Microsoft releases an antivirus

Did you know that Microsoft makes a free available on its website portable antivirus that can be used on any version of Windows without the need for installation?

The application is called Safety Scanneris compatible with all versions of Windows and comes in the form of an executable file, downloadable from this page in 64-bit and 32-bit versions.

Portable antivirus: Safety Scanner is valid for 10 days and then has to be downloaded again

Obviously, the tool should not be considered as a substitute for a more comprehensive solution antimalware since, among other things, it does not include important core features such as real-time scanning and behavioral analysis. Safety Scanner can be considered as a tool to keep available to obtain immediate feedback, “a second opinion” when you have doubts about the behavior of the system and the absence of reports from others security software.

The “life” of Safety Scanner lasts 10 days after which the application can no longer be used. The reason behind this choice is very simple. Upon download, Safety Scanner integrates the viral signatures more updated. If you use the program beyond the 10 days indicated by Microsoft, you risk not receiving the latest antivirus definitions: doing so, the portable antivirus will not be able to recognize threats latest.

Safety Scanner does not integrate any mechanism automatic update: its executable must therefore necessarily be re-downloaded from the official website, at the end of the 10 days.

The advantage, however, is the possibility of having a ready-to-use portable antivirus that can be inserted into a USB stick or launched via a “live” installation of Windows. Think of Windows PE-based boot media or installing Windows to USB with Windows To Go.

How to use Microsoft Safety Scanner

To use Safety Scanner, simply download the executable from the Microsoft page indicated above and then double-click on the file MSERT.exe. The application, which requires the use of an administrator account to work, appears to be based on the well-known Malware Removal Tool (o “Malicious Software Removal Tool“, in English), updated at least once a month in conjunction with the patch day Microsoft. This utility can be started from Windows by simply typing mrt in the search box or by pressing Windows+R.

Compared to Malware Removal Toolwhich rests on a threat archive very small, Safety Scanner integrates a complete antivirus signature database.

Once the Safety Scanner has been started, the user has the possibility to request a quick system scana comprehensive analysis or a custom type survey.

Antivirus portabile: Microsoft Safety Scanner

The mode Quick scan it simply scans the areas of Windows where malware and other unwanted software components typically lurk. There fast scan it is advisable in the vast majority of situations. In case of positivity, you can deepen with one full scan of the system (Full scan).

By choosing the option Customized scan, only the contents of a specific folder indicated by the user can be examined. It is a mode custom scan.

Microsoft portable virus scanner

Start a malware scan from the command prompt with Safety Scanner

Microsoft software also supports use from command line. Just type cmd in the Windows search box, select Run as administrator then navigate to the folder containing the executable MSERT.exe. At this point, the following command allows you to start a scan without showing any element of the Safety Scanner interface:

msert /q

With the command msert /f /q you can possibly initiate a full system scan while with msert /f:y /q you can request the automatic disinfection.

The only reference to the presence of Safety Scanner, running on the system, is the appearance of the process MSERT.exe in the tab Details of the Windows Task Manager, which can be recalled quickly by pressing CTRL+MAIUSC+ESC.


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