Can backing up iTunes end up transfering viruses or spyware between PC's

OK, very recently my PC seems to have developed a spyware/malware/virus problem. Its an older PC which I got free second hand, so I’m not that mad about it (more annoyed), and I had been considering a new PC soon anyway. Only thing I really use it for is internet, and to manage my iPod. At this point I think I’ll either use the recovery CD (if I can find it), and see if that works, or just suck it up and buy a cheap new PC.

Only thing I have on the current PC which I want to keep is my iTunes library. Even though its also on my iPod, I understand you can’t transfer directly from the iPod to a new PC, is that correct? Assuming that’s the case, I plan on picking up a external hard drive to back everything up and transfer it to the next PC. Do I run the risk of transferring the same garbage over to the new PC? Is there anything I need to do to prevent that?

For the first question, I doubt it, as long as it is only transferring music files. I do believe that some music can be malware (.wma primarily), but mp3’s are safe. I’m not aware of any viruses/malware that affects legit music files, though.

You can copy to a PC from you iPod, but you probably need to turn on “Disk Mode” and “Manually manage my files” in iTunes. Then you can access the ipod in explorer. However, all the file names will be random 4 letter strings and in random directories, but the id3 information will remain, so you can have itunes automatically reconstruct your filenames from the id3 information, but you need to be sure that all is accurate first.