How are XP Users Doing since Apr 8th 2014

Discussion in 'Windows XP General Discussion' started by Scoop, Jul 2, 2014.

  1. Scoop

    Scoop

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    Hi all.

    With the 3-month time approaching since MS discontinued support, I was wondering how everyone's PC's were doing with regards to general security issues.

    I have one Win XP PC that a family member's using without issues thus far. This PC is continuously connected to the 'net and is running a mainline AV product with Malwarebytes Pro.

    The user is a light user, usually accessing the 'net 2-3 times a week for relatively small periods of time. Their browser is IE8 with Office 2003 (with Outlook).

    I'm curious about this since there are many posts around the 'net that forecast a lot of "doom" scenarios for XP PC users, malware, botnets, keyloggers, etc.
     
    Scoop, Jul 2, 2014
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  2. Scoop

    Elizabeth23

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    My pc is ok, except that I do not use IE8 except for one website that will not work on Firefox which is my default browser. I use Firefox because it is now more secure than IE8.

    I run 360 Internet Security by Quiho and Malwarebytes free.

    Knock on wood so far so good, I am connected and on 24/7 :)
     
    Elizabeth23, Jul 3, 2014
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  3. Scoop

    Jojo

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    Basically the same for me. Also use Firefox, except when a site refuses to accept it. Using eM Client for email.

    If you are using XP on a stand alone machine, I will urge you to turn off all the networking services and the Update. As well as making your machine faster, it also closes a lot of openings for malware to get in.

    If I may can I also suggest they avoid M$ products, especially any security, firewalls but also, IE and Outlook.

    If possible, Office. Open Office is, in my opinion, a better product and given M$ attitudes so far, trusting them not to 'make a mistake' might be silly.

    The forecasts of doom came from M$, who naturally, want users to buy their latest product.
     
    Jojo, Jul 3, 2014
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  4. Scoop

    Scoop

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    Elizabeth

    Thanks for the info. Firefox is installed on Mom's PC but I'm one of those "shortcut keyboard" geeks so I've stayed with IE even though I know the earlier versions are less secure than Firefox.

    Firefox ported over a lot of the default MS/IE browser keyBd shortcuts but there's one that they didn't duplicate, which I use many times daily in IE.

    I have Firefox installed on my own Win 7 PC but as a backup browser and also as a tool to eliminate IE as a possible issue with particular sites.


    Jojo

    Thanks for the info. I'm not familiar with XP since I haven't used it on my own PC's since 2010 but I google'd up a little info related to your suggestions about disabling Updates and networking services.

    Are the following the correct steps regarding disabling Updates?


    1.Click Start, Settings, and Control Panel.

    2.Open System

    3.Click the Automatic Updates tab.

    4.Check or Uncheck the option for Keep my computer up to date.

    5.If you are enabling this feature by checking this box, select one of the three settings
    on how you want to be notified for updates. We would recommend you select the second
    option, Download the updates automatically and notify me when they are ready to be
    installed.

    6.Click Apply and Ok.



    Networking Services, I found this info:


    How to Access Your Microsoft Services:

    1. Click Start.

    2. Click Settings.

    3. Select Control Panel.

    4. Double click Administrative Tools.

    5. Double click Services.

    6. Scroll down, and highlight the service you want to adjust.

    7. Right-click on it, and choose Properties.

    8. Click the stop button.

    9. Select Disable or Manual in the Startup Type scroll bar.


    Are you recommending to disable all of the Services that appear on the list?



    Misc info on my Mom's XP PC:

    I check her PC every morning to see if all's looking ok. I usually take a peak at "Process Explorer" and run a quick "Netstat -b" script to look at what's connected in TCP, just to look for something that appears abnormal.

    I also check the CPU usage (Task Manager) at a "Desktop Idle" state, to see if anything's using an abnormally high amount of usage.

    So far, all's ok but I did notice,. earlier this week, a yellow "update" shield appeared in her System Tray. The update was waiting to be installed but didn't display any specific info when I clicked on the shield.

    I wasn't concerned since I have multiple backups of my Mom's PC (full-HDD Images stored elsewhere as well as a cloned HDD).

    However, the shield reminded me of the old days where malware would appear in the Sys Tray as one of those "official-looking" MS update shields.

    I was going to shut down the PC and install the cloned HDD to eliminate that Sys Tray pending update (or malware) but the PC automatically installed the update during the PC shutdown sequence.

