I am building a retro PC and I am going to install a lot of game patches which I downloaded on different sites on the internet.

I want to scan these files on a modern PC. Then I want to install them on the retro PC.

That's why I am looking for a antivirus software which can detect very old viruses (1998 and newer). The software does not have to run on an old PC.

Which antivirus do you recommand? It should be for Windows or Linux.

I found this post: Free lightweight Antivirus for old computers

But it is about running an antivirus program on old PCs and not about scanning old files on a modern PC.

  • I would expect modern Antivirus programs to still contain the signatures of old viruses, do you expect that not to be the case?
    – kutschkem
    Nov 3, 2022 at 14:09
  • @kutschkem I do because such a signature does not take much space. But I want to be sure. Many antivirus Programm like Windows Defender didn't even exist in 1998.
    – zomega
    Nov 3, 2022 at 18:22

2 Answers 2


I uploaded a virus called Happy1999 from 1999 to virustotal.com and it shows that almost all modern antivirus programs detect it. I also uploaded the Pikachu worm from 2000 and it's also detected by most programs.

Happy1999 result on virustotal.com

Pikachu worm result von virustotal.com


Dr. Web v. < 5.45 with all updates
if it doesn't install on modern OS, use VirtualBox and a legacy WinXP iso image

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