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Absolute virus protection etc.
  [vote for,

A real nerd could probably implement this idea already in Linux or Windows, so this idea is for the rest of us.

Design an operating system so it is easy to separate data into "fixed", "mainly fixed" and "dynamic". "Fixed" would be programs and would be burned on storage media like a DVD. The user can still update the DVD, but it takes a specific effort. No virus could destroy a DVD that is plugged into a read-only drive. The DVD would include an INI file that tells the software where to look for more information. "Mainly fixed" would be things like user settings that change sometimes, but not too often. Writing of the medium could be enabled by a simpler action, like flipping a switch. "Dynamic" would be data files that change often and would be stored on a hard drive.

By separating the files it would also be easier for the user to decide what files to back-up. Want to be able to restore the whole system from scratch? Duplicate each medium. Just want to protect the data? Copy the hard drive.

Again, all this may already be possible, but where are the utilities that allow the average user to do the set up and maintenance?

kbecker, May 24 2004

Knoppix http://www.knoppix.org/
A full OS on a CD [reap, Oct 21 2004]

Halfbakery: isolate OS for upgrades http://www.halfbake...OS_20for_20upgrades
Differently motivated call for similar Windows disk segregation [jutta, Oct 21 2004]


       I suggested once a service that would do this, essentially. You request the software and operating system you'd like ... your system is scanned and printed to a CD with state-of-the-design fixes. All this would be done online and the archived OS disk arrives shortly by mail.   

       Everyone in your address book is allowed to update their file before printing. All your licenses are refreshed, time and date stamped, and verified with you prior to printing.
dpsyplc, May 24 2004

       both knoppix [link] and lindows cd [before it's extinction] were a bootable cd-rom which had all of the executables and system files on cd, with your data being stored to either hard disk (if you wanted to mount them) or to a usb drive. Not only did it allow the seperation of files, but with the usb drive option, you could take your entire set of data and programs with you anywhere you went.
reap, May 24 2004

       You can and always have been able to boot Macs from CD/DVD.   

       Nothing personal, but when will Windows users realise that they are using the most backward, unreliable, virus prone, ugly sack-o-shyte there is?   

       "If you live without walls or fences, who needs Windows or Gates?"
timbeau, May 25 2004

       //Nothing personal, but when will Windows users realise that they are using the most backward, unreliable, virus prone, ugly sack-o-shyte there is? //   

       Nothing personal, but when will Mac users realise that some of us have no choice and that their incessant smugness is *really* annoying?
hazel, May 25 2004

       [timbeau] The mac os is not bootable from a single cd. It still needs to be installed and then run from a hard drive. I assume that kbecker is talking about a dvd that contains the programs and operating system in order to prevent them from being corrupted.   

       Being able to boot from a cd is not something exclusive to macs. The idea is for booting of an OS from DVD.
reap, May 25 2004

       [hazel] this has nothing to do with people who know of the option but have no choice, but all the windows trolls who think anything out of Wintel is new. You clearly do not notice the Intel Centrino ads - 2 years+ old innovation pushed as if it is novel and groundbreaking. Few people outside work have 'no choice' but to use Windows.   

       Anyhow, [reap] BootCD exists to give a bootable CD (not for install) but it is cut down for obvious capacity reasons, so in a way you are right, though, as it does take BootCD further to give manageability. I wonder, though if "BootDVD" will emerge...
timbeau, May 26 2004

       If you live on Windows you can in fact create a bootable image of your current windows install and boot from that CD or DVD also, though some typical functions (adding software, etc.) obviously won't work. Good for crash recovery.   

       Just booting from a DVD or CD only means that the OS won't get a virus. That still won't stop a virus maker from putting a virus in a data file that once opened by the OS can still become active - such as an MS Word file, HTML page, etc. That just moves the problem, doesn't solve it.   

       You can also make sure you're not logged in with root or admin privs. on Unix or Windows. That does keep many viruses from writing to the OS part of the system (no permission).
dunion, May 26 2004

       Yeah, I've heard of booting from CD being common practice with Linux. You can then pretty much get away with having a small hard drive that you reformat all the time to keep the hackers at bay... good application for a large-ish flash drive. A boot DVD would be nice if you could then load all your other programs there as well. It basically turns your computer into a read-only machine - impenetrable by malware as long as you don't re-burn the DVD with material from your hard drive.
Agamemnon, Apr 04 2006


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