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A friend of mine has asked me to work on his PC for him. He got a virus, which apparently really messed things up a lot. He basically just wants to have it wiped clean and start over again. I'll be reinstalling Windows XP.

My concern is I don't want any virus from his PC getting onto any of my PC's on my home network. What I thought I would do is try to wipe the hard drive clean first, and then install XP, without connecting it to my network. After I do that, then I would connect it to my network to get all of the critical updates XP requires (should take quite a while). Doing it this way, I should be reasonably certain that whatever had infected his machine won't infect any of mine; correct?

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Some modern home routers can actually set up multiple isolated networks that are not allowed to interact with each other. –  eidylon Oct 29 '10 at 20:15
    
" Doing it this way, I should be reasonably certain that whatever had infected his machine won't infect any of mine; correct?" Yes, you are correct. –  Moab Oct 29 '10 at 20:22
    
WOW, I didn't know that was even possible. I kind of doubt that my router has this level of sophistication, but I could look into it. How would it represent itself, if it is possible with my router? (I'm using a Linksys WRT610N router.) –  Rod Oct 29 '10 at 20:41
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If there is no communication whatsoever between an infected machine and other machines, then no, once it is wiped there is no real chance of it infecting anything else. Keep in mind that if that computer has multiple hard drives, all drives will need to be wiped or disinfected first, or there can still be contamination to other clients on the network after it is connected.

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I hadn't thought about the possibility of secondary HD's, thank you for reminding me of that! –  Rod Oct 29 '10 at 20:39
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