How to Make a Bootable Antivirus USB?

Malware attacks can be disastrous for a system, especially if your system contains a lot of essential files, which a malware attack can ruin. For protecting their system against malware or to remove them, most people use a robust security solution. However, some malware programs or codes can bypass the antimalware solutions and keep creating havoc by troubling the system files.

Popup malware such as Nbryb does not harm the operating system files and can be easily removed through an antimalware scan. However, some malware, such as Rootkits, can hide deep into the system and deceive the security programs, thereby harming the OS.

This is where Bootable Antivirus or Rescue Disks comes into play. 

In this post, we would learn more about Rescue Disks and how to make a Bootable Antivirus USB drive.

What is Bootable Antivirus?

Every malware program needs to load in the operating system for execution. A Bootable Antivirus would perform the scan and catch the malware without even loading the primary operating system. It is also known as the Rescue Disk or USB. In this, the antivirus is packed in a bootable USB drive, and then the scan is performed. With a Bootable Antivirus USB stick, you can scan the hard drive and remove the hard to remove malware like Rootkits, which automatically loads itself on the OS startup. Since Bootable Antivirus does not require Windows to startup, the Rootkit will also remain inactive.

How is Bootable Antivirus beneficial?

A Bootable Antivirus USB drive can be helpful in many ways. For instance, if your system is severely damaged by malware programs and is unable to startup, you can remove those malware programs and recover your damaged device using the Bootable Antivirus. Similarly, as already mentioned, to catch and remove the hidden malware, using the Bootable Antivirus is the best option since the attack is from the outside, so the culprit malware won’t get the medium for execution and hide.

Instructions for Creating a Rescue Disk?

To create a Rescue Disk, you need to fulfill the following requirements:

  1. You need a Windows system to make a Bootable Antivirus.
  2. It is highly recommended to use a clean system to create a bootable stick.
  3. The Pendrive that you would convert to bootable USB should be a minimum of 1 GB in size.
  4. Before making the USB bootable, format it with the correct file system, i.e., FAT32. Also, ensure that you have backed up its data.
  5. Once the scan is performed, and malware is deleted, reformat the Pendrive.
  6. If your drives are encrypted, the Bootable Antivirus wouldn’t be able to perform the scan. Make sure that drives are not locked.

How to create a Bootable Antivirus USB?

Many antivirus manufacturers provide the Bootable Antivirus or the Rescue Disk for performing the virus scan from the boot menu. For this post, we would create a rescue disk of Avast Antivirus.

Here are the steps for that:

1. Download and install the Avast Antivirus program from its official site and then install it properly. It is available for free.

2. Launch the program, click on the Protection tab and choose Virus Scans.

Choose Virus Scans Option

3. From the right side, select the Rescue Disk option.

Select the Rescue Disk Option

4. Insert the USB drive and choose the CREATE USB option on the Rescue Disk option.

Insert USB drive & choose the Create USB option

5. Select the preferred USB drive.

Select your USB Drive

6. The Rescue Disk would begin creating. It would take some time for completion.

Creating Rescue Disk

7. When the Rescue USB is created, click OK to finish.

Rescue USB is created & Click OK

How to Boot Up the PC with Bootable Antivirus Stick?

After creating the disk, you can now boot your infected PC with it. Follow these instructions:

1. Shut down your infected PC and insert the Bootable Antivirus stick into the USB port.

2. Start the PC, and as it starts, press the appropriate key to enter the Boot Menu. The key to enter the Boot menu depends on the device manufacturer. Find out which key or key combination works for you.

3. When the Boot Menu appears, select the USB device that contains the Rescue Disk.

Select Removable Device from Boot Menu

4. Next, press any key to start the Rescue Disk.

press any key to start the Rescue Disk

How to Scan your PC for Viruses?

To perform the scan with the Rescue Disk, follow these steps

1 Choose one of the options: 

  • All hard discs: This scans the whole hard disk
  • Selected folders/discs: This checks only the folder or file that you specify

2. Click Start Scan.

Now Click Start Scan

3. After the scan is completed, review the results, and delete the infected files.

Scan has Completed Succesfully


A Bootable Antivirus USB drive can be beneficial to repair your computer that is shut down because of malware infection. However, it should be the last step and should be used only in case of emergency as it may cause data loss. Other than Avast, other popular antivirus manufacturers also provide the Rescue Drives such as AVG Rescue, Comodo Rescue, Kaspersky Rescue, and others. You can use any of them. Their installation process might be slightly different, but scanning is similar.

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