Can I use this?
More importantly - will the malware detect
(a) the sudden presence of the HDD and
(b) our attempt to restore command to the resident OS?
It shouldn't do this, because we are not loading windows but a recovery OS. If you feel more safe, you can back up the hard drive data to another drive, but only back up safe data like documents, pictures, music, etc. and not executable files to avoid transferring the virus.
That blue screen is usually caused by a setting in BIOS that we need to change. Do you know how to enter BIOS? If you can, please look for a setting named something like SATA Controller Mode
and set it to Compatibility, ATA, or IDE
. (The choices depend on what motherboard you have; any one of them should work.) If you don't know how to enter BIOS or you need more specific instructions, please send me the brand and model number of your computer.
Once you change this setting, you should be able to boot from the USB and follow the instructions above.