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safely backup files before fixing?


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#1 hippocratEz

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 03:30 AM

Hi and thanks for reading.

I got a trojan5 days ago. Avast found and stopped only part of it afterwards. I need to, and am able to, finish fixing it with more complicated tools myself. My questions are:

1. can i safely backup to an automated external harddrive without reinfection,

and

2. can i now safely use usb flash drives i downloaded fixes to an infected pc from a good pc to fix my last infection 2 years ago?

 

Thanks



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#2 xXToffeeXx

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 06:00 AM

Hi and thanks for reading.

I got a trojan5 days ago. Avast found and stopped only part of it afterwards. I need to, and am able to, finish fixing it with more complicated tools myself. My questions are:

1. can i safely backup to an automated external harddrive without reinfection,

and

2. can i now safely use usb flash drives i downloaded fixes to an infected pc from a good pc to fix my last infection 2 years ago?

 

Thanks

1. I think you should be able, just don't backup any .exe, .com or .bat files as they can most commonly contain malware (other file types can, but it's rarer). Make sure to run a few scans (like an anti-virus and malwarebytes if you have it) before you put anything on a clean computer though.

 

2. You should be able to transfer files using a usb flash drive, I would say to be safe to install Panda USB Vaccine, or BitDefender’s USB Immunizer on the clean computer to protect it from any infected USB device.

 

If you ever need help with this infected computer, feel free to make a topic in Am I Infected? or the malware removal section.

 

Hope this helps,

 

xXToffeeXx~


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#3 quietman7

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 10:28 AM

To expand on what xXToffeeXx~ has already advised.

If your computer has been infected with malware and you need to back up data to transfer to another computer, you can back up all your important documents, personal data files, photos, music, videos to a CD or DVD drive, not a flash drive or external hard drive as they may become compromised in the process. The safest practice is not to backup any executable files (*.exe), screensavers (*.scr), dynamic link library (*.dll), .ini, .bat, .com, .cmd, .msi, .pif, or script files (.php, .asp, .htm, .html, .xml) files because they may be infected by malware. Avoid backing up compressed files (.zip, .cab, .rar) that have executables inside them as some types of malware can penetrate compressed files and infect the .exe files within them. Other types of malware may even disguise itself by hiding a file extension or by adding double file extensions and/or space(s) in the file's name to hide the real extension as shown here (click Figure 1 to enlarge) so be sure you look closely at the full file name. If you cannot see the file extension, you may need to reconfigure Windows to show file name extensions. Then make sure you scan the backed up data with your anti-virus prior to to copying it back to your hard drive.

If your CD/DVD drive is unusable or there isn't one installed, another word of caution if you are considering backing up to an external usb hard drive as your only alternative. External drives are more susceptible to infection and can become compromised in the process of backing up data. I'm not saying you should not try using such devices but I want to make you aware of all your options and associated risks so you can make an informed decision if its worth that risk. Again, do not back up any files with the following file extensions: .exe, .scr, .bat, .com, .cmd, .msi, .pif, .ini, .htm, .html, .hta, .php, .asp, .xml, .zip, .rar, .cab as they may be infected.
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#4 Simply_Michael

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Posted 30 August 2013 - 07:06 AM

Yup, Avoid to keep any backup, b'coz you can't be sure that your data in not infected. Normally .exe, .cmd, .rar, .com, .msi, .net, .smi, .html, .zip easily get infected. and the idea to store scan data in pen drive and any other external hdd will not work, I already have experience of such kind of thing.



#5 quietman7

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Posted 30 August 2013 - 08:09 AM

That is just another reason to regularly back up your data before anything bad occurs. Data can be deleted by accident, lost due to catastrophic hard drive failure, power failure and power surges (which damages internal hardware components) or lost due to severe malware infection. In some cases, the system can be rendered unbootable and you may not have access to the computer to back up any data.

A computer's hard drive will not last forever and at some point its going to fail and eventually need replacing. Hard drive failure can occur suddenly without warning or it could occur gradually due to failing areas of the disc requiring repeated read attempts before successful access or as a result of bad clusters accumulating over time to the point the drive becomes unusable. Backing up your data is one of the most important maintenance tasks users should perform on a routine basis, yet it's one of the most neglected areas.
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