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Ever since I learned that I could simply put any distro live cd and copy every single file in a HD I have been sort of worried, is there any way that disable it in windows? I know that in linux one can "Set a password for grub, so one can't modify boot entry" and that I could set an encryption as well.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

in windows I believe you can not. Alternative is if you encrypt (bitlocker or similiar) But encrypting does not stop livecd booting, but the livecd will not be able to access your partition/hd. TrueCrypt is a nice open source project that has pre-boot authentication and full disk encryption.

Though from bios you can disable the dvd/cdrom from being used to boot from, and then you can put a password on your bios.

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Thanks. As it turns out, my BIOS supports a password, which is great, even though a potential attacker could remove it and disable the password, it's obvious a lot of extra work (and time) than simply pressing F8 and live booting. So this was a great idea, albeit not perfect. – ShizukaSM Mar 31 '13 at 15:04
Anyone that wants to get onto your computer will eventually get on, everything can be broken given time esp if they have physical access. Basically you put up another wall for an attacker to break (Bios pwd, HD Encryption etc... will stop most in their tracks) – Logman Mar 31 '13 at 15:14

If your BIOS supports it, you can disable booting from CD/DVD and/or USB. That will prevent most people from being able to boot a LiveCD. Also, enabling a BIOS password would help prevent them from changing those settings. However, this is not a fail-proof method, as BIOS passwords can be circumvented by removing the battery for a period of time, or be shorting certain jumpers on the motherboard.

In addition to that, if someone has access to boot off a liveCD, they have physical access to your PC. They can open up the computer and boot off a different disk hard disk. Or they can just take your hard drive.

Encrypting the hard drive is the best protection against someone reading your data. Bitlocker, TrueCrypt, or other encryption software would be the best choice. I believe all the popular disk encryption methods have been cracked, however it takes a massive amount of computing power to do so, therefore its not something I would worry about.

If you are worried about having your important data stolen, remember the easiest way for someone to steal it is when you are using your computer. Remember, when you are logged in, the encrypted drive is available. Keyloggers, trojans, backdoors, etc are able to access your data. This is when your computer is most vulnerable to outside attackers when the disk is encrypted.

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Thanks, your answer was very complete, I would +1 you know, but I can't (you need to have 15 rep to upvote), as soon as I get it I will come back here and upvote it. – ShizukaSM Mar 31 '13 at 15:05

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