I have a DoD CentOS install on a CD, so even if the code in RAM is infected, a reboot eliminates the malware. But I am not a UNIX guy and would prefer to work with Windows.

I had an old vs of Windows on a CD that did the trick (but lost it). Is there a variant of Windows that I could install and then make read-only? I assume the swap file would need to be on a read-write drive.

  • If the only problem were the pagefile, you could just turn paging off (and add real RAM instead). See how long your windows survives when you take aways write access to %windir% from all (including SYSTEM). You'd have to take special casre for registry hives, event logs, ... – Hagen von Eitzen Aug 16 '13 at 12:42
  • By say read only what do you mean ? To not let anyone install anything, to not allow any program to write on disk ?, to not allow changes to the system by installing programs ? – Aristos Aug 16 '13 at 12:44

Microsoft offered a program called Windows SteadyState. SteadyState was discontinued, but they did publish a TechNet Article on how to implement some of the same features.

There are also commercial applications, such as Deep Freeze.

You could also run Windows in a virtual machine, and use snapshots to roll back to a known good state.

  • For Vista an later using a virtual install and rolling that back to startup time when you want to start whit a clean state is the easiest approach. Alternatively you can use a real machine with a product like Acronis TrueImage. Takes about 10 minutes on a modern machine to restore a full Win7 back to the startup state.. That's probably faster than trying to boot a Windows "LiveCD". – Tonny Aug 16 '13 at 13:25
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    Windows Embedded supports read only using a File-Based Write Filter for similar functionality. msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/… – Brian Aug 18 '13 at 5:28

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