How to remove hidden virus on USB devices

As USB devices are portable and often connected to various computers, they are highly susceptible to virus infections. Viruses can sometimes hide important files on USB drives, making it challenging to access the data. In this post, we will explore methods to eliminate hidden virus on USB flash drives.

Many people have experienced the sudden disappearance of data when opening a USB, replaced by one or more shortcut links. Locating the desired data can be time-consuming, even after adjusting the display settings for hidden files and folders. To address this issue at its core, consider the following two methods:

1. Run the Command Prompt (cmd):

  • Step 1: Search for the keyword “cmd” on your computer, right-click on the result, and choose “Run as administrator.”
  • Step 2: In the Command Prompt window, enter the command: cd /d <USB drive letter> (replace <USB drive letter> with the actual letter representing your USB drive, e.g., I) and press Enter.
  • Step 3: Type del *.lnk and press Enter.
  • Step 4: Type attrib -s -r -h *.* /s /d /l and press Enter.

It may take some time to recover all your files. Be cautious when entering commands, as any errors can lead to data loss. Copy and paste the commands into the Command Prompt window to ensure accuracy.

2. Use Anti-virus Software:

If you prefer a more comprehensive solution, consider using anti-virus software. Windows Defender in Windows 10 is effective, but if you’re using a different operating system, two recommended applications are USB Shortcut VIRUS Remover and UsbFix Free.

  • USB Shortcut VIRUS Remover:
    • Download link: USB Shortcut VIRUS Remover.
    • Usage: Simply enter the USB drive letter and click the designated button. Note that this tool is specifically designed for scanning USB drives and may not function as a full-fledged anti-virus program.
  • UsbFix Free:
    • Download link: UsbFix.
    • User manual: After installation, open UsbFix, click on “Run an Analysis,” and select “Scan USB Disks” to automatically detect and remove shortcut viruses and other malicious programs on your USB drive.

      UsbFix
      photo: UsbFix

This article has provided methods to remove hidden virus on USB devices. While it is advisable to perform a full computer scan using anti-virus software, these two straightforward methods can quickly address USB-related issues when immediate access is needed.

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