Microsoft ships free malware cleaner that boots from CD or USB

Microsoft ships free malware cleaner that boots from CD or USB

Summary: In a move aimed at cutting down on support call costs, Microsoft has released a malware recovery tool that boots from a CD or USB stick.

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In a move aimed at cutting down on support call costs, Microsoft has released a malware recovery tool that boots from a CD or USB stick.

The tool, currently in beta, is called Microsoft Standalone System Sweeper, and promises to help start an infected PC and perform an offline scan to help identify and remove rootkits and other advanced malware.

In addition, Microsoft says the System Sweeper utility can be used if you cannot install or start an antivirus solution on your PC, or if the installed solution can’t detect or remove malware on your PC.

The company made it clear that the recovery tool is not a replacement for a full antivirus product.follow Ryan Naraine on twitter

It is available for both 32-but and 64-bit Windows systems and uses the same antivirus engine as the Microsoft Security Essentials product.

Just last month, the company shipped a free security tool called  Microsoft Safety Scanner to offer on-demand scanning to helps remove viruses, spyware, and other malicious software. The safety scanner works with existing antivirus software.

These utilities are a big part in helping Microsoft to cut down on support costs stemming from malware infections.

Topics: Malware, Hardware, Microsoft, Security

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72 comments
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  • Timing

    Only 10-15 years too late.
    apophys@...
    • RE: Microsoft ships free malware cleaner that boots from CD or USB

      @apophys@... <br><br>Not really. I'd say at least 5. Could have used this during the XP days, when Windows was really being slammed with malware.
      The one and only, Cylon Centurion
      • RE: Microsoft ships free malware cleaner that boots from CD or USB

        @Cylon Centurion

        Agreed.

        Better late than never, but good all the same to see Microsoft protecting the OS they create. (If anyone knows how to protect Windows, they do. They create it after all!)

        Will be keeping an eye on that one.
        Just J-22513639993676671791495310609907
      • RE: Microsoft ships free malware cleaner that boots from CD or USB

        [i]Better late than never, but good all the same to see Microsoft protecting the OS they create. (If anyone knows how to protect Windows, they do. They create it after all!)[/i]

        They have no choice. Unless they want another lawsuit.
        blind obedience
      • RE: Microsoft ships free malware cleaner that boots from CD or USB

        @Cylon Centurion Hmmmm... my Win 7 system is getting slammed much more than my XP system ever did.

        Just sayin'.
        csteinola
      • RE: Microsoft ships free malware cleaner that boots from CD or USB

        @csteinola

        You shouldn't be. I'd take a good look at your browsing habits if you keep getting "slammed".
        The one and only, Cylon Centurion
      • RE: Microsoft ships free malware cleaner that boots from CD or USB

        @Cylon Centurion Operative word "was"? If it isn't being slammed now why would anyone develop or need this tool?
        I12BPhil
    • They didn't want Symantec or trend suing them I guess

      @apophys@...
      The whole DoJ thing, you know.
      Will Pharaoh
    • Hey Mr. Jobs, are you paying attention?

      This is a great move on Microsoft's part, not just for the safety of Windows users, but very smart from a PR standpoint.

      Apple could stand to learn a thing or two about proactively fighting malware and allaying customers' fear and concerns. Their whole ostrich act of late (over Mac Defender) really drives home this point.
      BGunnells
      • RE: Microsoft ships free malware cleaner that boots from CD or USB

        @BGunnells
        Yes, it is an excellent move on MS's part. I know the reasons behind it are strictly bottom-line customer-keeping/getting ploys, but t's stll good. NOT good enough to abate my hate for their past actons or to go back to them in any way. They'll have to do a lot more for me than that, plus lower their costs.
        tom@...
    • RE: Microsoft ships free malware cleaner that boots from CD or USB

      If the microsoft ESSENTIALS didn't stop the infection then HOW is this tool going to find it? Just another bogus thing to put the companies that have this working already out of business.
      domma
      • RE: Microsoft ships free malware cleaner that boots from CD or USB

        @domma

        You really do not know how these things work do you? Typically today the infections come in after the user has given the OK to install some fake software that basically disables any installed protection and even blocks the installed applications and services from running.

        This runs independently and outside the OS so it cannot be stopped by that software that the user acknowledged and installed that disabled their protection. Think of it this way. A homeowner gets allows a burgler into the home and gets robbed and held hostage and it requires the police to intervene from the outside. Even their all in one Safety Scanner that runs in Windows will do a good job as it requires no services and nothing to be installed. However I find that you may have to rename the executable for some malware infections.
        bobiroc
    • RE: Microsoft ships free malware cleaner that boots from CD or USB

      At least they have the initiative to do it but why now? Free is good and with new malwares, viruses and etc. coming out today I think it is not enough. Microsoft would at least be in tune with what is present, most importantly to there consumers.

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  • RE: Microsoft ships free malware cleaner that boots from CD or USB

    About time! I'll have to give it a try. My arsenal typically includes an Ultimate Boot CD for Win (UBCD). Maybe this will provide some easier tools!
    Thanks for the article,
    David
    http://HiTechBrew.com
    DavidShepherd
    • RE: Microsoft ships free malware cleaner that boots from CD or USB

      @DavidShepherd <br><br>Keep that UBCD4Win handy. The Security Sweeper expires 10 days after download (to keep the virus defs relatively up to date) and you have to re-download.

      Whoops. I stand corrected. It's the Safety Scanner you have to re-download every 10 days.
      lshanahan
      • RE: Microsoft ships free malware cleaner that boots from CD or USB

        @lshanahan Beta ... like a Google product... it's a beta. Lost ball dude
        ItsTheBottomLine
    • RE: Microsoft ships free malware cleaner that boots from CD or USB

      @DavidShepherd

      Isn't UBCD geared towards XP? A dying OS?
      blind obedience
      • RE: Microsoft ships free malware cleaner that boots from CD or USB

        @blind obedience
        Not at all, any OS system.
        daikon
      • RE: Microsoft ships free malware cleaner that boots from CD or USB

        @blind obedience
        XP is supported thru 2014 believe it is. And many people are going to skip win 7, the built-on-Vsta crap with a lot of user frendliness problems and problem names for their apps.
        XP wll be around for a long time yet; the only impetus win7 has is due to contracts which force dealers to provide it and not XP. They're working toward forced obsoletion agaiin - it's only MS that needs the new Vista (win 7) so badly.
        tom@...
      • RE: Microsoft ships free malware cleaner that boots from CD or USB

        @tom@...

        Many people are skipping Windows 7? I'd take a look again at it's market share.
        The one and only, Cylon Centurion