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Best way to clean an infected portable hard drive

Posted on 2009-05-05
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Last Modified: 2013-11-22
I had a virus on my pc and decided to reload the os as the virus/malware was quite aggressive and I didnt want to deal with my pc possibly being unsecure.  I took all the files I needed from my pc (docs/pics/music etc) and put them on a portable hard drive.   I know the hard drive is infected because I used it earlier to transfer some files from on pc to another and it infected the other pc.  So I am reinstalling both operating systems, they will be clean.

My question is - how do I go about cleaning this portable hard drive?  What programs do you recommend (I can and am willing to run multiple) to clean this.  Another question if all these programs are saying its clean - can I trust it or is there always a chance that its infected?  There is no os on the hard drive, just pictures/music/docs etc.


I would like to be able to transfer some of the things on the hd back onto my main pc's without having to worry about it re infecting (especially after doing all the work of reloading the os's.)

Thanks in advance,

Bill
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Question by:Pinebilly
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6 Comments
 
LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:Macros82
ID: 24309989
Get all the information off it and then blow away the partition and reformat!
Easiest and most effective way!! DO EET!
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skywalker39 earned 500 total points
ID: 24309998
You can use pretty much any type of antivirus you choose. Some goods one's are AVG, PCTools, McAfee, Trend Micro, Norton, it's mostly preference. Once you choose which software you want to use, make sure you scan your antivirus with the portable drive to see if it finds any types of virus, if it does not then you should be fine and transfer and data you want back your computer.
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Assisted Solution

by:FatManc
FatManc earned 500 total points
ID: 24310107
I would also scan the hard drive with

Malwarebytes Antimalware (http://www.malwarebytes.org) and possibly SpyHunter (http://www.engimasoftware.com)

These two are sometimes more thorough than other AV products.

You can never guarantee that an infected drive is 100% clean but if multiple virus scans and spyware scans deem it clean then you should be OK.

Hope this helps
John
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Author Comment

by:Pinebilly
ID: 24310249
Thanks guys!  Really appreciate it.  It came up clean on Kaspersky.

These came up (as vulnerabilities) but I am guessing its because I dont have windows patched yet.

5/5/2009 3:34:51 PM      Detected: http://www.viruslist.com/en/advisories/23655      C:\WINDOWS\system32\msxml6.dll            
5/5/2009 3:34:51 PM      Detected: http://www.viruslist.com/en/advisories/23655      C:\WINDOWS\system32\msxml4.dll            
5/5/2009 3:36:41 PM      Detected: http://www.viruslist.com/en/advisories/23655      C:\WINDOWS\WinSxS\x86_Microsoft.MSXML2_6bd6b9abf345378f_4.20.9818.0_x-ww_8ff50c5d\msxml4.dll            


Going to run a few more (the ones you mentioned FatManc and if it comes up clean, I will assume its all good.

Thanks again for the great help.

PB


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Expert Comment

by:skywalker39
ID: 24310455
Please assign points to Expert(s).
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