What Are the Advantages of a Boot Virus Scan?
Virus scans run after the computer starts up can detect and remove many viruses, but it cannot remove them all. A boot scan virus lets the virus scanner scan all the files and the boot sector of the computer before a virus gets loaded into memory. A boot scan virus allows the virus scanner to find any problems that load when the system itself loads.
What Can a Boot Virus Scan Do That a Normal Virus Scan Cannot Do?
A boot virus scan, as mentioned before, finds viruses that load themselves into memory at the system boot time. What a boot scan can do that normal scans cannot do is remove viruses that put themselves in the resident memory. If a user has ever found a process that keeps recurring after he kills it, it may be a sign of a virus that loads before Windows starts up. Malicious code writers often do not let the user kill the system processes that the virus requires to operate. Virus scanners can remove and quarantine this during the boot scan process.
Additional Layers of Virus Protection
Boot Virus scans work even better if they are run off of a write-protected media, such as a CD, DVD or a USB flash drive set to read-only mode. This type of virus boot scan allows the scanning software to run off of a disk known to be clean. It also provides an additional level of protection and lets the software remove viruses that would normally be loaded into the memory of your personal computer. Most anti-virus programs on the market let the user create a rescue disk. The user should create this disk and store it in a safe place in case he needs it. Boot scans only need to be run when a user suspects he has a virus when his operating system starts.