It is currently Sat Jun 23, 2018 9:00 pm


Adding an infected HD as a slave drive?

All computer hardware support

Adding an infected HD as a slave drive?

Postby kwwhite1983 » Fri Oct 28, 2011 1:33 am

Good afternoon everyone,

Some time ago, I came across a nasty virus that I just could not get rid of after countless scans on numerous AV programs, so I decided to just swap the HD with an older, clean one from a different computer. After reinstalling Windows on the older drive and all that fun stuff, my computer has been working great. However, the older drive is only 70GB in capacity.

I would like to take my infected HD (with a 200GB capacity) that I had replaced and add it in as a slave drive. What I'm worried about is that the virus could cross over to the master and in turn I'd be left with two infected HDs and an non-functional computer. Is there a serious risk of this happening?

To my knowledge, I can live without the contents on the old drive. It was mostly music and games, anyways. I plan to format that drive (to remove the virus). Is a reliable way to do this in winXP to simply go My Computer>Right click the slave drive>Select 'Format'?

I thought I'd check here before I end up screwing myself by doing something stupid. I do not have another computer I could use to format the infected drive. I was also curious if there was a serious risk of viewing the contents of the drive before formatting... simply because I am curious if there is anything at all that I may be able to safely salvage beforehand.

Thank you very much for reading this and for any help you can provide!

Edit: One last thing. This will be my first time adding a second HD to a computer. All I know is that there is something about prongs on the HD that need to set a certain way to identify it as the master/slave drive. Is there anything else in particular I need to know? Would hate to boot the computer only to find that I accidentally had the settings incorrect or skipped a step, and have it boot up using the infected HD.
kwwhite1983
Newbie
Newbie
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2011 1:25 am
Operating System: WINXP

Thanks given:1
Thanks received:0
Top

Re: Adding an infected HD as a slave drive?

Postby liljim » Fri Oct 28, 2011 8:12 pm

Welcome to pctechforums,

Theres always a small risk but that greatly depends on the virus and what you do after the drive is installed. Throughout your attempts at cleaning, did you ever come up with a virus name?

Installing the drive depends on the type, if its an IDE drive (wide flat ribbon cable, usually gray) it will have a jumper on the back of it as you mentioned. The drive with your operating system needs to be set to master and the infected drive to slave, theres usually a diagram on each drive showing where to put the jumper. If the drive is SATA (narrow cable, slightly more than a usb port) then you will have to enter your bios settings and tell it which drive to boot from as they dont operate from slave and master settings.

Now you mentioned risk, this is where the chance increases. Browsing the infected drive could allow you to copy over or execute infected files (again depending on whats on it) and transferring. I would make sure my antivirus is up to date and have it scan that drive before pulling anything off of it. I would also unplug my connection to the internet before i booted the machine until its cleaned or wiped. Often, its easier to clean a inactive drive though. Scanning it as a slave drive may get it clean but again if you can name what it is i may can help more with that.

As for formatting, i would use a partition manager, EaseUS Partition Master Home Edition works great. It will show you both of your drives, click on the CORRECT one, delete the partition, create a new one then format it. Click apply and it will take care if it. Formatting through XP isnt very effective.

Who said thanks: kwwhite1983 (Fri Oct 28, 2011 9:55 pm)
User avatar
liljim
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 3017
Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2003 1:00 am
Location: Louisiana
Operating System: Win 7 Home Premium X64

Thanks given:0
Thanks received:12
Top

Re: Adding an infected HD as a slave drive?

Postby kwwhite1983 » Fri Oct 28, 2011 9:55 pm

It's been so long that I unfortunately cannot recall the name of the virus. I was only able to find the name by searching the internet with the symptoms. It would constantly open my internet browser and take me to undesirable websites. Then a fake virus scan program would pop up telling me how my system is infected and wanting me to purchase the full version in order to get rid of the virus. At first it was a minor inconvenience, but then this would occur more and more frequently (As in every minute or so) and then the computer freezes would occur until, finally, my computer would not even start up.

I do believe that both drives are IDE, so I'll just pay attention to how the jumper needs to be set. I just didn't know if I also had to change anything in BIOS. But that's good to know that all I need to do is set the jumpers correctly. I think I'll just skip browsing the drive altogether. I've lived without whatever may be on that drive for a couple of years, so I think I'll manage playing it safe and just formatting it if there is a risk of even browsing the contents. I only use a free (but up to date) version of Avast AV.

