14 Free USB Antivirus To Fix Unbootable Windows and Unmountable Boot Volume

Updated: April 8, 2019 / Home » Computer and Internet Security » Free Portable USB Antivirus

Before you proceed with formatting your unbootable Microsoft Windows PC, why not try rescuing your computer with an Antivirus Rescue Disk. A rescue disk is a bootable antivirus that boots up via a flash drive and proceed to scan your Windows installation for rootkit viruses, once identified, it will clean up the system and fix the unbootable error.

Related Article 2019 ➤ 7 Freeware to Fix Unbootable Microsoft Windows XP, 7, 8 and 10 – Remove Boot Virus from Startup

There are many antivirus rescue disk in the market, there is no 1 software solution for all. Download and give at least 3 different rescue disk a go before giving up. Without further ado, here are 16 free USB antivirus for your unbootable Microsoft Windows and Unmountable Boot Volume [ Usually Hardware Issue and Not Software ].

These software works on all version of Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 and 10. Remember to change your Bios boot sequence or else the USB bootable thumbdrive will not boot up when you restart your computer.

↓ 01 – Runtime Live CD

The Runtime Live CD is ready-to-use and preinstalled with all our data recovery tools. The Live CD is an ideal recovery environment as it is Linux-based, and therefore less prone to a Windows tendency to manipulate and change Windows-formatted disks. This reduces the risk of overwriting data that you want to recover, especially on Windows boot disks (C:). The Runtime Live CD is an alternative to our WinPE boot CD. The Live CD provides access to network resources and the Internet.

runtime live cd Free USB Antivirus To Fix Unbootable Windows and Unmountable Boot Volume

↓ 02 – REMnux

REMnux™ is a free Linux toolkit for assisting malware analysts with reverse-engineering malicious software. It strives to make it easier for forensic investigators and incident respondents to start using the variety of freely-available tools that can examine malware, yet might be difficult to locate or set up.

The heart of the project is the REMnux Linux distribution based on Ubuntu. This lightweight distro incorporates many tools for analyzing Windows and Linux malware, examining browser-based threats such as obfuscated JavaScript, exploring suspicious document files and taking apart other malicious artifacts. Investigators can also use the distro to intercept suspicious network traffic in an isolated lab when performing behavioral malware analysis.

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↓ 03 – Panda SafeDisk

Panda SafeCD is a free utility to disinfect any Operating System. Simply burn into a CD or USB and boot your PC with Panda SafeCD to scan and disinfect your PC. This useful utility comes in handy when you need to clean a friend’s PC (or your own) from a malware infested state. It is specially useful for detecting and disinfecting malware infections which give regular AV products running within Windows a hard time.

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↓ 04 – Kaspersky Rescue Disk

Kaspersky Rescue Disk is a free tool for disinfecting computers from malware which does not allow the operating system to start. Kaspersky Rescue Disk is designed to scan and disinfect x86 and x64-compatible computers that have been infected. The application should be used when the infection is so severe that it is impossible to disinfect the computer using anti-virus applications or malware removal utilities (such as Kaspersky Virus Removal Tool) running under the operating system.

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↓ 05 – G DATA BootMedium

The G DATA boot medium is a practical aid for detecting viruses that have already embedded themselves on your computer prior to installing the antivirus software. In the current version the boot medium is also capable of restoring all backups created with G DATA solutions (only available in the TOTAL PROTECTION solution).

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The download file is an ISO file, i.e. it must either be burnt to a CD/DVD or be mounted via a virtual drive so it can be used from a USB stick for example. You can download the boot medium in the “Tools” download area.

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↓ 06 – ESET SysRescue Live

ESET SysRescue Live is a malware cleaning tool that runs independent of the operating system from a CD, DVD, or a USB. It has direct access to the disk and the file system, and therefore is capable of removing the most persistent threats.

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↓ 07 – Dr.Web LiveDisk

Emergency system repair from a CD/DVD disk or a bootable USB drive. If the activities of malicious programs have made it impossible for you to boot a computer running Windows, you can recover the affected system for free using Dr.Web LiveDisk!

With Dr.Web LiveDisk you can not only clean your system of infected and suspicious files but also copy important information to removable media or another computer; Dr.Web LiveDisk also attempts to cure infected objects.