    After it installed, I booted up and all looked ok. I checked the Update list in Control Panel and it appears that this was a legit Firefox update but I'm not as familiar with XP so I didn't dig deeper for additional update info.

    Mom's PC appears to be working ok a few days after that update so I'm almost certain that all's ok.

    It not, I'll install the cloned HDD or restore from several Image choices. I ran an Image after the last MS updates on Apr 8, just in case it's needed later.

    I've done some preliminary checking into "Open Office" and that's a good idea to pursue. If it allows *.PST imports, I might set that up on Mom's PC soon.

    I have Linux Mint in my own PC's bootable media tool kit and have booted up with it on my Win 7 PC but haven't spent much time getting familiar with it yet.

    That's a possibility for Mom's PC.

    The main downside to the various alternatives with Mom's PC is that I'd have to re-train her with those alternatives. She's not PC-savvy and she also is an infrequent PC user so I'll have to weigh the considerations, training issues vs security concerns.

    Over the last few years, I've gotten familiar with cloning and Imaging and since BIOS/firmware malicious intrusions are rare, recovery from nearly all malicious intrusions are usually fast if one is backing up the HDD regularly.

    The one issue that's more if a concern for me with Mom, is identity theft. However, she rarely does any transactions on the XP PC (no banking transactions, and rare CC purchases).

    I monitor her CC's and her Bank acct at home on my Win 7 PC to catch any fraud items that way.

    Bottom line, is that I'm taking a "show me" approach regarding the XP expiration issue as it relates to potential threat possibilities.

    I agree about the over-emphasized "doom" predictions. There is definitely an increased risk factor with XP after Apr 8th. That's something anyone should acknowledge.

    However, this is my take on this, but it seems that the naysayers are plentiful around the 'net when I've tried to discuss this topic at other forums. That can act as an impediment when attempting to obtain specific answers to questions as the discussions will invariably turn into "What are you doing still running XP", or "Your PC is probably already compromised."

    That said, I'll have to see how it goes. If Mom's PC gets hit with the usual browser hijacks/popup's/ransomeware sceen malware items, I'd have to look into the alternatives.

    I'll be looking at the frequency of potential future malicious intrusions and then make a decision on how to proceed.

    I'm not concerned about, say, 1 or 2 incidences in a year's time, as long as those intrusions are confined to the HDD as nearly all infectious items will be in that category.

    The PC is a "fossil" :), circa 2006 HP Slimline PC so in the rare chance that the BIOS or MoBo gets compromised, it would be time to get Mom a new PC.
     
    Scoop, Jul 12, 2014
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  5. Scoop

    Jojo

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    No, Don't do that!

    My machine runs XP with SP3. It has Cable Net connection. I use it for gaming, online and off, graphics, videos, music, letters and docs, drawing. It is stand alone, that is, though I share the net connection my computer doesn't share any files, other than over the net.

    I read through the BlackViper site and a others, then carefully researched each service in turn, so I was absolutrely sure of what I was doing.

    This link opens an .jpg image of the services I have altered with brief descriptions of what they are.

    http://i60.tinypic.com/4l6k2u.jpg

    Look at it and if your machine is similar to mine then you can make the changes I have.

    The result will be a much faster machine, A much safer machine, since many open ports will be closed and a more efficient machine, tailored to the needs of a stand alone user.

    Many of the services titles are misleading.
    Browsers doesn't refer to any browser you will use.
    Messenger doesn't refer to any windows messengering program.
    Updates refers to M$ updates. Since this is now obsolete, turn it off. Updates for your other programs are unaffected.

    But remember, be careful. Check each one before you move to the next. A few of those services are critical.
     
    Jojo, Jul 14, 2014
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  6. Scoop

    Jody Thornton

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    Hi Folks:

    I'm a refugee of the MSFN forums. Let's just say I was tiring of the club mentality and culture over there, so I hope to strike up some enjoyable conversation about Windows over here. :)

    I was using Windows XP x64 Edtion until February. I've switched to Vista x64 Ultimate since. But I really miss XP's performance.

    I am curious if any of you are using the POS Ready 2009 updates to patch your XP systems on x86? My mom still runs XP on her Lenovo DuoCore box, and she's happy, but she doesn't receive updates. I have her switched over to Pale Moon for more secure browsing (at least I hope it's more secure.)

