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Clearing MBR without destroying data?

By bfindlay ·
I just bought a new computer with SATA drive, and older IDE
cables on motherboard. I have two PATA/ide drives from my old
computer that are full of data, but also have a boot sector virus
on them. I want to keep the data, but remove the BSV. What is
the best way to do this? I was thinking I could attach just one
drive at a time (DETACH) the SATA drive, and run fdisk /mbr on
it. If I do that, will I lose all data on the drive?

If I reattach the SATA after that, then immediately run a norton
AV scan on the infected drives, would that then be safe? I need
to get the (cleaned and scanned) data off the old drives, then
completely nuke them and use them fresh. What is the best way
to proceed?

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by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Clearing MBR without dest ...

As I have posted elsewhere

Provided that you are not booting from the infected drives the infection shouldn't spread.

However there may be a problem with attempting to fit 2 PATA Drives in this computer as the current M'Boards only have one IDE channel available for Optical Drives. If you fit both to this unit you will not have any possibility of using the Optical drive that should have been fitted to the machine and if you haven't got one you'll be unable to install one to boot from when the need arises.

If that's not an issue you can just install them in the new machine provided that it's got a current and active AV Program running and scan the drives from the SATA Drive to clean them up.

Even still if you can not do that you should be able to transfer the data without incident as most Infections target the OS and not the actual Data so unless you have a Macro Virus infecting the drives you should be safe to just cut & paste the Data across to where you need it.

When I do things like this I always fit the IDE Drives to a USB Caddy and run them from there as it's easier to stop anything unwanted from crossing into the running OS.

Depending on the old OS you may need to take ownership of the main files by following the directions here

Also if you encrypted the data you'll need to recover the encryption keys as well by following the directions here


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