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For example if i was on windows and got a virus, then formatted the hard drive by installing ubuntu onto my PC would it get rid of it?

asked Jun 04 '11 at 09:13

TurkeyTwizzler's gravatar image


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In theory, yes. But, i would use a disk wiping program just to be sure. Active@ Killdisk has a free version but it only does 1 pass.

answered Jun 04 '11 at 13:09

Josh_M's gravatar image


Excellent suggestion

(Jun 05 '11 at 04:07) bryanminer bryanminer's gravatar image

You would have to try to get it back if you reformat it. reformatting is fine, no need to use a file shredding program.

(Mar 11 '12 at 20:20) trueb trueb's gravatar image

A full format will remove a virus from the hard drive, but it will not fix an issue of the rare bios infection (Though I have not personally fixed a system with one ion nearly 10 years).

A single pass full format is effective to an extent where the hard drives own reading ability cannot detect the data previously on the drive, though a professional recovery company may be able to restore some data (if the drive was not used after formatting)

So overall, the full format offered on the windows disk is enough to remove any infection on the drive.

answered Mar 10 '12 at 18:17

Razor512's gravatar image


Yes. When you format it deletes every file off the drive. So none of them are readable, however just a format is recoverable but you would have to recover the file yourself for it to work again. So really the viruses should be gone.

answered Jun 04 '11 at 09:35

TheTechDude's gravatar image


If you format the entire HDD and reinstall an OS, yes it would, but I don't think there are many modern viruses that make you have to completely format your HD.

answered Jun 04 '11 at 09:36

jebug29's gravatar image


Yes, make sure you do a complete format, as opposed to a quick format just to be extra safe. Anti-virus software should usually do the trick, but formatting is always a great 2nd choice.

answered Jun 04 '11 at 12:13

KylePolansky's gravatar image


In my experience, formatting is the nuclear option.

answered Mar 10 '12 at 12:44

Yogi's gravatar image


For me if I was going to format the hard drive I might as well reinstall the operating system.

answered Mar 10 '12 at 19:00

bboyhurricane's gravatar image


It should. I would still run DBAN on the drive just to be safe. And even if part of the virus survives, chances are, it won't be compatible with Ubuntu.

answered Mar 12 '12 at 00:14

PCLinux7's gravatar image


If a virus is bad enough for me to wipe the disk, I use the Hiren's Boot CD and use Boot & Nuke. After that I would reinstall the operating system(s).

answered Mar 12 '12 at 15:21

talonthegeek's gravatar image


Formatting the hard drive has been the solution for years.

answered Mar 13 '12 at 23:35

rocky05's gravatar image


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Asked: Jun 04 '11 at 09:13

Seen: 9,156 times

Last updated: Mar 14 '12 at 00:11