Nowadays viruses are more “virulent”, allow me redundancy, than ever. If, years ago, computer science began to become popular, most viruses were distributed through floppy disks, making their propagation much more difficult. Today and in a world in which we are fully connected the viruses arrive via the Internet, through USB drives, infected computers, etc..
In this article I want to talk about how to remove viruses from a USB, and when I talk about a USB I mean an external memory that connects through the USB port This type of portable hard drives have become popular in recent years, are small in size, which can be worn hanging on the keys or in your pocket, and have a large amount of storage. If you still do not know what I’m talking about, many people know it with the name of Pendrive. So, if you have a virus on your USB pendrive, then I show you some simple steps with which you can remove it and prevent you for subsequent occasions, thus preventing you from becoming infected with this or another virus. Do not believe that it is so difficult to get infected through a USB memory, think that this pendrive has probably been used in your personal computer, also in the family, at work, etc. And it is easy for one of these computers to be infected and that virus will get there.
What do you need?
- A computer with Windows operating system.
- Your USB drive infected with a virus (flash drive).
- Internet connection (not for all methods).
Remove USB viruses in Windows
If you use the Windows operating system in any of its versions it is more It’s easy for your USB to get infected if you use Linux. And I will not go into the eternal debate of whether Windows is an operating system or not. But Windows is the operating system most used at the user level and above all at the level of users with little computer knowledge. That is why hackers take advantage of this lack of knowledge of computer security to try to filter all kinds of viruses, Trojans and other malware on their computers. Therefore, for this new elimination manual I will take as reference the Windows operating system. Specifically I’ll explain to eliminate a virus from the Windows command line. Go for it. The Windows autorun feature can be very convenient but it can also be a big security problem. And it is that Windows when a USB drive is connected automatically searches for an autorun.inf file that, if it exists, executes a program without the user being able to prevent such action. Thus, virus programmers know this and evidently take advantage of this autorun.inf file to automatically run their virus. Therefore, if you want to use a USB flash drive safely in Windows, the best thing you can do is disable the autorun functionality.
Disable the autorun function in Windows
- Go to Run and type gpedit.msc
- Once inside the Windows Local Group Policy Editor go to Settings of the team> Administrative Templates> Windows Components> Autoplay directives.
- On the right side activate the option Disable autoplay.
Done, check this simple option will prevent Windows from making an automated use of the autorun.inf file when you connect your USB drive. Note: If you use Windows 10 and do not have gpedit.msc installed, you can download it from here. In Windows 10 32 bits simply unzip the file, you run the program as administrator and you’re done. For Windows 10 64 bits go to the C: \ Windows \ SysWOW64 folder and copy the GroupPolicy, GroupPolicyUsers folders, along with the file> gpedit.msc by pasting it in C \ Windows \ System32 (information extracted from ComputerHoy). We start from the basis that your pendrive is already infected by a virus. Therefore, the idea is the following: safely remove the file autorun.inf and then scan the USB drive with an antivirus and see that it is clean of any type of malware.
Three Ways to delete the Autorun.inf file
Using Windows Explorer:
- Press the Windows + E key combination to open Windows Explorer. On the left side you will have access to open your USB drive. In this way your USB drive will not run automatically but it will open.
- Then, from the content panel on the left you can delete the autorun.inf file. Make sure that the option to show hidden files is enabled, otherwise you will not see the autorun.inf file.
Note: To see the hidden files in Window 10 from Windows Explorer, click on Vista> Options> Folder options> See and uncheck Hide protected operating system files.
Using the Windows command line:
- To finish, go to Run & gt ; CMD and the command prompt will appear.
- Enter e: where e is the letter of the USB drive. If your unit is different, change that letter.
- Then execute the following command: attrib-h-r-s-a *. *
- Por last write of autorun.inf
- This way you will have deleted the file autorun.inf.
Using a program:
For many people that of walking with commands, even having to modify options within folders may seem too cumbersome, that’s why if this is your case, I added a third option with which I hope to help you.
- Download the USBFix program, install it and start it.
- Select your USB drive and press the Clean option.
- Once finished, your USB drive will be free of virus.
Tips to keep your USB safe
I leave you a very useful video to change the permissions of the USB and thus make it more secure and at the same time not lengthen this long or post:
It’s always said that the best antivirus is yourself, and it’s true. The best thing you can do to keep your pendrive safe from viruses, trojans and malware is not to risk it. If you know that a computer can be potentially dangerous, do not use it. If you have doubts try to pass to that machine before an antivirus, which comes with the latest versions of Windows is quite safe. On the other hand, if you suspect that your USB hard drive may have a virus but you do not know it exactly, do not connect it to your computer directly. Use some virus removal utility from a CD/DVD to do this since in this way there is no risk of writing on any other unit than USB.