Question To what extent do I need to go to in order to ensure a clean and virus-free reinstall?

Cowgoesmoo2

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Oct 12, 2014
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I have so many files across multiple hard drives and don't have an amazing understanding of capabilities of viruses, not enough to answer my question at least.
I've got multiple hard drives and SSD's, but windows itself is on C:

I want to reinstall windows, but can I do a 'skinny' reinstall where I only reinstall the C:\ drive or do I have to do more than just that?
Will I need to clean out other hard drives somehow?

I haven't detected a virus with mbam for a while, however to satisfy my lingering doubts, I do want to do ONE thing and not worry about it in the future.

The reason I'm extra paranoid is because last time I asked about this online I got a load of stuff like 'oh and yeah today viruses do bios modification so wiping won't even fix that' so that made me think that there's nothing I can do. I'm skeptical that I need to worry about 'bios modification', meaning that i'd never ever be free of viruses until I wipe my bios, but I also don't know enough about them to disprove that.

I have 2 possible sources of viruses I expect I'll have to deal with
1. Some programs I downloaded that are kinda large and have that 1% chance of maybe carrying viruses. So long as I don't run these programs, if they're just sitting there in my desktop, I'm perfectly OK right? I assume I can go reinstall windows, keep these programs on a flash drive, move them back on my PC and still be safe, even if they are infected files? Because mainly- I just don't want to redownload all of them right now. I could but don't want to and would prefer to do that in the future.

2. Maybe I have some lingering viruses that are just hiding on my C: drive or F: drive that I'll have to clean out?

Thanks! Please tell me what method of reinstallation will work best.
 

USAFRet

Titan
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Mar 16, 2013
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Disconnect all other drives.
Do a full reinstall on the desired drive (link below)
This involves deleting ALL existing partitions on the drive, and starting fresh.
It means a reinstall of all drivers, applications, etc.

If the files you've downloaded are 'infected', you do not want them. Period.
You need to start completely clean. Not partially clean and fix it later.


After, reconnect the others, and delete all existing partitions. Go into Disk Management to do this, not just "format" within File Explorer.
 

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