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Can malware jump from an external hardrive...

#1 User is offline   jwri1981 

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 07:50 AM

I've saved all the files I want from my old, virus infected computer through safe mode and copied them on an external hard drive. Most of the files are mpg., wmv., or jpg. files. Can I plug-in the external hard drive and scan it for viruses on my new computer without passing on a possible virus onto my new desktop before I even have time to scan it?



Thanks,

Jon
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#2 User is offline   Grr8008 

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 08:13 AM

Not sure...do you know what virus your old computer had? What antivirus did it get by? Did you try malwarebytes? Also, what OS did the old computer have and which one does the new one have?
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#3 User is offline   jwri1981 

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 08:57 AM

Among others it had trojan.fakeavalert, and I had Norton (the latest addition) and it still got through. I haven't tried malwarebytes, but I've read many good things about it today on the message board. I had Windows XP and the new one is Windows Vista. I bought Kaspersky, but haven't downloaded anything on my new desktop (I haven't turned it on) b/c I can't decide which is the best antivirus software and which is the best firewall that I can download and will run well with Kaspersky. Should I get another (paid) antivirus program? I'll run malwarebytes often but I want a good, non-free anti-virus and (possibly free) firewall program (I heard Zone Alarm was best). Any suggestions? My comp. has been sitting in its box for four days b/c I'm really paranoid about killing my new computer before I even use it.
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#4 User is offline   Grr8008 

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 09:54 AM

Is this it? http://www.symantec....3606-99&tabid=1
If so then you will risk the chance of being infected when you plug in your hard drive. This has instructions to remove it so I would try it. You might also want to type in the other viruses you have and check them out.

Avast is a great free antivirus. http://www.avast.com/
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#5 User is offline   Rommel 

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 10:04 AM

If I may add,

when you plug the external drive in, don't let it auto run.

(preview content)

How much that matters if at all, I don't know but if it were mine, it would make me feel better.

Then scan with all updated programs these gentelmen suggested.

Rommel
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#6 User is offline   smax013 

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 01:00 PM

It will largely depend on the malware. Generally, a trojan should not jump, unless you run it. Now, a running trojan on the old computer could put something other than a trojan on the drive. An actual virus could potentially jump, but it is still generally less likely.

In general, I would suggest that you first try to zap all the crap on the old computer before moving files. Try Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (http://www.malwarebytes.org/) and SuperAntiSpyware (http://www.superantispyware.com/) in addition to the antivirus program (Avast is a good free one). First run a scan with each in "normal" mode...and then rerun the scans in Safe Mode. Keep running them until you don't find anything. At that point, you should be able to copy the files to the external drive, but still scan the drive when you first attach it to the new computer. That would be my suggestion.
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#7 User is offline   jwri1981 

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 07:21 PM

That's it and that's what I was afraid of, but at least I know what I'm dealing with...thanks for the info! Can I take another poster's suggestion and transfer the files onto my new comp. in safe mode? Or it that too risky as well?
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#8 User is offline   rgreen4 

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 07:29 PM

I am not sure if a computer will support a USB drive in the safe mode, but you may try that first. It will lessen the possibility of infection.
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#9 User is offline   jwri1981 

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 07:30 PM

Thanks Smax, but I have already gotten rid of the old computer. I just have the new one sitting in the box next to my staircase. I have already put the old files on the external hard drive and deleted them from my old comp. So, should I dig out my old comp. (and reinstall the files on my ex. harddrive) and run those programs anyway, or should I download a marewarebytes Anti-Malware and SuperAnti Spyware on my new one; run it, then plug the ex. drive in and run both programs on the drive, then transfer the files, and then finally run both programs again? Or something else all together (sorry if I'm seem live a novice, b/c I really am, so thank you all for your patience!)?



Either way I will use Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and SuperAntiSpyware, in addition to the one I have bought, Kaspersky.
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#10 User is offline   jwri1981 

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 07:34 PM

Actually rgreen4, I moved all the files I wanted to save from my old comp. onto the ex. drive through my USB drive in safe mode. But I hadn't thought of transfering the files onto my new comp. in safe mode. It should lessen the possibility of infection, I would think, but I don't know for sure.
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#11 User is offline   rgreen4 

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 07:45 PM

In Safe Mode, scan the external drive first. I would use Malwarebytes. I use it for scans, but Avast! as the active Anti-Virus and SuperAntiSpyware as my active anti-spyware (along with Windows Defender).
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#12 User is offline   chermint 

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 09:47 PM

I think malare are highly sophisticated to pass through Safe Mode
filter. Your external drive might still have some malwares/viruses in
there. Better secure an updated and reliable anti-virus software and
scan your external drive before copying any file from it to your new
computer.
Message was edited by: smax013
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#13 User is offline   smax013 

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 02:04 AM

If you do not want to dig out the old computer, then you can do the scans with the new computer...there is just slightly more risk.
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