Windows XP - PCLinuxOS Dual Boot Saves the Day

I always make it a point to set up my workhorse PC or laptop as a Windows - Linux dual boot system. And I do this mainly for two reasons.

First, is economics. I love to try out various Linux distros, usually whatever holds the number one spot at Distrowatch, so I keep an extra partition to install whatever distro catches my fancy. By having a dual boot, I don't have to keep an extra computer to install Linux on.

Second, is for security. While I guess there are Linux viruses out there, I have yet to experience a serious attack from them. Most of my past headaches were caused by Windows-based viruses. And when they did, at least I had an immediate fall-back as I can easily access my Windows files from the Linux OS.

That's exactly what happened a couple of hours ago.

The deadline for the submission of grades is fast approaching, and it's understandable that I'm going at full speed with my checking and recording. Unfortunately, it is during these times that I also have this uncanny attraction to Murphy's Law. And this time, the law manifested in the form of a virus.

Now, I still have to find out what virus it was, but it really started messing up with my Excel spreadsheet. Whenever I filled a cell with data, they transformed into some cryptic text after a few seconds.

I didn't have time to do a virus scan. A quick look at the main directory via the command prompt showing a hidden autorun.inf containing suspicious entries confirmed that there was one lurking around. Sure, I was able to remove the autorun.inf file, but who knows what other files contained them. To continue working on my spreadsheet ASAP, I simply restarted the system, booted up on PCLinuxOS, and completed my work there.

Yes, yes. I know PCLinuxOS no longer holds the number one spot at Distrowatch. I aim to replace it with Ubuntu during the semestral break. And yes, you can read about that Windows XP - Ubuntu dual boot installation here when I'm through.


Nafees said...

Hey dude. I know how you feel. I also use pclinuxos and windows dual boot and its saved me on multiple occasions. Also it doesn´t really matter what distro is at No.1 at distro watch. What really matters is what distro suits you. Anyway, in my personal experience, every other distro I´ve used has only disappointed me or frustrated me. But thats just me. So don´t be swayed by popularity or rankings. Go ahead and check out the reviews first and then try it to see if it suits you. Ubuntu is on top because it is heavily marketed and therefore gets more hits on their website and pclinuxos has not released its next version yet because of some unforeseen problems(Tex´s house getting hit by a hurricane). Distro watch bases their ranking on how many web hits a distro gets not on how good they actually are. Therefore I would recommend that you try all the top distros to see which one you think is best not just whatever is on top. By the way you should also try opensuse. Its pretty good,although pclos is still my favourite distro cause it suits my needs best.

johnV said...

Yes, you've got a point there, dude. Actually, I tried openSuse before. I think that was version 10. I found it too heavy on the resources. The best GUI I've ever encountered though. I just might try it out after Ubuntu, especially since openSuse's on its way up. oops! yep, i'm referring to its rankings at Distrowatch. At any rate, you're tip was very enlightening.

Zale said...

If you like PCLOS, you might try Mandriva. PCLOS is based off Mandriva, but I think the recent release of Mandriva has surpassed PCLOS's ease of use. Ubuntu is great too. I actually use Ubuntu the most. But Mandriva may be a bit more user friendly and if you are used to PCLOS, you are used to Mandriva.

johnV said...

Ah, Mandriva. Now that's one distro that I haven't tried yet. Might put that in my short list after I've tried the new Ubuntu

Rick said...

I was wondering... If the work is so important and you could do it in PCLOS without worrying, why didn't you just start and end the work on PCLOS? Seems to me you were taking a risk by using Windows.

johnV said...

Inertia. a lot of us either won't budge, find it difficult to budge, or if we ever budge at all, not all the way. Do I make sense?