Microsoft Standalone System Sweeper, a tool which was only available as part of Microsoft Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset (MSDaRT) is now available for separate download. Microsoft Standalone System Sweeper Beta (MSSS), a recovery tool that can help you start an infected PC and perform an offline scan to help identify and remove rootkits and other advanced malware. MSSS uses the same definitions as Microsoft Security Essentials.

Update -June 6, 2012: Standalone System Sweeper Beta has been rebranded to Windows Defender Offline. Windows Defender Offline is available at this address. (Thanks for the heads up, Noel.) There may be some user interface changes in the product since this article was written. Although this article was written a year ago when the product was in Beta, much of the information in this article can be adapted for the final product, Windows Defender Offline.

You can download MSSS from here and create a bootable media using CD/DVD or your USB drive. The bootable media starts the Windows Preinstallation Environment and launches the Microsoft Standalone System Sweeper application for scanning and removal of virus and malware. MSSS runs in Windows XP SP3, Windows Vista and Windows 7.

Creating MSSS Bootable Media

 

Running Microsoft Standalone System Sweeper

How to Update Microsoft Standalone System Sweeper Definitions

To ensure effective scanning/removal or viruses and malware, make sure you update the definitions. This can be done by clicking Check for Updates option from the Help menu.

There are two ways to update the definitions via MSSS user interface.

Option 1:    You can either download the file mpam-fe.exe (or mpam-fex64.exe for x64 systems) definitions update package from the Microsoft Security Portal, from PC to a USB flash drive. Then connect the USB flash drive to the subject computer, click the Browse… button in MSSS window and locate the definitions update package. This option is ideal for computers without internet connectivity.

Option 2:    Another option is to click the Download button so that it downloads and applies the definitions update package automatically. The definition updates are exacted automatically and stored in the Windows\Standalone System Sweeper folder.

Option 3:    If you use a USB flash drive to run MSSS, you can update the definitions in the drive by running the MSSS bootable media creation tool (refer to the 1st screenshots above.) Re-running the tool with that USB flash drive will cause MSSS to update only the definitions in the drive, provided that the USB drive already has the latest version of MSSS tool.

System Requirements for Microsoft Standalone System Sweeper

1. The computer infected with a virus or malware must have the same Windows operating system architecture as Microsoft Standalone System Sweeper Beta, either 32-bit or 64-bit.

2. BitLocker must be disabled to use Microsoft Standalone System Sweeper Beta.

3. Operating System: Windows XP Service Pack 3; Windows Vista or Windows 7.

Windows Defender Offline – Download


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6 Comments

  1. said this on Wednesday, June 6th 2012 9:29 am

    Thanks Noel! Just added a note at the top of the article.

  2. said this on Tuesday, June 5th 2012 7:47 pm

    Your download link for it needs to be updated, Ramesh –
    as does the tool’s name :)
    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/what-is-windows-defender-offline

  3. John B.
    said this on Sunday, August 28th 2011 5:02 am

    Great program. It found (and says it removed) Exploit:JS/Multi.DC but my system still keeps rebooting during Windows XP startup. Oh well, maybe I have multiple problems.

  4. Eldad
    said this on Saturday, August 20th 2011 8:59 pm

    Hello,
    Possibly a great program, but not working!
    Downloaded and successfully burnt to CD.
    Tried to run it, but Windows XP loads from the HD even when I select the CD ROM as the only boot device!
    Please help,
    Eldad

  5. said this on Sunday, June 5th 2011 12:16 am

    Excellent! I am going for it now; though I should expect it is going to be a huge download.

  6. abdullah
    said this on Saturday, June 4th 2011 8:07 pm

    Finally !! :P I guess that would shake the security industry a bit

    awesome article, loved it !!

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