Thank you for the tip of disconnecting my internet connection. I hadn't thought of that. I'll give that partition manager a try. Is it fairly user friendly? I'm not entirely tech savvy but I'm also not completely ignorant to computers. I just haven't done something like this before.
kwwhite1983
Newbie
Newbie
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2011 1:25 am
Operating System: WINXP

Thanks given:1
Thanks received:0
Top

Re: Adding an infected HD as a slave drive?

Postby liljim » Fri Oct 28, 2011 10:15 pm

I use the same AV, have for years. With the infection you had, it should be safe to browse that drive. That type of infection is triggered by registry entries and you wont have that to deal with. You would be safe to transfer documents, images, music and video but no .exe files. What you had is more on the lines of malware and it wont jump drives on its own.

The partition software is very user friendly but if you have any questions about it just ask.
User avatar
liljim
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 3017
Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2003 1:00 am
Location: Louisiana
Operating System: Win 7 Home Premium X64

Thanks given:0
Thanks received:12
Top

Re: Adding an infected HD as a slave drive?

Postby kwwhite1983 » Fri Oct 28, 2011 10:39 pm

Should there be any problems given that Windows XP is installed on this drive as well, or will that all be overlooked since it's a slave drive?

Other than that, I think I should be good. Thank you for all of the help. It sounds simple enough but I didn't want to dive into it until I made sure I wasn't doing something stupid that could infect my computer all over again.
kwwhite1983
Newbie
Newbie
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2011 1:25 am
Operating System: WINXP

Thanks given:1
Thanks received:0
Top

Re: Adding an infected HD as a slave drive?

Postby kwwhite1983 » Fri Oct 28, 2011 11:02 pm

I'm sorry, but you actually made me think of one more question. I remember what the big problem was that I had with removing this virus. At first, doing a virus scan and deleting the infected files would cause the problem to go away for a while. I assume it was corruption to the registry that kept bringing those infected files back onto my computer. In fact, the steps I found online to remove the virus had instructions on things to remove from the registry but I just could never get it right.

Since the registry is no longer a problem working off of a clean HD as the master drive, would it be safe to assume that I could scan the slave drive with Avast to remove the virus.. and then I would be in the clear? Or should I still plan on formatting that drive, just to be safe?
kwwhite1983
Newbie
Newbie
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2011 1:25 am
Operating System: WINXP

Thanks given:1
Thanks received:0
Top

Re: Adding an infected HD as a slave drive?

Postby liljim » Sat Oct 29, 2011 2:38 am

There will be no problems with windows being on the slave, it will be overlooked. The only time a machine will attempt to boot from a slave is if the master has no OS.

You could assume that, yes. However, I suggest repartitioning and formatting as a precaution for one and also if you intend to use this drive for storage you wont be able to use all of its space unless its reformatted. The original windows installation wont just delete, nothing really does actually. Most deleted things can be "recovered" which would mean they are still on the drive just not accounted for and still occupying space. It takes a repartition and format to actually get rid of everything.
User avatar
liljim
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 3017
Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2003 1:00 am
Location: Louisiana
Operating System: Win 7 Home Premium X64

Thanks given:0
Thanks received:12
Top

Re: Adding an infected HD as a slave drive?

Postby kwwhite1983 » Sat Oct 29, 2011 3:48 am

Well, everything went just fine. It was much easier than I thought it'd be and took about 10 minutes. I've already scanned the drive and removed any threats, and there isn't really anything on there that I can't bare to lose so I will go ahead and just format it.. especially since I didn't know that the original windows installation couldn't be deleted (that explains why it's showing a lower capacity than it should have.

After that, I'll be all set. Thanks again for all of your help, I appreciate it.
kwwhite1983
Newbie
Newbie
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2011 1:25 am
Operating System: WINXP

Thanks given:1
Thanks received:0
Top

Re: Adding an infected HD as a slave drive?

Postby liljim » Sat Oct 29, 2011 1:11 pm

Your welcome
User avatar
liljim
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 3017
Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2003 1:00 am
Location: Louisiana
Operating System: Win 7 Home Premium X64

Thanks given:0
Thanks received:12
Top


Return to Hardware

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests

cron