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Solved: Can I Work On Infected Drive Safely In External Case?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by patmac, Jan 20, 2010.

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  1. patmac

    patmac Thread Starter

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    Hi,
    Just in case I get to this point....can I safely work on an infected ( malware ) internal hard drive while it's connected to my computer via an external case?
    Thanks
     
  2. dustyjay

    dustyjay

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    I would suggest you run Malwarebytes on the drive to clear up the problems before opening any files on the drive, connected internal or external.
     
  3. frankjohn

    frankjohn

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    What do you call safe?
     
  4. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    What difference would internal or external make?
     
  5. patmac

    patmac Thread Starter

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    I have a thread started in the Malware removal forum because my computer is infected with the AntivirusLive virus, and has been rendered useless. Because I need my computer for school, and since they are backed up on the Malware forum ( been two days since my post ), I may need to replace my infected internal drive with it's clone which I made three weeks ago. Then, I was wondering if I could work on the infected drive while it is in an external case hooked up to my PC via a USB cable. Could the infection propagate into the PC when I connect the external housing and drive to my computer? I have heard of the possible threat where you would plug in a USB device, say a jump or thumb drive, and the virus would/could trigger due to the PC recognizing it.
    Should this thread be in the General Security/Malware Forum instead? Thanks.
     
  6. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    It makes no difference, internal or external, whether an infection will propagate. But these are not living things. They don't "leap". They would need to be carried from the drive by you or on the coattails of some other file. And they would require that something be executed. If all you plan to do is scan the drive with anti-virus, then there is no way for any infection to propagate.
     
  7. patmac

    patmac Thread Starter

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    Thanks. It looks like I would not be able to totaly repair the drive while it is in an external housing. Some of the bigger players in the malware abatement arena need to be loaded onto the infected drive and OS.Combofix would not work in this scenario, since I could not load it onto and run it on the drive in the housing. Thanks for your time.
     
  8. Alex Ethridge

    Alex Ethridge

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    I know you already consider this thread "solved"; but, I would like to offer this for reference:

    I frequently, I run into drives I can't clean while in the original machine. I remove the drive and connect it internally to a secondary desktop. I then scan the drive with MalwareBytes Antimalware, then SuperAntispy, then ESET NOD32 Antivirus (substitute your own preferred programs). I then return it to the original machine, install all of the afore-mentioned and run them again. This allows MalwareBytes and SuperAntispy to clean the (now active) infected registry.

    Why in another system? First, the malicious software gets activated when the original system boots so connecting the drive to another computer allows me to remove malicious files because they don't get activated while in the secondary machine.

    Why connect it internally? Because scanning through a USB port is tremendously slower than through either PATA (aka IDE) or SATA (serial) (both internal) connections. The above scan that may take two hours on an internal PATA or SATA connection can take up to sixteen hours on a USB port.
     
  9. patmac

    patmac Thread Starter

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    Thanks. What happens when I boot the infected drive up in another PC? Will the OS be looking for certain hardware etc?
     
  10. Alex Ethridge

    Alex Ethridge

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    Sorry about being so long getting back to you; I've been on service calls all day.

    When connected to another PC internally as a secondary drive (not the boot drive) and the procedures I listed are followed, no harm will come to the primary drive that contains the (current) active OS.
     
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