Runscanner to Keep Your Windows Startup Safe without being Hijacked

Runscanner is a portable Windows system utility that scans all running programs, startup locations, drivers, services to detect changes and misconfigurations in your Windows system caused by spyware, malware, or human errors. Its website has a database that contains information about over 900,000 different windows system files that you can read and learn as well as being used to compare and rate the information collected by Runscanner program.

It comes with 2 different running mode, Beginner mode and Expert mode. The Beginner mode is for users who have little computer knowledge but still want to know if their computer are free from the malware.

Runscanner - mode selection

Select Beginner mode, and click OK to start the program in novice mode. You can leave all options checked and click Scan computer button to start the scanning process. The process takes only a few minutes. Once it’s finished, it will prompt to ask where to save the result files, .log or .run file.

Runscanner in beginner mode

Runscanner in beginner mode

.run file is a binary file that you can upload to a malware specialist forum for further analysis. The file can be opened directly in Runscanner program and items in the file can be marked to be fixed and sent back to the user.

If the option “online malware analysis” is checked, a privacy-stripped copy of scanning result can also be upload and found on Runscanner website.

However, if you are a computer savvy users, you may want to use its Expert mode with many startup tweaks, scanning, reporting, filtering and deleting features available. You will still need to run Scan computer to get the initial information. Again, the scanning process takes about a minute or two to finish. Once it’s finished, it lists all collected information in two tabs, Malware hunter tab and Extra stuff tab.

Malware hunter tab lists all unrated items that are not in their whitelist or the database. The files listed in this tab don’t necessary mean bad or unwanted, they could just be never analysed before. Use for references only. It’s the Item fixer tab you may want to pay more attention. If none listed there, you are looking good so far.

Runscanner in expert mode with malware hunter tab

Runscanner in expert mode with malware hunter tab

The Extra stuff tab has a few more sub-tab that also might be useful. For example, in Process killer tab, Runnscanner will automatically select some of the processes that it thinks need to be terminated. Even though the list doesn’t look 100% accurate, it could be handy when you need to kill a bunch of running applications to free some resources for your computer. It also has a “start explorer.exe” tab that you can use to restart Explorer.exe process without going through Task manager.

Runscanner in expert mode in Extra stuff tab

Runscanner in expert mode in Extra stuff tab

You can also save the results in .log and .run file in Expert mode as well as opening .run file to analyse the startup info collected on other machine.

Runscanner is complete free and works on all Windows systems, including both 32-bit and 64-bit editions. It’s also portable that has a software update check built in, which makes it a better candidate in your computer toolbox that could come handy when needed.

Kent Chen

Microsoft MVP, IT Professional, Developer, Geek, and the co-founder of Next of Windows.

Last updated: 10/28/2014

Posted in: Security , Tools
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