6 plus 1 Powerful Tricks to Remove Shortcut Virus from USB Drive

Remove USB Shortcut Virus
Written by Paras Shah
One of the most common questions I’ve been asked is: “How To Remove Shortcut Virus from USB Drive?
Every one of us has experienced the Shortcut Virus atleast once in our lifetime. Actually, it has become so common that people often overlook and underestimate it. In the beginning, it looks like nothing has happened except a shortcut file.
But, It starts becoming worse:
After a few days, when you start finding all your connected devices full of shortcuts, it then comes to our understanding that this has gone through our reach. At this moment, dealing with that virus looks quite complicated; sometimes even impossible!
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What is a Shortcut Virus?

There’s no wiki definition as such; but, as the name suggests, a shortcut virus is a virus (a malware) that hides your original files inside shortcuts.
The way it hides the file remains unknown though the effect is quite visible. The original files are there in the drive itself, but in such a position that you can’t recognize it nor take it out (in the advanced stage).
Initially, it doesn’t harms your files but later on, it may make them corrupt or even delete all the files; depends on the type of shortcut virus.
Therefore, removing the shortcut virus is essential for getting the files back.
As long as the virus stays or connects to new devices, it starts multiplying itself and spreads across every connected device!

From where did the Shortcut Virus landed in your USB Drive?

Have you ever wondered from where did the shortcut virus landed up in your Removable Drive or PC?
Here are the possible reasons because of which your Disk is suffering from shortcut virus:
  1. You downloaded an executable (.exe) file from untrusted third-party software which had the virus.
  2. You connected someone’s malicious USB Stick which spreaded the virus in your PC from where it entered your USB on connecting it.
  3. You connected your Removable Drive into someone’s PC which contained the shortcut virus from which it spreaded over to your drive.
It has now left you on the verge of loosing your valuable data, right?
So, let’s get into the 7 Powerful (Yet Easy) Tricks to Remove Shortcut Virus from USB Drive to rescue your data!

How to Remove Shortcut Virus Permanently

Method #1

USB Fix – All-In-One Solution to Removing Shortcut Virus from USB, HDD & PC !

Remove Shortcut Virus
Image: usbfix.com
UsbFix is a free malware removal tool to will help you to detect and remove shortcut virus. It can scan infected removable devices, USB’s external HDD’s, smartphones, digital cameras, etc.
And here’s the kicker:
It’s sort of plug and play software i.e. Download –> Open –> Run and you’re done!
With over 5 Million downloads, it is one of the most trusted software to remove shortcut virus. Also, it is designed in a user-friendly UI which will help you get things done easily and faster. The size of the software too, is quite small (approx. 4 MB) which will run and help you get rid of the shortcut virus instantly.
Remove Shortcut Virus
This software is planned by El Desaparecido and developed by sosvirus.net.
Some of the key features of USBFix include:
  1. Vaccinate: Permanent solution for the shortcut virus. This option will create a new autorun.inf file in your removable drive. An autorun file handles the auto-starting of the drive. So, the newly created file will have protective measures to prevent the shortcut virus.
  2. Repair: It repairs the damaged files of your removable drives. This will help in the recovery of hidden files, registry entries, task manager, etc
  3. Back-Up: You can backup your files before running UsbFix to revert things back later if something goes wrong.

Steps to Remove Shortcut Virus Using USBFIX

  1. Download USBFIX.
  2. Connect your USB drive / External HDD drive which contains the shortcut virus.
  3. Run USBFIX software.
  4. Click on “Deletion“. On clicking it, the process to remove shortcut virus will start. It will then ask you to restart your PC.
remove shortcut virus from usb using usbfix
Image: usbfix.com
Want to know more about UsbFix and to use it without any glitches? You can learn about it here.

Method #2

Kill USB Shortcut Virus with VBScript File!

remove shortcut virus
Shortcut Virus gets dangerous when it starts multiplying on your PC creating shortcuts everywhere.
It can even go to limit of infecting the C: Drive of your PC and locking you out of it.
To prevent this before it happens, here’s the solution:
A VBScript File coded to scan all infected drives, find out the virus and delete it.
And all these things are done within 30 seconds.
Actually, a VBScript is a Visual Basic Script that commands the PC to do certain tasks according to the code in it. In this case, it is directed to remove shortcut virus completely from your system.
So, it’s not a software. It’s just a script. The code for removing shortcut virus is already precoded in a way to delete shortcut virus from your PC.
All you need to do is, download the script, run it. It’ll automatically start doing things on it’s own.
A dialog box will pop up, asking you to click “OK” and again disappear for some moments, appear again. The same procedure for about 4-5 times.
So, all you need to is, run the script and you’re all set!

Method #3

Remove Shortcut Virus using CMD

Shortcut Viruses once entered in your PC, is then difficult to remove. It may inject into any of the files and create shortcuts.
It’s better not to completely rely on a single method to remove it. Can’t say, if it goes for temporary period and jumps in again!
So, here’s another way to do it: Removing Shortcut Virus using CMD.
CMD, acronym for Command Prompt, is a command-line interpreter for Windows. It’s a sort of compiler which processes your commands giving you an output (in this case, it is finding out and cleaning shortcut virus).

