How to make an emergency USB toolkit

Be prepared for any PC disaster



3. Emergency virus removal

Stinger Screenshot

If you suspect your PC has a virus, McAfee Labs Stinger can help stop it in its tracks. Once it’s downloaded you can drag the EXE file straight to your USB stick using Windows Explorer (you might want to rename the file ‘Stinger’ for convenience).

When you want to run it, just double-click the file and click ‘Scan’. Bear in mind that you’ll need an active internet connection so it can update its database of current threats before it gets to work.


4. Clear out junk files

CCleaner Screenshot

If your PC is running slowly, you want to clear out temporary files that could pose a threat to your privacy, or leftover registry entries are preventing you installing software, CCleaner Portable can save the day. Download it, then extract the downloaded file to your USB stick just like you did for Recuva. To keep things tidy, we recommend moving it into a new folder called CCleaner.

To free up some extra space on your PC and remove temporary files that might compromise your privacy (such as tracking cookies in your web browser), double-click ccleaner.exe to run the program, then click ‘Analyze’ to search your hard drive for unnecessary files. Once it’s finished, look through the list and uncheck the boxes beside anything you want to keep, then click ‘Run Cleaner’.

To solve errors with the Windows registry (typically caused by entries left over by software uninstallers) select ‘Registry’ from the menu on the left and select ‘Scan for issues > Fix selected issues’.


5. Be ready to eliminate malware

EMSisoft Screenshot

The last app for your emergency USB toolkit is Emsisoft Emergency Kit. This will check your PC for programs that aren’t technically viruses , but are still malicious. When you double-click the downloaded file, Emsisoft will begin running an ‘installer’, but this just automates the process of extracting the files from a ZIP archive – it doesn’t make any changes to Windows. Choose your emergency stick as the destination, make a folder called Emsisoft and click ‘OK’.

Now, if you think a PC has a malware infection (you’re noticing unexpected changes to your web browser, for example), double-click ‘Start Emergency Kit Scanner’ and let Emsisoft update itself, then click ‘Scan’ and follow the step-by-step instructions to deal with the issue.

Congratulations, you now have a set of essential tools for dealing with PC emergencies. Label the USB stick and keep it somewhere safe – you never know when you’ll need it.


Article by Cat Ellis from Techradar