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↓ 08 – Comodo Rescue Disk

Comodo Rescue Disk (CRD) is a bootable disk image that allows users to run virus scans in a pre-boot environment (before Windows loads). CRD runs Comodo Cleaning Essentials on a lightweight distribution of the Linux operating system. It is a powerful virus, spyware, rootkit scanner and cleaner which works in both GUI and text mode. The tool can provide a more comprehensive and thorough scan than regular malware cleaning applications because it cleans your system before Windows is loaded.

CRD is intended to be used when malware embeds itself so deeply into your system that regular AV software cannot remove it. The rescue disk is also very effective at removing infections that are preventing Windows from booting in the first place. Apart from the virus scanner, CRD also provides tools to explore files in your hard drive, take screenshot and browse web pages.

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↓ 09 – Bitdefender Rescue CD

Bitdefender Rescue CD is a free tool that scans and cleans your computer whenever you suspect a malware threat is affecting its operation. Bitdefender Rescue CD works without loading the operating system and can be set up either on a CD/DVD or on a USB flash drive.

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↓ 10 – Download Avira Rescue System

The Avira Rescue System scans and repairs malware-infected computers that no longer boot or are generally unresponsive. Running on both Windows and Linux operating systems, our integrated scan and repair Wizard is highly intuitive and easy to use. Are you concerned about recovering data from your system? If so, the Avira Rescue System is the ideal tool for you.

And if for some reason you need outside assistance, the Rescue System can establish a remote desktop connection with Avira Support. The Avira Rescue System is updated daily so that the most recent security updates are always available. To use the Rescue System burn it to a CD or copy it to a bootable USB stick and then boot your system from that CD or USB stick.

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↓ 11 – AVG Rescue CD

Keep your systems running smoothly with protection from AVG Rescue CD. This comprehensive toolkit repairs system crashes and returns systems to operating at full capacity. Complete recovery. Completely free. Icon for AVG Rescue CD Business Edition. Complete recovery. Completely free.

If malware gets past your security software, AVG Rescue CD can get your PC back up and running. AVG resellers have been using this same solution to recover their customers infected systems and now it’s available to your business, free of charge. It’s your systems clean bill of health without the bill.

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↓ 12 – AOSS Malware Scanner [ Discontinued ]

Once a system is infected with malware it becomes difficult to remove that malware as it is already embedded in the system and has control over many components which are key to the system’s operations. Malware, like rootkits, use system components to hide themselves and prevent other software from detecting or removing them.

This is often the case of who gets there first; if the malware is able to get control of the system earlier on then it also has control over any software that may be run later. Besides just hiding, malware can also block the execution of other security applications. If you cannot install or run a security application in the first place then you cannot scan and detect the malware.

The best time to remove this malware is when it is not running, but malware often starts with the Operating System, so we would have to stop the Operating System to stop the malware. On a shutdown OS nothing is running and malware like rootkits cannot hide themselves and so it would be easy to find and remove them.

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↓ 13 – Antivirus Live CD

Antivirus Live CD is a 4MLinux fork including the ClamAV scanner. It’s designed for users who need a lightweight live CD, which will help them to protect their computers against viruses. Both Ethernet (including Wi-Fi) and dial-up (including fast USB modems) Internet connections are supported to enable automatic updates of the virus signature database. All partitions are mounted automatically during boot so that they can be scanned by ClamAV.

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↓ 14 – Norton Bootable Recovery Tool

If you are unable to remove threats using the regular scanner in your Norton product or if your computer will not start, use the Norton Bootable Recovery Tool to get the problem resolved fast. For instructions on how to use Norton Bootable Recovery Tool, click here. Gets your computer back up and running if it becomes so infected that it won’t work properly or even start.

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↓ 15 – Trinity Rescue Kit [ Discontinued ]

Trinity Rescue Kit or TRK is a free live Linux distribution that aims specifically at recovery and repair operations on Windows machines, but is equally usable for Linux recovery issues. Since version 3.4 it has an easy to use scrollable text menu that allows anyone who masters a keyboard and some English to perform maintenance and repair on a computer, ranging from password resetting over disk cleanup to virus scanning

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↓ 16 – F-Secure Rescue CD [ Discontinued ]

F-Secure Rescue CD contains the Knoppix derivative of the Linux operating system, which can run completely from a CD and allows access to your PC’s operating system and hard disks.

Use Rescue CD to boot up a PC you suspect has been infected, or has had its security software compromised. Note that it cannot scan encrypted disks. Once booted, you can check the installed programs and perform more advanced repair and data recovery operations.

