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Ok so, my parents' computer died today and I want to plug in their harddrive to my computer to back it up ,however it is most likely infected and I don't want it to spread to my computer, what actions should I take?

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Hello @PrinceAli and welcome back.

Since you are already familiar with the Anti Virus product you use on your own computer, you may wish to consider burning that same company's bootable "Rescue Disk" and running it on your parents computer.

Follow by running a Threat Scan with Malwarebytes for Windows and Malwarebytes AdwCleaner.  Then your backup.

HTH

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The laptop my parents had is unfortunately dead, it won't boot at all due to a motherboard failure and they have already purchased a new one, I didn't spend much time on their computer throughout the duration of it so I'm unsure if it ever was infected but I do want to be cautious. the hard drive has the OS that was used on my parents laptop if that helps at all. thnx for the quick replyl @1PW

 

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Posted (edited)

Hello @PrinceAli:

The primary goal is not to infect your computer with possible malware from suspicious sources.

If the failed laptop's motherboard has been successfully replaced, then its power-on self-tests (POST) should pass.  If this is the case, bootable Linux based Rescue Media is still a viable solution as I stated above and no need to involve another computer.

If this is not the case, isolate all of your unspecified computer's mass storage devices (HDD/SSD), and connect the HDD/SSD device from the failed laptop and run the same or similar Linux based Rescue Media.

HTH

Edited by 1PW

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and when I do this should I scan the harddrive with a capable anti-virus? as far as I am aware my parents frequently scanned with a premium version of kaspersky so it shouldn't be infected, im just a bit paranoid since I don't know what downloads my parents could have accidentally done etc. 

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Hello @PrinceAli:

It is not clear yet as to which computer you propose to use.

However, yes, Kaspersky, as well as other top tier AV companies, have free Linux based utilities that allow you to generate bootable rescue media for use with the testing computer.

If the failed computer in question ran regularly scheduled scans, I would not be surprised if the HDD is clean.  Yet if Malwarebytes for Windows and Malwarebytes AdwCleaner are run from an operating system, other malware be be found.

HTH

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I will use my own desktop, my parents old computer is long gone and I'm just gonna create a quick backup of valuable files, and yeah it most likely is clean, Im pretty sure I ran malwarebytes as well every now and then but I haven't done it in months

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I have disabled autorun for now should that be a good enough precautionary step to take before I plugin in the hdd?

 

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Hello @PrinceAli:

Please excuse my delayed response due to prior family commitments.

Your latest choice is not my first choice as I have indicated above.  Yet, you may quite successful after all.  Please update this thread with your results later.

Good luck to you.

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The following USB adapter makes it very easy to scan another hard drive.

Vantec USB 3.0 to 2.5" SATA HDD Adapter with case (CB-STU3-2PB)
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B015FB3R12/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

vantec_.jpg


Malwarebytes is an excellent program for scanning a live computer for 0-day infections and rootkits but for flat file scanning like that you might be better using a more traditional antivirus scanner. We cull out old infections from our database that we no longer see in the wild. Kaspersky had rules to check infections from many years ago.

If using the drive as shown above, or if you're able to slave a secondary drive on your laptop then do that and run the following to scan the entire drive.

 

Please download and run the following Kaspersky antivirus scanner to remove any found threats

Kaspersky Virus Removal Tool

Let me know if it finds anything or not

Thanks

Ron

 

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