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ClamAV is free, open-source anti-virus software for Linux, Windows, and many other operating systems.

How To

To disinfect a Windows PC by running ClamAV from an Ubuntu liveCD:

  • Boot the liveCD
  • Install the "clamav" package
  • Run "freshclam" (this may sit for a few minutes before showing any signs of life, and will take many minutes to finish downloading).
  • Mount the infected drive (opening it from "Locations" in a file manager will do)
  • run df to find out the drive's filesystem path. We'll assume it's /media/disk.
  • Run clamscan in read-only mode to see if there are any detectable infections:
    • clamscan -v -r /media/disk
  • To move infected files into a quarantine area (only partially tested):
    • sudo clamscan -v -r --move=/media/disk/quarantine /media/disk
    • real-world example -- this should quarantine the infections in addition to finding them:
      • sudo clamscan -v -r --move=/media/IBM_PRELOAD/etc/quarantine /media/IBM_PRELOAD
  • If no infections found, you may still be able to find infections with one of the Windows versions; there may be a way to force the Linux version to use the very latest data engine, but I'm not sure. Hopefully this basic scan will be enough to make a hopelessly virus-bound system usable again.


Additionally, there are some distributions which come with ClamAV already installed, and which may therefore simplify this process:


In Microsoft Windows, ClamAV is available in two varieties:

Error Codes