Microsoft has developed the Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool for scanning and removing malicious software from computers which have Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows XP, or Windows 2000 as the operating system. After download and installation this tool does not work as an anti virus but works in removal of infection which has already come on the system. This tool is not a replacement of Any Virus or Anti Spyware but works in situations where Anti-Virus or Anti-Spyware fails in doing their job. Once downloaded and installed the tool the tool runs once to check your computer for infection by malicious software which includes Blaster, Sasser, and Mydoom. It helps in removing any infection it finds. A new version of this tool is released every month by Microsoft.

Difference between Microsoft’s Malicious Software Removal Tool and any Anti-Virus

As quoted above this tool doesn’t work like any Anti-Virus and doesn’t the incoming and outgoing traffic, but it only cleans the infections which have already entered the system. It removes infections from a computer which us already infected, so it is recommended that users should have an up-to-date Anti-Virus to block the incoming infections rather than just relying on this Microsoft’s tool for keeping computer infection free. This tool is capable in removing only specific malicious software and this is a very small count if compared with the number of malicious software’s prevailing these days. To be precise this tool focuses only on those infections which are running in the memory at the time of scan. This tool is not meant for scanning the entire hard drive and look for inactive infections.

Download and Execution instructions

This tool can be downloaded and executed on computers which have Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows Server 2003, and Windows XP. This tool was also available for Windows 2000 but Microsoft is removing its compatibility with Windows 2000 and will stop it on 13th July, 2010. If your computer has Windows Updates turned ON than new version of this tool downloads and installs automatically and runs in silent mode on your computer. You come to know about the existence of this tool only if it catches any infection otherwise it continues running silently in the memory.

If you are not sure if the Automatic Update is ON or OFF the open the automatic updates section on your computer and check the same. Some steps may vary basis the operating system but you will find this option under Control Panel – > Windows Updates
In case you want Microsoft to enable Automatic updates on your computer than open the following links and run the tool which will automatically do it for you:
If you want to download the tool manually from Microsoft’s Website rather than downloading it as an update then visit the following link and download the package:

Unlike other installer packages this tool does not require windows installer, but on running this file it creates a temporary directory on the root of the hard drive and places the tools core files in it. The file named mrtstub.exe is the executable file of this tool and the entire directory gets deleted once the scan is through or when you restart the computer after a full scan. In case the folder doesn’t get deleted automatically then you can delete it manually after running the tool.

Before running the tool make sure that the following situations stand true:

1. The operating system on your computer is one of the following:
a. Windows 7
b. Windows Vista
c. Windows Server 2003
d. Windows XP
e. Windows 2000 (only till 13th July 2010)
2. You are the Administrator of the computer or your account has got Administrator privileges.
3. The tool which you are running is not 60 days old. If it is so then it will not execute and will ask you to download a new version

Language support

This tool is available in 24 different languages. There is no separate file for each language but the one single file has all the languages in it and displays the language based on the computers language settings.