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I am attempting to reinstall windows 7 on my infected PC (with the shortcut virus) using a fresh USB drive. The USB drive is NOT infected and contains the ISO.

will the USB stick I'm using get infected if I use it for reinstalling ?

I plan on inserting the USB drive in its port immediately after I restart the device so I can boot into it right away.

I also plan on booting my PC from the USB drive to start the process without ever opening it from My Computer.

  • format the hard drive first? – schroeder Oct 31 '17 at 14:23
  • the shortcut virus does not appear to infect firmware, so once you wipe the drive, it should not survive – schroeder Oct 31 '17 at 14:24
  • thanks, sounds like a great idea, Im still curious about other solutions to this same problem. – Ronnie Oct 31 '17 at 15:35
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As long as the USB has never been inserted into an infected machine, the original infected operating system is not booted while the USB is present and the virus has not modified lower level systems (like BIOS / firmware) - which the shortcut virus appears not to - you should be fine.

I would suggest if you do not have files you wish to recover on the infected system to fully wipe the drive before/during the install process. Letting Windows move the old files to a Windows.Old folder may risk re-infection.

If you want to be particularly paranoid boot from a linux live USB or Windows PE disk and wipe the HDD before reinstalling Windows.

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