quar·an·tine (kwôrn-tn, kwr-): "A period of 40 days" (www.dictionary.com)

Hello everyone!

Bright and chirpy this morning...except my OS just crashed for the 3rd time in one month! Seems I am infected...bad sectors on harddisk...need replacement...the nightmare goes on...

there's gotta b a solution...is partitioning an answer? ok, b4 that, here's the situation:

Seems everytime i go on to the Internet i carry back with me a memorabelia in the form of a trojan/virus/worm...unsolicited visitors galore CNN cud have a cover story on attacks on my pc!...I was hoping if there's a way whereby all files/cookies/downloads etc etc related to my Internet travels are stored absolutely separately & isolated from the rest of the system i.e. OS, important data...

In other words, if a malicious piece of code was to infact creep on to my pc, all related malicious activities such as infections, bad sectors, corruption, etc would be restricted to only the part of the harddrive on which my Internet related files are stored...

there's gotta be a way...i don't trust anti-virus softwares unless someone can recommend a fool-proof, guaranteed no virus program (if such a thing exists)

would be glad to provide more clarity/granularity incase i have not been able to express my thoughts above clearly...would greatly appreciate suggestions...

thank you in advance!

P.S. Could partitioning the HDD be a possible solution?...I am not quite sure how it all works with this but i was hoping for one small (1 GB) partition for everything online and the rest for my OS & personal data.

Or do i now need to buy a new pc altogether for all my Internet related activities?!? Can you freakin' believe it!?

Surviving the Digital Age...HAPPY EVOLUTION!
Who is Participating?
abobwConnect With a Mentor Commented:
A fairly effective, and cheap, way to prevent a lot of damage: don't log in with local adminstrator privileges.  Additionally, you might want to restrict everyone from being able to change the contents of the OS folders using the NTFS and permissions appropriately.  You'll have to change permissions when you want to patch the OS, but that's trivial.

You have a built-in firewall in XP.  Turn it on!  Use it!

Keep the OS, Outlook, and IE patched.  Run Windows Update periodically.

Installation and maintenance of anti-virus software, whether it be McAfee, Norton, whatever.  Just stay current on definition files/updates.

Install and run spyware removal, e.g. AdAware.

Finally: don't open attachments in e-mail unless you have independently verified that they are benign.

You don't have to spend a lot of cash on this - $50 or less for the AV software.  That, and a little bit of setup and cautious use, will save a lot of grief.

Good luck.

Partitioning would not be helpful by itself to protect against a virus attack. Partitioning would be useful for example for seperating your data from your programs, so if you did have to reload your OS you know all your data is on a seperate partition.....

Remember there is nothing mystical about a virus it is just a hostile program. If you want to know if the virus can do something then consider what evils you can command the computer to do and a hostile person can command the computer to do the same thing through a so called virus.

Depening what OS you are using you may be able to have password protected folders. If the virus does not get hold of your password the the files are generally safe.

Backing up to CD-ROM is safe. Becuase it is impossible for you to overwrite a CD, it is impossible for a virus also.

If you are getting bad setors on your hard disk it sounds like it is time to do regular backs and start saving for a new hard disk (unless the hard disk is still under warranty)

wirefree101Author Commented:
Greatly appreciated!

As recommended, would partitioning, and thus separating, the OS from personal data render the data untouchable?...In other words, can viruses traverse from one partition to another?

wud appreciate ur inputs!

P.S. I am running XP Home Ed.
The Lifecycle Approach to Managing Security Policy

Managing application connectivity and security policies can be achieved more effectively when following a framework that automates repeatable processes and ensures that the right activities are performed in the right order.

yea virii can replicate to one partition to another, hell they can even scan networks for new computers to infect,
some can even be memory resisent and not even exist on your HDD
on a personal level i would recommend NORMAN VIRUS CONTROL + NORMAN INTERNET CONTROL + ADAWARE

find norman on www.norman.com
u can download 30 day eval.
yes all antivirus arent fool proof but i beleieve this is what the military are using,

virii cant make bad secotrs on a hard disk, your IDE controller may be on its way out on the motherboard?
this is my advice which probably means nothing,
but I would NEVER have a pc live on the internet without two things:
1. Zone Alarm personal firewall.
2. Norton Antivirus.

the market is full or products, but the point I'm making is you MUST have a firewall & Antivirus product running
on your machine 24/7.

otherwise get used to seeing what you're seeing.
Soon, the viiri may enter your fridge too !!

--smile-- once the computer problems are fixed, you can move on to other problems in life...
Q> As recommended, would partitioning, and thus separating, the OS from personal data render the data untouchable?...In other words, can viruses traverse from one partition to another?

The point I was trying to make before is becuase you the computer operator can traverse partitions then a virus equally COULD traverse partitions. So partitioning offers no guarntees. In fact there are known viruses that specifically search all local partitions and network drives. ( One famous one ruins all JPG files.) Who knows what will be written tomorrow.

If you are getting bad sectors then statisically the cause will be 1. The Hard Disk then  2. The Hard Disk Cable or Controller.(though unlikley to be limited to some sectors)

In addition to Firewall and Virus Detection software having automatic OS updates will repair many known security holes. (Many viruses go striaght through firewalls via known security holes and can bypass a non up to date Virus detector)

If you have a Microsoft OS then the automatic update site is http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com/
No comment has been added to this question in more than 21 days, so it is now classified as abandoned..
I will leave the following recommendation for this question in the Cleanup topic area:
Accept: abobw{http:#10844560}

Any objections should be posted here in the next 4 days. After that time, the question will be closed.

EE Cleanup Volunteer
Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.