Does partitioning contains virus to a particular partition?

By abhinav2104 ·
I would like to know if partitioning of a hard disk limits the spread of a virus to that particular partition only?

Eg- Suppose the hard disk is partitioned into 3 parts, namely C(OS),D,E. and a virus infects partition C, then will partitions D and E be also infected? (Assuming that the antivirus software cannot remove the virus and you will have to format the partition C)

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It all depends on the operating system ....

by OldER Mycroft In reply to Does partitioning contain ...

Any operating system that has a Registry, will then have registry files for most of the programs that are mounted on other partitions.

Running a program from partition will still involve using registry files from partition C:, so NO! - the partitioning won't prevent the 'spread' of a virus.

Also, if you decided to reformat the C: partition, you would lose any functionality of programs installed on other partitions, due to the fact that the reformat would destroy ALL the registry files, even the ones for the other partitioned programs.

However, all of the above is pointless for discussion if the viral infection starts on one of the other partitions. There is no guarantee that the virus can only infect the C: partition - it infects the hard drive, not a particular partition.

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C is system partition? Bummer...

by kenrwoodson In reply to Does partitioning contain ...

What Old Mycroft says is correct.
If the virus is on the boot partition, then that is the systems functionality.

Partitions won't matter, since the registry connects to any active partitioned volumes on the disk. Depends on virus behavior also.

If you aren't sure, run anti-virus software on all partitions.
If the problem persists, then reformat C.
Also, if you have some programs on any partition that are your fav, you can back them up before formatting C, but they may be infected also.

Therefore, it's a good idea to have any of your fav programs on another media (backup) not being used by the system in case this issue occurs again.

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Depends very much on what the Infection is

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Does partitioning contain ...

If it attacks data and the data isn't on the C Partition then it will attack whichever partition the Data is on. If it attacks the OS then it will be confined to the OS Partition which in this case is the C Partition as you have asked.

If you have different OS's on different Partitions and the Primary partition gets infected as it carries the Base Files for the other OS's if the infection affect these other OS's they can be infected or if they are not affected by this infection they can become carriers of the infection and pass it on to any computers that this unit has contact with.

There is no hard & Fast correct answer here as it all depends on what you get hit with as different infections are designed to do different things. The days are long gone of a simple infection wiping the C Partition or attacking just 1 partition. Infections now are targeted at different items and they are smart enough to Hunt them down on any machine that they land on. In other words they go looking for what they where designed to attack.

So while it is not 100% Accurate it is far safer to say that No Partitioning a HDD will not limit the spread of Infections but with some virus it may.

Also these days just performing a Format of a HDD or partition is no guarantee of deleting that infection many are designed to live through a Format and reinfect the system when it is reloaded. For this type of infection you need to use a utility that writes zeros to every sector of the HDD to completely overwrite all of the data. But that just is for now it may be possible to design an infection that could survive this but as yet that hasn't happened that I know of at least.


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