April 10, 2021

help removing possible rootkit and rat

Not sure if this is the right place to post this but may as well try

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I downloaded some shady software and I feel it’s possible that my pc may have been infected by a rat, I’ve had random files be changed in ways that I know I did not change such as text documents being changed to show cryptic text as if somebody is messing with me, or having people I don’t know online naming files on my computer that I did not share anywhere. I don’t have the computer connected to the internet as of right now and I can’t find any startup files out of the ordinary or any strange system resource usage on task manager so I feel like if I do have one it’s likely that it’s a rootkit.

I am planning on copying any data from my boot(C) drive onto my D drive, then wiping my C drive clean and reinstalling windows onto it. The main thing I’m worried about is the virus spreading through my D drive as it was connected to my computer during all of this. I’m assuming that as long as I don’t execute anything it can’t spread but what little answers I found online for whether this was true or not were conflicting, and even if it can spread simply by connecting it I don’t know how I’m supposed to transfer my data without transferring the virus.

Can somebody help me with how I should approach this? Mainly on whether or not it can spread through my D drive without anything being booted or executed from it, simply from connecting it to my newly wiped computer.

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