F-Secure Rescue CD v3.16

A Full Review of F-Secure Rescue CD, a Free Bootable Antivirus Program

F-Secure Rescue CD scanned files

F-Secure Rescue CD is a free bootable antivirus program that can check for viruses no matter what operating system you're using. 

The interface is just text and therefore doesn't let you use your mouse, but there aren't any advanced options to make things confusing. You'll have a scan started after just a few commands.

This review is of F-Secure Rescue CD version 3.16, which was released February, 2017. Please let us know if there's a newer version we need to review.

F-Secure Rescue CD Pros & Cons

There are a few disadvantages you should consider before using F-Secure Rescue CD:

What We Like

  • Lack of advanced options makes starting a scan quick and easy

  • Updates are performed automatically (no intervention needed)

  • Updates can be installed offline

  • Download is smaller than most similar programs (~130 MB)

What We Don't Like

  • No advanced options mean it's not as advanced as its competitors

  • Updates are performed automatically (no option to skip/stop them)

  • No graphical user interface

Install F-Secure Rescue CD

On the download page, click the link for the ISO image file. It should have the version number included in the name.

Whether you want to install F-Secure Rescue CD on a disc or a USB device, the same file will be used by both installs. See How to Burn an ISO File to a USB Drive or How to Burn an ISO Image File to a DVD, CD, or BD, depending on which you choose.

Once F-Secure Rescue CD has been properly installed, you must boot to it before the operating system starts up. If you need help doing this, see How to Boot From a USB Device or How to Boot From a CD/DVD/BD Disc.

My Thoughts on F-Secure Rescue CD

F-Secure Rescue CD is one of the simplest bootable antivirus programs we've ever used. You must use your keyboard to navigate the menus, but it's still very easy to work with.

Just choose Start scan from the main menu to get started. You may need to confirm a license agreement but shortly after, you'll be asked what you'd like to scan. It will show the detected hard drives as well as the option to scan the master boot record of all the drives. Press the Space key to select/deselect the options and then Enter to start the scan.

It's too bad you can't use your mouse to select options, but there are still some things you can do with your keyboard while a scan is in progress. You're able to press Alt+F5 to see the current files that are being checked, Alt+F6 for a list of any malware that has been found during the scan, and Ctrl-C to stop the scan.

We like that F-Secure Rescue CD checks for virus definition updates automatically before a scan is started, but it can also be viewed as a negative thing if you want to start a scan immediately and not wait for updates to download.

Offline updates are also helpful so you can download them to a USB device from a different computer if the one in question has no Internet connection. See the User's Guide for more information on this.