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Windows 7: Will disabling a physical HD protect it from viruses?

08 Mar 2014   #1
mohab

Windows 7 Professional 64 bits
 
 
Will disabling a physical HD protect it from viruses?

Currently I have my Macrium Reflect hard disk image on an external USB hard disk which slows down the restroration/image creation process a bit so I was thinking of installing a second physical hard disk into the system, where I'll put the image on then I'll disable it so it can't be accessed by viruses. I'll be able then to restore from it right away.

I'm assuming here that when I disable hardware from device manager, it's only disabled for Windows so the Macrium Reflect rescue flash drive will be able to access it.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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08 Mar 2014   #2
Golden
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ult. x64
 
 

A better solution is to install a reputable antivirus solution. What is currently installed?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Mar 2014   #3
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mohab View Post
Currently I have my Macrium Reflect hard disk image on an external USB hard disk which slows down the restroration/image creation process a bit so I was thinking of installing a second physical hard disk into the system, where I'll put the image on then I'll disable it so it can't be accessed by viruses. I'll be able then to restore from it right away.

I'm assuming here that when I disable hardware from device manager, it's only disabled for Windows so the Macrium Reflect rescue flash drive will be able to access it.
As long as a drive is physically connected to a computer, there is a chance it could be accessed by a virus, although the chances are somewhere between fat and slim. The greater danger to your scheme is something like a PSU failure, nearby lightning strike sending a voltage spike or current surge that punches through any surge/spike protection you may have, computer theft, etc. taking out your backup. It is much safer to keep your backups on external drives that are kept disconnected when not actually making a backup and are stored separately from the computer.

What I do with my system/program images is, when I make an image, I have MR put it in a folder on my main data drive in my computer. Very soon after that (usually, literally, minutes later) I backup the entire main data drive to two backup drives I keep locally (in a dresser drawer: I also have two additional backup drives that I keep in a safe deposit box at my credit union which get swapped out with the local drives at least once a month). I image my system/program drive once a week and just before making any changes to my system, such as installing a program. I backup my data (which includes the system program drive images) daily using FreeFileSync (much faster and less write intensive than imaging or cloning). While it all seems a bit redundant, having multiple backups has saved my bacon data more than once.

Having the images on the internal drive speeds up imaging and restoring. Also having copies of the images on disconnected external drives protects them from viruses, hardware failure, etc.

As far as external drive speed goes, if you have an e-SATA port on your machine (or can add one; there are PCI slot covers available that have an e-SATA port on it that connects via a cable to a SATA port on the MOBO), you can get a dock that connects to the computer via e-SATA and insert internal type bare drives into. e-SATA is much faster than USB. There are prebuilt external HDDs that also can connect via e-SATA but they are harder to find and are usually lower quality. I have both a 3.5" dock and a 2.5" dock built into my computer that I plug my backup drives into when I make backups.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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09 Mar 2014   #4
mohab

Windows 7 Professional 64 bits
 
 

Thank you Lady Fitzgerald for the detailed answer. Si there is no beating external hard disks weather usb or sata.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Mar 2014   #5
mohab

Windows 7 Professional 64 bits
 
 

Golden, I have Kaspersky internet security 2014 instaslled
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 Will disabling a physical HD protect it from viruses?




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