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Using a standard USB to USB cord. I would rather not infect my windows 8 machine. My question is more about whether windows 8 will have been sufficiently updated to protect against the virus, which was acquired more than a year ago.

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that would depend on the virus that infected your computer, some viruses may no longer work on Windows 8, but some might still cause damage – inixsoftware Aug 8 '13 at 15:12
That's a long time to not fix the actual issue - I would suggest getting a live cd of Avira or AVG and MalwareBytes and removing the issue. Then you don't need to worry about this. – nerdwaller Aug 8 '13 at 15:14
You don't normally connect systems with a regular USB cord, system to system. Host side USB -> Host side USB = bad things. – Journeyman Geek Aug 8 '13 at 15:14
You cannot connect two pcs with a USB cable. Why don't you just install MSE it uses the exact same engine as Windows Defender and the signatures are exactly the same. The only differenence merged Windows Defender itnto Windows 8 Windows Defender. – Ramhound Aug 8 '13 at 15:40

No, you can't because you can't connect two computers via USB host ports over a standard USB cord - Type A Male to Male cords are meant for non standard USB HDD enclosures, since the standard insists you use a type B connector on the device side.

Even without a virus, you will damage stuff.

On the other hand, windows 8 uses microsoft defender as its default antivirus. There's a bootable version of it. Its a good way to work out if defender would catch what's on it.

Better yet, scan the drive, clean it up, do a file level recovery from linux first, then reinstall.

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That's what I first tried, but upon seeing that the bios didn't want to boot from the disc drive, I went to this as an alternative. I guess I should be doing some research on the bios then. Thanks. – TheSelector Aug 8 '13 at 19:21

A standard USB cable will not suffice to transfer data between two computers (and would likely cause physical damage!). The physical cable you would need is described in this article, and can be purchased at most online electronics stores, such as New Egg, Tiger Direct, E-bay, etc:

In regards to the risk of an infection spreading, there are a lot of factors that are could result in connecting the computers up a mistake or not, such as the nature of the virus (it might not even be compatible with Windows 8), whether or not your protection on WIn8 has a fix for the specific virus, etc. A general best practice is to simply not connect the devices until you are sure they are both clean from viruses and other malware.

My best recommendation would be to use a bootable security program, such as Kaspersky Rescue Disk (, or similar. I would also recommend installing (if able) other security products on the old XP machine one by one and seeing if they can detect and remove the virus(es). I ususally figure if I can get 6+ programs to say it's clean, I'm probably good, but that's just my measure point.

Good luck!

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It depends on which antivirus you use, you have your firewall up and running. I suggest you should not rather format the hard drive, connect it to your Windows 8 PC in Slave mode instead of Master and scan it. Before formatting the HDD take backup of your files but not programs.

Coming back to your original question. Yes Windows 8 is well-protected enough(Read: Windows Defender) to handle a year-old virus but one virus generally brings many viruses (Dangerous newer ones).

UPDATE Google - Comod Rescue Disk (CRD)

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Sata dosen't have master and slave modes, and it shouldn't matter when booting - you can simply select whicherver drive - I've booted off 'slave' drives before. – Journeyman Geek Aug 8 '13 at 15:19
@Journeyman Geek I know but it seems that he installed 8 on a normal PC with HDD. Plus I said that keeping in mind the virus might install rootkits in the PC that too running XP. Rootkits in turn give access to hackers and connecting an rootkit infected drive to a Win8 PC in Master mode in Fatal. Believe I went through this hell and wrecked 2 PC's – Soham_India Aug 8 '13 at 15:41
Master/slave is for pata drives - which have not been the standard for quite a while- any system with windows 8 certainly should be SATA. – Journeyman Geek Aug 8 '13 at 15:45

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