FixMeStick: Virus Annihilation in a USB

Being a tech expert I’m often asked to act as tech support for friends and family. Over the years, I’ve spent countless hours resolving issues stemming from virus infections on PCs. Having an antivirus program doesn’t always protect a computer from viruses and once it’s infected, it can be challenging to get rid of them. Needless to say, resolving virus infections on PCs is not one of my favourite activities. About a year ago, I was introduced to the FixMeStick. This little gem looks like a simple USB key but can take out a nasty virus quickly and effectively.

The FixMeStick is a bootable device, which means that a computer can boot directly from the device as opposed to booting from its own operating system. Since the FixMeStick is a Linux device and the computer’s own infected Windows operating system isn’t running, the Windows viruses and malware cannot interfere with the anti-malware power of the stick. In other words, since the FixMeStick is Linux-based, it is immune to the viruses on the PC.

Once the FixMeStick is plugged into an infected computer, it automatically updates itself over an Internet connection. This allows it to have the most up-to-date information and virus fixes. Once it is all up to date, it begins to scan the computer and quarantine any infected files using three scanning engines: Kaspersky, Sophos, and GFI/VIPRE. Once all the viruses are quarantined, you can unplug the device and reboot the computer in Windows. That’s it!

The FixMeStick doesn’t remove viruses files, it simply quarantine’s the files. This means that there is a chance of losing important files during a cleanup using this device. That being said, all operations performed by the FixMeStick are reversible, so you can always get the file you need back. This device was not designed for standalone use and works best if used to get your PC to working condition. Running a desktop anti-virus after the computer is working once again is important.

The FixMeStick can be used an unlimited number of times on up to three computers for a year. After that, it needs to be replaced. At under $60, I think it’s more than worthwhile considering what a timesaver it is.

In fact, the FixMeStick is such a great product, it was recently featured on the Dragon’s Den and received investment offers form every dragon. The company’s owners decided to proceed with a deal with Arlene Dickinson and David Chilton. It should be interesting to see how this device evolves with all this great investment. For example, they are currently working on a FixMeStick for Mac and I’m pretty excited to get my hands on that!

By Mike Agerbo

February 04, 2014