Found an old IDE HDD lying around, best solution?

Discussion in 'Computer Games and General Discussion' started by gifi4, Dec 23, 2011.

Dec 23, 2011
  1. gifi4
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    Member gifi4 How am I a 'New Member'?

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    So, I found an IDE HDD that is compatible with my current mobo (Many years old) Not exactly sure what is on the HDD, if anything, and I've got a strange feeling there could be a virus or something, so... What would my best option be?

    A) download Ubuntu live cd and boot off that.
    B) Just plug it in and risk it.
    C) Plug it in and immediately boot into safe mode.

    If A) is what I should do, where do I go from after booting into it.
    Is C) a good option? (run a virus scanner once in)


    Edit: Also will my computer succeed in running an Ubuntu live CD?

    Specs:
    CPU: AMD Athlon 64 3000+ @ 1.7-1.8 GHz
    RAM: 1024MB
    OS: XP Professional SP3
     
  2. link491

    Member link491 GBAtemp Fan

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    well, id reccommend c, but im insane so you decide wether or not to trust me
     
  3. Foxi4

    Reporter Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    Viruses are magical creatures that cannot execute themselves - you have to either manually open the executable or have a registry/autostart script that launches them.

    That said, you can freely attach it to your mobo and run an Antivirus scan.
     
  4. Coto

    Member Coto GBAtemp Addict

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    If you don't care about the files inside it, you should run anything like Hiren Boot CD, pick your HDD's brand and perform a low level format (writing zeros).

    Or simply set it as a slave drive, boot into safe menu mode, run any AV to at least check MBR/some sections then recover the needed files.

    A formatted drive will be better as there won't be any data (or little) to overwrite (if a full format was performed)
     
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  5. Foxi4

    Reporter Foxi4 On the hunt...

    pip
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    There is really no point in approaching the HDD as if it was a bomb filled with rusty nails and anthrax - connect it as a slave and run a scan.
     
  6. gifi4
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    Member gifi4 How am I a 'New Member'?

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    "Not running anything from infecting disk is not enough

    If you don't execute or view or open anything (yes, including office files!) on your infected disk, the chance of infection is very small, but still non-zero. Here are some examples of how it could happen:


    • Vulnerability in the thumbnail preview in Windows Explorer. For example, exploit Win32/CVE-2010-3970. Microsoft says:

      Exploitation can occur by simply browsing to a folder containing the malicious file - no further user interaction is required. ​

    • Other vulnerabilities in Windows itself or in any of the Explorer extensions that you have installed. For example, some shell (explorer) extensions are still vulnerable to DLL Preloading remote attack."
     
  7. Coto

    Member Coto GBAtemp Addict

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    No. But if a cluster went bad across years and you want to use that HDD regularly could mean corruption to either FST or MBR (very unlikely the last one)

    As for your computer, yes, Ubuntu Linux should work fine as long it isn't a too custom motherboard and requires to install special drivers (very unlikely if you have an older mobo, too)
     
  8. gifi4
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    Member gifi4 How am I a 'New Member'?

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    All I want is to see what is on the HDD and perhaps back some of the files up (Photos or anything important really).
     
  9. FireGrey

    Member FireGrey Undercover Admin

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    Run Hirens BootCD and run a scan on it for any bad sectors, to make sure it's usable, If it is check the files on it, take what you want and format it.
    Then just use it for storing stuff...
    Oh and the viruses won't do anything unless you're booting from that Hard Drive.
     
  10. Foxi4

    Reporter Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    Fair enough - use a Live CD then. Just use kitchen mittens in case you'll physically catch a virus from the hard drive.
     
  11. Coto

    Member Coto GBAtemp Addict

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    Then plug the HDD, see if it was detected properly in BIOS (Correct cylinders, HDD size, etc) ,run a mini windows live CD (like hiren 10 or higher), copy the desired data to a temp folder inside the OS HDD, reboot, run OS safe mode, perform the AV check inside the temp folder.

    forgot to add: run a chkdsk once you boot mini windows on the old hdd
     
  12. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    Well for me, with Kaspersky AV running, I'd just stick it in. KAV will detect any self-running viruses and a normal virus scan will pick up any hidden bugs. Sorted.

    For you, it depends on what you have for protection, and what you've been doing in the past. Some could even say, how many illicit websites you've been sleeping with over the years, and if you've used protection each time.
     
  13. vpd

    Member vpd GBAtemp Regular

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    Go with option A,

    Just use a linux live cd of your choice, backup the files you want and then wipe the drive completely problem solved.

    *Edit* And scan the backed up files with an AV, just to make sure.
     

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