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Thread: switched from win7 to ubuntu... old viruses?

  1. #1
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    switched from win7 to ubuntu... old viruses?

    Ok so this whole thing might sound a bit weird, but here goes. A few weeks ago I pulled a newer HP computer out of the dumpster at my apartment complex. I was actually just going to pull the dvd drive, but decided to power it up first to see if it worked. Well it booted right up and went onto a password protected win7 login screen. I decided after trying to reinstall windows 7, but it kept giving me an errror. So I then I decided to install Ubuntu, since I have always wanted to try linux. Ok enough back story. My question is: Now that I have installed Ubuntu, and deleted everything off the hard drive. If there was a virus on this PC before I installed ubuntu could the virus still be on the computer? I have never hooked the PC up to my network or had it online since I pulled it from the dumpster. Does having it online now possibly put my network and other devices at risk? I would really appreciate any help...

    Thanks a lot!!!

  2. #2
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    Re: switched from win7 to ubuntu... old viruses?

    If you wiped the entire drive then created partitions and installed, no.

    If there were any viruses they wouldn't make any difference to you because they will be written for Win and will be ignored and/or irrelevant to Ubuntu.

    Your best bet is to get online and get your updates. These will include security updates anyhow.

  3. #3
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    Re: switched from win7 to ubuntu... old viruses?

    A rootkit might be a danger.

    I'd be wary of a "newer", operating laptop found in a dumpster. I can think of several reasons one might be there and most of them might involve legal ... um ... entanglements.

    Might be worth a call to the local authorities with a serial number.

  4. #4
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    Re: switched from win7 to ubuntu... old viruses?

    Wow thanks a lot eveyone, I figured that deleting the hard drive and installing ubuntu should clear out any viruses, but I figured I would ask. I was also worried about my other devices that run windows on my network. I'm not really familiar with what the capabilities of a rootkit are, could that cause a problem down the line? And a little more info on the dumpster computer, It' was actually the lady who lives below me. I kinda figured she got a new one and threw it away, or was having problems with it and ended up throwing it away. I do not think it was stolen or anything like that, or has any weird content on it. I noticed when I was messing around trying to get windows reinstalled it was running super slow. But now it's running much much quicker. So all in all It should be relatively safe to put it online, and download the updates?

  5. #5
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    Re: switched from win7 to ubuntu... old viruses?

    OK, so if you are sure about the history of the computer, I think you are pretty safe. Going by this

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rootkit


    reinstallation of the operating system may be the only available solution to the problem.
    your Ubuntu install should have removed the root kit danger, I think. Read the Wiki article yourself, though.

    I think you should be pretty safe, myself.
    Michael

  6. #6
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    Re: switched from win7 to ubuntu... old viruses?

    Ok from what I gather, it seems that everything should be good then. Thanks again everyone.

  7. #7
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    Re: switched from win7 to ubuntu... old viruses?

    Quote Originally Posted by tdubb View Post
    Ok from what I gather, it seems that everything should be good then. Thanks again everyone.
    A rootkit will not survive a full install with proper repartitioning. However, an exotic virus that modifies the bios would. This is extremely unlikely. I agree with you that it was probably a throwaway based on a faulty Windows install that the previous owner couldn't solve. I've had similar experience with owners who threw up their hands because they cannot distinguish between hardware and software problems. It all looks the same to them and they just don't want to deal with any of it. Consequently, they just forego computing and the machine turns into a big doorstop. Congrats on a nice junkyard find.

  8. #8
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    Re: switched from win7 to ubuntu... old viruses?

    Quote Originally Posted by tdubb View Post
    Ok from what I gather, it seems that everything should be good then. Thanks again everyone.
    Glad we could help. I found if I installed XP once every six months things would be pretty good and not get too clagged. That's probably what happened. Needed a defrag and reinstall. The world of disposable technology, ay!!!

    Hope you enjoy the OS, the learning curve and the forums. Please post a new thread for any new issues/questions and, to help others, mark this thread as 'Solved' from 'Thread Tools'.
    Last edited by Bucky Ball; November 13th, 2012 at 08:10 AM.

  9. #9
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    Re: switched from win7 to ubuntu... old viruses?

    Quote Originally Posted by QIII View Post
    I'd be wary of a "newer", operating laptop found in a dumpster. I can think of several reasons one might be there and most of them might involve legal ... um ... entanglements.
    well my sis in law got a refurbished mashcine. it really boot slow and worked slow with win7. i think there is a hardware issue as previous owner replaced motherboard and they said it wasn't original one :-O. anyway if i boot Kubuntu form USB it was super fast and also gave certain I/O hardware error on boot.

    i did not advise installing linux on it as their internet connection is limited (slow and each GB of data has to be payed for) and doing regular updates would be expencive. additionally i do not live close by to give any helping hand with transition. plus she often works with MS office for her work, so i am not sure if all would work. i advised to let win7 on and do the updates and then remove some bloatware.

    my point is she wan't to get rid of it and get a new one.
    Easy to understand Ubuntu manual with lots of pics: http://ubuntu-manual.org/
    Do i need antivirus/firewall in linux?
    User friendly disk backup: Redobackup

  10. #10
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    Re: switched from win7 to ubuntu... old viruses?

    Quote Originally Posted by mastablasta View Post
    i did not advise installing linux on it as their internet connection is limited (slow and each GB of data has to be payed for) and doing regular updates would be expencive.
    Most ISPs, in Australia I don't know one that doesn't do this, provide free mirror sites, many of which are for open-source and this covers Ubuntu and a heap of other OSs, and their updates.

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