After searching, I know that there're virus run in safe mode. My question is : in safe mode (windows 7), are there virus can infect computer from usb? Of course, I do not run any file in usb, I just copy-paste between hard driver and usb.

I know in normal mode, using gpedit.msc to disable autorun is a way to prevent infect virus from usb, but is this way 100% safe if I just copy-paste between hard drive and usb? Comparing to this way, is copy-paste between hard driver and usb in safe mode still safer?

Last,are your answers still right for windows 8 and windows 10?

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    Totally bad naming. It should be named like restricted mode. – kelalaka Jan 31 '20 at 10:00
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    @kelalaka I won't argue that the name "safe" isn't ambiguous, it is, but contextually it is used when booting and is a "safe" booting method. Better terms could have been used but "safe" does not imply anything as strong as "secure", "hardened" or any other term that might be seen as "adding protections" in the way this question is asking. If anything "clean" would be a better term than "safe" but is subject to other misunderstandings as a reboot it technically a "clean boot". Any such two word descriptions need some kind of qualification or explanation. – Mokubai Jan 31 '20 at 11:46

It is probably easier to begin an infection in safe mode. It is only known as "safe mode" as it disables a lot of the Windows startup and programs that can cause boot problems or system instability. It is a "safe to boot", not "safe from viruses".

As a result things like antivirus and firewalls may not be present in safe mode and your system may lack a lot of the controls necessary to prevent an initial virus spread.

Yes this applies to Windows 10 and 8 as well.

Just copying an executable to/from a USB stick should not result in an infection, but there are many malformed files which rely on the operating system automatically running certain code which can cause undesired consequences like running of further embedded code. (Some of these malformed files might not run in "safe mode" but there is no way to easily find out what will or will not without risking everything)

Safe mode is not "making your computer safe". It is a diagnostic mode that doesn't run as many programs and is limited mainly to the "core" operating system.

  • In the case I just go into folders of removable devices to see files (not copy-paste), does safe mode disable autorun from removable devices (usb, dvd drive, removable disk), and there's no worry about virus? – ydhhat Jan 31 '20 at 9:13
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    Auto run has been disabled for years on almost all systems, safe mode will make almost no difference in that regard. Whether just looking at the virus causes an infection depends on operating system vulnerabilities, programs that might help "preview" a file and a lot of other things. Safe mode might disable previews so it could be "safer" than normal, but to say that there is "no worry" would be wrong. Hopefully you'd be okay, but the only real way to be safe is to disconnect the hard drive and boot a Linux LiveDVD or USB to look at the suspect files. – Mokubai Jan 31 '20 at 9:31

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