Windows 7 Explanation of the the boot menu


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When I turn on the power to my laptop and hit F12, it takes me to the boot menu. I am able to successfully select the device I want to boot to. I understand how all that works.

My question is, if there was a virus on the a Windows 7 install on the "Internal HDD", if I shut down the computer, insert a USB with a Windows 7 image, start up the computer and hit F12 and go to the boot menu, and I select to boot from the imaging USB and choose to install the image over the "Internal HDD' which continues the infected Windows 7 install, is there ANY chance of that Windows virus infecting the USB?

My understanding is that the Windows on the internal HDD would be 100% dormant and couldn't infect the USB since it isn't booted to.
 
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muckshifter

I'm not weird, I'm a limited edition.
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... is there ANY chance of that Windows virus infecting the USB?
Yes! there is a small chance, but it strongly relies on the "nastie" itself.

I recommend further reading, here - here and here

I'd also recommend, for the individual home user, to go ask for help over at Bleeping Computers, these people are exceptionally good at eradicating nastes off your system. :)


:user:
 
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One more thing to add, if the hard drive is encrypted (using McAfee EEPC in this case), then would it still be possible the Windows install could infect the USB if I boot straight to the USB?

My thinking is that it couldn't infect the USB, since the hard drive would only appear as a RAW disk at the boot menu, and booting to the imaging USB would cause the computer to never pass through the encyrption.
 
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EvanDavis

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One more thing to add, if the hard drive is encrypted (using McAfee EEPC in this case), then would it still be possible the Windows install could infect the USB if I boot straight to the USB?

If the virus was designed to do that, then yes it will.
 
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