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I recently borrowed a disk from a guy I don't really know. It was a Windows Vista install disk (lost my old one, and needed to reformat). The disk was a copy of the original, and I was wondering how possible it would be to infect the install files with a root kit (therefore infecting any computer it is installed on).

How likely is this? Or am I just being completely paranoid?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

You are right to be concerned -- you acquired the installation disk from an unknown source.

There are some software pirates who like to modify the installation process, many quite heavily, and I've heard a few stories of some such install disks including SpyWare (such as rootkits) and viruses. The problem is that we don't really know because it's not an official source.

When it comes to computer security, it's always wise to eliminate risks whenever possible. Get a replacement installation disk that was originally created by Microsoft (I believe they will gladly ship a new one to you for a fee if you can't find a reliable source from somewhere such as a local store).

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Thanks for the reply, I'll try finding a more reputable source. – Ben Apr 21 '11 at 3:05

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