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Thread: Can viruses jump partitions?

  1. #1
    Insomnia Robscure's Avatar
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    Can viruses jump partitions?

    I'm doing another clean install of windows after properly reformatting and deleting and partitioning my drives.

    I'm installing windows on a 78gb allocation partition from a 500gb drive. The remaining ~400gb I want to use for anti-virus software and other such software that I require... perhaps some games as well...

    The question is, if I download a virus on the 400gb partition of my main hdd then will that affect my 78gb OS' partition as well?

    Also, will speed/performance be troublesome if I'm gaming on the 400gb partition of my main drive?

    And finally, should I place a 12gb Page File on my second Hard Drive, or should I just let windows auto manage page file on a single drive, or all drives? Since I partitioned my OS to 78gb, should then the pagefile be set to the 400gb partition and there be no pagefile on the OS' 78gb?

    I just want to make sure I get all of these nuances out of the way this time on my clean install before backing up, I think last time I caused a disk error when I switched from IDE to AHCI after windows installation, so now I'm going to just keep it at IDE and not switch it at all. It should be perfect this time if I get these nuances taken care of.

    Just incase someone has any better suggestions, here is my installation process:

    (after disconnecting all external devices including internet's ethernet cable...)
    1) Insert windows vista 64-bit installation cd, reboot, enter setup, delete all data and partitions on both drives...
    2) Format primary drive into 78gb and remaining ~400gb partitions
    3) Install windows on 78gb partition
    4) Wait patiently for it to finish...
    5) Boot into fresh windows... Insert ASUS Driver Installation CD and install all drivers...
    6) Reboot PC
    7) Connect to internet > download & install AVG + SUPERAntiSpyware + Malwarebytes + ZoneAlarm Personal Firewall
    8) Reboot PC after setting up protection
    9) Windows Update (takes forever)
    10) Install World of Warcraft, wait for updates (takes forever again)
    11) backup pc
    12) install other stuff...

    Something like that... I'm afraid of using my Acronis True Image backup of my second HDD because I worry that I'll run into the same errors that caused me to reformat in the first place... restoring could save a lot of download time but I don't know how safe that will be to do.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Banhammer in peace PeterB kalniel's Avatar
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    Re: Can viruses jump partitions?

    1) Yes.

    2) No.

    3) Second drive, or partition? If you have a second drive, and it's not too slow compared to your main one, then put the page file at the start of the second drive. Otherwise put it in your first partition of your main drive (OS partition).

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    Insomnia Robscure's Avatar
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    Re: Can viruses jump partitions?

    Quote Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
    1) Yes.

    2) No.

    3) Second drive, or partition? If you have a second drive, and it's not too slow compared to your main one, then put the page file at the start of the second drive. Otherwise put it in your first partition of your main drive (OS partition).
    Sorry I don't know what you mean by 1) yes and 2) no... Which questions are these bullets answering?

    Also, I'm doing a long format for my 400gb partition of my main drive... the 80gb on the main partition of my main drive is containing my Vista clean installation, but I believe that the windows installation disk did a "quick" format to this partition and not a long format, so I wonder if that could cause me to run into trouble later since it wasn't checked and cleaned properly as a long format would do?

    thanks

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    Re: Can viruses jump partitions?

    Virus can jump or spread anywhere, if they can jump from computer to computer over the internet through vast networks, what's a partition going to do?

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    Banhammer in peace PeterB kalniel's Avatar
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    Wink Re: Can viruses jump partitions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Robscure View Post
    Sorry I don't know what you mean by 1) yes and 2) no... Which questions are these bullets answering?

    Also, I'm doing a long format for my 400gb partition of my main drive... the 80gb on the main partition of my main drive is containing my Vista clean installation, but I believe that the windows installation disk did a "quick" format to this partition and not a long format, so I wonder if that could cause me to run into trouble later since it wasn't checked and cleaned properly as a long format would do?

    thanks
    1) #1 is answering your first question. #2 is answering your second

    2) Very unlikely to


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    Senior Member Stringent's Avatar
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    Re: Can viruses jump partitions?

    TBH fork out for a decent antivirus protection. Something like Kaspersky Internet Security for £18 off Amazon for a 1 user 1 yr license. I am sure others will suggest other products, thats the one I personally use and have never had any issues with it. Stay away from Norton and McAfee.

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    The late but legendary peterb - Onward and Upward peterb's Avatar
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    Re: Can viruses jump partitions?

    Viruses affect operating systems, however the host machine is configured. They may be stored on one particular area (which may be a separate partition, but it is the system that is infected, not the specific disk or partition. So if you download malicious code to partition B (say for data) and the OS is on partition A, the code will still affect the OS on partition A. On the other hand, downloading and executing that code on partition A will still infect the system, although partition B will probably not contain any malicious code itself.















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    Re: Can viruses jump partitions?

    Quote Originally Posted by peterb View Post
    Viruses affect operating systems, however the host machine is configured. They may be stored on one particular area (which may be a separate partition, but it is the system that is infected, not the specific disk or partition. So if you download malicious code to partition B (say for data) and the OS is on partition A, the code will still affect the OS on partition A. On the other hand, downloading and executing that code on partition A will still infect the system, although partition B will probably not contain any malicious code itself.















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    Thanks Peter, that answered my concerns regarding viruses very well.

    I assumed as much was the case but was just double checking from someone with certainty.

    Thank you everyone else as well for your responses...

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    Re: Can viruses jump partitions?

    If malware drops a malicious .lnk file on any drive, be it another partion or a USB stick, then that other drive can cause an unpatched OS to become infected. Say, for example, you back up your files to a USB stick, then reinstall Windows (but don't do a Windows Update immediately), then view the files on the USB stick, then you would be reinfected. Malicious .lnk files is one method Stuxnet used to spread. The same principle applies to an original Windows XP install & USB stick autorun worms like Conficker.

    There are also some variants of malware which will infect the recovery partition of major PC makers, so even formatting the OS drive and reinstalling from that recovery partition would not help.

    However, having said all that, most malware does only infect the one OS partition. ...unless you get his by one of those file-encrypting bits of malware which might encrypt every file on your PC regardless of drive letter.

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