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Question about Backups


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#1 ComBoz

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 08:42 AM

Hi...new user, and this may be posted in the wrong spot but I wasn't sure exactly where it should go...

I am in the process of following your guide to prepare to remove malware and get help, and I need to make sure I have a current backup before proceeding. I do have file backups of all important stuff on an external hard drive. We don't run a lot of programs on the desktop...mostly items downloaded free (Firefox, Adobe, AVG Anti-Virus, Skype, tool called "Snippy"). We have Microsoft Office and the Adobe Creative Suite installed (have all the CD's) and I have the OS CD for Windows XP Pro (Vista too...system came with both, but have been running XP).

The computer is an HP so I have the HP Backup and Recovery Manager installed and I have a Recovery Disc Set.

My question: the HP Manual is telling me I can create either a backup of important files/folders only, or the entire HD contents. If I backup the entire HD contents, won't I just be hanging on to whatever bad thing has gotten hold of my system? Should I only be backing up the files and folders?

:thumbsup:

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 09:53 AM

My question would be...why would I want to back up...a system that is infected?

The time to back up is when the system is not infected or malfunctioning.

Overcoming infections...is not as simple as removing a single file or a set of files. System files can become infected or damaged, in addition to the original agent impacting other files.

To answer your query...I would never backup a system after I suspect/know that it is infected.

Louis

Edited by hamluis, 02 June 2010 - 09:54 AM.


#3 ComBoz

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 10:07 AM

My question would be...why would I want to back up...a system that is infected?

The time to back up is when the system is not infected or malfunctioning.

Overcoming infections...is not as simple as removing a single file or a set of files. System files can become infected or damaged, in addition to the original agent impacting other files.

To answer your query...I would never backup a system after I suspect/know that it is infected.

Louis


I completely see and understand your point. But one of the very first instructions in the Prep Guide is to backup...and my instinct tells me to simply backup whatever data files I have (which are probably not infected) instead of including any system files. I was only looking for verification of my gut feeling. Can I infer from your response that I should NOT back up the system but only data files/folders?

Unless the computer minds here are convinced that my data files could also be corrupted by whatever I have...but I'm not knowledgeable enough to know if that's possible.

I DO have copies of these files stored on my external; many of them haven't been touched in months as they are older files that don't get used often. Most are simply Word or Excel files that I use. All photographs are stored externally. I've always saved tax return files ONLY on my external hard drive to keep SS#'s and other personal data off the desktop hard drive. At best, I think even if I didn't back up anything at all I wouldn't lose anything important and would be able to update the older files I have.

Edited by ComBoz, 02 June 2010 - 10:08 AM.


#4 hamluis

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 11:29 AM

I (bear in mind that I'm just a user, like you) don't see any harm in backing up data files.

See Can Data Files Be Infected at http://www.2privacy.com/www/viruses/viruses-faq.html#009.

I can't give you a definitive answer about infections, malware, etc...I'm not trained or educated to do such, nor does my personal experience provide me with any insights.

Looking at a few Google links on data files and infections...it seems that they are fair game.

See How Viruses May Affect Files at http://www.computerhope.com/vlist.htm#07.

Louis

#5 ComBoz

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 12:13 PM

Thanks for the insight, Louis. Considering how insipid these attacks can be, I guess nothing is really safe.




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