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I have collected over many, many years data from many sources, some of which could be questionable - for example an upload page on a web server at home - to the point where I don't completely trust the integrity of the data.

My current plan is to set up a sacrificial laptop that can be reinstalled easily, running a decent security package and scan all disks before importing the data to my main system.

Is this a decent approach? Is it overkill? Are there better/cheaper/easier/more reliable techniques I could consider?

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You could always use a live disk on a computer and mount the hard disks in such a way that the files cannot execute, then scan them from the live disk.

I'm fairly certain AVG has a live disk that can work like this, as does any linux distribution with a live disk that lets you install Clam-AV.

Keep in mind though no anti-virus program is perfect and there is a chance that even after scanning everything you will still have malware.

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  • A live disk isn't a bad idea - I hadn't considered that! Yes antivirus aren't perfect, and for many years with mac I've not considered it - but the popularity of the platforms means times are changing I guess. Thinking sophos at the moment (was looking at FSecure as well) Commented Oct 11, 2013 at 19:49

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