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 Monday, December 18 2017 3:05pm Hongkong Time

Posted May 8, 2013

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How to Manually Remove Virus From USB Flash Drive without Formatting

USB Flash drives are a major source of virus infection. Most computer networks will get infected if one computer gets infected. If this happens, it’s always a lot of pain removing viruses from the networks. Sometimes, users will need to format their hard drives in order to get rid of the viruses. In this article, we will discuss about how to manually remove virus from a USB Flash Drive without formatting it. This means that if you follow this tutorial, your data will not be deleted while the virus will be removed from the pen drive.

Please note that this method will work on a system which is not affected by viruses. Otherwise you may not be able to delete virus files.

Indication of Virus

1. When you plugin a drive, Some Autoplay feature polls you to select a option. If you see a folder like icon that reads open using the program provided on the device. Does not select that. Also does not select Open folder to view files using Windows Explorer. Since the virus can execute with these options. Cancel it.

Note: Windows 7 has disabled the Autorun Option for Flash Drives, since the autorun source is usually unknown.

Autorun dialog for USB drive

2. You will also see a folder like icon instead of Flash Drive Icon in my computer

My Computer

Removal of Virus

Un-hiding hidden files

In Start Menu Click RUN and then type cmd. Type your Flash Drive Letter followed with colon. Here

J:

type attrib -r -a -s -h *.* and press enter.

This will unhide all files.

Correct Way of Opening Flash Drives

Do not open the Flash Drive by double clicking the icon in my Computer or By Right clicking and then Open,Explorer

Open the USB Drive by using Folders Icon.Folder tree button

Click on the Folders icon then select your Flash Drive

Select USB drive from Folders tree

OR

You can select Your Flash Drive by using the Address Bar in Windows Explorer.

Opening flash drive from address bar

OR

Type your Drive letter in the Address BarType drive letter in address bar

After Opening the drive. Select Details View using this icondetails view icon

Identifying and removing the virus

You can now see what the virus does with your Flash Drive. The Virus disguises itself as folder. You can see that system file icon as illustrated here is similar to folder icon. You actually click on the file.

Actually you click on those virus file thinking of them as folder and the virus executes. In the detailed view you can clearly see that the system file has a Type description of Application and the system folder has a Type description of Folder.

Delete all such files. Carefully do not delete the folders.

Delete the Autorun.inf file

Deleting autorun.inf file

You can also delete these files using 7-ZIP. Since it shows such virus files as having application file icon.

Open 7-ZIP and Type your Flash Drive Letter in the Address Bar. Here J:\

Delete all the folders and files you think that you did not saved them.

The folders could have names like Recycler,System Volume. Delete them also.

You can also see the Recycle Bin like icons delete them too.

In this illustration these files are virus files

0o.com,system.exe,2m66sr.exe,abk.bat

Deleting suspecious files from usb drive

Now Scan your Flash Drive with some Anti-Virus to delete exe infecting viruses. You can also use a portable antivirus. This is because some application files (which can be some programs like Adobe Reader Setup or else) be affected with exe virus.

If you do not have a proper Anti-Virus then Click on Search and select All files and Folders

In the All or part of file name field type *.exe

In the Look In field select Your Flash Drive

In the More Advanced options select Search System Folders and Search Hidden files and Folders.

When search is complete delete all files

 

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© Usman Khurshid. Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner.



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ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR

Usman Khurshid is a network consultant who works in a mixed environment of Windows and Linux platforms. He studies about the latest advancements in computer technology and shares his views on this technology blog.

Email Usman at usman {at} technize {dot} com



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