Spyware, Viruses, & Security forum

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Do You Really Have To Scan Your Whole Computer

by jlippincott / July 17, 2006 6:32 AM PDT

When you do a virus scan, trojan scan and spyware scan do you really have to scan your whole computer. With a second hardrive installed it takes about 7 hours each week to do this.

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It's Your Choice But...Do You Use The Other Hard Drive?
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / July 17, 2006 6:40 AM PDT

If you are using the other hard driver frequently, copying and pasting files to it, then there is a potential to have a virus there. For example, if you lived in a two bedroom house and knew that sooner or later, someone was going to place $10,000 in one of them, would you check both rooms or only check one?? So, YES, it should be done on both drives.

If you're feeling safe, then you may want to alternate drives on opposing weeks. If you're not accessing the second drive often, such as with a USB external drive, then why not disconnect it except when needed?

Hope this helps.


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Thanks For The Info
by jlippincott / July 17, 2006 10:03 AM PDT

Thanks for the info!!!! I basically use my second hard drive to store pic and movie files. Besides my normal scanning of my main hard drive I should only have to scan the directory the files are in before I move them to the sceond hard drive correct?

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As I Stated...Do You Use The Second Hard Drive...?
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / July 17, 2006 2:16 PM PDT
In reply to: Thanks For The Info

...and is it connected all the time? If it's always running and connected to the system, then a virus is easily possible on either drive. If it's not connected, which you still haven't told us is the case, then infection could occur only after the main drive received the virus and a connection was reestablished. There have been viruses that infected only specific files such as mp3's or pictures...which could cause issues in your case.

Hope this helps.


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Sorry About That
by jlippincott / July 17, 2006 2:24 PM PDT

Sorry about that! My second hardrive is installed in my computer.

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If That's The Case....
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / July 18, 2006 1:23 AM PDT
In reply to: Sorry About That

...then occasional scanning of the second drive will be necessary. It's your choice on how much to do it as the primary drive will be the most likely place of initial infection.. But, if infection occurs, then the second drive is just as vulnerable as the first.

Hope this helps.


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A better FW could save time
by Oracle_360 / July 20, 2006 8:08 PM PDT

It may be time consuming, but it's definitely worth it to scan both drives. A few hours of annoyance is much easier to take than a migraine-inducing drive failure. If you want to cut back on the scans, try using a firewall, and if possible, a router with an additional firewall, so that the potential of becoming infected is decreased. You'll still have to scan, but hopefully not as often.

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I agree
by Windy / July 20, 2006 9:58 PM PDT

Because my pc is an older model with about 40gigs (out of 80) being used, it also takes hours to do a virus scan. I learned to do my scanning while i'm sleeping or at planned periods of time that I'll be away. Also, as suggested by others, by having both a software and hardware firewall, acouple adware\spyware programs, and an anti virus protector--I'm not really concerned about doing a scan more than once a month or longer.

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No, I don't
by welrdelr / July 20, 2006 8:53 PM PDT

I use FreeBSD 6.1 and Fedora Core 5. Both have every service except for the internet connection turned off. FreeBSD has two root levels, wheel is only accessible from the physical computer. The user account is only su in the shell. I can limit the permissions of the user account.
Fedora Core 5 has the same setup.

If I am really worried, I will use a live disc. There is no "registry" The library is shared. Unistalling a program takes a few command lines.

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check the scanner options
by bestsealer / July 20, 2006 10:43 PM PDT

most of the virus scanners have options to allow you to filter files from being scanned. For example, if you have a lot of MP3 files or JPG files on your computer, I think you can safely ignore them in your scans.. they are quite unlikely to contain viruses.

It's up to you.. you know what you have on your computer.. do a quick manual scan, and see what you can filter out.

You might also try running Steven Gould's free Windows Cleanup Utility before running your virus and adware/spyware scans.. that way you won't waste time scanning a bunch of temporary files. You will be amazed at just how much trash Cleanup will delete from your system.. and I am talking gigabytes of data! ref: http://www.stevengould.org/

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dont think that mp3's and jpg are not available to viruses
by jimmurray1946 / July 21, 2006 12:24 AM PDT

one of the easiest ways to confound an os or to compromise it is to embed a bug in a photo download and then make sure its a cute puppy and send it or forward it to everyone. this has been used in the past to mess up government systems. the same goes with mps files. once the code is embedded then it opens and does its destruction. be sure you use at least a e-mail scanner or your firewall/antivirus includes one and (most importantly) you set it up prior to going online and opening that cute puppy picture then forwarding it to everyone on your e-mail address book.
I have assisted with many victims of malware that have excellent protection but have never taken the time to set it up. a condom will only protect your wallet if thats where it stays.

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Interesting Question
by msgale / July 21, 2006 5:35 AM PDT

You raise a question that I have thought about for a long time. If your antivirus has an auto-protect feature or something simular, then I would not do a scan of any type unless I had downloaded a new virus signature file. The scan engine and signature are the same for both auto-protect and stand alone scan, if auto-protect doesn't find it neither will a full scan.

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Use overnight scanning and avast antivirus software.
by eternalblue83 / July 21, 2006 1:30 PM PDT

Forgive me if someone has already mentioned this.

You might want to run your scan overnight.

I would also recommend avast antivirus software, (free look available at www.avast.com). It's better than Norton or McAfee (not as big a target), blocks virus like activity like file delete & rename without specific permission, and works in real time. It also updates its virus database automatically and much more frequently than others I have used (sometimes more often than daily).

avast also gives you the option of NOT scanning archive files or online media, and, you can control the scan depth which can shorten scan time.

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7 hours to scan your computer
by Denise Neve / July 22, 2006 7:43 AM PDT

I don't understand how it can take so long to scan your computer unless you have really monstrous size hard drives! I have a 250 gb. internal hard drive and a 100 gb. external set to be scanned in entirety automatically twice a week at a time when I know I will not be using my computer. It never takes more than 45 minutes, maybe 1 hour max! I have a firewall on my router as first line defense and use NIS 2006 Anti Virus/Internet Security and Firewall for the twice weekly scans. I also run AdAware SE Plus, Spyware Doctor and Registry Mechanic and run those about twice a week when I feel I have a perhaps 10 minutes or so to spare. My husbands much much older and slower machine does take about 2 hours but never more than that.

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