Vaccinate USB drives to prevent virus infection


Earlier I have written about how to disabe USB autorun to save the computer from being infected with various sort of malware which adds action in the autorun.inf file to execute them self on the double click action. Hence if you double click open a pen drive or your USB drive (an infected one), then the virus will itself get executed. A virus residing in a folder does not harm unless it is executed. After all, virus is just a piece of code and before it can do anything, it needs to be in running state (execution state).

The earlier method that i wrote was a registry hack with the help of which one can disable USB autorun but a few days back, I found out a great tool from Panda which can disable autorun from your computer completely and moreover it implements a special trick which renders the virus attack of adding its execution to the autorun.inf useless.

It adds a autorun.inf file of its own which can’t be read or deleted. Hence even the virus can’t modify it and you are safe to go. An antivirus is recommended all the time though.

It can also be operated in command Line interface for making it run automatically each time when a USB drive is mounted or to perform network wide vaccinations. Best of all its free.

I would recommend creating a shortcut to the tool with the parameters USBVaccine.exe /resident /hidetray +system and copying the shortcut to startup folder so that every time a USB device is mounted on the computer and if it is not vaccinated, it will prompt you for vaccination. Nice. Isn’t it?


So why don’t you give it a try and enjoy what I call as “Safe Computing”.

Bonus Tip: How to practice safe computing?

Make a habit of never opening a pen drive / USB drive / thumb drive by double click. Always open the drive from the tree pane view. (Exploring My Computer opens that view only and moreover you can press the folder options in explorer to enable it). Why? Because the default action with this method is always viewing the content and not executing any file.

Similarly Optical drives can be inserted by holding the Shift key which disable the autorun feature temporarily. This tool can disable that for you. No worries!

Download Panda USB Vaccination Tool [380KB]

I would like to hear your words on the trick implemented by this tool. Do you like it?


15 responses to “Vaccinate USB drives to prevent virus infection”

  1. […] : There is a tool for vaccinating against autorun feature too. You better use it. It works far much better than this registry […]

  2. Great tool, I am not using any tools as of now. I have disabled the autorun feature. I always take care not to double click open the removable drives.
    Its good to use tools like this, it will sometimes save us from a 45 minute reinstallation of windows….

    1. @sandeep
      Well its not really necessary to re-install everytime you get infected. Search for what all the infection did and revert it back but if it was a newly discovered infection or moreover undiscovered one then you are out of luck. Got to reinstall in that case. Thats why I always keep the heuristics level of my antivirus to high.

  3. Updating the anti virus can help us in most of the cases. But most people skip the updation procedure and pay its price when they get hit by a worm or virus.

    offtopic: BTW i like your blog, are u from india? i have added you in my gmail contacts.

  4. @sandeep
    Gud to hear that. Yes, I am an Indian. We will be in touch 🙂

  5. In 2 years the only virus that I have take, it was through USB card!

  6. Yupz. This is a great tool to safe our PC or netbook from dangerous files. Since there are many tools on the net. I think this Panda light tool can save your money too.

  7. @Sichere @Ian
    Yes many infections are spread from USB only. Yes Panda’s tool will save your money too 😉

  8. 66professor Avatar

    good to read that…..its intersting….thanxx

    1. You are welcome!

  9. Kanishk Avatar

    hey buddy
    ur blog is really very helpful. you have written bout the parameters “USBVaccine.exe /resident /hidetray +system”. Could u plz temme how to create that.

    1. After creating a shortcut by right clicking on the icon {(Send to > Desktop(Create Shortcut)} just change the Target field value. Add /resident /hidetray +system there.

  10. If your HDD is mounted it can be infected by virus unknown to your anti virus. So we need to check USB WITHOUT mounting HDD! By disabling autorun you will postpone virus start till you click on USB icon.

  11. To stop USB virus- 1 unmount HDD, 2 turn on view of hidden files, 3 mount usb drive and check it. How to do it? Top secret…

  12. suhas Avatar

    i ve gone through many of ur good works u ve posted :)for the first time i m liking a blog !!!! nice job !!! m also interested in learning new things !!!!( * comment not wrt to this post * )