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September 27th, 2012

How do I scan a flash drive for viruses using avast?

Question of the week: I am a university professor who accepts assignments on flash drives. I am worried about my own computer. How do I scan a flash drive for viruses using avast?

Good question. Every time you plug an unknown flash drive into your computer, you’re taking a risk because a USB drive can spread malware along with the data, as well as attract it. Have you ever heard “My flashdrive ate my homework” as an excuse? It could happen. Here’s how avast! can help.

Avast! Antivirus comes with a number of pre-defined scans installed including the ability to scan any removable storage device that is connected to your computer, such as USB flash drives, external hard drives, etc. It will scan the drive to detect potential “auto-run” programs that may try to launch when the device is connected.

To carry out a manual scan of “Removable media,” select the “Scan computer” tab in the avast! user display. This will open the “Scan Now” screen as shown in the screenshot.

A “Quick scan” will perform a scan of the C:\drive on your computer, which is normally sufficient to detect the majority of malware. Only files with “dangerous” extensions are scanned, for example, “exe”, “com”, “bat,” etc. Only those areas at the beginning and end of a file, where infections are normally found, are tested.

A “Full System Scan” performs a detailed scan of all your computer’s hard disks. Avast! looks inside every file to determine what type of file it is and whether it should be scanned. The whole file is tested, which is useful if you suspect you have an infection which was not detected by the quick scan.

If you want to scan a specific folder or multiple folders, “Select folder to scan.”

To run one of the pre-defined scans, just click “Start.”

 

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