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How to prevent USB drives from spreading virus on your netbook

How to prevent USB drives from spreading virus on your netbook

USB drive, virus, smartbook, netbook, netbook, USB Flash drive, worm, Windows XpWhen I have limited connectivity on my notebook, I rely on my 4GB USB flash drive, which I always carry with me to transfer data back and forth from other PCs and notebooks. However, there is always a lurking danger of malicious viruses and worms, which might sneak into my clean notebook. I have found some useful tips to protect Windows-based netbooks against worms spreading from USB drives. Let’s check it out here.

Your operating system uses the ‘autorun.inf’ file to know what needs to be done when a storage device like a USB flash drive is inserted in your netbook.

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The ‘autorun.inf’ file in the root directory of the USB drive contains a reference to the programs and files, which run automatically as soon as a USB drive is inserted in the netbook.

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However, if you insert a malware infected USB drive in your netbook, the normally useful ‘autorun.inf’ file launches the malware and infects your netbook. You can disable the ‘autorun.inf’ file to prevent worms from USB drives. There are different ways to disable the ‘autorun.inf’ file on different version of Windows.
If you have Windows XP home installed on your netbook, follow the steps below to disable ‘autorun.inf’ feature.
  • Open your Windows Registry Editor (Start< Run< regedit).

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  • Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer.

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  • On the right hand pane, double-click NoDriveTypeAutoRun and set its value to Hexadecimal to FF.

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If you are running a professional version of Windows on your netbook like Windows XP professional, you can follow the options mentioned below to disable the ‘autorun.inf’ file.
  • Open your Group Policy Editor (Start< Run<>).

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  • Double-click Computer Configuration< Administrative Templates < System.

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  • Locate Turn off AutoPlay in the right-hand pane and double-click on it.

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Apart from manually disabling the ‘autorun.inf’ file, you can download ClamWin on your USB drive and scan your netbook for additional protection.

After I have disabled the ‘autorun.inf’, I can plug in any USB drive without worrying about worms or viruses on my Samsung NC20.


Select Enabled from the drop down menu and set it for All drives.


  • USB drive, virus, smartbook, netbook, netbook, USB Flash drive, worm, Windows Xp

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