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If you had a virus, could you simply replace the hard drive to get rid of it?

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  • Virus
  • Computers
  • Hard Drives
Last response: in Antivirus / Security / Privacy
December 25, 2014 9:03:15 AM

If your computer was infected with a virus or some form of malware that was hard or impossible to remove, couldn't you just replace the infected hard-drive(s) and reinstall everything? I'm not in this situation, but I'm simply curious if it would be an appropriate course of action.

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December 25, 2014 9:13:28 AM

That would work but it's a rather extreme measure. If needed you can back up any information that isn't already backed up and that you don't wish to lose and reinstall Windows on the same hard drive. The hard drive will be formatted during the re installation, deleting all information on the drive including the infection. Generally you only need to replace a drive if one fails, or if you need to swap in a larger drive (or SSD if you're after speed). In the latter case you could still keep the HDD as a secondary drive anyway.
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December 25, 2014 9:17:15 AM

Yeah, but replacing a hdd to remove malware is overkill. If its that bad just do a clean reinstall, no need to replace the hdd.
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December 25, 2014 9:21:28 AM

SchizTech said:
That would work but it's a rather extreme measure. If needed you can back up any information that isn't already backed up and that you don't wish to lose and reinstall Windows on the same hard drive. The hard drive will be formatted during the re installation, deleting all information on the drive including the infection. Generally you only need to replace a drive if one fails, or if you need to swap in a larger drive (or SSD if you're after speed). In the latter case you could still keep the HDD as a secondary drive anyway.


bignastyid said:
Yeah, but replacing a hdd to remove malware is overkill. If its that bad just do a clean reinstall, no need to replace the hdd.


Would I need to re-install windows with a new copy?
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December 25, 2014 9:23:03 AM

a9ch4f said:
SchizTech said:
That would work but it's a rather extreme measure. If needed you can back up any information that isn't already backed up and that you don't wish to lose and reinstall Windows on the same hard drive. The hard drive will be formatted during the re installation, deleting all information on the drive including the infection. Generally you only need to replace a drive if one fails, or if you need to swap in a larger drive (or SSD if you're after speed). In the latter case you could still keep the HDD as a secondary drive anyway.


bignastyid said:
Yeah, but replacing a hdd to remove malware is overkill. If its that bad just do a clean reinstall, no need to replace the hdd.


Would I need to re-install windows with a new copy?


No.
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December 25, 2014 9:24:37 AM

The same copy of Windows can be installed on the same hard drive as often as needed (as long as it's on the same motherboard it won't complain)
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December 25, 2014 10:07:28 AM

Vembutech said:
Hi, instead of reformatting or re installing the hard drive, we can boot the computer in the safe mode and you can try further troubleshooting steps by goggling with the respective error message. I tried this and it worked, just giving you a suggestion for this virus issue.


I read the original post as suggesting a hypothetical question.

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