Microsoft has quietly released a new security tool called Microsoft Standalone System Sweeper. The product is currently in beta, and is meant to complement Microsoft Security Essentials, which by itself is an excellent antivirus software.
Microsoft has never been good at naming things, and Microsoft Standalone System Sweeper only reinforces that fact. However, Microsoft does have a reputation of developing stellar Windows applications. According to most third party tests, Microsoft Security Essentials is as good as (or even better than) most other antimalware software available in the market. System Sweeper could turn out to be another extremely handy tool from the software giant.
System Sweeper creates a bootable rescue disk that can be used for scanning systems without booting into Windows. This can be helpful in getting rid of hard to remove malware, or detecting advanced rootkits. It also makes it possible to run a scan even when Windows has been rendered unusable by malware infections.
System Sweeper is available in both 32 bit and 64 bit flavors, and supports Windows XP (SP3), Vista and 7. It is capable of creating bootable CDs, DVDs, and USB devices. The latest definitions are downloaded from the web; hence, an internet connection is required for creating the bootable image.
Microsoft Standalone System Sweeper isn’t a revolutionary product. Most other antivirus vendors have been offering system rescue disks for a long time. However, it’s nice to see Microsoft stepping up its game, and getting serious about offering a comprehensive set of tools for tackling malware infections.
Thumbnail via OpenClipArt