A free security solution from Microsoft is designed to deal with the most severe infections that leave computers virtually unusable, save for a clean install of Windows after a hard drive formatting.
However, there’s yet another tool that the Redmond company is offering users, especially when all other solutions have failed.
Dubbed the Microsoft Standalone System Sweeper, the tool is apparently being recommended by Microsoft Support to customers.
It’s critical to note from the get go that Microsoft Standalone System Sweeper is still in development. What the software giant is offering is the Beta development milestone of Standalone System Sweeper, which is housed on Microsoft Connect.
“You have been directed here to download and install the beta version of Microsoft Standalone System Sweeper Beta, a recovery tool that can help you start an infected PC and perform an offline scan to help identify and remove rootkits and other advanced malware,” Microsoft said.
“In addition, Microsoft Standalone System Sweeper Beta can be used if you cannot install or start an antivirus solution on your PC, or if the installed solution can’t detect or remove malware on your PC.”
Malicious code and malware attacks have evolved considerably from those of the past century. At the core of this evolution is the cybercriminals’ focus on making money rather than rendering PC useless.
While viruses are a dying bread, rootkits, spam bots, Trojans, scareware, etc. are thriving. However, there are scenarios in which malware infections are so severe that users are left with dead machines.
This is where the Standalone System Sweeper Beta comes in. The security solution can be used to put together a bootable CD, DVD or USB – a clean computer needs to be used for this.
Once the bootable media is finalized, customers can use it to bring their machine back to life. Microsoft Standalone System Sweeper Beta works with a range of platforms including Windows XP SP3, Windows Vista and Windows 7, including Windows 7 SP1. Two versions are available, the 32-bit and the 64-bit.
“Microsoft Standalone System Sweeper Beta is not a replacement for a full antivirus solution providing ongoing protection; it is meant to be used in situations where you cannot start your PC due to a virus or other malware infection,” the company added.
“For no-cost, real-time protection that helps guard your home or small business PCs against viruses, spyware, and other malicious software, download Microsoft Security Essentials.”
Microsoft Safety Scanner is available for download from Softpedia via this link.
Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) 2.0 RTM is available for download here.