Over the Thanksgiving week the in-laws were visiting and they both brought their computers for me to take a look at. Both where running Windows XP and had contracted all kinds of maleware. I hate this kind of stuff with a passion. Every time I get one of these machines to work on I just want to format it and throw Linux on it. The average user who really only uses the internet and does trival other small office tasks would benifit greatly from the stability of an operating system like Ubuntu or Fedora.
Of course, the biggest stopper is always something along the line of, “Will my XYZ software still work on Linux?” It’s then that I realize why Microsoft will continue to hold it’s user base… people sometimes are comfortable using what they know and don’t want to switch to something else. I totally understand that but it saddens my heart to know the work spent cleaning one of these computers is only a temporary fix. The machine will undoubtly get infected again and so the cycle continues.
After thinking on this for a couple days an idea popped into my head. Moving forward, any computer that is brought to me like this I will still disinfect like I have been doing; however, I am also going to set it up to duel boot Linux. This idea serves two purposes. They can get used to Linux and maybe in the future be ready to make the switch to using it full time, or at least for 95 percent of what they use their computer for. The second is they will have a bootable OS that I can have them load up that will allow me to remote in and clean up their system without having to fight all of the stupid maleware that keeps injecting itself on next boot and the like.
Linux Applications for Cleaning Up Windows