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Infected flash drives - Should I throw them out? [Solved]


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#1
wayneman50

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I have several flash drives that are infected from a previous PC I owned. Many months ago, a "geeks to go!" volunteer, SweetTech wrote to me: "To prevent your flash drive from autoplaying you will want to press and hold Shift when you insert the flash drive. " Then she also advised me to scan the flash drive with my anti-virus program. My question now is: Is this a pretty sure thing? I have about $60 worth of flash drives. On one hand, I'd like to be able to use them again in my new PC if possible. There are some files I'd like to have, but they are not essential. On the other hand, if they could infect my new PC, then I'll throw them out.

Thanks.
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#2
rshaffer61

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I would contact SweetTech again and ask about Panda vaccination for the flash drives. It scans the drive when it is connected and I'm sure he can help you again with making sure the drives are cleaned safely so you can use them again. He is a very good malware tech and I'm sure he will assist you again. :thumbsup:
I have taken the liberty to message SweetTech myself and ask him to look at this topic and assist you after moving this topic to the malware forum.
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#3
wayneman50

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Thank you. You wrote: "...after moving this topic to the malware forum." Are you asking me to do this? If so, how do I move the topic?
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#4
rshaffer61

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No I have requested that SweetTech do this before adding any advice for the infected drives. Malware assistance can only be given in the malware forum. He should be able to move the topic and if not then we will get a Administrator to do it. :thumbsup:
Not to worry you just have to wait for him to reply to you. :thumbsup:
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#5
Kemasa

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BTW, you can also try using a Linux Live CD, such as Knoppix or others, which would allow you to have access to the data on the devices without risking your system (especially if you use it on an old system). You can also use the tools on the the Live CD to wipe out the data on the device as well, which depending on how you do it, should wipe everything out, but using a virus program which checks the device before use is always a good idea.
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#6
SweetTech

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Hi wayneman50!

Special thanks for rshaffer61 for giving me the heads up to this thread.

Can you please remind me again of what Operating System you're running? Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7?

I've moved this thread over to the Malware forum.

-ST.


Mod Edit: Thread moved to Malware forum.-ST.

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#7
wayneman50

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Windows 7.
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#8
SweetTech

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Thanks!

We are going to download a Microsoft FixIt that will disable the AutoPlay feature from being enabled.

You'll want to download this Microsoft FixIt to your computer.

Please save it to your Desktop.

Double click on the MicrosoftFixit50471.msi file that should be on your Desktop.

Note: You may receive a warning from a Window titled: Open File - Security Warning

You'll see it say: Do you want to run this file?

Followed by some other details.

If you see this window, please click on the Run button.

Read through the Microsoft Software License Terms and then click on the I Agree button.

Click on Next.

The fix will now start and will first attempt to create a new restore point before it does anything else.

If the Microsoft Fix It is successfully it should say: This Microsoft Fix it has been processed.

Please click on the Close button.

----------

Now that we've disabled the Auto Run feature for Windows, will proceed with running a virus scan on your Flash drives.

Please go ahead and plug your Flash drives into your computer for this scan.

ESET Online Scanner
I'd like us to scan your machine with ESET Online Scan

Note: It is recommended to disable on-board anti-virus program and anti-spyware programs while performing scans so there are no conflicts and it will speed up scan time.
Please don't go surfing while your resident protection is disabled!
Once the scan is finished remember to re-enable your anti-virus along with your anti-spyware programs.



  • Hold down Control and click on the following link to open ESET OnlineScan in a new window.
    ESET OnlineScan
  • Click the Posted Image button.
  • For alternate browsers only: (Microsoft Internet Explorer users can skip these steps)
    • Click on Posted Image to download the ESET Smart Installer. Save it to your desktop.
    • Double click on the Posted Image icon on your desktop.
  • Check Posted Image
  • Click the Posted Image button.
  • Accept any security warnings from your browser.
  • Check Posted Image
  • Make sure that the option "Remove found threats" is Unchecked
  • When the Computer scan settings display shows, click the Advanced option, the place a check next to the following (if it is not already checked):
    • Enable Anti-Stealth technology
    IMPORTANT:

    Where it says; Current scan targets: click on Change...
    Another window will pop-up and allow you to select which drives you want the online scanner to scan. You'll want to ensure that you place a checkmark underneath your flash drives. Then click on OK after you ensure you've selected your flash drives.

  • Push the Start button.
  • ESET will then download updates for itself, install itself, and begin
    scanning your computer. Please be patient as this can take some time.
  • When the scan completes, push Posted Image
  • Push Posted Image, and save the file to your desktop using a unique name, such as
    ESETScan. Include the contents of this report in your next reply.
  • Push the Posted Image button.
  • Push Posted Image

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#9
wayneman50

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I ran Fix It. I left the PC when it was creating the restore point. When I came back, this was the message: "The Microsoft Fix it failed to process."
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#10
SweetTech

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Can you try it again, and see if you can watch it work, to try and see where it's failing?
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#11
wayneman50

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I ran it again. It asked me if I wanted to install a program, and I responded "Yes". It completed successfully. So I guess it timed out on that question before. After doing this installation, my Firefox won't come up. The Windows waiting symbol, the circle, just keeps going around and around. I am posting this from Explorer.
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#12
wayneman50

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PC went to sleep. I pressed various keys to wake it. Light on box indicated it woke up, but monitor did not wake up. I turned the power off on the PC, then turned it on. Message appeared "Cannot create shell notification icon."
This all started after loading Fix it.

Now Firefox is working.
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#13
SweetTech

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Hi!

Are you still experiencing this message upon reboot?

"Cannot create shell notification icon."


Were you able to proceed with the ESET Instructions yet?

-ST.
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#14
wayneman50

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1. All the problems I reported to you about sleep, Firefox not starting, that "Cannot create shell notification icon." message - they're all gone, thank goodness. Do you know what that stuff was about?

2. I scanned all my flash drives and I was surprised to find that ESET did not find any problems. I guess I was mistaken about them being infected. Also, I Panda vaccinated a couple flash drives which didn't have it.

3. What's next? I guess I turn Auto Play back on?

Thanks.
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#15
wayneman50

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BTW, the latest Consumer Reports rates Avira as the best free anti-malware program. I've been using Microsoft Security Essentials. What does geeks to go recommend?
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