No you don't have to install LINUX. But you can use a LiveCD and get your files out of that drive...
You can also disable AUTORUN on that drive by holding down the SHIFT KEY when you plug it in.
I need a big help. My computer was infected by various spyware and viruses, so I saved all my data files (~18GB) to an external hard drive before formatting my computer. Now I am not able to retrieve any piece of my data
When I tried to read the external hard drive, my computer does recognize the hard drive as drive F:, but then it took for ever to run an AUTORUN program. When I disconnected the hard drive from my computer, the computer popped up a window saying that virus was found in F:\autorun.inf and the virus type was Trojan Horse. It seems to me that the autorun file in the hard drive was infected by this virus, which kept me from reading the data.
I have tried many data recovery software which doesn't modify the data in the hard drive. But I have no success so far. If you have any suggestions or ideas, please let me know. I appreciate your help very much.