Tuesday, 3 June 2014

How To Clone A Hard Drive, An Alternative To Removing Computer Viruses, Adware, Spyware, And Malware

In this article before getting started, I would like to first clarify the above terms, Computer Viruses, Adware, Spyware, and Malware. Then I would like to share my experience and express my opinion as to why I gave up trying to eradicate them from my system(s).
In My Humble Opinion and From My Experience I feel That:

• 1. Removing them is a complete and utter waste of time and effort even if you were to try and remove these yourself and,
• 2. Why I feel it is a complete rip-off and waste of your money paying ANYONE to remove them for you.

First Off, What Is This Stuff Anyway:

As a new user and someone who might have just purchased their first computer you may or may not be familiar with these terms, Computer Viruses, Adware, Spyware, or Malware. I would like to go over these in order to clarify what each of these are and why they are Soooooo Evil!, (with the acception of honest Adware).

Computer Viruses:

Referenced by The Wiki - and not quoted: A computer virus is a destructive (Computer program or script) that has the ability to replicate and enable itself to pass its virus, (the “Malicious” computer program or script), along to other computers.
(There is always an Evil and destructive intention associated with it!). A computer virus is similar to a biological virus that can destroy your system’s hard drive. It does this by creating and repeating destructive files, moving files, or even deleting them. A Virus can consume most of, if not all of your computer’s memory bringing your computer to a grinding halt. In a nutshell, it is a bad thing to get similar to getting a biological virus.
Though, this is not the focus of my article, your chances of getting a virus can be greatly reduced by installing a good, reputable Anti-Virus program of your choosing and keeping it updated regularly.


Adware consists of free software that is supported by advertisements.“You get what you pay for”, especially in the case of Adware. Adware may consist of a toolbar that works along side your web browser or may consist of Computer games or Free utilities which are a biggy as well. These all may be free to use but the trade off for them being free is subjecting you to watching their ads while these programs or utilities are open and in use. They often times will facilitate you, the user, to engage in an interactive experience by encouraging you to click on something that will bring you to their website for some product purchase. Most “Honest Adware”, annoying at the very least, is safe, but “Dishonest Adware” can contain Spyware, which brings us to this next term shortly. My advice is if you are going to participate in downloading any Adware programs or utilities, first do a Google search and look for reviews that are specific to the program or utility that you want to download. Additionally, be sure to reveiw their Privacy policy as well as insuring they are from a reputable company.


Free programs and utilities can also include Spyware. Once installed, Spyware gathers Personal information on an individual user from their hard drive, the websites you may visit, or even keystrokes from your keyboard when you type. (personally, I think this last one is a little far fetched, but nonetheless please be ware!) Furthermore, these Spyware programs are then capable of passing on your Personal information to other computers across the Internet. So a word of caution here, before downloading anything, especially if it is “Free”, make sure you, again, do a Google search to insure it is a safe piece of software from a reputable company as well as reading their Privacy agreement.


Malware is short for malicious software and consists of any destructive programming, (code, scripts, active content, and other software), designed to either slow down or destroy your system’s functionality. Typically, Viruses, Spyware, and dishonest Adware qualify for these forms of Malware. Other forms of malware consist of computer worms, Trojan horses, scareware, crimeware, most rootkits, and other malicious and unwanted software or programs which I won’t get into at this time. The law defines malware as a computer contaminant, in the U.S., states of California and West Virginia, as well as other states in the country. Now that you may have some understanding of the above terms, one hopefully can now see how so very destructive these can be to your computer, with the acception of “Honest Adware”.

With All Being Said, Doesn’t This Now Sound A Bit Strange As Well As Kind Of A Weird Subject?

An Alternative To Removing Computer Viruses, Adware, Spyware, and Malware:
We now know from reading about these malices how destructive they can be, so why wouldn’t we want to remove them from our system once detected?
For those of us who have been in the computing world for a while and own one or more systems, we are very familiar with them. We know how devastating it is to get any of these and know how any one of them can destroy our hard drives or at the very least impede the efficiency and functionality of our system(s) as well as degrade our data.
So, why would I not want to remove these malices? Why would I even suggest an alternative to removing these?
The reason is, and STRICTLY my opinion based on my many experiences as a person who has been building their own workstations since 2001, a complete and utter waste of time, effort, and money. What?... read on...

A Waste of Time and Effort:

I too in the past have contracted Viruses, Dishonest Adware, Spyware, and/or any of the other Malwares mentioned in this article. I have made a concerted effort to remove them by performing a very lengthy, detailed process that I won’t go into here. I am also someone who takes great pride in building, trouble shooting and maintaining his own workstations as well as helping others to maintain their's. Furthermore, I feel I am pretty Tech Savvy when it comes to this. Even though I was successful in removing any of these, they still did their damage long before I was even able to eradicate them. Furthermore, this was an extremely time consuming and frustrating process and in my opinion a waste of time and effort.

A Waste of Money To Remove Them:

So lets say you don’t want to try and remove them yourself, and instead, decide to pay a professional to remove any of these malices. You can expect to pay a hefty fee of $75.00 on the low end, all the way up to $200.00 on the highest end, which I have ALWAYS felt was not only a rip-off but a complete waste of money. I know because I used to be an IT repair technician for a large electronics firm who had their own in-house computer repair department and people came in all the time for some kind of Malware removal. I always felt what the firm was charging a customer for this removal was not only outrageous but a complete rip-off because it only served as a band aid that would re-enable their system for a short period of time until they contracted another Malware. As a result, I often times dissuaded the customer from spending their hard earned money on this service.

Cloning Your Hard Drive, A Viable Alternative To Malware Removal:

A viable alternative to removing any of the above Malwares is to learn how to Clone Your Hard Drive. By cloning your hard drive, in less time than it would take you to remove the Malware, even if you knew how to, you could have a new, spare, cloned drive or two or more, on the shelf at any given moment that you could swap out for your infected drive. I can’t tell you how many times this has saved my bacon! Furthermore, sometimes we don’t think prior to installing a new application, or utility and find that it simply is not compatible with our system. I admit, I have been guilty of this as well and paid the price. When this happened, I simply removed the problem drive, and later WIPING it, (which I will get into in a later tutorial), and replacing it with my clone. The result, I was up and running in a matter of minutes.
If you are interested in finding out more about "How to clone a hard drive", I have prepared a detailed tutorial with large, easy to follow screen shots.
I hope the above information has been beneficial in not only helping you to clarify some of the different Malwares out there but has also shown you how to help prevent them from destroying your computer system. Additionally, I hope I have offered you a viable alternative to spending your valuable time and hard earned money trying to remove them.

Thank to  Alfonzo Pace
Article source: http://www.streetarticles.com/data-recovery/how-to-regain-fire-damaged-hard-drives 

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