Please help with cleaning W32-Tapin infection from external HDD and USB flash drive


Aug 15, 2017
Hello everyone,

My new laptop (ASUS A555LF X409T i3 version) with windows 10 Home edition got infected with W32-Tapin Worm (Diagnosed by Avira)

I believe that it got infected with W32-Tapin worm while I was copying data from my old laptop’s HDD – I had used the old laptop’s HDD (as an external drive) on another friend’s laptop to take backup of some data.

I am using Avira free version (the laptop originally came with McAfee but I have been using Avira for past one and a half years without any issues and I feel that McAfee slows down the PC too much)

I have done a factory reset on the laptop since it is new, now my major obstacle is to clean the external HDD (this is the old laptop's Hard disk) and a USB flash drive which I used on same friend's PC.

Please help me with this, I am a noob at this and I have two basic questions

1) Is it possible to clean the old HDD without formatting? If the chances of it happening are low then I would have to sacrifice the data.

2) Assuming I don't have to format What is the best way to clean the external HDD and USB - from what I have read online, I came up with following methods. Please help me choose the best one

  • a. Use a bootable CD like Hiren's BootCD or bit-defender rescue CD and then connect & clean the external HDD and USB by using the procedure given here

    My rather silly doubt: when I would connect the external discs in the mini-xp environment of Hiren's CD, wouldn't it be possible for the W-32 worm to copy itself to my new laptop's HDD as well? I doubt so because even though I would be booting with a CD, the drives would all still be connected through the mni-xp environment

    b. Use the "Panda USB Vaccine tool" to disable the Autorun function and then use Malwarebytes + McAfee to scan and disinfect the external drives
    doubt here: since it is a worm, would it be possible for it to bypass the USB vaccine tool and still infect my new laptop's HDD?

    Also, please suggest if any other Antivirus would be best for cleaning this.

Please help me out, thanks a lot for your time and effort :)


Jul 11, 2017
Your options are decent. The tools of choice though. No clue, as I haven't heard these names. Apart from the BitDefender's rescue.

You could try sandboxing your devices, meaning that any files or modifications cannot go outside to your system, and everything is kept internally. Sandboxie could help you out with the issue.

For maximum security, I would boot up some form of Linux, as it will most likely not infect anything and do a cleanup through that, but this is a far advanced cleaning option. Also, you can always disconnect your devices from the internet, boot up your laptop, do a thorough malware cleanup and factory-reset your laptop once more.

You can also disable writing on your PC or interact with files through certain software, but I haven't explored this solution much myself. Let me know how it goes.