An step by step guide on how to remove shortcut virus from computer. You just got back your pen drive from your friend. And you discover that the drive has nothing but shortcuts to the movies and stuff which you had put in it for your friend. Original files are nowhere to be found. Not only that but you discover same thing happening on your hard disk as well. Seems like a nightmare, right?
You have been by shortcut virus. It hides the actual files by creating similar named shortcuts and changing the attributes of the original ones to hide them in your computer. These shortcuts don’t point to the real file but instead point to some malicious scripts meant to spread the virus further which can even allow the hacker to take control of your PC should he want.
There are several ways to clean the infection. First one is a bit manual.
- First connect the infected pen drive to your system.
- Now launch Command prompt by pressing Windows + R key [if using Windows 8 or above and have no start menu] or from Start menu>>Run>>Type cmd.
- Assuming your pen drive’s letter is I, type the following commands:
I:\>attrib –s –r –h *.* /s /d
What these commands do is delete the autorun.inf file which is responsible for copying the virus automatically from the drive to your system the moment you access it. Secondly it deletes all the shortcut files on the drive (with .lnk extensions) and thirdly it resets the proper attributes for all hidden files so that they are visible again.
- Now the job is not over yet. Until now we just have recovered our files. We need to clean the system as well. You should scan your system and the pen drive with any antivirus you have been using.
- For additional and full protection you should download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and run a full system scan.
To deal with this virus and other pen drive related viruses, a tool called USBFix was created by French forum SosVirus. It not only removes the Shortcut virus but even future proofs pen drives from further attacks. Here’s how.
- Download USBFix from its website.
- Run it and click Clean. It will then ask you to connect all external pen drives and hard disks to the system.
- Once you have done that, click OK.
- Now wait while it cleans your system and the drives. System might reboot in between. If it asks for donation, you can always skip though.
- Once the process is complete, you will be shown a report. You can access that later from C:/USBFix.txt. Files and folders if any backed up can be found in C:/USBFixBackup and deleted files will be quarantined and can be located in C:/USBFixQurantine Folder.
- To prevent further infection it puts dummy autorun.inf in your external drives.
Some Tips while handling USB Drives that can Remove Shortcut Virus From Computer:
If you are plugging some pen drive or external HDD which you know has been used elsewhere then don’t open them by double clicking the drive in ‘My Computer’. Right click and use explore option. Even better method would be to disable autorun entirely for external drives. To do that go to your control panel and find AutoPlay option and then uncheck the option “Use AutoPlay for all media and devices”.
Note: Even after disabling auto play, you should still scan them after using it on any external PC or a public place to keep them clean.