I'm afraid my old computer has malware on it. How can I restore the backup to a new computer without also restoring malware?

Episode 883 (43:14)

Tom from Agoura Hills, CA

Tom just bought the new Vizio All in One Desktop and wants to restore from the backup he made on a machine he suspects may be infected. Leo advises not putting the new computer on the network until he turns on Windows Firewall. The best thing to do is backup his data, take the old, potentially infected computer offline, then put the new computer online. He can install his applications, then run a virus scan on his external backup drive. Chances are he hasn't backed up the virus, though, because all viruses need to be on a program.

However, if he had a corrupted Adobe Reader or a corrupt DLL, it would be possible to craft a PDF or image file that could infect his computer because they would impact his computer through the Adobe Reader program. But those have been patched, and as long as he's up to date (which he will be with the new computer), Leo thinks it's probably safe to restore his data (only data, not programs) from the old system.