We all see the reviews of anit virus software. I wonder why they don't review anti virus software and how effective they are while the computer is in "safe mode" ?
I know when I do my scans, its how I scan my computer, and have done that for years. Be cool to see a review of the free anti virus while in safe mode.
I really don't think that it matters that much. All AV should run a quick scan at least every day and a full one every week. I have heard that running in safe mode supposedly lets the scanner pick up on viruses and delete them better, but from several intentional infections I did while using a couple free ones, it did pretty piss poor. Real time protection is paramount and if you have shit AV its RT probably won't catch many drive-bys and other shit. From the couple times my computer got infected, I reinstalled the entire thing. It is not worth the trouble or the risk of having leftovers and having your shit get jacked or your computer zombied and involved in some kind of legal case.
As for the free stuff, AVG and Avast work the best for me, but MSE sucks dick. It has the slowest scan times I have ever used in a AV program and it does a piss poor job of catching shit. I put it on my buddies computer, and while I don't know what he looks at, he got a virus, and the scanner never caught it and couldn't even scan. You get what you pay for and if security is important for you it might just be a good idea to pick up a security suite for a few bucks. Trend Micro is on ebay and amazon for something like $15 for a 3pc license and they have had excellent ratings.
I agree with titan it's not worth having leftovers if you think you're infected then go ahead and reinstall.