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  • OT, retrieving data off a virus'ed HD

    Hi,

    The problem is I have an XP system (no particular value) with a HD with data I'd like to retrieve. The data happens to be CAD files that were not backed up.

    The system has a virus (?) and I'm not able to reload XP.

    A: If I took the HD out and plugged it into another XP system maybe as drive "D" could I retrieve the data that way?

    B: Do the above and run anti-virus on that drive in the other computer to clean it up,put it back into original machine, reload XP to give access to data?

    C: Or, is there a better way?

    Thanks for any advice.

  • #2
    "A" will work fine. Once you transfer the files then scan them. They aren't likely to be infected since they aren't executable files but do it anyway.
    Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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    • #3
      Best solution is "A". But copy over the data you need to your new machine and then remove the drive. If the drive is to be reused in a machine a full format should be done to ensure its clean.

      Hard drives are dirt cheap these days I tend to buy new ones whenever a reload is necessary. Simple remove the old disk install a new disk and install everything on the new disk and then put the old disk in and migrate the data over. Then I remove the old disk mark it with a sharpie and place on the shelf as an archive. Takes a couple of hours tops.
      Mike
      Central Ohio, USA

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      • #4
        I have been installing old hard drives into external USB drive enclosures. the last one I did was out of an XP machine that shelled the motherboard, I installed the HDD in an external USB enclosure that cost $22, retrieved all the files I wanted off of it, and wiped it a few times.

        Now it is stored in my safe with sensitive data on it, it doesn't get used very often anymore, so it will last a long time.

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        • #5
          The downside to plugging your drive into another PC is that there are a number of viruses that will just hop right over to the computer your drive is plugged into.

          If you yank the drive from the machine and use a USB adapter, just give it to anyone with a Mac. They can copy the data off and transfer it to DVD, other drive, memory stick, or anything else for you... with no chance of anything "hopping over" to the other media.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by precisionmetal
            The downside to plugging your drive into another PC is that there are a number of viruses that will just hop right over to the computer your drive is plugged into.

            If you yank the drive from the machine and use a USB adapter, just give it to anyone with a Mac. They can copy the data off and transfer it to DVD, other drive, memory stick, or anything else for you... with no chance of anything "hopping over" to the other media.

            If you copy a file that is infected with a Windows virus to another OS, such as MAC, or Linux, the virus will not work on those systems, but the malicious code is still there, but a windows virus cannot generally copy itself and run on another operating system, I have read about a few that are cross platform, but I have never encountered one.

            If at some point the infected file is copied back onto the Operating System it was written for, it will do it's dirty deed like it never left. It does not matter what kind of media or operating system it is copied to or from, the file will remain in tact. Keep in mind that most ANY file can contain a virus, picture files, mp3 files...etc.
            Last edited by Iraiam; 09-29-2011, 01:26 AM.

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            • #7
              Hey, thanks all for the replies...

              Here's the latest.

              I bought a $13 USB to sata drive adapter. Retrieved a good bit of the data I wanted usig my laptop, still more to get, but no hurry. So I now have the HD with the corrupted XP system on it and access to the data on the drive. That was my goal, I'm happy with that outcome.


              My friend gave me a new HD to put into the original XP machine. Put it in and reloaded XP from my original CD.

              But, all is not well with the computer. After loading XP and playing around a while it quit all of a sudden, like the power cord had been pulled. It won't restart until it sits for about a 1/2 hour. Then it starts and runs for a short period and suddenly goes off. This is similar to what it did originally that I attributed to a virus. It appears to be getting worse.

              Any ideas if this is something simple? Could it be the power supply? As I said previously this box is not of great value, not worth much investment (other than my time).

              Thanks again.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by DR
                Hi,

                The problem is I have an XP system (no particular value) with a HD with data I'd like to retrieve. The data happens to be CAD files that were not backed up.

                The system has a virus (?) and I'm not able to reload XP.

                A: If I took the HD out and plugged it into another XP system maybe as drive "D" could I retrieve the data that way?

