External boot medium

An external boot medium (rescue medium) can help you detect malware on your computer as well as perform data recovery under certain conditions.

What is an external boot medium?

An external boot medium (rescue medium) makes it possible to scan a computer for unwanted software, to create hard drive images or to remove hard drives safely, before putting them out of operation. Depending on the product, various tools, such as installed virus scanners, are provided. You can also use an external boot medium to copy data from a system that is no longer operational to an external medium (for example, a USB flash drive).

An external boot medium is usually offered as a disk image (such as an ISO file) in the form of a download. This file can be transferred to a carrier medium such as a DVD or a USB flash drive in order to start (boot) a computer with it.

The computer is checked independently of the operating system installed on the hard disk. Since no software components of the (possibly compromised) computer are involved in the process, an external boot medium provides particularly meaningful information about the state of the computer.


The following products, among others, have the described functionalities:

Terms of Use

An external boot medium supports you in the problem analysis. It requires appropriate expertise in interpreting the results, using the tools included and implementing measures to solve the problems found.

The University of Vienna does not provide support.
Use at your own risk.