Although we all try to prevent the latest bit of nastiness from taking up residence on our systems, sometimes the bad guys win and we’re faced with the task of cleaning up Dodge. Some of these infections are quite clever and not only prevent you from executing detection and removal tools, but also prevent you from downloading them in the first place. There is, however, a way around that last bit.

Tech Republic has an article listing 5 portable tools for cleaning up malware and virus infections. All of them are free though some may be donation-ware or a way of advertising a more robust paid version. Nonetheless, they will help get you out of a jam and in that case, who cares if there’s an ad or two for the paid-up version of the tool.

The tools are:

  1. ClamWin Portable
  2. Sophos Anti Rootkit Portable
  3. Emsisoft Free Emergency Toolkit
  4. Vipre Rescue
  5. Spybot Search and Destroy Portable

Dr. Data is most familiar with the Emsisoft Emergency Toolkit and Spybot Search & Destroy. There are a number of people who argue that the Emsisoft product is even better than Dr. Data’s favourite tool, MalwareBytes, and he is not going to argue their relative merits here. He will say, however, that the Emsisoft tool does seem to take longer to perform a scan than MalwareBytes. Whether that is because the former is more meticulous than the latter is a topic for another day.

As for Spybot Search and Destroy, Dr. Data has used it to bat clean-up for a number of years now. Spybot will flag and remove spyware, tracking cookies, etc. but it is also excellent for cleaning up the bits of debris left after an infection is removed and can give clues as to how the infection made its way on to your system in the first place.

All five tools require the user to be proactive. In other words, you need to:

  1. Find a clean USB thumb drive
  2. Install the tools on the thumb drive
  3. Keep those tools up to date
  4. Remember where you put the thumb drive

If the infection blocks the execution of one or more of these tools, then you will have to either use a rescue CD/DVD to boot your system or remove the hard drive and attach it to another system using any one of a number of fine USB SATA/IDE bridge devices on the market and disinfect the drive that way.

Read the full article on TechRepublic.

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