Is it possible to download and install an anti-virus program to a jump drive and have it be fully operational, allowing me to scan my system for a virus? I’ve read it’s advisable to only have one anti-virus program on your system at a time, but I’ve read in order to remove a virus it is best to run several anti-virus programs in safe mode to remove it.
Hi, Mike. Thanks for the great question.
The answer to your question is that it isn’t possible to run an anti-virus program from an external drive. In order to function correctly, an anti-virus has to install little sub-routines all over your hard drive. This is what makes them so difficult to remove. Your anti-virus program should be loaded directly onto your hard drive.
What IS possible is to keep an installer for a small anti-virus program (such as AVG free) on a removable drive if you regularly need to do virus checks on more than one machine.
It is also not advisable to have more than one anti-virus program on your computer at a time. Each program will read the other as a virus because of how deeply embedded they are. As far as running several anti-virus checks go, that really shouldn’t be necessary as long as your anti-virus is something reputable such as AVG or Mcafee or Norton – and not something that you got by clicking on a box that said “YOU ARE INFECTED WITH A VIRUS! CLICK HERE TO SCAN NOW!” What is advisable is to use your antivirus in conjunction with a good cleaner and a couple of adware busting programs. Some good ones include Ccleaner (http://www.piriform.com/CCLEANER ), Adaware (http://www.lavasoft.com/products/ad_aware_free.php ) and, probably the funnest name of the group, Spybot Search and Destroy (http://www.safer-networking.org/en/spybotsd/index.html ). In each case, upon download, you’ll be prompted to download the latest malware definitions. Do NOT skip this step. This is what makes sure that you’re protected from the latest threats.
I hope that this helps.