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How to safely format infected USB drive?


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Recently one of my computers got infected with a "Interpol" ransom virus, and I had to use a USB drive to download some removal tools to tackle the situation.

A file contained in the USB drive got contaminated with the virus, and I would like to now completely format the drive. The small amount of files that are on the drive are not important.


From what I've read, Autorun is, by default, disabled for Windows 7. The system has Windows 7 Ultimate with the latest updates.


I am wondering if it is safe to format the drive using a Windows 7 PC. I won't even bother to open the USB drive to view the contents -- I know what is exactly in there. Again, none of the content are important.

It will literally be plug the USB thumb drive in, right-clock, format, uncheck the "quick format" box, click the "Format" button. Rinse and repeat a few times.


Would it be safe to do it using this method, or better to use....a Linux operating system, or other forms of software?






Victor L.

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I do not know what you have read but turning off AutoRun/AutoPlay is not off by default.  The user does that via the Control Panel applet.


Turn Off - AutoPlay/AutoRun on the PC that is used to Format the drive as well as make sure there is an anti virus application on the PC and make sure it is set to to do a short scan of media that is inserted as USB or FIrewire.


Additionally what you call  " "Interpol" ransom virus" is most likely a ransomware trojan.  Unless we know for a fact it is am Autorun Worm, which is a type of virus because it spreads via removable read/write media, please don't call it a "virus".

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make sure that you have a *real* AV and AM installed (up to date) and "monitoring" all externally plugged in devices ...

from there , these two programs should do their thing and protect the machine .


an option is to re-format the flash drive by using a "live disk" version of a linux operating system (say , mint 13 with the MATE desktop) .

the safest way in all cases is to use a basic comp (read "junker") that is used just for such purposes .

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