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Disabling Autorun for good


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#1
CuriousMew

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My problem is that I need to connect an old, and possibly infected external hard drive to my computer. I'd like to make use of this drive again.

After some research, I installed Microsoft FixIt 50471 that disables Autorun for Windows 7 found here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/967715.

Reading through that entire page, I never found anything about whether I can still safely transfer files between my computer, or access/double-click around inside the drive without invoking or activating Autorun in the process. I think it's disabled now, but I need some reassuring before I connect my drive and start using it like normal?

Also, is it safe to leave those autorun.inf files sitting dormant on the drive like that? I've found some programs that can delete them, except I own this little piece of hardware called CloudFTP that might need a specific autorun file in order to read the drive. Deleting them may not be a good idea in this case, but it may not pose a risk to my computer now that I ran the Fixit tool. That's what I'm hoping for anyway.
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#2
NightFury12

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Hi
Disabling the Autorun is a precautionary measure. Disabling Autorun in the computer only blocks the Malwares/malicious files from starting automatically as soon as you connect the drive. Please make sure you've an updated Operating System and mainly an Antivirus along with Firewall(or separately installed). As you've posted in the Win7 Board, let me assume you've win7: If you don't have a paid Antivirus and Firewall, make sure you've the Microsoft Security Essentials installed and upto-date and also check the Firewall in windows it should be turned-On.
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#3
CuriousMew

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Yes I am running Windows 7 and have Norton antivirus installed, Malwarebytes too.

If the Fixit tool had 'disabled' autorun like I'm hoping it did, am I safe to browse and transfer files through the drive without the possibility of autorun re-executing itself?
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#4
GryphonGuy

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Yes, you are. If you don't trust it, use the start menu search and search for "AutoPlay" instead of AutoRun to get the Control Panel for it. If you're feeling really paranoid, you can always open Folder Options and turn on hidden and system files, but by the time you navigated and saw the autorun, it'd be too late. Just check the Control Panel and run an antivirus scan on it so you don't accidentally run something manually.
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#5
CuriousMew

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Yes, you are. If you don't trust it, use the start menu search and search for "AutoPlay" instead of AutoRun to get the Control Panel for it. If you're feeling really paranoid, you can always open Folder Options and turn on hidden and system files, but by the time you navigated and saw the autorun, it'd be too late. Just check the Control Panel and run an antivirus scan on it so you don't accidentally run something manually.

Thanks very much for this, I did turn off the autoplay functionality too. I think I may be covered now. You mention turning on hidden files, but I don't see any reason for why I should do that? If I can't see autorun files, it lessens my chances of manually running them on accident? Please respond if you can.
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#6
CuriousMew

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If you're feeling really paranoid, you can always open Folder Options and turn on hidden and system files, but by the time you navigated and saw the autorun, it'd be too late.

I read this part again, and I don't quite understand what you mean by this.. are you saying that if I visually see the autorun file, I'm automatically doomed? I would probably be better off just leaving the hidden files turned off. However.. just because autorun is hidden, can't possibly mean that it's no longer around?

Anyways.. I think you have assured me that I'm safe to hook up, so I'm gonna try it. If you can still respond to this, I would very much appreciate it. For now I'm gonna keep hidden files turned off, and may download a program called Autorun Eater that can delete these autorun files (hopefully without executing them in the process) :thumbsup:

Edited by CuriousMew, 17 September 2012 - 07:17 PM.

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#7
GryphonGuy

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It will only execute if the AutoPlay that applies is turned on. "it'd be too late" would only apply if AutoPLay were still on. At this point it would be an exercise in curiosity, to see if and with what the drive might be infected. All those "hidden" settings only apply to what you do and don't see in your user interface. No impact on programs. Way to avoid viruses: don't download any programs you don't have to. Any decent antivirus should deal with it if there is a problem. Just run a MalwareBytes scan on the drive. You're good to go.
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#8
CuriousMew

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It will only execute if the AutoPlay that applies is turned on. "it'd be too late" would only apply if AutoPLay were still on. At this point it would be an exercise in curiosity, to see if and with what the drive might be infected. All those "hidden" settings only apply to what you do and don't see in your user interface. No impact on programs. Way to avoid viruses: don't download any programs you don't have to. Any decent antivirus should deal with it if there is a problem. Just run a MalwareBytes scan on the drive. You're good to go.

Thanks very much for your input, you are super helpful! :D
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