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Computer is infected by a virus or a malware, what do I do now?

I have a computer (Windows XP 32 bit) which is infected with viruses. I have tried pretty much everything (AVG, Malwarebytes, Cclean,...) but the viruses seem to stay. Is there a safe way to transfer a few files from the computer? I am afraid that just using a USB-drive will just infect the USB-drive.

marked as duplicate by Moab, Diogo, random Jun 8 '12 at 2:02

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Download the Ubuntu ISO and burn it to a disk or create a USB startup disk

Boot into it, and access your HDD to transfer the files to a flash drive,etc

MAke sure you transfer ONLY known good files


I would personally try Microsoft's Safety Scanner to try to eradicate the viruses. It is a free download located at: http://www.microsoft.com/security/scanner/en-us/default.aspx But as far as your files go depending upon the virus it may have infected your files as well including, .docx (MS Word), .xls (Excel Spreadsheet), .pdf (Acrobat reader) or even .jpg (Jpeg picture) files and many others. I would recommend that you restore your files from your last known good backup (you do have one right?). Since I will presume you don't have backups I would image the hard disk either by putting it in another PC and using a tool like DD in Linux or launch a Linux live CD and copy to an external HDD. Scan all of the files with several different AV products (multiple vendors means more protection) depending how many files you have you may want to try a site like https://www.virustotal.com/ once you have validated the files are safe I would put them on a restored, fully updated and patched system. Beware of viruses that impact the MBR or master boot record, they will not be eradicated if you simply format the hard drive. You should try to scan the MBR for infections as well if at all possible.


try to use safe mode on windows xp 32 bit. the way is turn on your computer, and then just press f8 after the BIOS screen seen, and then choose safe mode, anda login as administrator,. I think this way can stop the viruses infected your removable media which you use to copying files. and then you just to clean the viruses on the other healthy system.

or you can use live cd from Linux, and then just copying your file. :)

  • I like this answer, but want to improve it. Please boot your Computer with a Linux Live Boot CD (e.g. Knoppix), and move your files from your Hard disk to your USB stick. – JohannesM Jun 1 '12 at 13:45
  • 4
    If it's a nasty enough infection, booting into safe mode is still not safe. I would not do that. – Mxx Jun 1 '12 at 13:49

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