Virus rescue disks can be used in situations in which your antivirus program has stopped functioning. They’re available for a number of different antivirus vendors and are easy to use, offering users a variety of customization options in terms of how they want the software to scan the system.

Certain applications provide the familiar desktop experience and some provide users with a variety of additional utilities. Kaspersky’s Rescue Disk for instance, is based on Xfce Linux and includes Firefox, Thumar File Manager, as well as a handful of other apps that are useful for different purposes. The rescue disk comes with an option that allows you to choose specific files to be scanned, or to indicate whether you wish to ignore files larger than a certain size.

Other rescue disks aren’t as advanced, like Trend Micro’s, which does not have a graphical interface and requires you to navigate with arrow keys. This simple rescue disk is able to make up for the lack of features thanks to its size and proving to have a strong track record of the detection of malware during AV-Comparatives’s real-world protection testing.

Those looking for a more user-friendly product should consider ESET’s SysRescue Live which has one of the most well-designed and polished interfaces on this list. It’s based on the exact antivirus engine that is used in the full-featured version of the software and its user-friendly interface provides plenty of customization options to choose from, such as the option of a smart or custom scan, setting exclusions, and selecting whether to run the scan in a quick or deep mode.