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Old 12-15-2004, 01:35 PM   #1
ixus_123
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Can Windows Viruses Affect My Linux Partitions?


I've been a happy Linux user for about 2 years now but goign back to study as a mature student.
Unfortunately, to access certain softwares / features of my course I need to be using a Windows system. So, a little annoyed about having to retrofit my PC with what I consider a lesser system, I'm going to backup & repartition, installing windows XP on the first partition & making the system a dual boot.

Being a Mac & Linux user viruses have never really been an issue for me so to be honest I'm not sure of the threat. I was just wondering if I were to gett a virus on the Windows partition (say one that wanted to rename all the file extentions on my system) would it just affect the Windows partition, or would it attck files on my Reiser partitions too?

This is a conern for me as I don't particulary want to shell out for an antivirus program as well as an overpriced OS. I'm not concerend about the effects of viruses on the Windows partition since I will be backing up frequently & only accesing the university site which has no ads that might sneak something in.
 
Old 12-15-2004, 01:44 PM   #2
XavierP
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Unless your Win partition is setup with a program to enable read/write on your ReiserFS partition, the answer is no. Also, even if this read/write was set up, it's unlikely unless said virus or whatever is able to go beyond needing c:\, d:\ etc.

I'd say that the penguin is safe! There are free antivirus programs for Linux, just as there are for Windows. I'd suggest that you grab (for Windows) Kerio Firewall or Zonealarm, keep the install up to date and get AVG antivirus or something similar. Also Spybot S&D. For Linux, since I guess you'll be writing to Windows when you do homework under Linux, make sure you have a firewall/iptables script and also grab a virus guard - because you can still pass on viruses to Windows.
 
Old 12-15-2004, 02:02 PM   #3
ixus_123
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Ah, excellent. Thanks. That was just what i needed to hear.

Now all I have to do is find a cheap version of XP. I think I'll search for US sites as the exchange rate is so good rather than buying it here
 
Old 12-15-2004, 02:52 PM   #4
SuperNull
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Ever heard of VMware?

VMware is a non-free tool to run one OS on top of an other.
http://www.vmware.com/products/desktop/ws_features.html
You could be in Linux all the time and start-up Windows inside a KDE/Gnome window for the odd job once in a while.
The guest OS can not touch the host OS, so your Linux will be safe.
The guest OS can not use any hardware accelerated graphics. That is about the only limitation.
The guest OS runs about 20% slower as it would if it were directly on the hardware.

VMware costs about $200, but is was well worth it. I had a VERY smooth Windows-to-Linux migration because of it.
 
Old 12-15-2004, 06:10 PM   #5
ixus_123
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Sounds good but I'm already annoyed about having to pay out 80 for an OS I don't really want or need. I certainly don't want to spend any more on things to support the os like antivirus software, office apps etc.

I think for my needs dual boot will be fine

I might look into getting a 2nd hard drive though. I have tried a dual boot with Windows 98 & as a result my Linux setup felt a lot slower.
 
Old 12-15-2004, 08:31 PM   #6
o0linuxkid0o
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Thumbs up

lol The only thing stopping me from all-out-linux is my video card doesn't support 3d on linux so I can't run games! Other than that... try <moderator edit - link removed> to get a win xp iso. Free is better

~l8r




My system is a: Microtel SYSWM 5010
Ram = 384mb
Video = SiS onboard generic
48X Lame-Brand CD-RW
16X Hitachi vintage 1995
40Gb 7,200 rpm WD hdd
Slackware 9.1 + Windows XP Pro (bootlegg!)

Last edited by Capt_Caveman; 12-16-2004 at 01:26 AM.
 
Old 12-16-2004, 01:30 AM   #7
Capt_Caveman
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o0linuxkid0o: Please do not post links to warez sites. The linuxquestions.org rules strictly forbid posts regarding piracy and warez. Thanks.
 
Old 12-16-2004, 10:23 AM   #8
qwijibow
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Windows does not support ReiserFS, so your files cannot be accessed... however, i virus COULD format / nuke / corrupt the linux partiton couldn't it !?
 
Old 12-17-2004, 05:24 AM   #9
ixus_123
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Could it?

It is a concern. I'm not overly concerned though - I don't think I'll be making any of the basic mistakes the typical Windows user makes - like double clicking "nakedannakornikova.jpg.exe" for example.
 
Old 12-17-2004, 11:22 AM   #10
qwijibow
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i dont know of any virii that do this, but it only takes one microsoft conspiracy, or freak with a grudge againsed linux, and i see no reason why they couldnt write a porgram to raw read partitons, detect the filesystem like ext2/3 or reiserfs, then corrupt it.
 
Old 12-19-2004, 07:48 PM   #11
DJ Shaji
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Hold your, err, Horses

I don't think Win Viruses can do the Penguin any harm. Viruses are just programs or scripts written with a "wrong" intention. They can't work in an environment which is "alien" to them.
 
Old 12-19-2004, 11:02 PM   #12
Capt_Caveman
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Malware like the chernobyl/CIH virus that damaged the BIOS and wrote directly to disk sectors could have serious consequences to any linux partitions on the disk, not to mention having to repair the BIOS before it would even be operable. There are also tools available for reading and writing to linux ext2 partitions from Windows. So I'd have to agree with qwijibow, all it takes is someone with enough time, knowledge and malice. There already are cross-platform viruses with linux and win32 subroutines.
 
  


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