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XP Forever?

Chuck(G)

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Which is because, unfortunately, it's basically impossible to get anything done on Windows if you aren't running with administrative privileges. Moreso on Vista and up, where UAC locks things down tighter than a dirty simile if you're not running as admin, but even on XP it's more trouble than it's worth.

There are utilities to get around this issue, but they're far from perfect.
 

vwestlife

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It doesn't matter if the malware makes it into an AV database. The antivirus program won't be able to recognize it anymore if you modify it even the slightest. Now, consider how many iterations of the same code you can create just by doing simple things like changing the order of instructions or changing the encoding of instructions. Each little change is a new variation that has to go in the AV database. Now slap on some compression and/or encryption and we are up to how many combinations of that single virus?

Actually, these days most antivirus programs can detect viruses/malware even when the code has been modified. Some are better about it than others, but in general antivirus software is not as easy to trick as it used to be.

One thing I don't understand, though, is open-source antivirus software. That's like installing an alarm system in your house, and posting the wiring diagram on the door... :eek:
 

commodorejohn

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One thing I don't understand, though, is open-source antivirus software. That's like installing an alarm system in your house, and posting the wiring diagram on the door... :eek:
Yeah, I get that. On the other hand, the key reason I'm using open-source antivirus software is because I can be reasonably sure it's never going to turn into nagware and/or dominatrixware like so many commercial antivirus programs have, because it would get forked if it did.
 

vwestlife

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MSE is still very much current--I routinely get updates on my system (POSReady 2009 Registry key). It's probably the same signature data distributed for Win7 and Vista users. The July 2015 "update" (4.5) essentially disables MSE for XP, so just re-install using a 4.4x or 4.3x version.

I tried Microsoft Security Essentials 4.403 in Windows XP just to see if it still works, and indeed it does; it installed and immediately got the latest January 2016 signature updates. But then I remembered why I quickly uninstalled MSE the last time I tried it -- even when sitting idle, not doing a scan or update or anything, it ate up 250 MB of RAM and the CPU usage was jumping between 5% and 20%, causing my HP Pavilion DV5000 laptop's fan to run all the time. All that bloat for virus/malware protection which every test scores as barely adequate!

I uninstalled MSE and replaced it with Comodo Antivirus, which uses only about 4 MB of RAM when idle, and the CPU usage meter stays flat at 0%, so the laptop's fan is now back to being silent when the computer is idle. So far I'm very happy with Comodo -- you just have to remember to click the "Advanced" option during installation and uncheck the extra stuff it normally installs unless you tell it not to (GeekBuddy and Chromodo).
 

Scali

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One thing I don't understand, though, is open-source antivirus software. That's like installing an alarm system in your house, and posting the wiring diagram on the door... :eek:

I think it's similar to open source firewalls or open source encryption.
It doesn't rely on security through obscurity.
All antivirus software has to do is to detect certain patterns on disk or in memory which match a certain virus. The 'magic' isn't really in the software itself, but in the analysis of viruses found in the wild, and determining the proper heuristics for detecting them. These are then stored in the virus definition file, which you periodically update to support new viruses (the actual code is not updated often).
 

RickNel

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I suspect many if not most "security" updates in Android apps are fake. The business model for the "free" OS and apps is data-mining every user's behaviour and packaging it up for advertisers and whoever else might be willing to pay for it. Android itself is a pretty well locked down, but app upgrades are constantly trying to get users to upgrade their privileges and access to all usage behaviour. Some apps claim to "update" weekly. Ransomware masquerading as OS or App update is the extreme case - it can't get into the device unless a user consents to it.

As to Windows - I turned off XP updates after SP3 and have never had, or seen, a single problem that wasn't picked up by AV software and easily cured. Decent firewall and AV protection is far more effective than the endless grind of dubious automatic updates. But I'll let Win10 do its update thing on a pilot machine to see how that shapes up in bandwidth v. risk management.

Rick
 

Tor

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And Microsoft won't hesitate to mark a non-security patch as a "security" update if they want to force it upon you, re. those windows 10 nag messages - uninstall as much as you want, only install security updates, and they'll come back. They even scan the registry regularly to check if you removed the nag, and re-installs it. At this point MS Windows is malware itself for all practical purposes.

Lately both AVG and Trend AV companies have pushed updates to customers which laid their system more or less open for intruders. AVG companies and their software must now be considered a security risk as well. An article linked to from /. was about some researchers finding around 25 such problems just the last six months, for a number of the most well-known AVG companies.

Vintage computing.. it makes more and more sense!
 

Chuck(G)

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As to Windows - I turned off XP updates after SP3 and have never had, or seen, a single problem that wasn't picked up by AV software and easily cured. Decent firewall and AV protection is far more effective than the endless grind of dubious automatic updates. But I'll let Win10 do its update thing on a pilot machine to see how that shapes up in bandwidth v. risk management.

I found that it's generally useful to use the "unofficial SP4" ISO on a new XP installation after installing SP2. Covers a lot of nits.
 

vwestlife

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I found that it's generally useful to use the "unofficial SP4" ISO on a new XP installation after installing SP2. Covers a lot of nits.

Or use Windows Embedded POSReady 2009, the slimmed-down and updated version of XP Pro with security updates through 2019. Microsoft even helpfully provides the ISO as a free download on their site. You just need to look or ask around to get a product key for it that's not time-bombed at 120 days.

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=11196

WindowsEmbeddedPOSReady2009.jpg


p.s. MS Office will actually install on it just fine, even though you're not supposed to use "office productivity applications" on POSReady.
 

dosbox

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I've thought about maybe building a machine with XP on for running (heavily?) modded Fallout 3 and Fallout NV games, but I don't have any money to do it and I'd rather save my money for getting into vintage hardware..
 

Chuck(G)

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Just load up standard XP and apply the POSReady registry patch. Stick the following text in a file with a ".reg" extension and run the file:

Code:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\WPA\PosReady]

"Installed"=dword:00000001
 

vwestlife

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I've thought about maybe building a machine with XP on for running (heavily?) modded Fallout 3 and Fallout NV games, but I don't have any money to do it and I'd rather save my money for getting into vintage hardware..

Discarded Windows XP machines are plentiful these days. Snoop around your local e-waste dropoff point or recycling center on weekends and you're almost always guaranteed to find a few old Pentium 4 machines that people drop off for recycling. Usually there's absolutely nothing wrong with them, except maybe some malware and junk apps clogging up the hard drive.
 

Eudimorphodon

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Usually there's absolutely nothing wrong with them, except maybe some malware and junk apps clogging up the hard drive.

That's the one reason I absolutely *love* Windows. For decades now its susceptibility to malware and self-inflicted cruftiness has made it possible to get perfectly good PCs practically for free as long as you're willing to settle for being two or three years behind the bleeding edge. Just reformat and you're good to go.
 

dosbox

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Discarded Windows XP machines are plentiful these days. Snoop around your local e-waste dropoff point or recycling center on weekends and you're almost always guaranteed to find a few old Pentium 4 machines that people drop off for recycling. Usually there's absolutely nothing wrong with them, except maybe some malware and junk apps clogging up the hard drive.

I once put together a couple years a go a P4 tower, and it really isn't good for playing those two games I mentioned. It's now in the living room for my family to use, but it has really shown it's age but.... than again , it is running windows 7 x64 with only 2GB of RAM.
 

commodorejohn

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P4 is a bad example, the Netburst architecture sucked so much that the next series (Pentium M) was literally just the P3 with a DDR bus welded on, and could equal or outperform faster-clocked P4s. But these days you can get a lot of Core 2 Duo machines for next to nothing, and they still hold up quite respectably.
 
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