Many of the top antivirus providers provide a free bootable recovery disk that can be used to clean your computer following an infection. These are essentially Linux-based tools designed to clean an infected computer that doesn’t start up or cannot be checked by a regular antivirus software program running in Windows. I suggest the Kaspersky disc for its ease of use (though it might not work on some Dell systems).

You can also get similar features with the Avira or ESET rescue disks, which come with an interactive interface, but require an USB or CD device to start. Both of these options will identify and scan for malware on your PC, however their virus definitions aren’t updated as frequently as Linux-based rescue disks.

The Trend Micro rescue disk is another good choice and one of the smallest options on this list with a size of around 70MB. It doesn’t feature a graphical user interface but it works quickly and provides a number of options for customization. This includes the ability to scan and mount specific volume volumes, files and even individual folders.

The Comodo Rescue Disk is a good option for a virus check, but it isn’t as flexible. the same flexibility as alternatives that run on Linux. It is a very effective tool to detect and eliminate virus that may be hidden in Windows files, which prevents detection by antivirus software that is normally used. You can choose between either a text-only or a fully graphical interface, and also the option to run a custom or smart scan.