Disable writing to boot drive and updates

chickie.chick

Solid State Member
Messages
18
Okay, so I'm cleaning up and optimizing a computer for a friend, and I know I can disable writing to the boot drive to prevent boot sector viruses, and I know how to do it. I know if she wants to upgrade her OS she will have to change the setting back (or call me and I will). However, never having done it before, what I don't know is if she will also have to call me to install simple updates from Windows to her existing OS.
Pardon the simplicity of a simple geeklet.
 

Raffaz

Golden Master
Messages
6,798
Can you explain how you disable the boot drive? Your wording might be wrong so im just wanting some clarification before i answer this.
 

borat_sagdiyev

Golden Master
Messages
8,986
well that would be impossible, since like any settings you change have to get saved, and they wouldnt be able to be saved with a locked hard drive. and like nothing would be able to run basically
 

chickie.chick

Solid State Member
Messages
18
Okay then. Please interpret this for me. In my CompTIA A+ Guide to Software (fourth edition) by Jean Andrews (p.566), just in case anyone's a stickler with credits.
In CMOS setup, disable the ability to write to the boot sector of the hard drive. This alone can keep boot viruses at bay. However, befor you upgrade your OS, such as when you upgrade Windows XP to Windows Vista, be sure to enable writing to the boot sector, which the OS setup will want to do.
What does she mean then?
And this, what does the author refer to? Scroll slightly up to read:
In the past, setting the computer to boot first from the C: (hard) drive and then the A: (floppy) drive, or never to boot from the A: drive at all, was a reasonable precaution against boot sector viruses. This is no longer the case, as viruses are now more dangerous and spread in more ways.

You can configure some CMOS setups to prevent writing to the boot sector of the hard drive. This may be of some use against boot sector viruses. However, if you need to reinstall or upgrade the operating system, you will have to change the setting back to make the MBR writable again.
 

Raffaz

Golden Master
Messages
6,798
TBH i think your worrying to much, as long as your running upto date AV software regulary then you should be fine. Ive never disabled writing to the boot sector and ive never had a boot sector virus.

I dont think she will have any problems installing updates for software with boot sector writing disabled, but if you do have problems then its a 2 minute job to enable it again.

fdisk /mbr is normaly useful to kill boot sector viruses. However, I have to say that despite what you read in the A+ books these are rare these days.
 
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