Microsoft Standalone System Sweeper can help rid your system of malware. Computers can become so infested with malware that they no longer boot. Or if they do boot, they will likely disable may security features in Windows that can be used to remove them, making virus removal a tedious chore. Microsoft is now providing a tool called Microsoft Standalone System Sweeper to help you start, scan and repair a PC that is infected with viruses, rootkits and other malware. The Microsoft Standalone System Sweeper is created on removable media, such as a blank CD or USB drive or ISO disk. The disk is then used to boot into a pre-Windows environment before the malware has a chance to load and protect itself.
Download And Burn Microsoft Standalone System Sweeper
Editor’s note: This is now called Windows Defender Offline, so the link has been chanced below.
You should download the Windows Defender Offline from the Microsoft site, even if you do not currently have a problem with the computer. The download is a .exe file. Click it to launch the program that will create the boot disk.
If prompted, click Yes to allow the program to run.
Read the message and have a blank CD, DVD or USB drive ready and click Next.
Read and accept the license agreement in order to proceed.
Select the type of blank media you will be using and click Next.
Microsoft Standalone System Sweeper will download files and burn the disk on the media you specified. This will take several minutes.
When the disk is ready, click Finish.
Run the Microsoft Standalone System Sweeper Program
In order for this to launch, you will need to restart the computer with the CD, DVD or USB drive inserted into the computer. You will also need to make sure your BIOS is set to boot to the appropriate device. If you restart and Windows loads to the Desktop as normal, you will need to restart the machine and enter the BIOS setup and select either the Optical Drive (CDROM) or USB drive–if that is where you burned the media. Read how to access the BIOS here if you’re unsure of how to get into the setup.
Note: When booting your computer, watch for a message that says “Press any key to boot from CD.” Press any key on your keyboard to launch the Microsoft Standalone System Sweeper. Otherwise, Windows will eventually boot to the Desktop.
The program will load. Click the button that says Full Scan and allow the program to run through completion. The scan is very thorough and will likely take several hours to run. If it finds any malware, follow the onscreen prompts to remove it.
As Microsoft states, this is NOT used for virus prevention. This is a removal tool. It is successful where many fail because it does the scans before Windows loads the virus into memory. It is a valuable tool to have and one you should burn onto disk before disaster strikes.