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Windows 7: Can OS partition access a dual boot partition if encrypted w/Bitlocker

29 Aug 2012   #1

Windows XP 32 bit
Can OS partition access a dual boot partition if encrypted w/Bitlocker

I'm a long-time reader but new poster. I am currently running Windows 7. I want to install Windows XP onto another disc and have a dual-boot setup. I keep Windows 7 up to date and secure, but for the XP partition, I would rather not have antivirus running or even installed, in order to limit background processes. I will not be logging into any place or making any credit card purchases when booted into Windows XP. It will just be used for surfing, games, etc. Further, if and when XP becomes compromised or buggy, I will simply overwrite the partition with a backup image.

If I use Bitlocker to lock down the Windows 7 partition (with the encryption key on a thumb drive) and boot into Windows XP, am I correct in thinking the XP installation see or can't access the Windows 7 partition? If XP gets compromised, can a virus access or write to the Windows 7 partition?

Is there any other reason why this would not be secure? Can a virus write to the BIOS?

Thanks to anyone who can help.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Sep 2012   #2

Windows XP 32 bit

Please, any response would be greatly appreciated.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Sep 2012   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ult. x64 Windows 8.1 x64


Unfortunately, nothing is immune - there is malware that will spread across partitions, and even partions hosting different OS'es - it depends entirely on the malware. As far as I know, there is 'proof of concept' malware that can infect BIOS'es, but I'm not sure how common that is in the wild.

My advice is to install appropriate antivirus./malware software on the XP partition as well - try MSE, its free, light-weight and effective.

Microsoft Security Essentials - Free Antivirus for Windows

My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Sep 2012   #4
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1

Just keep in mind a virus doesn't have to understand your system or the encryption. It just has to enter. Sit back on the side line and wait for it's turn. It could be waiting in your bios or any thing that is plugged into your computer. Without a anti virus on the XP system used on line you will get infected. Why take the chance. MSE would be my choice also. The people who create virus are evil but very clever.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Sep 2012   #5

Windows XP 32 bit

Thanks Golden and Layback Bear for the responses.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Can OS partition access a dual boot partition if encrypted w/Bitlocker

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