I need to restore some documents, images, music, etc. from an old hard drive, which is filled with viruses.

I have a SATA-USB docking station in order to connect the old hard drive to my computer, but am worried about viruses spreading off of the drive.

What is the best way of extracting these files? I was thinking of using Sandboxie to sandbox the drive, and drag files out of the sandbox after scanning them with an antivirus, but unfortunately the ability to sandbox a single drive is a paid feature of Sandboxie. Is there a free alternative, or a better method that does not involve sandboxing?

Thanks a bunch!

  • 1
    What OS are you using? – Michael Frank Sep 1 '15 at 4:22
  • @MichaelFrank Windows 10 – Dave Cruz Sep 1 '15 at 4:38

Are you set up for virtual machines? A scratch vm as used for testing would have the same effect.

Better yet, use an OS different from the one that was infected; e.g. a Linux VM when the drive was from an infected Windows machine.

That's safer than relying on a sandbox for extra protection in case you goof on the virus scan. Hmm, if you accidently trigger a virus, it's the main drive that needs protecting, not (just) the work drive. So why not "box" the whole thing? Restore/revert everything after you are done, just in case. (But a VM is better)

  • Are you suggesting using a VM on my new computer (the one I am copying files to)? If so, how do I ensure that the connected hard drive "routes" to the VM without infecting the rest of my computer? – Dave Cruz Sep 1 '15 at 4:37
  • In WMWare, the active foreground VM gets the device when it's plugged in. I don't know about virtualbox or others. You can practice with a safe drive. You should copy files to another flash drive (or travel drive) and then so a virus scan on that. Then take the OK drive to your real computer. – JDługosz Sep 1 '15 at 4:50

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