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  1. Joined : Dec 2015
    Posts : 26
    Windows 10
       12 Oct 2016 #1

    Can I turn my External HDD off and on to prevent a ransom attack?


    I usually leave my external back up drive disconnected except on Sundays when it's backing up. Frequent plugging and unplugging is probably going to cause a problem at some point, plus I have to remember to do it.

    If I disable in Device Manager is it disabled enough that ransom ware won't encrypt it?

    And is there any program out there that will securely isolate an external drive and turn it on when it is needed for back up and off when it is done?

    Am I paranoid, or just "well informed"?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  2. Joined : Jan 2015
    UK, Midlands
    Posts : 6,233
    Win 10 Pro (1607)
       12 Oct 2016 #2

    Hi, you could construct a backup schedule which uses this tool:
    Drive Tools for Windows
    Description here
    Use command line to safely remove USB drives

    Now how would one reconnect it? A prompt?

    Here are some ideas:
    5 Ways to Remount Ejected or Safely Removed USB Device Without Unplug and Reinsert • Raymond.CC

    I hope you also use disk imaging (e.g. Macrium Reflect (free)) to protect Windows and your other disks/partitions. If you are concerned about ransomware, having images created before your system is attacked allows you to restore it- no bitcoins involved.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  3. Joined : Dec 2015
    Posts : 26
    Windows 10
       12 Oct 2016 #3

    I use Windows 20 system image and back up, plus an additional data back up.

    I'll look into drive tools.

    Again, thanks. I may be back for help on command line.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  4. Joined : Jan 2015
    UK, Midlands
    Posts : 6,233
    Win 10 Pro (1607)
       13 Oct 2016 #4

    The repeated view here on Windows Backup and Restore is it's basic, unreliable. Programs like Macrium are maintained, well supported and feature rich. Threads asking for help on Backup and Restore usually remain unresolved.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  5. Joined : Dec 2015
    Posts : 26
    Windows 10
       13 Oct 2016 #5

    dalchina said: View Post
    The repeated view here on Windows Backup and Restore is it's basic, unreliable. Programs like Macrium are maintained, well supported and feature rich. Threads asking for help on Backup and Restore usually remain unresolved.
    I was under the impression that ransom wear could encrypted all your drives. So if you had a Macrium back up stored on your external drive and it was connected to your computer and you encountered ransom wear, it too would be encrypted rendering the image/ backup unaccessable.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6.    13 Oct 2016 #6

    chuckiechan said: View Post
    I was under the impression that ransom wear could encrypted all your drives. So if you had a Macrium back up stored on your external drive and it was connected to your computer and you encountered ransom wear, it too would be encrypted rendering the image/ backup unaccessable.
    Yup! That's exactly why the most important part of security - you the enduser - must have a layered defense strategy in place, to give you the greatest odds in your favor of not getting ransomware.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  7. Joined : Aug 2016
    S/E England
    Posts : 820
    10 Home x64 (1607), Pro x86 (1511)
       13 Oct 2016 #7

    dalchina said: View Post
    The repeated view here on Windows Backup and Restore is it's basic, unreliable.
    There's no doubt that Macrium Reflect is by far the better and more versatile product. I do find Backup & Restore's system image useful though. Mainly to put a system image on a separate partition of the same HDD - much like an OEM's 'recovery drive' but with my system configuration. I've never had any problems restoring this from the boot up recovery options. Being all 'in-house' MS products it seems to work well.

    Where Backup & Restore does get touchy and unpredictable is restoring from an external image. It seems critically important to boot from recovery media created by exactly the same version that created the system image (32/64 bit, W7/W10). I had to go through my collection of recovery CDs to find the right one to restore a W7 system image to a drive I had tested a clean install of W10 on.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  8. Joined : Oct 2014
    In a house with a crazy cat trying to kill me
    Posts : 11,539
    Win 7 32, Win 7 64 Pro, Win 8.1 64 Pro, Win 10 64 Education Edition
       14 Oct 2016 #8

    chuckiechan said: View Post
    I usually leave my external back up drive disconnected except on Sundays when it's backing up. Frequent plugging and unplugging is probably going to cause a problem at some point, plus I have to remember to do it.

    If I disable in Device Manager is it disabled enough that ransom ware won't encrypt it?

    And is there any program out there that will securely isolate an external drive and turn it on when it is needed for back up and off when it is done?

    Am I paranoid, or just "well informed"?
    It might be, but why take a chance? The new variants of ransomware actively seek out backups & corrupt them also. You're taking the most secure action by keeping the drive disconnected & using it only for back ups. This action ensures that there is no way for it to access your files should your main system be compromised.

    "Paranoia is just another level of security" - Unknown
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  9. Joined : Dec 2015
    California, USA
    Posts : 115
    Windows 7 64 Pro
       14 Oct 2016 #9

    Borg 386 said: View Post
    It might be, but why take a chance? The new variants of ransomware actively seek out backups & corrupt them also. You're taking the most secure action by keeping the drive disconnected & using it only for back ups. This action ensures that there is no way for it to access your files should your main system be compromised.

    "Paranoia is just another level of security" - Unknown
    My backup program Retrospect runs several different backup scripts between 8.30 pm and 10 pm. Assuming I backed up to an external drive, is there a tool that would USB-connect to that drive at 8.30 and USB-disconnect at say 10.30?

    x509
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  10. Joined : Oct 2014
    In a house with a crazy cat trying to kill me
    Posts : 11,539
    Win 7 32, Win 7 64 Pro, Win 8.1 64 Pro, Win 10 64 Education Edition
       15 Oct 2016 #10

    x509 said: View Post
    My backup program Retrospect runs several different backup scripts between 8.30 pm and 10 pm. Assuming I backed up to an external drive, is there a tool that would USB-connect to that drive at 8.30 and USB-disconnect at say 10.30?

    x509
    I honestly couldn't tell you if there is such a program out there. Sorry, Perhaps someone else knows of something like that.

    I keep one of my external HDD's connected all the time, but it has an on/off switch (something lacking on a lot of external HDD's nowadays for some reason), so I can turn it off when not in use & still have it connected with no worries about something accessing it since it's off.
    Last edited by Borg 386; 15 Oct 2016 at 08:54.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


 
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