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External Hard Drive Reformatting?


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4 replies to this topic

#1 xpanianiax

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Posted 26 September 2008 - 01:50 PM

Hello All:

The husband purchased an external hard drive and pretty much backed up everything (personal files, applications, etc.) to it. For what reason, I have no idea.

A couple weeks later we find out through the help of this lovely website that we have a nasty virus and should probably wipe the computer. I have no idea how long we've had the virus, but the computer was misbehaving for a while. That being said, I'm a bit paranoid that he might have backed up the virus along with the rest of our files onto that external hard drive. Is there a way to wipe the external hard drive safely so that we can backup just our personal files to it OR is it pretty much trash now and I get to use the old "I told you so" on the husband?

Thanks in advance for all your help!

Ania

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 26 September 2008 - 02:21 PM

Hi :thumbsup:.

Nothing like the opportunity to remind others that they "should have listened to me"...I know the feeling :huh:.

Honestly speaking...I'd just delete everything, format/partition, do a clean install. The reason I would do that is...if I ever became infected, that's what it would take to restore my confidence in my system, a pretty important thing to me (not only because I do online banking, shopping, etc...but I like for the tools that I use to be reliable).

I don't flatter myself that I'm knowledgeable enough to completely overcome the adverse impacts of a virus...in the same manner that I can delete a cookie from spywareland...and a clean install seems to me to be my personal solution to such eventualities.

If the harm to the system is such that it cannot be ascertained and rectified by routine procedures...a clean install should be the way, IMO.

FWIW: I do clean installs all the time (even though I have backups, which I don't use) and they don't ever seem as onerous to me as they do to others.

Louis

#3 perr

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Posted 26 September 2008 - 02:34 PM

RT click "my computer" - manage-disk management and select the external drive and format it. Then copy the desired files to it.

#4 raw

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Posted 26 September 2008 - 08:48 PM

Have you scanned the external drive with an AV scanner?
Do you know for sure the infection was transfered to the external?

For what reason, I have no idea.

In case of an incident requiring a format/reinstall of Windows. (such as a virus)

Virus tip: Most infections target the operating system, infecting exe and dll type
files because they are executable. Pictures and documents are usually safe from
infection.

rawsig.png

 rawcreations.net          @raw_creations


Current systems: WHAT OS, BackTrack-raw, PCLinuxOS, Peppermint OS 6, Kali Linux

and a custom Linux From Scratch server hosting a bunch of top secret stuff.


#5 hamluis

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Posted 27 September 2008 - 10:24 AM

Excellent point made by RAW, one which betrays my lack of perspective in making suggestions :thumbsup:.

When I see that someone has backed up applications...I automatically assume that the operating system and all files were either backed up or cloned (depends on the software used to do the job).

But...if you are not talking about XP and installed applications...when you refer to your backup...then there's (IMO) small chance of those files being infected.

Louis




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