AVG Rescue CD v120.160420

A Full Review of AVG Rescue CD, a Free Bootable Antivirus Program

AVG Rescue CD is a suite of several useful applications that you can run on your computer before the operating system starts, one of which serves as a free bootable antivirus program.

The program interface may not be as comfortable to use as similar programs, but there are lots of custom options.

AVG Rescue CD

This program is no longer being updated by AVG. This review is of the latest version, 120.160420.

AVG Rescue CD Pros & Cons

Though the interface isn't the best to work with, AVG Rescue CD has some nice features:


  • Custom scan options
  • Can enable heuristics scanning
  • Includes other helpful tools


  • Large download (170 MB)
  • No graphical interface
  • Navigating menus can be difficult
  • Virus definitions aren't current

Install AVG Rescue CD

Select the link called "External Mirror 1 - For CD creation" on the download page to download AVG Rescue CD in the form of an ISO file, or "External Mirror 2 - For USB stick" if you want to use a USB device (it downloads as a ZIP archive).

The next step is to burn the ISO file to a disc or put the program on a USB device. If you need help doing this, see How to Burn an ISO Image File to a DVD, CD, or BD. To use the program on a USB device, just extract the files from the ZIP download and then run the AVG RescueCD/Linux Setup program called setup.exe.

Once AVG Rescue CD is on a disc or flash drive (or some other USB device), you'll need to boot your computer to it. See How to Boot From a CD/DVD/BD Disc or How to Boot From a USB Device if you've never done this before.

Start a Virus Scan With AVG Rescue CD

The first screen you'll see after you boot your computer to AVG Rescue CD will ask you what you'd like to do. To start the program, choose AVG Rescue CD, then press Enter on the Disclaimer screen to accept the agreement and get started.

There are over a dozen options you can choose from when AVG Rescue CD first starts up. You're able to view past scan results, mount Windows volumes, configure network settings, and, of course, start a virus scan.

To start a scan with AVG Rescue CD, simply choose the Scan option. You'll then be asked to choose a part of the computer to scan in the Scan Type Menu window. To scan a whole hard drive, choose Volumes, or select Directory or Registry to perform a more specific scan.

Finally, you are given several scan options, such as to scan inside archives, use heuristics for scanning, scan cookies, report documents with macros, scan the boot sector, and others. Select or deselect options with the Space key, then choose Enter to start the custom scan.

My Thoughts on AVG Rescue CD

My favorite thing about AVG Rescue CD is the fact that you can choose different scan options, because some similar bootable virus scanners don't offer such settings.

However, what I dislike most is the non-graphical interface. Not being able to click around on the screen makes moving forward and backward through options very frustrating, which actually caused me to accidentally exit completely out of the program twice while trying to start a scan.

Though once you make your way through the wizard and properly start a scan, doing so with AVG Rescue CD will prove to be beneficial because you can customize what is scanned.

Some of the other included tools worth mentioning from AVG Rescue CD is one for mounting encrypted volumes, a hard drive tester, and a ping utility.