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Old July 2, 2012, 01:13 PM
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Default partitioning and viruses

I have a 500 GB new hard drive and am thinking of dual booting Linux Mint on it. It's already got 7 Pro on the first partition. I've set up multiple partitions with unallocated space between them for future expansion.

Q: I've read that viruses do not cross partitions. I want to be very sure this is true before deciding to dual boot. The LM partition will use ext4 I believe. Will ext4 be an additional safeguard? I plan on not touching the internet unless necessary with 7 (loading academic programs for myself) but surfing extensively using a VM in Linux Mint. I want to be sure nothing could infect boot files and screw up either OS.

Additionally, I've always been curious about setting up a separate data partition, easing a re-install of Windows, etc. What's the best way to do this? Install appls to the OS partition? How set all data to go to a data part.? Separate temp partition or somehow set that to the data partition also?

Searched on partitions and viruses beforehand. Thanks for all replys,

Mac
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Old July 2, 2012, 01:28 PM
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What a particular virus does depends on the type of payload it has.

Is the virus a file linker? Is it a backdoor? Etc.

Honestly, if you want to do the VM thing anyway I'd just run Win7 with VMWare or something similar.
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Old July 3, 2012, 12:34 PM
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I agree. Probably easiest to run your favorite Linux as the host OS and put WIndows in a Virtual Machine such as VirtualBox. As stated whether viruses can transition partitions depends on the virus. If you are really paranoid don't mount partitions until you need to use them and dismount them afterward.
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Old July 3, 2012, 07:48 PM
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I don't get it... are you doing a true dual boot or having one OS as a host and the other on a VM? If you use Windows as the host and Linux in a VM remember you can still get affected by a keylogger or anything else that can track what's going on between your I/O and the VM.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac29 View Post
Will ext4 be an additional safeguard?
It depends on the virus, although I can't imagine many virus writers would write ext2/3/4 drivers into their payloads in some blind guess that their target is running a dual-boot system... not when there's a lot easier targets
What I do to make CERTAIN the viruses can't cross partitions is to encrypt the partition I want to guard against viruses. Of course you can't use it when encrypted, and when decrypted and / or you store the decrypt key or password on your computer it's just as vulnerable as always.
For your dual-boot you could encrypt your entire Linux install which would protect against everything less than bootsector and BIOS-based viruses.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac29 View Post
Additionally, I've always been curious about setting up a separate data partition, easing a re-install of Windows, etc. What's the best way to do this? Install appls to the OS partition? How set all data to go to a data part.? Separate temp partition or somehow set that to the data partition also?
I did this to separate my OS stuff and data onto separate disks:
Windows 7 - Moving My Documents
You can move all of the folders with special icons in your user folder this way, which is what I did. Note that still leaves anything that doesn't go into those folders (e.g. C:\Users\you\AppData), but the hacks that move everything can break some applications.
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Old July 3, 2012, 09:16 PM
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show me one virus/speared that has made it into a Linux system to create havok. second virus/make are will not and cannot transfer between a Linux and windows os and it uses two completely different binaries.

just create two partitions and dual boot. if you need data from the Linux side install a ext file system driver
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Old July 4, 2012, 08:32 PM
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Thanks for the quick replies. Again, I'm thinking of a true dual boot. Thought I'd run an OS in a VM because I can't run Sandboxie in Linux Mint. It's been better than another appl called cocoon w/is not full-proof yet. I'll have to read up on mounting partitions as I thought all were readable if an OS on the drive is being used, unless on a diff file system. Since I am hearing more and more about bootsector viruses I think I'll skip encryption but thanks Frontier204, I'll check your link and get more familiar w/ data partitions.

Leaning back towards a hardware solution, though I loathe current prices per capacity. Other surfing makes me think better to be safe w/another drive. Drawback vs. peace of mind. Enaberif's view seems to be the conjecture but from what I know of boot loaders I think I'll stick w/"hardware over software" though it implies not knowing the other's capabilities.

Thank you.
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Old July 4, 2012, 09:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac29 View Post
Thanks for the quick replies. Again, I'm thinking of a true dual boot. Thought I'd run an OS in a VM because I can't run Sandboxie in Linux Mint. It's been better than another appl called cocoon w/is not full-proof yet. I'll have to read up on mounting partitions as I thought all were readable if an OS on the drive is being used, unless on a diff file system. Since I am hearing more and more about bootsector viruses I think I'll skip encryption but thanks Frontier204, I'll check your link and get more familiar w/ data partitions.

Leaning back towards a hardware solution, though I loathe current prices per capacity. Other surfing makes me think better to be safe w/another drive. Drawback vs. peace of mind. Enaberif's view seems to be the conjecture but from what I know of boot loaders I think I'll stick w/"hardware over software" though it implies not knowing the other's capabilities.

Thank you.
Bootsector viruses? Those can really only happen from a Windows standpoint and in reality they are so uncommon now they almost don't even exist. And if you did get one well it don't matter if its Windows or Linux as your os its pooched either way.
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