                B: Do the above and run anti-virus on that drive in the other computer to clean it up,put it back into original machine, reload XP to give access to data?

                C: Or, is there a better way?

                Thanks for any advice.
                Nothing is 100% certain, but I have to agree with Evan that A is a good choice. Not many viruses would be written to infect CAD files so you are fairly safe copying JUST the CAD files from that drive. I would be VERY cautious about copying any picture files or any from any programs that allow macros, like Microsoft Word or Excel files. Everybody uses those kinds of files and macros have been used for viruses. Also in the past certain photo files were used for viruses and I believe they were activated when the photos were viewed.

                And do scan them with your anti-virus software BEFORE copying them.
                Paul A.
                SE Texas

                And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
                You will find that it has discrete steps.

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                • #9
                  Couple other things that can cause problems- power supplies can go bad, and fans can seize up. If the processor overheats it's likely that it will shut off or fall into a protective mode of some kind. Connectors can develop poor connections. Boards can become partially unplugged, and when a pin loses its connection, problems can occur.

                  This may seem pretty basic, but it would be good to go through all the wire harnesses and flex the connectors around a bit, then make sure they are all seated fully. Memory cards can be removed and re-installed, as can other peripheral boards such as the video card, modems, etc.

                  You might even have a M/B with failing capacitors. If any of the cans are bulged even a bit, you have a problem developing.

                  I don't know if your computer is capable of listing any anomalies that occur, that you might be able to access and print off while it is working- I'm no computer guru, but I would think that in this modern age a function like this should be there-
                  I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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                  • #10
                    I vote power supply, usually they fry the caps first and thus the voltage lines will fluctuate and all of the sudden your machine just locks up, restarts or shuts down and either works immediately or needs a certain time to recover.
                    Amount of experience is in direct proportion to the value of broken equipment.

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                    • #11
                      I vote for usb enclosure option, it's the technique I use.
                      Advantage with that is you can leave the infected drive turned off while booting the rescue system, and completely sidestep any chance of infection during boot. After boot, turn it on, scan it and pull whatever you need to get.
                      .

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                      • #12
                        My machine kept shutting down on me a while back. No warning, just power off. It would start right back up, but power down again. Finally I went into the BIOS settings and monitored the CPU Temp. It kept climbing until it reached the shutdown temperature. Opened the case and found the CPU fan mounting bracket (plastic) had cracked and broke - anyone still remember when these things were metal and actually lasted!!!??? Turned out to be a simple fix - maybe you'll be as lucky!

                        Andrew

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                        • #13
                          Any ideas if this is something simple?
                          Power supply or motherboard caps. If any of the bypass caps on the motherboard have bulging tops then it is toast.
                          Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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                          • #14
                            Also in the past certain photo files were used for viruses and I believe they were activated when the photos were viewed.
                            Known as "The JPEG of Death". Very real and difficult to patch against. The problem lies in the GDI interface which is implemented separately in all Microsoft software. That means that a simple system update doesn't fix the problem. All versions of all Microsoft software before a certain date are vulnerable unless each software package has been independently updated.
                            Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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                            • #15
                              HP overheat fix

                              Hi Everyone,

                              Couldn’t resist – not that I tried.

                              A few years ago the place my daughter worked at gave me an HP computer that wouldn’t keep going once it booted.

                              I fooled w/it that night and got it going w/old hair dryer that no longer heated.

                              I used a Ford tranny mount I had lying around as a weight to hold the power cord for the hair dryer. Then I posted a photo of myself on the desktop & sent her this photo of the entire setup.

                              I played around w/the idea of contacting HP tech support & ask them if I could use a Chevy tranny mount.

                              Best wishes to ya’ll.

                              Sincerely,

                              Jim

                              "To invent you need a good imagination and a pile of junk" - Thomas Edison

                              "I've always wanted to get a job as a procrastinator but I keep putting off going out to find one so I guess I'll never realize my life's dream. Frustrating!" - Me

                              Location: Bustling N.E. Arizona

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