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4 comments on “14 Free USB Antivirus To Fix Unbootable Windows and Unmountable Boot Volume

  1. Gravatar


    First, sorry for my poor English: it’s not my native language (I’m from Italy).

    Well, I repair PCs and I use to keep in my pocket a multiboot USB with tons of tools which can help me to solve most of the problems I face almost every day.

    These are my favorite live tools:

    > Antivirus: Bitdefender, Kaspersky, Dr. Web and AVG. Both Kaspersky and Bitdefender can have some wifi issue with some (few) cards, but everything works fine if you use them from the new UEFI-BIOS YUMI (it’s still a beta but it works fine). Don’t ask me why! :-) The latest AVG has improved its network tools and now wifi works like a charm (once you could connect only using eth0), so you can easily update the signatures.

    > System Tools: Boot Repair Disk, Rescatux, Super Grub 2 (included in Rescatux) Gparted, Mini Tool Partition Wizard and my favorite ones: Clonezilla and System Rescue CD (which among hundreds of tools includes Gparted and Super Grub2). Clonezilla never failed me and System Rescue CD, though it’s not for newby, is absolutely one of the best multitool, if not THE best. I repeat: not very easy for beginners, but very powerful: you can clone, image, save data from failing disks, manage partitions etc… Many of its features are good for Windows too.
    For Cloning you can also use Ghost 4 Linux but it doesn’t still have UEFI boot support.

    > Distros: Porteus, on my opinion, is the best live OS you can use: it’s customizable BEFORE you download it and it’s very light (about 300 Mb). You can have more than one, depending on your needs: for example you can have one for BIOS 64 bit, on for UEFI 64 bit and one for BIOS 32 bit. Debian live it’s a good choice too. Puppy and Elementary are good but I don’t like them very much (it’s my opinion).

    > More: if you want to be “bad boys” :-) you can use Pentesting and “Hacking” distros like Kali, Backbox or BlackArch. They are not so easy to use if you want to be a pro, but they are worth a try even if you are not interested in this kind of operations.

    If you want to be anonymous you can use Tails, a Debian base distro that uses Tor for anonymous browsing.
    Parrot OS is another distro which combines anonymous browsing and pentesting.

    For forensics purposes i suggest CAINE and (but it’s not very updated) Deft. CAINE can be used like a regular distro, having LibreOffice, Browsers etc… The good is that it has a gui for Photorec and DDrescue, for those who are scared by command line: for example System Rescue CD has only the command line version of both.

    Finally, I want to mention some discontinued tools that cannot be used on modern PCs (especially the UEFI based ones) but if you have an old machine they can be still useful: Trinity Rescue Kit, Falcons Four and, above all, Ultimate Boot CD. In fact, Ultimate Boot CD should be developed into a new graphical version that now is in a beta… I don’t know if it’s dead or not. Let’s wait and see!
    Remember that none of these three tools are UEFI boot compatible.

    Well, there are many, many other live tools, but on my opinion these are (among free ones) the best, and if I should mention all the rest I would take the risk of writing a boring, endless post! :-)

    Just a tip: most of the times you (me too!) don’t really need all these tools, but it can be a good idea to keep them in a multiboot USB. Easy2Boot and Yumi are the best multiboot USB creators. We’re waiting for Yumi to became stable in its UEFI compatible verisions. Yumi is also being rewritten for Linux but there’s not a ETA.

    Cheers, :-)


  2. Gravatar
    Roberto [ Reply ]

    Hi to all,

    please, do you know if these AV are working also with a BitLocker partition?
    Is there the possibility to insert the Key and unlock (and scan) a BitLocker encrypted disk?

    Thanks in advance!

  3. Gravatar

    How do I load the c: drive OCZ SSD drivers with the usb so the scanner can see the OS?
    None of these programs allow for loading of drivers, Macrium does it but it can not scan for viruses

  4. Gravatar
    ivanko [ Reply ]

    Dear fellows,

    When I go to http://www.runtime.org/runtimelivecd.iso
    the link doesn’t work. It gives me an “HTTP ERROR 400” giving a “Please contact the owner of the site”
    I believe this is a temporary malfunction of the website.

    Could you be so kind in notifying runtime support that we are unable to get access to content on their site? I notified them myself but with no avail.

    I greatly appreciate your help.


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