Clean installaton - Can a hard drive infect the bootable usb?

  1.    #1

    Clean installaton - Can a hard drive infect the bootable usb?

    Hi everyone I'm new to the forums ,

    I'm not knowledgable with computers and the like so please don't mind me asking this question.

    I soon will be installing a clean installation of windows 10 on one of my computers (and doing a clean installation for the first time on any computer).

    From looking at online tutorials/articles its been said to help eradicate malware and allows a clean copy of windows 10 to be installed.

    After playing around with the computer I know which key is needed to enter the uefi when i start my computer.

    I plan to reinstall by using the usb approach but noticed that my computer won't change the boot order for my usb unless the usb is inserted (when the usb is not inserted into the computer the uefi does not list any usbs as a boot option).

    I plan to do the following:

    1) Turn off computer

    2) Plug in usb

    3) Turn on computer then immedialetly spam the trigger key which will allow me to enter the uefi.

    4) Then follow the rest of the tutorial of tenforums

    I've been told that malware cannot infect the hard drive/solid state drive and so the resultant computer will have a clean installtion.

    So i'm just asking this forum if i do the above steps am i'm pretty much guaranteed a clean computer at the end?

    If so a simple explanation would be incredible and i would be so grateful.

      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    #2

    When you do the clean install you have at Step 13 of the tutorial the option to format the disk. That removes everything.
    Clean Install Windows 10

    As nothing from the target disk is loaded into RAM, provided you boot directly from the USB boot disk, any malware cannot be processed.

    If you wished, you could plug the USB disk in and then change the boot order. Should you wish to be ultra-careful, you could remove or disconnect the internal system disk first.

    If you have prepared your USB using MS's media creation tool, you should have a bootable disk.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  3. Posts : 26,004
    windows 10 professional version 1607 build 14393.969 64 bit

    Backed up files that you plan to restore can be checked for malware by running multiple scanners..
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4. Ztruker's Avatar
    Posts : 8,150
    Windows 10 Pro X64 1903 189362.439

    You shouldn't have to change the boot order or your computer. There sould be a Fn key you press when you power on or restart that will bring up the one time boot menu. You select the USB Flash drive from there to start the install. Much better than making the USB the 1st boot device as that can, and has led to boot install loops.

    What is the make and full model number fo your computer or mother board? We should be able to find what key needs to be pressed with that information.

    See here: List of PC brands with their corresponding hot-keys. This was posted by @zbook two days agon here: Recovery / Reset this PC / Stuck in a loop
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  5.    #5

    Thanks for all you responses.

    The laptop i'm planning to clean install on is a lenovo and i've managed to find the key needed to enter the bios setup - its F2 (I tried it out and i entered into the bios).

    The lenovo laptop i want to reinstall on may have malware on it but this time i think its best to just clean install so i can give myself peace of mind.

    As far as i know i can only enter bios setup by spamming F2 after turning on my computer. The problem is that the usb boot option is only avaliable when the usb is inserted into the computer.

    Its just that i want to be certain the bootable usb cannot/couldn't get infected during this moment.

    I think i'll take dalchina advice and plan to do the following:

    1) Use a empty dummy usb to change the order of the usb to first priority.
    Since the usb is empty windows will load instead correct?

    2) If windows loads then i'll remove the dummy usb and turn off the laptop. For this laptop a usb needs to be inserted into the computer for the usb to be a boot option. However since the dummy usb now HAS been removed (thus USB won't appear on the boot list) will the bios from now on retain the information to boot the usb as first priority or simply forget it?

    It what i plan to do valid? Can any object to what i plan to do?

    Any feedback it welcomed!
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    #6

    Since the usb is empty windows will load instead correct?
    - if you do nothing, but you should be able to access the BIOS before Windows starts loading.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  7.    #7

    Hi dalchina

    Thanks for your answer.

    So from what i understand for 1) everything should load as normal (boot into windows)?

    Any feedback for 2) ?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8.    #8

    (1) on any startup attempt you should be able to access the BIOS without loading Windows. That's what I said previously.

    (2) I can only answer for my experience of using BIOS. Once I've set the boot priority, it is retained and is effective whenever a boot medium is inserted.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  9.    #9

    Ok thank you very much for the feedback

    I'll now proceed to clean install when i have time avaliable to do so
      My ComputerSystem Spec


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