    Cheers,
    Jody
    :)
     
    Jody Thornton, Jul 15, 2014
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  7. Scoop

    Elizabeth23

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    @Jody Thornton, Hi, I use WSUS offline to update my pc when I do a reinstall, I have not heard of POS Ready 2009. :)
     
    Elizabeth23, Jul 15, 2014
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  8. Scoop

    Jojo

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    My experience is post XP OSs are not any more secure than XP.

    Taking sensible precautions such as turning off unnecessary services, getting decent browser and Email, plus a good anti-virus and software firewall, if you don't have a router is enough.

    I've heard of POS and similar, which apparently come with a promise from M$ to support until whenever.

    Not entirely sure what it is, but from the little I know it looks a bit too good to be true.

    I'm wary of M$. XP is working fine for now.
     
    Jojo, Jul 15, 2014
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  9. Scoop

    Jody Thornton

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    POS Ready 2009 is nothing to be weary about :). It's a point of sale machine OS that shares the same codebase as Windows XP. With a simple registry hack, you can fool Windows Update that you are actually running POS Ready 2009, and it will supply new updates and fixes that are compatible with Windows XP. So you would have update support until 2019.

    It's definitely not too good to be true at this point. My concern is that one day, something incompatible may come down the pipe and damage an XP installation, but there is nothing founding that concern.

    @Elizabeth: I was just seeing who might be already using this method of updates. I know how to use search engines (but thank you.)

    Cheers,
    Jody
     
    Jody Thornton, Jul 16, 2014
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  10. Scoop

    Jody Thornton

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    Hi Elizabeth. It appears that I cannot yet edit posts here, so I should apologize to you. I did not realize that your search engine suggestion was part of your signature. So I humbly ask your forgiveness, if I sounded snide (not my intention, mind you)

    Cheers,
    Jody

    :)
     
    Jody Thornton, Jul 16, 2014
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  11. Scoop

    Elizabeth23

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    Jody, not a problem, :)
     
    Elizabeth23, Jul 16, 2014
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  12. Scoop

    Aunty Jack

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    Hello Scoop,
    I went down that road of installing Vista Starter then Vista Home Basic. Too many update problems. Back to dear old XP. Run Google Chrome as browser, VLC for video/music, Immunet 3 (free) anti-virus, Malwarebytes. Wise Disk Cleaner and Wise Registry Cleaner and also Jetclean from Bluesprig and a very old Auslogics Defrag. Try Harddrive Power Wash (it's free and excellent). All XP updates worked and XP simply flies. (3Ghz P4 and 1Mb RAM). Disabled some services not needed, plenty of good tutorials around. XP now runs in about 200Mb RAM or a little less. (using RamRush to check RAM usage). So far, as at 25 August 2014 XP is still my preferred OS. The "800 pound gorilla AMD 64 bit 8Gb RAM" is the PC my wife uses whilst I use a ten year old Dell Optiplex GX270 heavily modified for extra CPU cooling. I will use XP until M$ does a "backdoor job" and kills it which I hope never happens>

    Cheers, Aunty Jack.
     
    Aunty Jack, Aug 25, 2014
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  13. Scoop

    Elizabeth23

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    @Aunty Jack, registry cleaners are not recommended unless you know exactly what you are removing. Using a registry cleaner could render your pc inoperable.

    Courtesy of PA Bear:

    TIP: If you ever again think your Registry needs to be cleaned, repaired, boosted, tuned-up, cured, tweaked, fixed, maximized, "swept" or optimised (it doesn't), read

    http://chris.pirillo.com/are-registry-cleaners-safe-to-use/

    and/or

    http://www.edbott.com/weblog/2005/04/why-i-dont-use-registry-cleaners/

    then draw your own conclusions. Also see

    http://blogs.technet.com/markrussin.../02/registry-junk-a-windows-fact-of-life.aspx

    ==
     
    Elizabeth23, Aug 25, 2014
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  14. Scoop

    Scoop

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    Thanks, will consider your points.

    Agree though, with Elizabeth23 about Registry cleaners. I know that CClearner is popular but I don't use that tool on my own (Win 7x64) PC's. It's not loaded on my Mom's XP PC either.

    I know CCleaner has more uses, cleaning temp/cookie files, etc. I do that with something else on my PC's.

    Mom's Win XP PC going ok at the 4+ month mark.
     
    Scoop, Aug 25, 2014
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