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Flash drive only showing short cuts

Posted on 2011-02-10
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Last Modified: 2013-12-09
Hi there, In our school those students have been sharing flash drives with each other and it seems they have a virus on it because whenever they plug in their flash drives you only see shortcuts....is there some way for them to clean their flash drive and stop this problem?

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Question by:slingingshot15
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by:tjdabomb
ID: 34864687
reformat the drives, this can be accomplished inside of xp, vista, win7 etc., quite easily.
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by:slingingshot15
ID: 34864711
but wont that mean losing everything....
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by:discgman
ID: 34864745
Whats showing up? Can you check to see how much data is on the drive via properties? If its very small, most likely its just shortcuts which are very small. If its a lot of data, something is hidden or data is recoverable via some free data recovery tools online.
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by:Sean Scissors
ID: 34864777
If you download Malwarebytes you can set an option in the settings to scan an external device i.e. a flashdrive for a virus. It is possible it's a virus but its also possible that it uses a 3rd party software that somehow got corrupted. Whenever I get a flash drive I see if it does use a 3rd party software before purchasing it as they are more a pain then a help.
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Thomas Zucker-Scharff earned 2000 total points
ID: 34864972
Flash Disinfector (http://www.myantispyware.com/2009/01/08/flash-disinfector-free-autoruninf-trojans-removal-tool/)is an excellent tool for this as is USB tools.  I also highly suggest using something like Autorun Eater or USB-Set (http://www.spywareinfoforum.com/index.php?/topic/128367-usb-set-14/), especially if you haven't deployed the autorun fix from Microsoft.  Note that BOTH autorun and autoplay should NOT be enabled on any shared systems unless you want them infected.  

Once you make sure that sticks are no longer infected, make sure everyone runs something on their home machines.  
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by:tjdabomb
ID: 34864974
You never said you wanted to keep the contents.

ccleaner, malwarebytes, eset nod32 and you should be good to go.
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by:tskelly082598
ID: 34866138
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