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a different kind of security


i am brand new to all this unix/linux stuff and i will be the first to admit that i do not understand one bit of it. I am a carpenter by trade (currently laid off) so this is a different field for me. my question to you as a programmer/developer is the following: Is it possible to run a linux os from a cd/dvd on a windows xp or later based pc and use that linux os to basically scan and fix problems with the windows based computer? i guess kind of like running windows in safe mode. if i had a bunch of viruses or whatever on a windows based pc and i wanted to go through and clean it up, could i do that through a linux os? how would i? what version of linux would best be suited for it? i'm curious about this because i have been trying to help a friend out for the past 2 weeks with his computers. he's got about 15 pc's that were running windows xp sp1. they are now upgraded to sp3 but most of them have serious issues with viruses and such. i want to be able to run the computer and try to figure out what is going on with it so it will be somewhat secure for him. i do appreciate your consideration, time, and responses.


  • marc
    marc Posts: 647
    Sure you can do that: with a LiveCD.

    What is a LiveCD? Basically is a Linux operatings system running from your cd/dvd drive without the need of a hard disk. It will be obviously slower than having it installed on a hard drive although it works exactly as if it was.

    From there, you can access your hard drives/usb-sticks/whatever you want and even run antivirus software on them(Avast seems to be a popular one).

    I'm no expert at cleaning viruses so I can't recommend you any linux distribution but you can have a look on google to help you out ;)


    PS: You can contact me if you need more detailed help ;)
  • rj98942
    rj98942 Posts: 11
    i just discovered a live dvd of Zorin 2.0 and i'm really liking it. i'm playing around with it on my acer aspire 5315 laptop that normally runs windows vista home basic. now my question is, on a live dvd, could i also load a couple anti virus programs on that dvd so it goes with me from one computer to the next and be able to access it without screwing up Zorin or any other distribution i like?
  • mfillpot
    mfillpot Posts: 2,177
    A DVD is a read-only medium, can cannot install any files onto it that will be retained when you go to another system.

    It sounds like instead of using a standard Linux based live-dvd you should look into using the ultimate Boot CD (http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/), which has hard drive testing utilities, anti-virus scanners and more that you can use to repair system for a live cd.
  • woboyle
    woboyle Posts: 501
    You can install many linux distributions on a USB thumb drive and can boot that to scan for viruses and fix Windows systems. I do that all the time as a professional software engineer and consultant. I even gave a paper on the subject to an IEEE consultant's network meeting last year, demonstrating how to create and boot Linux from a thumb drive and then scan for and fix Windows problems.
  • nanodiamond
    You may wish to check out Lucid Puppy 5.0.1 (see http://www.puppylinux.com/download/ for download) -- it is capable of the options you allude to in your thread, and more. It is perhaps easier than other LiveCDs (only 129Megs) to use as you desire. It is also a great intro to Linux! puppy_linux_2.jpeg


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