The ‘Open with’ problem

Posted on May 24, 2008. Filed under: Viruses | Tags: , , , , , , |

Most of you would have had bad luck when connecting USB pen-drives or CDs. These storage mediums may carry viruses that get activated via the autorun functionality in Windows. Some of these viruses also store autorun files in the system’s local drives. This results in popping up the open with dialog box when you double click the drive icons. Also explore might not function. A virus that i got recently from my USB is such that it stores autoruns in all drives. Also, I couldnt change the ‘view hidden files‘ setting in folder options. After applying the setting, nothing happens; when i go to folder options again, the setting is back to ‘do not show hidden files‘. The removal of autoruns is simple from read-write drives (not possible in CDROMs/DVD ROMs). All you have to do is run command prompt. Go to the root of the unaccessible drive, type the following and press enter. But before that you will have to end the process named explorer.exe from task-manager or command line.

del /a:h /f c:\autorun.*

Where, c:\autorun.* means all files that are named autorun with any extension in drive c: to be deleted. The command deletes the files even if they are hidden, even if it has to be forced. Now run the explorer.exe from task-manager. And all is well. For ease, i have created a batch file for cleaning all local drives in an instant by double clicking the .bat file. It is given below.

echo off
echo Deleting autoruns in C,D,E,F…
taskkill /f /im explorer.exe
del /a:h /f c:\autorun.*
del /a:h /f d:\autorun.*
del /a:h /f e:\autorun.*
del /a:h /f f:\autorun.*
start explorer

I would recommend disabling autoruns completely. But if that feels too restrictive, you can always bypass autoruns by holding down the shift key while connecting USB device or closing the CD tray with CD.

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