I have newly bought HP Pavilion laptop, which i am planning to nuke and reinstall.

I really do not like the bloatware as it might posses a security risk.

However, in Thailand, i do not trust the sellers of USB sticks and external hard drives, i do not want to infect my laptop with that. (BadUSB etc.)

What can i do? Is there any safe way to do that? How to spot BadUSB/infected external hard drive?

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    BadUSB usually is identified as a HID (Human Interface Device) Jan 18 '20 at 12:12

First of all, there are plenty of tutorials on how to factory reset any massive storage device. For example, you can delete all it’s partitions and start a new full NTFS drive; it should be enough.

The danger is that you can’t reset the USB before it infects the computer where you mounted the drive, right? So we would need something like a sandbox or a discardable place to clean the USB.


Option 1

Running the USB in a coffee shop where you can pay for some minutes of computer usage. If something happens there, you shouldn’t worry.

Option 2

Mounting the drive on a discardable operative system. Whatever happens to the OS (I would suggest a Linux because it is easy to install and discard), you later delete it.

COMMENT: I’m not taking into account those tryhard USB devices which contain viruses by default or shall affect your BIOS or anything weird. Just a regular USB stick to which a virus has been set into the default storage. Hope it helps!

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    The thing about BadUSB is that malicious things may hide out in the flash controller, not that the device may store malware on the storage area.
    – vidarlo
    Oct 11 at 11:00

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