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I have an old Windows 95 computer that appears to be full of malware. I can't connect it to the internet (because I don't have dial-up anymore) but I want to take out all of the viruses off there. Is there an antivirus compatible with Windows 95 that I can burn to CD and install, and that comes with a database? Or a virus removal tool (because I won't ever be hooking it back up to my network)?

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i would suggest using a tool to pull the CD key (assuming you don't still have it handy) and then format and reinstall –  Xantec Apr 22 '11 at 20:19
    
I have too many things that I need to keep to format & reinstall, plus I don't have the CD. –  minitech Apr 22 '11 at 20:20
    
You might want to put that down as an answer, Xantec, I feel like it's the best way to go in this situation. –  jcrawfordor Apr 22 '11 at 20:21
    
minitech, there's a very limited number of modern a/v solutions that support 95. I think old Sophos versions are free now, but they may not be updated any more. A quick google turns up references to old McAffee versions for 95. –  jcrawfordor Apr 22 '11 at 20:23
    
I wouldn't vouch for installable antiviruses. The machine is infected with today's spyware (or something very current). Most Professional, payfor software capable of being installed will have decade-old virus databases. Look for CD tools because they don't care about your version, and run protected off read-only CDR –  Vlueboy Apr 22 '11 at 20:46

3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

AVG and Avira both offer rescue disks that you can download and burn to a cd.

The AVG version requires an internet connection for virus updates, whereas Avira rolls them into the .iso. However, either should work if the malware is older than the .iso.

Both CD are Linux-based, and boot into a Linux environment to run the virus scan. Neither require installing anything to your PC.

Edit: Just want to add that Kasperky also offers a rescue disk.

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Thanks, I'm trying that now. –  minitech Apr 22 '11 at 20:53
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Be careful what you let it remove, make notes of all the files it removes, some could be infected Windows system files, which can cause a real problem if they get removed, they need to be removed if they are infected but having a list of them will help you put back clean copies of these System files from another source. I have a Win 95b or 95c cd if you need one. –  Moab Apr 22 '11 at 21:58
    
Installation disk of Norton Internet Security is also bootable. It can also clean viruses from FAT independent of platforms. –  Sachin Shekhar Mar 12 '12 at 7:08

Although you indicated the desire to save the existing install, just in case it comes having to do a wipe and clean install I'll post it as an answer.

i would suggest using a tool to pull the CD key (assuming you don't still have it handy) and then format and reinstall

That said, I wish you luck in getting it cleaned to a level that will satisfy your need.

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Good call on burning your CD. If your machine even HAS USB ports, you can't really use USB sticks because seamless support was added after Windows 98.

At a minimumm, tools aware of legacy needs demand at least Windows 98. It doesn't matter what your version of Windows is: serious antivirus freeware will not even need you to run windows and install it. Instead, many boot CD's you boot from the CD and run it independently of any Windows version. As a nice perk, the tools aren't blinded by any intentional potential rootkits inside your infected system.

In spite of this, my experience with a Windows 98 install years ago was that antispyware tools couldn't fully clean it, probably because of fewer testers. Good luck

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No, no USB ports :) Thanks. –  minitech Apr 22 '11 at 20:53

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