Keeping Autorun enabled
on USB, external and other removable drives has become a significant security risk
due to the increasing number of malware variants that can infect them and transfer the infection to your computer. Read Danger USB! Worm targets removable memory sticks
I recommend disabling the Autorun feature
on removable drives as a method of prevention. This should keep the malicious file from automatically running upon insertion and infecting your system while allowing you to safely perform a scan.
The easiest way to disable Autorun on a specific drive is to download and use Tweak UI PowerToy
- After installation, launch Tweak UI, double-click on My Computer in the tree menu on the left, then click on AutoPlay > Drives. This will allow you to change the system settings for AutoPlay/autorun.
- Uncheck the drives you want to disable AutoPlay on and click on Apply.
- Next, click on the Types in the left tree. This allows you to control whether Autoplay is enabled for CD and DVD drives and removable drives. You may need to restart Tweak UI if it closes after step 2.
- Uncheck the box to disable Autoplay for a particular type of drive.
- Click Apply.
If needed, see Disable Autorun/AutoPlay in XP with Tweak UI
" for instructions with screenshots.Note 1: When Autorun is disabled, double-clicking a drive which has autorun.inf in its root directory may still activate Autorun so be careful.
Note 2: Disabling autorun/autoplay does not prevent you from accessing your media sources. They are still available by opening My Computer and accessing the source drive (CD, DVD, usb/flash drive or external hard drive). Pictures on a camera can still be accessed through My Pictures and selecting "Get Pictures" from a scanner or camera. Media can also be accessed via the program you normally use it with such as music CDs accessed via Media Player, blank CDs via burning software, image handling software provided with the camera, etc. I strongly recommend you leave the autorun feature disabled and get into the habit of accessing your media devices manually.
Always scan your removable drives after they have been used in other computer systems, even your own. An easy way to do this is to download "ClamWin Portable Antivirus
", put it on your external Drive, update its definition files and perform a scan.
Another prevention measure you can use is Flash_Disinfector.exe
. This is a specialized fix tool created by sUBs to remove infections that load an autorun.inf file on removable media. After running the tool, it will also create a hidden folder named autorun.inf in each partition and every drive that is plugged to stop it from spreading. This folder will help protect all drives
from future infection.