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Badly Infected Laptop, Need to Transfer Files to Clean Computer and Wipe It

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#1 mariebee


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Posted 05 November 2013 - 12:53 AM

The Problem: My computer had been running very slowly for a long time and now in the past few months it has done this: the date will randomly reset back to October 14, 2010 (a date earlier than i even bought this laptop). I of course correct the date & time, but within a day it's changed its time to some off hour. Also, in the past few weeks it's had an additional symptom: upon startup it will say something about a new dell system detect thing available..it's never given his massage before now, and the message just doesn't look quite right.


What I want to do but need help with..I wish to transfer my files (this includes mostly music and picture files, and a few other word or pdf documents) to a clean computer. I don't know how to safely do so, though. I don't have the option of a cd or dvd or external hard drive. My /only/ option is a USB stick or online transfer site, transferring it all little by little. I don't know how I got this virus or malware or whatever it is, though. I don't want to infect the clean computer by transferring these files, so I have no clue how to do this. I'm not a computer wiz, but if it's explained to me I can usually figure out how to do whatever it is pretty easily. I currently have the latest AVG Free version installed, if that matters. Is there some way i can check these files before transferring them? Here's what I have to work with:


  • an infected Dell Inspiron Duo running Windows 7 (no place for discs besides usb ports)
  • a clean, nothing on it, newly wiped and reloaded "emachines" brand computer (not laptop) running windows xp (it has Avast antivirus free)
  • a couple of empty usb sticks for transferring
  • the internet

I'm also not planning to transfer and .exe files or anything..I read that those are common targets for corruption, and I don't need to transfer any of those anyway. I just want to safely transfer without infecting the clean computer so I can factory reset this infected one and use it again.


Thank you so much, 


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#2 mariebee

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 01:02 AM

I've done complete computer scans on the infected computer and everything just turns up fine, it shows no infections which is bull, so I have no clue where the thing is & I don't know how to scan individual files before transferring or anything.

#3 cmptrgy


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Posted 05 November 2013 - 04:35 AM

I would see if you can take care of the time issue first

--- Replace the BIOS battery if you can

--- Let us know the results


It appears to me that your Dell Inspiron Duo is a netbook and that's fine but I usually like to know the exact Make/Model


You believe it's infected but that isn't proven yet although you most likely need better protection than just AVG Free along with maintenance


The unit has been running very slowly for a long time but that can be a result of filling up especially since you mention music and pictures files and that indicates it isn't necessarily an infection issue. The fact that you want to save them and some documents is very good. In fact restoting the unit back to factory condition sounds like it makes sense in your case but keep in mind that the applications for your data need to be taken into account also. More on that later

--- And if you need a new BIOS battery you will still have a time issue


On the dell system detect thing being available, that could be normal as Dell is warning you the system needs serious help


So consider changing the battery first.


Then I would transfer the data to a USB flash drive as you want to do

--- For example create a Pictures folder on the USB flash drive and then copy the contents of the units Picture folder into the USB flash drives Picture folder

--- Same for your music and videos but someone else with more experience than me can give you better instructions


You might need more than 1 USB flash dive but that's TBD depending on how much needs to be transferred

--- At this point in time you might not even have to transfer them to the XP computer


I would also go to the Dell website and download the drivers for your unit before resetting the computer back to factory conditions.

--- Usually you can burn them to discs but since you don't have that capability I hope you'll be able to burn them to a flash drive

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