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Reuse infected HDD


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#1
c0mb0

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I recently got a free "dead" computer by a couple of friends who said it had gotten some kind of horrible virus, they did send it to 2 computer repair guys who were non-plussed by the problem,

i dont really know what virus the computer has, only that it hasnt melted the processor or anything else,

so my question is wether or not i can put this harddrive in my own computer without endangering it, and if there is a dangerous virus, is there a possibility i can just wipe it completely clean and have my windows format it ?

I would really appreciate some help,

Thanks
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#2
wannabe1

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Hi c0mb0...

If the drive is good other than having a virus, there is no reason it can't be salvaged. You'll want to put it into a machine by itself as a master drive and either use an application such as Boot N Nuke or fdisk (available on the Win98SE Startup Disk) to "wipe" the drive.

Boot with one of these utilities in the drive (cd-rom or floppy) and immediately delete all partitions and either write the HDD to zeros (boot n nuke) or format the drive to FAT32 (Win98 Startup).

You should then be able to safely use the HDD any way you choose... :whistling:

wannabe1

Edited by wannabe1, 09 May 2006 - 07:02 PM.

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#3
c0mb0

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Thanks for the reply :blink: , but isnt there a possibilty that it might harm my computer, im not too knowlegable in the field of virueses and worms, but isnt there a type of virus that will just basically melt my computer ? and i did say that it hasnt melted the processor in the old computer, but dont viruses like mutate ?

Thanks again for the reply, im going to try it asap :whistling:
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#4
gerryf

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virus do not spontaneously mutate---someone has to write it to alter its behavior, function given a trigger (and the trigger can just be a time/date)

That said, a virus can only harm you if it is active. Wannabe is being very careful when he says put it in a machine by itself and boot from a third party book and nuke, but in all but a boot record virus, which is very rare, that is not necesary.

99.9 percent of viruses infect the Operating System, not the drive itself (boot record virus being the exception) so putting an infected drive in your pc will not spread to your pc since the OS is not active.

I plug other people's drives into my machine all the time for the purpose of cleaning their systems using my OS and my virus cleaner---some of the machines are so badly crapped up, it is easier to pull the drive and clean them manually or with a a virus cleaner/malware scanner on a different machine to get to the point where you can start the infected machine.
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#5
gerryf

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ps--not saying you should not put it in a machine by itself--probably for the best. It would not HURT
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#6
dsenette

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type of virus that will just basically melt my computer ?

FYI - with the exception of over taxing a processor to death (very hard to do programatically) software cannot damage hardware
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#7
c0mb0

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Ok, thanks alot guys, iwe got it all cleared up now, and im a little bit smarter on viruses :blink: , but there is one last thing, when you say to clean it manually do you mean to touch a magnet on it ? because i know it empties it, but iwe heard that usually magnets and electronics arent the best of friends :whistling: ,

and, thanks again guys, it cleared it up and its working fine now, :help:

PS: to the staff, or admins, my issue is cleared now, i dunno if you want to close the topic

Edited by c0mb0, 10 May 2006 - 06:38 PM.

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#8
wannabe1

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A magnet will do nothing to a hard drive other than it may damage some of the delicate electronics it contains...even that would be doubtful. The reason magnets should not be around computers is because magnetic flux actually induces voltage in a conductor and computers are very sensitive to voltage fluctuations. This phenomenon may corrupt some data stored in memory modules like the RAM, but will not actually erase anything written to the hard drive. An old wives tale... :blink:

No offense intended to any "Old Wives" who read this... :whistling:

wannabe1

Edited by wannabe1, 10 May 2006 - 06:51 PM.

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#9
c0mb0

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Oh, ok (need to stop using those big words around me :blink: ) so no permanent damage unless it physically destroys it by pulling on it, got it, thanks for the help, again; the harddrive has been wiped and is ok thanks everyone that helped :whistling:

And to Wannabe 1, you should write a book on these things, itd be a bestseller.

Thanks everybody
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#10
wannabe1

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Glad to help! :whistling:
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