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By Chris De Herrera 
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Virus FAQ
By Chris De Herrera, Copyright 2001
 Version 1.00  Revised 7/17/2001

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So you just bought a Pocket PC or Windows CE device and you are concerned about viruses? The ability to catch a virus on a Windows CE device is much smaller than on a desktop PC.

Getting a Virus from a Desktop?

Since the Pocket PCs do not use the same processor as the desktops or even run the same programs, you can't run a virus program from a x86 (desktop) PC operating system.  So these existing viruses are no threat to the Pocket PC or the Handheld PC.  

Giving Virus to others?

There is one possible threat to watch out for though!  Make sure you are careful with the programs or data you copy onto flash cards if you are sharing them with other desktops.  Flash cards are just like floppies in that you can store a desktop virus there and use it with your Pocket PC or Handheld PC without a problem and give the virus to someone else!  This can also happen if you receive an e-mail with an attachment and you forward it to someone else.  In each of these cases, you can transfer a virus without even knowing it!

Outlook Viruses and Scripting

I'm sure you've heard or experienced the different viruses that have been created using scripting in Outlook such as the LoveBug virus.  Pocket Outlook on the Pocket PC and Handheld PC is significantly different than the the desktop versions since it does NOT support any scripting. So you can not use an existing script from the desktop with Pocket Outlook whether it's a virus or not.


A trojan is a program that you think is doing something good for you and it destroys some information on your device.  So far there have been no known trojans for the Pocket PC or Windows CE.   There have been conflicts between existing programs that have resulted in individuals losing data though. 

Virus Scanners

There are virus scanners for the Pocket PC from PC-cillin for the Pocket PC and McAfee Virus Scanner for the Pocket PC.  I am not sure how good it is or whether or not it will catch a virus once they appear.  It is difficult for virus scanner developers to write code for something that does not exist yet.


So far there have been no known viruses or trojans for the Pocket PC or Windows CE.  This does not mean that they can not be created! Of course any operating system which allows users to create programs introduces the possibility that users can create viruses. So make sure you create backups on a regular basis to allow you to restore in the event someone creates one and you run it.

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