Question How to have 2 installs on a laptop, that cannot "see" each other? (not dual boot)

MGediG

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I have had a hotswap bay with multi install on my desktop for the last years.

I'm about to hit the road but would like to have similar functionality in my laptop.

How can I have 2 installs, one "dirty", one "clean" and more secure for work?

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I'm guessing, -I could do a virtual machine (I have no experience with these)

or, I could do a bootable usb, but this would still be hardware connected to the main drive, so if one was dirty, it doesn't really give me that special secure feeling...

A virtual machine AND a USB drive??

Please help me, smarter geeks than me
 

Math Geek

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what OS's are you wanting to use? and more info about what you mean by "see each other" and how you wish this to work will help figure something out.

there are ways to prevent them from accessing each others data easy enough depending on what you really want to do.
 
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MGediG

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what OS's are you wanting to use? and more info about what you mean by "see each other" and how you wish this to work will help figure something out.

there are ways to prevent them from accessing each others data easy enough depending on what you really want to do.

Windows 10 Pro

aaand, maybe Linux Mint or something. I previously had 2 x Windows 10, one for gaming and some downloads, one for financial work, osx hackintosh mostly for editing, and downloads, and a linux mint for when I was more paranoid and wanted another new system for something.

I guess I try not to leave too much info online to answer that properly, but let's say I want to do some questionable actions with regards to downloads and some financial management stuff to keep away from all that.

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I'd like to be able to boot a system, have some leisure time in the eve, mess around on the internet without thinking much, and do some free education or whatever, music etc

Then boot another system for the day job I suppose you could call it, keep it crisp, cautious browsing, and no leisurely distractions

Thanks for replying


PS - because I'm a wannabe geek, but not uber computer literate, I just err on the side of caution so I vaguely know what I'm doing, but don't spend forever learning exact loopholes. So physical separation seemed to be the theoretical best fit for avoiding super hackers... I'd rather do something that I know works, and think less about, than something I don't really know how it works, and have to think more. But I guess this context isn't that anymore!
 

Math Geek

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sounds like separation is the best idea for you as well considering your post.

i'd put win 10 pro on your hard drive and enable bitlocker to fully secure the drive. this way nothing can be taken from it. this is your work and "safe" use system.

then get an external ssd and install your second os to it. you can use linux or whatever on that one. this is your "i'm probably not supposed to be doing this" system you'll boot to. but this of course is not perfect either considering you can still get any type of malware/ransonware that can still encrypt your main system drive, but at least it can't get to your data on the disk. so backing up all important data very regularly is the only way to stay safe. depending on how much data that is, will determine what back-up type to use. this way when something does go wrong (and it will if you're messing about with that type stuff) all you have to do is reinstall windows and restore your back-up data and be good again.

but the second best thing to do is get a second laptop and keep everything completely separate so the worries are not there. finally, the absolute BEST thing to do is to not do all this dangerous activity to begin with. but then you already know that....
 

MGediG

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sounds like separation is the best idea for you as well considering your post.

i'd put win 10 pro on your hard drive and enable bitlocker to fully secure the drive. this way nothing can be taken from it. this is your work and "safe" use system.

then get an external ssd and install your second os to it. you can use linux or whatever on that one. this is your "i'm probably not supposed to be doing this" system you'll boot to. but this of course is not perfect either considering you can still get any type of malware/ransonware that can still encrypt your main system drive, but at least it can't get to your data on the disk. so backing up all important data very regularly is the only way to stay safe. depending on how much data that is, will determine what back-up type to use. this way when something does go wrong (and it will if you're messing about with that type stuff) all you have to do is reinstall windows and restore your back-up data and be good again.

but the second best thing to do is get a second laptop and keep everything completely separate so the worries are not there. finally, the absolute BEST thing to do is to not do all this dangerous activity to begin with. but then you already know that....

Thanks, that sounds like a reasonable solution that can avoid paranoia to a degree. The other plus side of this one is if the separate install that isn't Windows is linux then there is also less probability for executables. The main thing is knowing there isn't much possibility of a malicious script installed and executed somehow. I don't even have much to hide or to lose, but just practicing for the day I do ;) ... wishful thinking, LOL

But yeah, I try to be a good boy... just... teens habits I guess
 

Math Geek

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learn all you can. going into risky situations blind is a sure fire way to get into big trouble. not just with malware but also with the police if you are really doing stuff you know nothing about. use that curiosity to learn about security rather than worrying about how it works :)

seems like a better way to satisfy those urges. get yourself a nice learning package and begin to explore network security rather than downloading very risky stuff that you probably don't even really need.

this knowledge would be very beneficial to you in the long term and could prove a great career in the future as you get better. i've been studying every piece of networking the last year or so. i still tinker and still deliberately infect my testing pc with all manner of nastiness. the difference is i now know a ton more about what i am doing and focus on how to mitigate the threat rather than trying to work around it. i've gotten pretty good and am getting real good with writing firewall rules to block the threats i run across. i've actually started consulting with a few companies to help with their security plans. and i'm not even that good yet!! lots and lots of money in the security world if you know what you are doing.

let that curiosity work for you and not against you while you learn about something useful. i still mess with many things like you are talking about but it is now in an effort to understand how it works and how to block it rather than simply trying to get a free program or game :) look into certified ethical hacker to begin exploring the hacking world with a purpose toward understanding it and how to fight against it.

virtual machines and virtual/cloud networking is a great way to tinker and avoid a lot of the risk, but in the end a totally separate machine is the best way to go about things. i even have my home internet separate so i can keep my main network safe from anything that might be able to spread. test environment has its own access to avoid even that risk as i know what can happen from personal experience. been there done that as they say and speak from experience about lots of trouble you can get into.

if you really want to be safe a cloud machine for working with the nasties keeps things way apart. i use digital ocean and fire up a cloud machine very often to tinker. remote desktop or just an ssh terminal for linux let's me work. once i'm done i simply destroy the machine. a cheap machine running 24/7 for a month is only $5 and runs about a nickle for a couple hours of play time!! you access it from the web so when on the road you can play all you want and keep your laptop safe. worth looking into and for a few bucks a month you stay totally safe
 

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