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Questions about hidden partitions, usb and AV scans.


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#1
Lu7

Lu7

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Hello,

I am new and not sure where to post this topic. I have some questions about PC drive partitions, removable devices and AV scanning. The Security forum looks like its just virus removal help so I came here.


1 Can malware infect hidden partitions or hidden Recovery partitions (such as a Dell laptop restore partition by Symantec)?

2 When scanning with most AV software (or at least the ones in the recommended list) do they scan these
hidden partitions?

3 If home computers with Windows (WXP, Vista or W7) share a wired router to the Internet, but are not setup in the Windows My network Places or visible to each other, can malware spread between them?

4 If Autoplay in Windows is turned off for all drives and you connect a removable device (USB thumb drive, USB external HD, CD/DVD), can malware move to the PC on its own before you open any folders? Or can you scan the device and remove threats before they get on your PC?

5 I see that the instructions for some online AV scanners say that you may have to turn off your installed AV so that there are no problems with the scan (such as AVG and Eset online scan). Does that mean just disable the AV resident Shield? Is it only some programs that wont work together online scanner?
Makes me nervous to turn it off, what do they mean problems? Not detecting threats well? False positives? Crashes?

Thank you.
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#2
Neil Jones

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1) Yes.
2) Depends how it's been hidden. If Windows can see it, so can any other program.
3) Yes.
4) In theory yes. If the machine itself is infected, a lot of them now attach themselves to files on removable media (pen drives and so on) so can spread that way.
5) Real-time protection would need to be off for these applications, however many of them now will re-enable after so many minutes.
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#3
Lu7

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OK, thanks for the reply. More stuff to worry about :)
I am not sure what part of question 4 (Autoplay disabled) your answer is for. I guess I should not have had a double question.
Is the part of your answer of "In Theory yes" in reference to the question part that asks "can you scan the device and remove threats before they get on your PC?” ?

If this is correct, then it would seem that if I want to AV scan a spare hard drive not currently in the PC, then it would be best to plug it in as external USB drive and scan it (with Autoplay disabled) before installing it inside the PC.

Thanks again.
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