Is There Any Way to Clean Virus Infected USB Drive?

Knowledge Base: USB flash drive is one of the most useful and popular portable storage devices which will be helpful to transfer data from one to another device. However, along with easy usage, USB flash drives are highly prone to corruption by viruses. It can be infected while saving any virus-infected file on it or if user connects it on devices which are severely infected from viruses. Once you plug virus-infected drive in any system, the system will be spreading virus. That’s why follow below advice, every time you use USB.

After connecting USB to system what should be done?

When you plugged-in your drive, Autoplay dialogue box appears and asks you to select anyone option from it. If you see folder like icon that reads ‘open using the program provided on the device’, then don’t select that. Also don’t go for ‘Open folder to view files using Windows Explorer’ option. Since the virus can execute with these options, simply hit ‘Cancel’ button.

Symptoms that denote when your USB flash drive infected with viruses:

  • The most common type of virus is shortcut viruses, which imitate your data  with shortcut icons of files and folders
  • As soon as pen drive got detected an error shows up saying “Error loading C:\Windows\system32\awtgrpQg.dll. The Specified module could not be found.”
  • Normally after double clicking USB Drive, it must be open in the same window but if it opens in new, then it indicates that something went wrong
  • When you open your Flash Drive instead of seeing your files “open with” options come into view

Easy ways to clean virus infected USB flash drive:

There are numerous ways to solve your problem if you are thinking how to clean a virus infected USB drive? To know about those methods, read further:

  1. Remove virus from USB using cmd:

Go to Run and type cmd, after which the screen of command prompt will appear >> Next type USB drive letter (for example g:) >> Now, run following command: “attrib -h -r -s -a *.*” which will remove hidden attributes, archive, system from all files and folders >> Next, type “del autorun.inf.”.  It will delete the autorun.inf file from it.

  1. Utilize trustable antivirus tool:

Utilizing prominent anti-virus software will always works for viruses. Nowadays presence of Trojans/malwares/malicious programs is increased. Try to make use of updated versions of anti-virus application on your system to make your USB spotless of any virus.

  1. Make use of Format option:

In case above-explained both method fails, then the only option left to remove viruses is format. Now, to proceed with format, you need to access below steps:

Go to Start menu – > go to My Computer from window explorer >> Now, list of all internal and external volumes available on system will appear>> Locate your USB from it and right click on it >> Now, select Quick Format option and hit “Yes” option

This is given as last option to clean-up virus from pen /USB drive since with this your drive will be completely wiped out in turn eliminating viruses from it. So, users without any backup might face critical data crisis.

NOTE: If you encountered any data loss, then you may refer this link to bring back all your data from virus infected USB.

What can be done to avoid such USB virus intrusions in future?

  • Always use trustable and reliable antivirus tool and keep it updated regularly
  • Don’t forget to scan your pen drive after running it on other devices
  • Never forget to take data backup of your important USB drives, pen drives