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Retrieving data from infected drive

Suppose I have a hard drive that's infected with serious malware (like a rootkit) and I need to retrieve some files off of it. Would it  be safe to plug it into another PC as a secondary drive? After all, if its not going to be the boot drive, the malware won't become active. Is that a correct assumption?
     P.S. this is just for future reference. I currently do not need to access anything off of an infected drive.
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8/22/2022 - Mon

Yes. It is a working-safe assumption.

If it is a well coded root kit or virus I would not say this is safe at all.

I suggest this procedure:

- Install a working virus scanner on your Windows OS
- Boot your PC from any Linux live system.
- Make sure your local (windows) drive is not mounted
- mount the infected drive, copy over the files you need on a USB stick.
- wipe the partition table of the infected drive
- start your Windows again, scan plug in the Stick and scan it.

IMHO chances are really slim your virus/rootkit is on this USB stick in the first place; if so it was in one of the files you copied.
Dave Howe

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Of course it's inactive no matter how good it is coded. The only possible way to become infected now is to activate autorun-on-connect, but that is off by default.
Your help has saved me hundreds of hours of internet surfing.
Dave Howe

or by opening an infected document that has scripting capabilities (such as pdf)