PC Tools' Alternate Operating System Scanner v2.0.5

A Full Review of Alternate Operating System Scanner, a Free Bootable AV Program

Screenshot of PC Tools' Alternate Operating System Scanner
PC Tools' AOSS. © PC Tools

Update: PC Tools is not longer available. As such, you can not browse for the AOSS download on their website. However, there is a direct link here that may or may not always be available.

PC Tools' Alternate Operating System Suite (AOSS) is a software suite for Windows that functions not only as a free bootable antivirus program but also a file recovery and data destruction program.

The menus are easy to navigate through and you can start a virus scan in just a few moments after booting into AOSS.

Download Alternate Operating System Scanner
[Pctools.com | Download Tips]

Note: This review is of Alternate Operating System Scanner version 2.0.5, released on December 9, 2010. Please let me know if there's a newer version I need to review.

Alternate Operating System Scanner Pros & Cons

AOSS certainly has some downfalls, but it's also very simple to use:

Pros

  • Graphical user interface
  • Easy to work with
  • No custom settings (scans are easy to start)
  • Includes other useful free tools

Cons

  • Built for the Windows OS only
  • No custom settings (not very advanced)
  • Over 350 MB download size

Install Alternate Operating System Scanner

Download the ISO image from the download page to get started. The program file will be called AOSS.iso once it's been added to your computer.

Next, you must burn the Alternate Operating System Scanner program to a disc. If you need help doing this, see How To Burn an ISO Image File to a DVD, CD, or BD.

Once you've successfully burned the program to a disc, you must boot to it before Windows starts up. If you've never done this before, see my How To Boot From a CD/DVD/BD Disc.

My Thoughts on Alternate Operating System Scanner

Because Alternate Operating System Scanner doesn't have any scan options or other custom settings, you can begin a scan fairly quickly once you've booted to the disc.

On that note, if you're looking for a program that lets you perform particular scans like checking certain folders only, you won't find it with AOSS.

I still like Alternate Operating System Scanner even though it doesn't have custom options because the program is really easy to use. Unlike some other bootable antivirus programs, AOSS lets you use your mouse to control the menus, which makes it very simple to use.

Just choose Anti-Virus scanner from the AOSS main menu and then choose the partitions you want checked to immediately begin a scan.

Also from the main menu are some addition tools, such as a system shell and file manager that lets you compress, remove, and copy data.

Download Alternate Operating System Scanner
[Pctools.com | Download Tips]