I have a dual boot setup with Windows 7 and Windows 8. In Windows 7 I have Antivirus / Internet security Software from Symantec. Is it enough if I scan the Windows 8 partition lets say once a week or do I need as well Antivirus software for Windows 8?

Follow up question: First thank you all for your quick answers! I will install an Antivirus on Windows 8 but bofore I do, I would like to know if it is best to install the same as I have on Windows 7 or is it better to have a different one?

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    No, you need at least three! ;-p – Macke Apr 12 '13 at 14:02
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    Nothing to do with your question, but can I ask why you dual boot 7 and 8? They're so similar that I wonder if you could make do with just one, and then use the other in a virtual machine. – crdx Apr 12 '13 at 18:30
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    @crdx I had Windows 7 on the computer already and installed Windows 8 to try it out (free license from the university). I plan to either discard Win 8 if I don't like it or switch from Win 7 to Win 8 if I am done evaluating. – valerie Apr 15 '13 at 6:20

Need is a strong term, but I recommend one AV program for each running OS.

If you do not do that, consider the following:

  • You boot windows 7. It is clean. It also scans the windows 8 partitions, which turn out clean.
  • You boot windows 8, click on a wrong link in a forwarded mail or otherwise get infected.
  • Until you reboot and rescan from win 7 the win 8 side keeps infected, doing whatever it wants. (e.g. it can delete all documents on all partitions, or encrypt then as randomware).
  • also, if you install the same AV twice, just install it into the same directory, you will have one copy running on both (or more) OSses :) - just make sure both OSses are the same architecture (x64/x86) – user144773 Apr 12 '13 at 10:01
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    @GamErix - That sounds like a HORRIBLE idea. – Ramhound Apr 12 '13 at 11:33
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    especially where many AVs have deeper hooks in the OS. I'd downvote that suggestion if someone posted that as an answer. – Journeyman Geek Apr 12 '13 at 14:55

If you use internet and e-mail on Windows 8, I would recommend you install an Antivirus software.

Anti virus software scans in real time (that is why your computer is slowed down) files you access. So you are well protected. If you scan the Windows 8 partition only once a week it can already be to late, a trojan horse or other malware could have already infected your system and spied out personal information.

Be aware: Antivirus software does not give you 100% security (nothing can), be aware of the sites you visit and the e-mails / attachments you open.

Answer to the follow up: If you perform regular scans of the entire hard disk from both partitions (Windows 7 and Windows 8), it is better to have two different ones as they will recognize different viruses. Usually Antivirus software know more or less the same viruses but the mechanisms of recognizing unknown malicious programs is quiet different from AV to AV.


Remember, the AV is supposed to stop virus's getting onto your machine. If you only scan the OS once a week then you'd only pick up the virus when it's on (when infected)! Considering many AV's are free, get two and install it on both!

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    Hopefully needless clarification: But get two and install one on each. Not two on the same OS. – Hennes Apr 12 '13 at 9:43
  • Thank you Hennes, good point. Further, you may or may not be able to use 1 copy on both OS depending on licenses agreements (but that is off topic). – Dave Apr 12 '13 at 9:45

It's not enough, as once the unprotected system gets infected, it might be difficult to clean it safely.

Anyway, Windows 8 comes with a free antivirus enabled by default, and Windows 7 as an option to enable the free Microsoft antivirus from this page.

  • Microsoft Security Essentials is extremely ineffective in actually detecting malware, as proven numerous times by AV test labs. Do not rely on it! – Stefan Seidel Apr 12 '13 at 9:35
  • @StefanSeidel Totally agree, there are much more effective free AVs from the likes of Avast, Avira & AVG – Simon Apr 12 '13 at 10:13
  • Avira is better? It detects explorer.exe and windows.ui.immersive.dll on a clean Windows 8 install as a trojan!! Also the OP was wondering to being without any AV - bad AV at least is better than nothing – Magnetic_dud Apr 15 '13 at 13:00

You should install different antivirus on on each operating system, as for deep scan the antivirus scans boot image and all files that are not accessible if you just scan the drive of other OS it does not even show you the infection on that OS.

So, Please you must install different AV on each OS.

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