Sophos Bootable Anti-Virus: download and CD creation instructions

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  • Updated: 27 Feb 2015

If you have tried all other methods of removing a malware infection from your computer and you are still having problems, use the instructions below to download the Sophos Bootable Anti-Virus (SBAV) file and burn it to CD.


  • Sophos Bootable Anti-Virus is an emergency solution that may cause data loss in specific situations. Do not use this tool until all other options have been exhausted.
  • Once the virus outbreak has been contained and eliminated from your network, please delete the downloaded program and destroy the CD. If you need to use SBAV again in the future, Sophos Technical Support will be happy to provide you with a link to a newer version of the tool.
  • Sophos Bootable Anti-Virus cannot scan encrypted disks.
  • Sophos Bootable Anti-Virus may not work with all processor types. If you encounter problems booting the affected PC, try the CD on a different PC. If it boots up, then the chipset is not supported: unfortunately, we cannot add additional chipset support to the tool.
  • The Sophos Bootable Anti-Virus tool cannot be used on computers with RAID configurations. Use SAV32CLI instead.

Applies to the following Sophos product(s) and version(s)

Sophos Bootable Anti-Virus

What To Do

Obtaining and preparing the tool

  1. At an uninfected Windows computer with access to a CD burner, CD burning software and an Internet connection download the tool from:
  2. Save the downloaded sbav_sfx file to your computer's desktop.
  3. Create the Sophos Bootable Anti-Virus disc by following the instructions as shown below.

Create the CD

Note: If required, rather than creating a CD you can make a bootable USB stick with the SBAV ISO that you create in steps 1 to 6. Details of how to do this are in article 111374.

  1. Double-click on the sbav_sfx file to install the SBAV CD creator application, the License Agreement and the Release Notes.

  2. Accept the License Agreement, and then specify the installation location make a note of it. (The default is C:\SBAV).

  3. Open a command prompt (Start | Run | Type: cmd.exe | Press return).

  4. Type cd c:\sbav (or replace C:\SBAV with the location you noted in step 2. SBAV assumes that you are working from the C: drive, so if the location is in another drive, you will have to change directories first). 

  5. Press Enter.

  6. Type sbavc.exe sbav.iso (replace sbav.iso with another name for the CD, if desired) and press Enter. The program will go through a series of steps:
    • It downloads the Linux distribution from Sophos and verifies its contents (approximately 100MB)
    • It downloads Sophos Anti-Virus for Linux and verifies it (approximately 50MB)
    • It downloads the latest IDE files (approximately 500kB)
    • It creates the .iso file in the folder that you specified in step 2.

  7. Close the Command Prompt window.

  8. In Windows, open the CD burning software application and burn the .iso file to disk.
    • You must select the option to 'create a disk image'; do NOT select the option 'create a bootable CD' - the image you are burning is already a bootable disc.
    • Sophos cannot recommend or support the use of a third-party CD burning application however if you have Windows 7 you may wish to see: Microsoft: Burn a CD or DVD from an ISO file.
    • For Windows 2003 see article 111351.

When you have created the CD to use on your infected computer, see article 52053.

Sophos would like to thank Eric Young for his contribution to this application.

If you need more information or guidance, then please contact technical support.

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