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Viruses and other nasties. Help!

Timmy C

Distinguished Member
If I were to buy a used laptop with no real knowledge of it's history would I be right in saying that if I were to completely reinstall XP along with the other software I needed then I could be sure it would get rid of any virus/spyware etc. that may have been on it or can this sort of stuff hide on your hard drive and infect everything again after reinstalling?

Sorry if this is an obvious question but I know little about this kind of stuff but trust the people here for good advice.

Thanks in advance for any help.
 

ijd

Established Member
just reformatting does not remove all items on the hard drive,any programs or files just sit on the hd and wait to be over written,
this is how they can be resurrected once deleted.
However all is not lost, you will just have to purchase the software to regenerate them and then purchase the software to "scrub" your hard drive clean, Some do a partial clean others do a GOVERNMENT clean, obviously the gov clean is what politicians and the armed forces use to delete highly sensative material.
www.majorgeeks.com
will have all the stuff and advice you will need
 
D

Deleted member 39241

Guest
I have a different view, the clean install of windows will overwrite some of the data - the rest will lay dormant until overwritten with new data, but I don't believe it will be able to infect a clean install of windows on a fully formatted hard drive.
 

Uridium

Distinguished Member
deleted member said:
I have a different view, the clean install of windows will overwrite some of the data - the rest will lay dormant until overwritten with new data, but I don't believe it will be able to infect a clean install of windows on a fully formatted hard drive.

correct.

if all you want to do is essentially perform a "visible" wipe of data from a drive a simple format is enough. if you wanted to fully remove all data and render it unrecoverable the current MoD and US DoD standard is a seven pass format. Full format not quick)
 

Timmy C

Distinguished Member
Thanks guys! I don't even know if there's a problem yet. I just thought that assuming a fresh install of XP would wipe out any nastiness I may as well do it before saving anything important. So 2 out of 3 reckon this would be ok?

Anyone else with anything to add?
 

Steve.J.Davies

Prominent Member
Disk Format won't help if your BIOS is cooked by a virus...

If disk bound virus (mor elikley) be careful you don't transfer the virus to your new installation via any already infected media.
 

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