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Old 10-04-2010, 02:08 PM   #1
kyle8812
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keeping all data off the hard drive


My friend just got a gaming laptop that he won't let anyone else use (his last one got infected when his girlfriend surfed on it for just one hour -- he refuses to use antivirus since he claims he knows how to keep clean, but he doesn't trust others).

Because I used Linux a bit once, I said to him what if I could promise not to make any changes to your hard drive, and I told him that I was pretty sure I could boot to a live cd and then only write files to a usb key. He's actually willing to let me try (I showed him some linux sites I was looking at, and he believes me that we can do this).

So here are my questions:

1) Is there anything I either MUST do or else must NOT do to make sure I make no changes to his laptop's hard drive? And so that any changes are only going to go on the usb drive I hook up?

2) Since he's got an i7 processor, I assume I should get a version of ubuntu that supports 64 bits, right?

3) Can you think of any other dumb mistakes a newbie might make that would end up making changes to his hard drive?

Thanks for the help.
 
Old 10-04-2010, 02:17 PM   #2
AlucardZero
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(1) don't mount the local hard drive
(2) probably either 32-bit or 64-bit will work
 
Old 10-04-2010, 02:28 PM   #3
kyle8812
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Ah -- that sounds pretty foolproof.

When booting from a cd, will it be fairly obvious to me how "not" to mount the hard drive? (As you can tell, I haven't done it yet.)
 
Old 10-04-2010, 02:52 PM   #4
AlucardZero
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Depending on the distro you boot, it may mount it automatically - icons may appear on the desktop or in the file manager. If so, you can unmount them.
If they aren't mounted automatically, just don't run the mount command on it in the CLI, and don't try to access it in the GUI.
 
Old 10-04-2010, 02:56 PM   #5
kyle8812
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Thanks a lot!
 
Old 10-04-2010, 02:57 PM   #6
rweaver
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Most live cd's are functional enough that you don't NEED to write to ANYTHING unless you want to save a document off or something similiar, a better option for you might be using a pendrive distribution or a livecd distribution that supports an open file system so you CAN keep writing to it.
 
Old 10-04-2010, 03:05 PM   #7
dv502
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@ kyle8812

If the drive(s) do mount, you can check the mount status of the drive(s) by tying mount in a terminal window.

Example.

Code:
mount
/dev/sda1 on / type ext3 (rw)
none on /proc type proc (rw)
none on /dev/pts type devpts (rw)
/dev/sda7 on /home type ext3 (rw)
/dev/sda6 on /var type ext3 (rw)
...

Above is a partial output of my partitions. The rw means read-write.

Must be done as root.

If you want to access your windows files and prevent anyone from deleting or modifying any data, type this at the terminal:

Code:
mount /dev/sdxx -o ro,remount
sdxx = The windows partition. This will remount your windows partition to a read-only filesystem.

Or to unmount the partition, type

Code:
umount /dev/sdxx
Note: If you are using a ubuntu derivative type distro, prefix the command with sudo

sudo mount /dev/sdxx -o ro,remount


- Cheers

Last edited by dv502; 10-04-2010 at 04:16 PM.
 
  


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