Giving away an infected laptop

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by Dregg Heda, Sep 27, 2009.

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  1. Dregg Heda

    Dregg Heda Registered Member

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    Ive got an old laptop which was infected a couple of years ago. We never got around to cleaning it and just left it in storage. Recently a friend of mine asked me to loan him any spare laptop I might have. I am thinking of cleaning out my laptop and and giving it to him. There are several issues:

    1) I have lost the recovery disks. There might be a recovery partition on the main drive which I can use to restore the OS. My question is what are the chances that the malware could have penetrated the recovery partition and infected the image of the OS stored in there?

    2) The recovery partition can be used to create a recovery disk during boot-up. What are the chances malware might get on the disk if attempt to create the recovery disk while the system is still infected?

    3) What is a good free wiping tool I can use to securely erase the entire drive? I'm thinking a DOD wipe should do the trick.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Basic

    Basic Registered Member

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    Darik's Boot and Nuke has been a good tool for me for wiping the hard drive.

    Somebody with more expertise than I will have to answer questions 1 & 2.
     
  3. nomarjr3

    nomarjr3 Registered Member

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    1. What OS does the infected laptop have? It's an old laptop, so my guess is it's a Windows XP or below? Buy a Windows XP CD (they're cheap nowadays) and boot it up to reformat the hard drive to NTFS, and reinstall the OS.

    2. Close to nil. If you want to make sure all data is completely removed from the hard disk, then make a hard reformat (slow reformat)

    3. I've never tried other options other than reformatting. Basic's recommendation looks promising. I'll try that program on one of my VMs.
     
  4. Dregg Heda

    Dregg Heda Registered Member

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    Yea thanks for all the responses guys.

    nomarjr:

    Yea its windows XP.

    Basic:

    DBAN is pretty much what Ive been suggested. Thanks.
     
  5. Raza0007

    Raza0007 Registered Member

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    If you wipe the disk make sure you have some way to reinstall the OS, as wiping will erase the recovery partition too.

    If you have a recovery partition then you can safely restore your OS partition back to a factory-install state without any worry of the malware, as it is highly unlikely the malware has penetrated the hidden recovery partition.
     
  6. trismegistos

    trismegistos Registered Member

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    Answers to your No.3 question:
    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=233068
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2009
  7. Dregg Heda

    Dregg Heda Registered Member

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    Hi Trismegistos,

    That was a different laptop. In that case I wanted something that would nuke the entire drive including hidden partitions. That was infested with malware and I wanted to make sure I nuked everything before restarting. No use restarting with a compromised system.

    With this laptop I want to give it away so I wanted something that could securely erase all the data so that no one can recover anything from the drive. Its more of a privacy issue. Since HDDErase seemed like a one pass thing and since I had associated it more with just nuking the drive than securely deleting it, and since I was under the impression that something more elaborate was required I decided to ask around. Obviously I recall some of the tools suggested in that thread, but I wanted to start a thread with the topic being secure deletion as opposed to just normal deletion to see what else was out there and learn a little about secure deletion.
     
  8. Dregg Heda

    Dregg Heda Registered Member

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    Unfortunately it seems that the recovery partition does not exist. Anyone know where I can get a free, safe and secure, preferably legal copy of XP? Thanks.
     
  9. BlueZannetti

    BlueZannetti Administrator

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    Assuming you have a valid serial code on the laptop (there should be a MS label with it, typically on the bottom), arrange for a CD through the OEM vendor (typically there will be media/shipping costs), search for a reinstall cd from that vendor on ebay/Internet (a little cheaper - $20 or so), or borrow a reinstall cd one from a friend for that machine.

    You may need to download drivers for the machine from the vendor support site.

    Once again, for all those scenarios, you need the serial key on the machine to perform the installation.

    Blue
     
  10. Dregg Heda

    Dregg Heda Registered Member

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    Thanks for responding Blue.

    Yea I have the serial I just need a copy of the OS. I am going to contact my vendor.
     
  11. DVD+R

    DVD+R Registered Member

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    Whitecanyon have an excellent program called WipeDrive Pro 5 this is used to totally obliterate any data on a hard drive, prior to re-installation of a new OS or if your going to sell it, or give away such as yourself.
     
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