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Can anyone help please? I seem to have picked up a virus on my USB stick and can't get rid of it. It is called "Recycler" and has also infected afriends stick.
I am not very familier with computer talk so please reply in simple terms!
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Try there. HIH
or there if the previous will not work
Thanks for the links, they all seem a bit complicated for me though!
I was hoping for a simple "do this" answer but maybe it's not that simple, I will try to work them out though. I don't know how I even got this.
Well, the simple "do this" answer is throw it away and buy a new one
They are actually pretty cheap, so if there's nothing you desperately need on there, it's not such a daft idea.
OK, thats not a problem to replace but how do I stop it getting on a new one please?
Don't do whatever it is you did before.
If you copied a file direct to the stick from the internet then just don't do that again. If it was from a PC then that PC is almost certainly infected and you need to clean it up. Do you have AV and is it up to date?
Yes I have Norton and the Virgin one provided by them, I update the regulary but maybe I downloaded a file from the internet onto my stick. Would it get from my stick onto my PC when used? Sorry to be a pain but as I said my comp. knowledge is nil except for working in PS etc.
Depending upon the virus yes it could transfer from your stick to your PC if you opened it. If your AV is up to date it should pick it up, but maybe their virus signatures are not as new as that particular virus.
some virus's don't require you to manually perform a task in order for them to spread to external media such as usb sticks. Conficker for example is able to copy itself to the stick when it's inserted.
You need a good anti virus program which is able to perform on-accessing scanning rather than relying on you to manual run a scan. Something like Sophos or AVG can perform this function and i'm sure many others can as well. AVG is free though Sophos isn't.
One thing you can do is turn off the autorun feature in Windows so that when an infected USB stick is inserted any virus already on it can't automatically copy itself to your computer. Although this doesnt eradicate the virus t helps to prevent it spreading.
As Bri says; throw it away and get a new one.
I'd never use a USB key that's been contaminated, however carefully it had been cleaned.
Also I'd never rely on Norton to stop anything either. I use 'Avast' which is free and effective. Dean's recommended AVG which also works well and although there have been problems with it recently, I think they've now been fixed.
Make sure that you have windows explorer to show hidden files. When you insert the USB stick, open it via "Explore" rather than the default "Open". Delete any hidden files in the top directory, especially any autorun files.
As far as I know you should be safe then. Of course, if your computer is infected (as it probably will be if you had a virus on the USB stick, the virus will probably reinstal on the USB stick next time you insert it. So you need to clean the virus off your computer first, then make sure the stick is cleaned of hidden files. Likewise any other external discs, compact flash etc. that you may insert.
The other very easy way to clean your USB disk is to right click on it in explored and select format! However as many have said cleaning your USB stick will be pointless if your computer is infected. Pick an anti virus program download and install it then update and run it. You'll soon know if you have a virus. I wouldn't throw an infected USB drive away simply be cautious and follow online instructions to turn off autoplay (google it as it's very simple) then use your av software to clean it or format it which is guaranteed to clean it (as well as wipe any other data on it so be careful you have definately right clicked on your USB drive) if you aren't sure about formatting I would say don't do it as you could inadvertently format the wrong drive!
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