Anvi Rescue Disk is a free bootable environment which aims to help you detect and remove ransomware infections (although it may have other uses, too).

The rescue disc comes in the form of an ISO image, which you can burn directly to CD. (Although you also get a BootUSB.exe tool which can use the image to create a bootable flash key). Then, if you're infected by malware which starts demanding payment before you can launch your PC, open your documents or whatever, boot from the disc instead and you may be able to restore normal operations.

Anvi Rescue Disk is a Linux-based tool (CDlinux and Xfce), but this shouldn't cause any issues. After choosing your preferred language the program launches automatically, and it's extremely straightforward, just a few options to run quick or full scans of your system, then repair any problems in a click or two. You'll have no difficulty figuring out what to do.

What the program will need, though, is a working internet connection (detection is cloud-based, so the Rescue Disk has to connect to a central server to do its work). If your computer is connected to a router then that shouldn't be anything to worry about, either, but we did have a problem on one system where the program was unable to "phone home" (this may have been a local issue, unrelated to the Rescue Disk, but we never diagnosed it completely).

The core idea here is clearly that Anvi Rescue Disk will scan your system, be able to connect to its cloud server to verify any infections, then remove them, repair their damage and get your PC working again. Which sounds good to us.

Even if you're not so lucky, though, the system may have other applications. While it uses Linux, the desktop is very Windows-like, with a Start menu-like icon bottom left which provides access to various tools: Gparted and TestDisk may help to recover partitions and fix other drive-related issues, for instance; there are programs to browse your file system, perhaps burn key files to disc; and a copy of Firefox is on hand if you need to research your problems online.

We're not yet clear how effective Anvi Rescue Disk will be against ransomware infections, then, but on balance it looks like a useful tool which offers a variety of ways to get a broken PC working again.

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Anvi Rescue Disk is a very simple and straightforward ransomware remover, with some more generally useful PC recovery tools thrown in for good measure