Should you clean or totally wipe a hard drive after an infection

This is a good question which gets asked often. I’ve just got done adding my thoughts to a current thread on the subject. The question above was asked in a security forum topic. Should you clean an infection from a hard drive? Or just do a full reformat of the machine? Is it actually quicker to back up the data you can ( as long as you know it’s safe and can be trusted )? Or should you take the time to clean the infection? I personally feel that if a virus, worm, trojan or other form of malware has completly taken over a machine. Then trying to clean the mess up is pointless. Back up what data you can – as long you can determine it to be safe. Then either use a trusted back up, previous clean image or just start fresh with a new install of the operating system. In the end I feel this saves time and many headaches.

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