Copying documents from infected computer

Discussion in 'other security issues & news' started by vincenzo, May 27, 2015.

  1. vincenzo

    vincenzo Registered Member

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    I need to copy user files from a badly infected computer to an external hard drive. Is it advisable to copy the files from within Windows, or is it safer to boot the computer from a Linux disk (or even put the drive in an external enclosure) to do the copying? I plan to scan the files with an antivirus once they are copied, but I am wondering if I am creating increased risk of transferring a virus by using Windows to do the copying.

    Thanks
     
  2. zapjb

    zapjb Registered Member

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    I would copy to an empty jump drive or memory card using a Linux Live CD. Then I'd scan those files with a couple online scanners or Rescue CDs.
     
  3. vincenzo

    vincenzo Registered Member

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    I've been unable to get this Win 8.1 computer to boot from my Linux disk. I've turned off secure boot, and I don't see any options in Setup for choosing Bios vs UEFI, or any Legacy boot options. So I am wondering how risky it is to just copy the user files to an external hard drive from within Windows.

    Thanks
     
  4. zapjb

    zapjb Registered Member

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    It's risky how risky who knows. Do you have another computer that'll boot a LiveCD? Or a computer running Linux/Android?
     
  5. krustytheclown2

    krustytheclown2 Registered Member

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    Sounds like you need to select the DVD drive as the first option in boot order, many computers have HDD as the first by default. Or upon booting, you'll need to press whichever key that selects boot options, typically F9, F11, F12 or Esc (mash your fingers across the F-row if you like), and select DVD-ROM.

    Bios/UEFI shouldn't matter at all when it comes to booting an .iso burned to a DVD, although sometimes it complicates things with live USB's.
     
  6. zapjb

    zapjb Registered Member

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    Good catch Krusty.
     
  7. Robin A.

    Robin A. Registered Member

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    As long as you burn the DVD with an x64-ISO.
     
  8. vincenzo

    vincenzo Registered Member

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    I had already gone in and set the DVD as the first boot device.

    I've never been able to boot a Win 8 computer using my Linux boot disk.

    Thanks
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2015
  9. vincenzo

    vincenzo Registered Member

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    I'm using Slacko Puppy linux, I don't see any options for 32 or 64 bit ISO's.

    Could that be why I can't boot to it? Should I look for another linux distro to see if they have x64 versions?
     
  10. Robin A.

    Robin A. Registered Member

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    UEFI is a 64-bit only system (although there are some 32-bit UEFI tablets). To boot a UEFI computer, you need a 64-bit boot medium.

    It would be possible to transfer files from the disk to another medium from outside of Windows using the free tool "Paragon Rescue Kit 14 Free", that you can download from http://www.paragon-software.com/home/rk-free/.

    The procedure would be: 1. Download the tool. 2. Get the free license key from Paragon. 3. Build a 64-bit boot medium (either WinPE or Linux). 4. Boot with this medium and use the "File Transfer Wizard" tool to copy the files to another medium.
     
  11. zapjb

    zapjb Registered Member

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    OP is your OS 32 or 64 bit W8 or are they all 64 bit now? If it's 32bit & you're trying a 64 bit LiveCD, won't work. As it is now a Paragon Linux boot medium won't do.

    It's hard when I don't have the computer in front of me. But like a million other PC problems I'd bet the solution is easy. Not enough data & ue.
     
  12. krustytheclown2

    krustytheclown2 Registered Member

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    That's a very odd choice of distro, I would just try Ubuntu or Mint since they are going to be compatible with almost everything.

    I don't think UEFI is 64-bit only, I've personally booted Debian 32-bit (Tails to be specific) on a ~2013 laptop that has UEFI only.

    Try Unetbootin, it might solve the issue. Just make sure you get into the boot options menu and choose USB.
     
  13. vincenzo

    vincenzo Registered Member

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    The OS is 64 bit.

    I've just created a Mint 64 bit disk, the computer will not boot to it. The DVD is the first boot device, I can hear it accessing it upon boot, but it still goes to Windows.
    The dvd drive is working, I can view the files on the dvd disc.

    I just poked around some more in the setup menu, I found a Boot Mode setting. It is set to UEFI, I think that changing it to CSM is what is needed for a non-UEFI OS, but I am running out of time, I have to get this done, so I came up with a work around to copy the files that I think is safe enough.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2015
  14. zapjb

    zapjb Registered Member

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    How about sharing your solution.
     
  15. vincenzo

    vincenzo Registered Member

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    I read years ago that some viruses can detect usb drives and plant malware on them that will spread when the drive is plugged in to another computer.

    To try to block that happening, I connected an external hard drive and, in the Windows environment I copied the needed files. Then I went an older computer, connected that hard drive and a second hard drive, booted into Linux, copied the files over to the 2nd hard drive, my thought being that the Linux environment would block the spread of that type of virus.

    I scanned that 2nd hard drive with Norton, and it found the virus that probably caused all the problems that the computer was having in the Downloads folder.

    Then I did a clean install of Win 8.1, connected the 2nd hard drive, moved the user files back onto it.

    I intend to reformat the first hard drive now in case it picked up anything.
     
  16. zapjb

    zapjb Registered Member

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    Thanks for sharing your solution. Now others stumbling upon this thread have a another option.
     
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