily find and purge malware by scanning from outside Windows.
Of course, if your computer does become infected with malware, there’s no way to be completely sure the all malware is gone. For this reason, it’s often a good idea to reinstall Windows
This is the best advice of the article. Even if you are able to remove every single piece of malware/virus on your computer, you still have to live with the effects. Did it change registry values, did it change computer settings, something you wouldn't know to look for but causes you heartache.
My desktop and documents is redirected to Google Drive so my documents are always auto-backed up. I have never had malware or a virus myself but if I ever do I will just reinstall, throw on Drive have all my items put back on and use Ninite to install all my programs. Bam, restored.
Agreed. If I wasn't locked into a Windows infrastructure (for professional reasons), I'd be moving to Linux so I didn't have to deal with a cost every other time. But, thankfully, I don't get infected (that I know of), since I practice safe browsing and application habits.
Agreed. I'm a linux user, myself, but anytime anyone else I know has a virus that needs to be removed its just easier to grab my Ubuntu live disk, back up their important files, and reinstall Windows.
ugh, that takes soo long to do all the updates and reinstall all the previous software, settings, little quirky things you've done with your system etc etc etc.
Sometimes Viruses mess with things so bad a reinstall is the only answer. Thats why creating a base image of my machines is standard practice. After I've installed all the software I'm going to use and tweak out o few things a base image gets created so I have a better restore point.
However, the best option I've found is using a combination of Kaspersky Boot Disk with networking along with Malware Bytes (they dont have a boot disk yet). Kaspersky will let you update to the latest definitions once you boot into that environment.
Agree with k4rizma - a reinstall takes too **** long, is too tedious, and much too boring. I maintain 2 EHD's both with system image backups. I alternate between them each time I do a backup. If I pick up a virus (which I actually did a few years ago), I do a restore and am back up and running in about an hour.
I would agree with most of this article. I would be wary of autorun.ini files that could be left by a virus. By disconnecting your hard drive from your system and plugging it into a working system to scan the hard drive could spread the virus to the other system.
Does one have to disable secure boot in Win 8.1 to use the Linux-based CD antivirus scannners?
Yes. See my comment and reply to myself at this link:
Thank you for taking your valuable time to help me. By the way, as you discovered, Macrium free emergency boot disk created under Windows PE 5 is the only disc I have found that will boot for me.
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