By Leo Notenboom
I have downloaded much of my music from the piratebay and torrentspy
using bittorrent. I recently bought a new computer because my old
computer had too many viruses to be repaired and now I want to transfer
the music to the new computer. I was wondering if because my old
computer was extremely infected with viruses and because my music has
come from an untrustworthy source is it safe to put that music on the
new computer so that the new computer will not be infected with
Clearly downloading files from untrustworthy sources is bad.
Transferring those files to another computer doesn’t magically make
But that’s not why I’m addressing this question.
You should never have to buy a new computer because of virus
I hear this often enough that I want to address it and clear up the
The fundamental concept that seems to get lost is the difference
between hardware and software.
Your computer, the box, the power supply, the hard disks, the
monitor, the CD-ROM drive … these are all hardware. They’re physical
things that you can see, touch and feel.
Windows, your applications, your data, your pictures and anything
else stored on your computer are software. They’re simply data
– nothing more than a large collection of ones and zeros – stored on
magnetic, electronic or optical media.
Viruses are software. They are nothing more than
data. Data that’s crafted to cause your computer to misbehave, but data
is like discarding your toaster because the bread was moldy.”
And data can be erased.
Without replacing the hardware.
I’ll put it this way: replacing your computer because of a virus is
like discarding your toaster because the bread was moldy. You can clean
the toaster and get fresh bread. You can clean your computer and
reinstall all your software.
Yes, it could be a bit of work, but it’s cheaper than replacing your
entire computer. If you have all your installation CDs, it could even
And it’s all that’s required, even after the worst malware
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