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Some upgrading doubts

post #1 of 29
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So,my current PC probably has a pirated(not me or anyone I know,the guy who built it for us) WinXP and is also clogged up with viruses.I was planning to wipe the disk and do a fresh install of Ubuntu or Mint.And upgrade to Win8 Pro Student .But all sources of external media is faulty(yes that can happen!) and I can't get some important files out.Any solutions?
Can I somehow delete all the files except the ones I want and still make sure the PC would be free from viruses when I install Win8?
    
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post #2 of 29
Sorry, but no. You need to do it right to be sure no virus is still there.

If you're willing to accept some risk you could install an antivirus like avast, and a few others like malwarebytes and spyboot. These would make your PC reasonably clean if they can do the job properly, but then you still need to format in order to install the new OS.

If you want certain small files to have saved you could upload them to an online service like Onedrive or google's Gdrive as they will be scanned and secured when uploaded. After you reinstall the OS you can get them back.
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post #3 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaydev16 View Post

So,my current PC probably has a pirated(not me or anyone I know,the guy who built it for us) WinXP and is also clogged up with viruses.I was planning to wipe the disk and do a fresh install of Ubuntu or Mint.And upgrade to Win8 Pro Student .But all sources of external media is faulty(yes that can happen!) and I can't get some important files out.Any solutions?
Can I somehow delete all the files except the ones I want and still make sure the PC would be free from viruses when I install Win8?

Boot into safe mode (F8) if you can... most viruses will not be running in safe mode, and you might be able to rescue your files that way.

Boot into an external disk.... either a windows recovery disk, a dos boot disk, or even a linux boot disk. That should allow you to copy files over to whatever external drives you have. Just ,make sure you keep those files separate from good files / systems until you can clean them, and make sure they are safe.

Boot into in safe mode with networking... install MalwareBytes or similar, update it, and run it in safe mode...it will clear up a lot of the issues... maybe enough to let you at least save the files.
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post #4 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaydev16 View Post

So,my current PC probably has a pirated(not me or anyone I know,the guy who built it for us) WinXP and is also clogged up with viruses.I was planning to wipe the disk and do a fresh install of Ubuntu or Mint.And upgrade to Win8 Pro Student .But all sources of external media is faulty(yes that can happen!) and I can't get some important files out.Any solutions?
Can I somehow delete all the files except the ones I want and still make sure the PC would be free from viruses when I install Win8?

    Download and run MalwareBytes Free Anti-Malware to attempt to reduce the amount of malware on the XP system, and then try again to get your important files onto external media.

    I don't understand why you want to do a fresh install of Ubuntu and then upgrade to Windows 8.  After you have copied all your personal files to a USB stick (or other external media), just insert the Windows 8 disc and reboot your computer.  It should boot directly from the Windows 8 installation DVD.  If it doesn't, you'll have to change a BIOS setting.  Once it boots into the installation wizard, choose Custom install rather than Upgrade install.  It should show you a list of HDD partitions.  Delete them all (this will lose everything on all HDDs connected to your computer), and then proceed to install Windows in the unallocated space.  Windows will then format and repartition your HDD to its liking.  Once Windows 8 is installed, you'll reload your personal files from the USB stick (or whatever external media you used).  Software programs will have to be redownloaded and/or reinstalled.
 
Edited by Techie007 - 3/25/14 at 6:17am
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post #5 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Techie007 View Post

It should show you a list of HDD partitions.  Delete them all (this will lose everything on all HDDs connected to your computer), and then proceed to install Windows in the unallocated space.  Windows will then format and repartition your HDD to its liking.  Once Windows 8 is installed, you'll reload your personal files from the USB stick (or whatever external media you used).  Software programs will have to be redownloaded and/or reinstalled.
 

I would suggest he do a secure wipe with some sort of software that he can boot to. I typically use the software from the disk drive MFG. Believe it or not, some data can survive just using the method you describe. I only know that because it happened to me. If it wasnt a virus issue, i would say what you recommended would be adequate. With his issues, he needs to be sure. Just my opinion.
   
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post #6 of 29
Thread Starter 
I guess I'll have to find some external media that actually works on this.Time to dust off the USB ports!
Thanks everyone for your help!
    
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post #7 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaydev16 View Post

I guess I'll have to find some external media that actually works on this.Time to dust off the USB ports!
Thanks everyone for your help!

Good luck! Ask further questions if needed! thumb.gif
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post #8 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by cgipson1 View Post

Boot into safe mode (F8) if you can... most viruses will not be running in safe mode...

I've seen your postings around here and the vast majority of the time it's really spot on. But this one that I just don't agree with, at all. In my experience, I've seen plenty of trojans run regardless of whether the system is running nornally or in safe mode.
post #9 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaChosenOne View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by cgipson1 View Post

Boot into safe mode (F8) if you can... most viruses will not be running in safe mode...

I've seen your postings around here and the vast majority of the time it's really spot on. But this one that I just don't agree with, at all. In my experience, I've seen plenty of trojans run regardless of whether the system is running nornally or in safe mode.

    I have successfully taken out several viruses that wouldn't let me do anything on the computer by booting into SafeMode.  Please don't discount his suggestion!  SafeMode loads up a minimal list of services and drivers, thus deactivating many rootkits; it doesn't run the startup entries, thus deactivating many usermode viruses.  It was a good suggestion!
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post #10 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Techie007 View Post

    I have successfully taken out several viruses that wouldn't let me do anything on the computer by booting into SafeMode.  Please don't discount his suggestion!  SafeMode loads up a minimal list of services and drivers, thus deactivating many rootkits; it doesn't run the startup entries, thus deactivating many usermode viruses.  It was a good suggestion!

I strongly disagree. I've had quite a bit of experience in cleaning up PCs... the only thing that safe mode accomplishes is loading up minimal set of drivers & a few essential services. Most trojans and rootkits are INDEPENDENT of such things and can run in the background regardless.

And I never once argued you can't remove viruses in safe mode.
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