Using Linux boot usb stick to repair virus

My neighbor has a Windows pc ( 8 I think) and it has floating porn adds appearing. She has asked me if I can get rid of them (she has the same problem on her Andriod phone). I was thinking of using one of the Linux live usb distro’s. Which would be the best? I havn’t seen her pc yet so cannot be specific as to the exact problem.


Any one that comes with ClamAV is what you want (it’s the best for the job), but be aware that the virus may infect the usb stick. I’d be tempted to use a LiveDVD myself.

A quick look around suggests that there aren’t any live distros that include it by default :-
No matter, you can always install it from the repos once you’ve booted into the live environment (if you pick Ubuntu-based or something like that)

Question - can this Windows machine boot from a non-HDD source? I.e. doesn’t have Secure Boot, or it can be disabled?

Are these ads appearing in the web browser or generally on the desktop ?, I ask because I had a similar issue with a “Win an IPad” advert and the problem turned out to be a chromium extension, if so then It might be a good idea to clear out the browser cache (whatever browser she’s using)and disable any browser extensions to see if you eliminate the problem

Good luck


I’d agree, if they’re only in the browser it’s more likely a browser plugin.

and though Linux LiveCD/USB’s are good for fixing an unbootable windows system … if AV will run on the Windows system I’d always favour that.

at least for the PC…
First stop would be to disable/remove any browser plugins, and clear the cache … then run malwarebytes across it, and do a full AV scan.

I should have thought outside the box I guess - I just followed the OP :-[

In terms of AV - I’d recommend Avast if your neighbour doesn’t already have one

Nothing wrong with that … in fact in general I hate it when someone on a forum answers a completely different question to the one that was asked :slight_smile:

Thanks Guys.
In the end I followed Marks advise and used malware bytes. It found 237 problems. I then used Ccleaner and removed 5.5gb of rubbish, installed Firefox with adblock plus. All sorted. I created a PM5 usb stick so she can bank online safely and hope she trys it fully in future.

Did you install an always-on AV product, like Avast or AVG?

I created a PM5 usb stick so she can bank online safely and hope she trys it fully in future.

She won’t … fix Windulls for em and they just come back again the next time it breaks (fine if they’re-a-payin).

Didn’t need to as she had Norton ‘so damn resource hungry’ utilities to really slow it down!

That’s a fair point but she may consider it as she was a bit upset when Windows was displaying adverts for battery operated ‘Toys’ as I was fixing it! :wink:


Is it the full version, or a trial? If it’s a trial, I’d just uninstall it now and replace it


Worse still. She just renewed…for 24 months, Just a few days ago!

Lol… just lol
at her expense

The things you see as a tech :slight_smile:
(accidentally I might add … I have zero interest in seeing most of it)