Bitdefender Rescue CD Review

Bitdefender's free, bootable antivirus tool can scan and remove viruses even if your computer won't start

Bitdefender Rescue CD is just what it sounds like: a free, bootable antivirus program that you can use to fix your computer if it has been infected with a virus. You can use this tool to scan any file or folder on your computer without having to check entire partitions for viruses.

Bitdefender Rescue CD v2
What We Like
  • Easy-to-use graphical UI.

  • You have full control over what you're scanning.

  • Supports advanced scan options.

What We Don't Like
  • It's a large download (over 800 MB).

  • Takes a while to start up.

  • Bitdefender no longer supports it.

This program has been retired and is therefore no longer available from the company's website. While it is still accessible through the link below, via Internet Archive, there are several other free bootable antivirus programs you can use instead that are still being updated.

How to Install Bitdefender Rescue CD

You don't need to actually "install" this program because it's just an ISO file that goes on a disc so you can boot from it when your computer starts up.

  1. Select bitdefender-rescue-cd.iso from the download page.

  2. Burn that file to a disc. If you need help creating the bootable disc, see How to Burn an ISO Image File to a DVD.

  3. Boot to it from your computer to use the program. If you've never booted from a disc before, see How to Boot From a CD, DVD, or BD Disc.

Thoughts on Bitdefender Rescue CD

If you'd rather not install the desktop version of one of Bitdefender's other security tools, such as Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition, then Rescue CD is a great option. You can get some benefits of the virus scanner without having to boot into the operating system.

From the program's settings, select Enable the file drop zone to place an always-open box on your screen into which you can drop single files or whole folders for Bitdefender to scan. Other useful options include the ability to exclude certain file types from scans, scan archive files, and scan files that are smaller than a particular size.

In addition to a virus scanner, a shortcut on the desktop of Bitdefender Rescue CD makes it easy to download and install the free remote access program TeamViewer.

Although it takes some time to download the software and Bitdefender no longer updates the program, meaning that it's not ideal for detecting newer viruses, there's not much to dislike about it.

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