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I just tried a couple of rescue disks (AVG and Kaspersky), and I was wondering if someone knew of a solution that would work like this:

  • The AV solution boots from a USB key, and works entirely from RAM (where the latest virus DB is downloaded)
  • The user inserts his Windows CD/DVD in the drive
  • If any Windows file is compromised, the AV application fetches a clean version from the CD/DVD and restores it on the hard drive
  • optionally, any compromised drive/user-land application is quarantied, and it is up to the user to reinstall those after he successfully rebooted into a restored Windows setup

Have you heard of a solution like this? It seems silly to reinstall a whole Windows computer just because one or a few system files were compromised.

Thank you.

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If you didnt mind doing a bit of work, you could put linux on a flashdrive and use clamAV to scan over the harddrive.

Depending on what was messed up you can boot into a recovery mode on the windows cd and use some of the tools at the recovery console to run to fix whatever is messed up at the time, or sfc if you are just trying to check system files.

It sounds like you are trying to find an easy way to get windows back to the way it was. I would suggest regular backups of the OS as an image file. Then you can just deploy the image back onto the harddrive when there is a problem. Move user storage to another location that is not on the same drive as your system files. There are automated solutions to deploying and creating images as well if you decide to go this route.

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Thanks for the tip. I read that ClamAV isn't very good. I'll investigate how viruses infect a Windows host, and whether it's possible to just recover files from the CD to save a corrupt host with no image handy. – OverTheRainbow Apr 18 '10 at 20:29

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