hey its jackson i am hoping to install linux on my old desktop tonight but first i want to make sure its safe. nearly all of the files on the desktop have been infected by a trojan virus and i want to make sure it dosen't spread to linux once i have it installed. should I nuke the harddrive? or just not worry about it. thanks also once i ubuntu is downloaded and burnt to the disc can i boot to disc without any operating system what so ever. thanks :)
Viruses written for windows will not effect linux. It is possible for linux to be affected by malicious code, but there are very few examples of it "in the wild".
Anyway, when you install linux, you will need to format your hard drive. Any data on the partitions you format will be lost, so if there are important files on there, back them up.
thanks so it other words i would be safe just booting from disc without using DBAN because i just finished burning the iso to the disc
Yes, it should be safe enough, but it won't hurt anything should you choose to wipe the hard drive either if you'd feel more secure by doing so.
Originally Posted by greenjackson
If there are files you want to save, then boot a linex live cd/dvd, temporarily install a good antivirus scanner such as AVG (commercial w/ free version) or F-Prot (commercial with full trial version), mount your Windows hard drive under Linux, and scan the files you are interested in saving, using the most aggressive heuristic scan settings the product supports. Copy those files that you want to save which are not infected to a thumb drive. Then, install linux and copy the files from your thumb drive to your new system.
"is linux safe" is an unanswerable question. If a user is determined enough, they can contaminate any install, regardless of the operating system. I will say that linux is much more secure, which is due both to it's obscurity in the malware world(it doesn't pay to write malicious code for such a rarely seen OS) and the properly(in most distros) applied system of a super users.
Often, Windows refugees find that the hassle of learning a new OS is more trouble than the hassle of disinfecting Windows. I only tell you this in hopes that if you decide to use linux, you come to it with the proper mindset. It's not Windows, which is great for security, but bad for everything you know about computers. Be willing to learn about a new OS and you'll have a great chance to see if linux is for you.