Bob Rankin: 9 Great Portable Tech Support Tools

By Bob Rankin

All of these handy programs are free, but they also share another important common factor. They don’t require any installation, because they’re designed to be portable. The ability to run them directly from the USB drive is important for several reasons. First, on a badly infected system, sometimes you can’t even install new software. A virus may be blocking the introduction of new software, or the Windows installer may be broken. Also, some programs require administrator privileges to install, which presents a hurdle if the admin password is unknown.

#1 — Malware infection (viruses, spyware and other nasties) is one of the most common problems. Some malware even disables the security software found on the infected hard drive. In such cases, a portable antimalware program stored safely on a USB drive is a lifesaver. ClamWin Portable is a free Windows antivirus that can be run from a USB drive without installing it on the target system. It detects and eliminates viruses and spyware; automatically updates its signature database; has a scan scheduling feature; can be integrated with Windows Explorer to scan individual files; and can strip infected attachments from Outlook email.

#2 — If you run into a problem that ClamWin can’t fix, check out MalwareBytes Anti-Malware (MBAM). This free malware scanner has a reputation for being able to find and fix some of the toughest virus and spyware infestations. Unfortunately, there is no portable version, but if you are able to download it, MBAM has “chameleon technology” to help it sneak past those viruses that actively try to prevent anti-malware security from activating.

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This excerpt is shared with permission from Bob Rankin.

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