How To Remove Pendrive Shortcut Virus From Your USB Drive And Computer

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With each new version of Windows, Microsoft is making it harder for hackers and crackers to hack into Windows. Windows has also become less vulnerable to viruses and other malware by default as Microsoft has added securities like a built-in antivirus program and blocking removable media auto run functionality until selects to do so etc. But most people still fall prey to USB viruses because they attack automatically when a USB drive is inserted and auto-run is turned on. The best way to avoid viruses and keep yourself safe is to educate yourself about how computers work and how to keep it secure.

Pendrive shortcut virus

In this article, we will go through the solution to completely remove pendrive shortcut virus from our USB drive and our Windows computer.

Symptoms and behavior of Pendrive shortcut virus

Lately I have been asked about the pen drive shortcut virus by quite a few people including users of iTechtics through the comments on other articles. The symptom of this virus is that all the folders you copy to your USB drive will be converted to shortcuts. If you double click the shortcut, it will open the same folder in a new window.

At first I didn’t take it serious until I came across an infected system myself. If you go to Google Search and search for a solution to pen drive shortcut virus, you will be greeted with a lot of pages with almost the same sort of solution. A batch file is being shared across all the pages that I came across. The batch file simply does three things; unhide all the files in the USB drive, delete all the shortcuts in the USB drive and delete two files called fypuas.exe and fypuasx.exe.

While this is a solution, it is not a permanent solution as it will only last until the computer is restarted. If you restart your computer and insert your USB drive again, it will show the same behavior as discussed above.

Fixing Pendrive shortcut virus issue permanently

Before going through the steps to delete this virus from your system, let me give you a brief overview of what this virus does. This will make it easier for us to understand and solve the problem. This virus surfaced in 2010 and has been around with different names since then. It injects itself to system startup, creates a few executable files inside the USB drive which look like shortcuts, hides the original folders and files inside the USB drive, copies itself into the profile folder of the current user and connects to an outside computer.

If you right click any shortcut folder inside your USB drive and go to Properties, you will be able to confirm that this is actually not a shortcut but properties of an executable file. Now let’s go through removing the shortcut virus step by step:

  1. Download Hijackthis and install it on your computer.
  2. Scan your computer with Hijackthis and preferably save the log file.
  3. Hijackthis gives your a list of entries with codes at the start of each line. Each code has a meaning. We need to look at the entries with code ’04’. These are the entries which are executed when a user is logged into the computer. These entries will display startup items for all the users in the computer.
    Hijackthis 04 entries
  4. Make sure you delete all entries which have the following file names inside them: fypuas.exe and fypuasx.exe
  5. Now open your Task Manager. Under Processes, make sure no process is running under the name fypuas.exe and fypuasx.exe
  6. Now go to your profile home folder (Run –> %HOMEPATH%), delete all files named fypuas.exe and fypuasx.exe

Hopefully the above steps will cleanup our system from the pendrive shortcut virus. Now let’s clean our USB drives and restore our data.

  1. Open command prompt (Run –> cmd) and go to your USB drive. For example, if my USB drive is E drive, I’ll need to type E: and hit the enter key. This will take me to the USB drive inside the command prompt.
  2. Run the following command:
    del *.lnk
    This will delete all files with the extension of a shortcut
  3. Now run the following command:
    attrib -h -r -s /s /d E:\*.*
    This command will remove the following attributes from all files inside the USB drive; hidden, read-only, system.

Following these steps should remove the virus from the USB drive completely. If you open your USB drive folder from Windows Explorer, you will be able to see all your files and folders restored inside the USB drive.

After removing this virus, you should scan your system with a good antivirus so that it may be able to detect and remove traces of any virus inside your computer. You will be able to download AVG Internet Security 2014 free for one year. If you are still having problems with this malware even after going through all these steps, please let me know through comments and we can find a solution to your specific problem together.

 

24 Comments

  1. I have that virus but after I followed your helps I can find the fypuas.exe and fypuasx.exe in my computer..
    But the shortcut virus is exist, please help me..
    Thanks

  2. Daniele Trevisan on

    Hello, I have read your post regarding the usb virus. I’ve had this problem for a few days now and I cannot find a solution. I have followed your steps but the system keeps regenerating the shortcuts after just a few seconds after they are deleted. Any time I insert a flash drive into the computer, all the files are converted to .lnk. Could you please tell me if there are any other solutions for this?

    • If it’s appearing again and again that means your system is infected. You will need to scan you system with a good antivirus. You may use the online scanning option if you don’t want to install an antivirus on your computer.

  3. Daniele Trevisan on

    Oh, I forgot to mention that I did not find the fypuas.exe and fypuasx.exe files, not using Hijackthis, not in the task manager nor in my profile folder.

    • The shortcut virus comes in so many forms and flavors. I think you have encountered another version of it. You may run a virus scan of your computer to completely get rid of it.

  4. Daniele Trevisan on

    Any good online scanner you can suggest? I’ve got Bit Defender installed in my PC but it did not detect the virus. I tried also Avast, Malawarebytes, Superantispyware, Smadav, but the problem is still there. I tried copying the content of the flash drive (only hidden files, not shortcut files) formatting the flash drive and then restoring the content but with no success.

  5. I too have had the same infection. But I had to spend a few minutes to completely remove this virus from my PC and pen drive. Here are the thing what I did… I firstly installed Eset NOD32 Antivirus 6 program on my PC. Then Activated it using User Name and Password. Then, updated it. Then, I inserted my pen drive to the PC and scanned both the PC and pen drive completely. Then, I saw that the shortcuts were deleted as they were detected as viruses. Then, using the command prompt I removed the hidden attribute of all the files and folders which were in my pen drive. The problem was solved.

  6. hey,
    I have the same problem as Daniele Trevisan and I didn’t find fypuas.exe and fypuasx.exe
    and used antivirus didn’t work it find the virus and ever time I deleted it come back
    and when I do full scan it appears VBS/safa.sjd virus there again and again I google it and find that it is the same USB drive virus so can you help me please.
    thank you

  7. daniele trevisan on

    I solved the problem by doing a system restore. Apparently the problem was on the computer not the pendrive. After that I used a software called IMSS to clean the pendrive

  8. According to your advice,i cut the file from pendrive to Drive D: but when its completed then this file gone to hide again… And this one was a movie,i cant find it…. ** but i didnt use antivirus .. Plz give me a solution..

  9. Thanks lot. I used this HijackThis tool way back 2008, not sure if the one i have been using is the same with this one. The icon is different. What i have been using before look like a tree with green leaves. And then, i encountered again this virus giving me head ache so i googled this tool and so happy it still does exist. Just wanted to say thank you. This helped me then, and helped me again this time. Thank you for sharing. God bless! :)

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