This is for a computer that has many different people plug in their pen drives into, for taking printouts. As a result, the computer is always infected with all kinds of Windows viruses.

Once the partitions of the system are deleted and Windows XP (yes, they still use XP) is re-installed, I wanted to suggest they use a Linux dual boot. But the procedure would be: Boot into Ubuntu, plug in the pen drive, copy relevant files to hard disk, reboot computer, log into Windows, open file and take a printout.

These people are not very knowledgeable about computers, and they have many customers, so the loss in time in switching between OS'es is too much. Their updated antivirus fails to detect most viruses.

I was wondering if instead, there is any way to run Windows XP, and have an Oracle virtual box in it which has Ubuntu installed in it, and when the pen drive is inserted, it gets mounted in the Ubuntu inside the virtual box instead of Windows, and hence prevents Windows from getting infected?

If not, then any other solution that could keep Windows from getting infected?

ps: They have a very old system with 2GB RAM, and they are not financially well off, so upgrading isn't an option.

EDIT: The answers in "how to safely access USB" does not answer my question. The question is about connecting a pen drive directly to a virtual OS and bypassing the hosy OS.

  • Not a duplicate. Please see the edit. Alternatively, would it be possible to have a live XP CD with Acrobat Reader and Microsoft office pre-installed in it? That would solve the problem of the computer getting infected, I guess... – Nav Sep 10 '17 at 16:04

Assuming you do not use true passthrough (where the USB PCI hardware is exposed directly to the guest operating system, allowing the guest to modify the option ROMs, which execute on the host), it should be safe. Do be aware that virtual machines have a nasty history of not being particularly difficult to escape from, so advanced malware utilizing unknown flaws in the program may very well be able escape to the host.

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