Backing up data on an infected Windows computer

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  • Updated: 08 Jun 2011

You should make regular backups of your data as part of your standard procedures. However, if you have not got full backups, and a virus has infected your computer, you can still back this data up. Take great care when recovering this data from your backups.

These instructions use a CD as an example. However you could also use a DVD, Zip drive, USB drive or card, or even a tape backup.

What to do

Windows XP includes CD writing software. For other operating systems you must follow the CD writer manufacturer's instructions on burning a CD.

Note: If you have a VMWare 'My Virtual Machines' folder within the My Documents/Documents folder, exclude this from your backup. It is likely to be huge.

Windows NT/2000/XP/2003

Folders to copy:

  • C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\My Documents\
  • Other folders that you know contain useful data.

You might also want to backup:

  • User Profiles (see Windows Help for details).

Windows Vista

Folders to copy:

  • C:\Users\<username>\Documents\
  • Other folders that you know contain useful data.

You might also want to backup:

  • User Profiles (see Windows Help for details).

Windows 95/98/Me

  • C:\My Documents
  • Other folders that you know contain useful data.

Recovering data from your backups

Before recovering data from the CD, scan the whole CD including archive files.

Right-click scan folders or files before copying them over. If a folder contains infected files, right-click scan the files before transferring them individually.

 
If you need more information or guidance, then please contact technical support.

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