Steps to Remove Shortcut Virus Using CMD

  1. Plug your USB drive in PC.
  2. Open Start Menu –> Run. (To open run dialog, you can alternatively type “Win+R“). In the Run dialog box, type “cmd“.
  3. Copy the below code and paste it into CMD:
ATTRIB -H -R -S /S /D G:*.*
ATTRIB G:*.* /D /S -H -R -S
remove shortcut virus
You’ll need to change the “G” letter of the code to your Pen Drive’s letter. G was just an assumption (for the above example.)
The explanation of the above code:
Attrib specifies the attribute (as you might have guessed it)
-H is to unhide all the files on Flash Drive (which were hidden as shortcuts due to the virus)
-R is to create the files in your Pen Drive (recreate the shortcut files retrieving the original contents)
-S makes all the file on your USB drive not to be the part of system again (which makes it easy to do the process)
is the Assumed USB Drive’s Letter (you’ll have to change it according to your Pen Drive / External HDD drive’s letter)

Method #4

A Coded .bat File to Permanently Remove Virus

A bat file is an executable file which contains some pre-written script.
Just like the VBScript, it’s made to do certain tasks, and in our case, it’s removing the shortcut virus.

Steps to Create a .bat file

  1. Open a Notepad File.
  2. Paste the code below in it, and save it as with a .bat extension (“Save As” -> “All Files” -> .bat extension)
@echo off
attrib -h -s -r -a /s /d G:*.*
attrib -h -s -r -a /s /d G:*.*
attrib -h -s -r -a /s /d G:*.*
@echo complete
remove shortcut virus
Replace letter “G” with the Drive letter of infected removable drive at every instance.

Method #5

Removing Shortcut Virus from Registry

Shortcut virus once enters, spread quickly and multiplies!
So, this method is specifically to identify the virus in registry and if present, remove it.

Steps to Remove USB Shortcut Virus from Registry

  1. Open “Task Manager” by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Esc.
  2. Click on the “Processes” tab, and find”Wscript.exe“. If you find it, select it and then click “End Processes“.
  3. Open “Run” dialog box (Win + R key), type in “regedit“. This will open the Registry Editor.
  4. Navigate to “HKEY_CURRENT_USER / Software / Microsoft / Windows / CurrentVersion / Run“. Here, look for a registry key named ” odwcamszas“, right click on it and Delete it.
This doesn’t always have to be the case. If you find the virus during the steps, then the shortcut virus has affected the registry and you must follow the steps above. If not found, skip this step.

Method #6

Config Tweaking to Remove Shortcut Virus!

Tweaking configuration is an alternative in which, instead of using software, search for virus and remove it.
So, following the below steps, if you identify the virus, you can directly remove it.

Steps to Tweaking Config

  1. Open the Run box and type in “%temp%“. This will open the Temporary Files folder.
  2. Search in that folder for “nkvasyoxww.vbs“. If found, delete it.
  3. Again, open the Run box and type in “msconfig“. Go to Startup Tab, disable “nkvasyoxww.vbs” from there. (In Windows 8, open Task Manager, go to Startup tab, and disable “nkvasyoxww.vbs“.)
Again, chances are there, that you might not find the given processes and entries. In such situations, skip this step and move onto next one.

Method #7

Shortcut Virus Remover – A Removal Tool to Get Rid of Shortcut Virus

Shortcut Virus Remover is another powerful tool to remove the shortcut virus easily.
Using this software is quite easy. Follow the on-screen instructions and you’re done!
Other freewares like Free Shortcut Remover and Shortcut Virus Fixer are also worth trying.
Different methods given above are in respect to the different situations. You should give a first try to USB FIX, and if it doesn’t works well in your case, only then, move onto another one.

How to Prevent Future Injections of Shortcut Virus?

It’s quite easy for a virus to get injected and hundred times harder to remove it!
This is what I’m trying to convince you about right from the beginning of this article!
It gets worse:
That same virus starts spreading all over to make you helpless and just get sick of it..
The famous proverb “Prevention is better than cure” holds true in this case well. And yes, it’s always better to protect yourself from shortcut virus instead of later banging head on the desk becoming helpless.
So, let’s start with the best ways to tackle future virus injections:

1. Using an antivirus:

If you are on a low budget or don’t want to spend for an antivirus, there are excellent free one’s out there like AvastAVG, etc.

2. Using an anti-malware:

A malware can be more destructive than a virus. Some antiviruses already contain anti-malware, but if not, you can try Malware Bytes.

3. Turning off Autorun for USB Drives:

When there’s shortcut virus present in your USB Drive, autorun can spread that virus all over your PC. Thus, it’s always better to turn off autorun. If you want to know how to turn off autorun, here’s an article from Redmondpie to do it easily.
The bottom line:
Protecting your device from viruses is easy but needs some regular tweakings (a scheduled PC scan, etc).
What were your reactions when you saw shortcuts in your drive for the first time? Were there any other preventive measures you took to protect your drives?
Comment below which of the methods above worked for you..

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