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Want to Keep my Flashdrives Protected

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#1 Torvald


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Posted 10 March 2010 - 07:59 PM


I would like to find out more about how to keep my flashdrives protected from bad stuff.

My family has seven computers that I am responsible for maintaining, and I've recently started using flashdrives to make it easier to install and updare software on all of them.

Two of the family computers (not mine, fortunately) recently got nabbed by "Antivirus Soft" while visiting Facebook pages, but I was finally able to clean them. What I'd like to do now is help make sure that using my flashdrives doesn't accidentally spread bad software again.

One of the suggestions I've seen in some posts is to use a program called sUBs Flash_Disinfector, but I'm afraid the explanations on how to use it were a little over my head. If someone could give me a simple explanation of what this software does and how to use it, I would be really happy.

For example, here are some things I'd like to find out:
(1) Does this software work only in XP, or does it also work in Vista and 7? (My family is currently using all three Windows versions.),
(2) Does it just block future bad software, or does it also scan & clean existing bad software on my flashdrives?,
(3) My flashdrives came with U3 software installed. Will the U3 software still work after using sUBs Flash_Disinfector, or will it get disabled?, and
(4) if the U3 software ends up disabled, is this important or really no big deal?


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#2 ReviverSoft


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Posted 10 March 2010 - 08:23 PM

I believe you are referring to the U3 software bundled with Sandisk flash drives!? Well, they only offer software-based protection.

There are flash drives with a physical 'write-protection' switch, which when enabled prevents any kind of data to be written(saved) onto the disk.

I have one from TwinMOS but I can't really suggest a brand here. You will need to look for one that offers this feature.

Alternatively, you can also scan your flash drive using an Anti-virus software, everytime you plug in the drive into a computer.

Hope this helps.
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#3 tg1911


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Posted 11 March 2010 - 09:36 AM

Have a look at this topic, USB Autorun Disabler?, especially post #8, by Papakid.
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#4 garmanma


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Posted 11 March 2010 - 11:57 AM

In addition to the reading tg1911 gave you:

What it does:

The vaccination is two fold. If the computer's autorun settings are enabled, then files can spread to any drive that's plugged in. If the drives themselves are vaccinated, all the tool does is prevent the autorun.inf file from executing any of the malicious content that may have been copied to the drive when it's plugged in.

In other words, say you vaccinate your USB drive. The tool writes an autorun.inf file that's harmless. When it's inserted in a computer that does not have autorun disabled, the computer will attempt to read and process the autorun.inf file from the inserted drive. If an infection that spreads to network or USB drives is present on the computer, the infection may very well succeed in putting the files on the drive, but they will not be able to overwrite the autorun.inf file and as such the files will not run without user input (i.e. actually clicking on them).

If the computer's infected and that infection tries to multiply to external drives, then yes, it'll likely copy some files to it. You could then remove those as they wouldn't be running automatically once the drive's inserted in another PC. Nothing you do will stop files from being copied over to an external drive if an infection of that type is present on the system. Well, technically you can prevent that by setting the write protect mode, but not every USB drive has one of those and it prevents writing anything to the drive.

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Edited by garmanma, 11 March 2010 - 11:58 AM.

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#5 Torvald

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 03:09 PM

Thanks to everyone for your very helpful info and advice.

Based on your input, it looks like it's safe for me to use the sUBs Flash_Disinfector program on my home computers and flashdrives, so I plan to do that when I get home tonight.

Bye for now.

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