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How to securely start using a heavily outdated WinXP system?


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#1 kmph

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Posted 12 June 2016 - 05:09 PM

I have an old computer with winXP that hasn't been used for years. I'd like to start using it, however, for two reasons:

 

a) To be able to play some older games (some of which are from Steam) that are incompatibile with newer Windows versions and have trouble running on Wine

B) As a fallback machine, when my other computers go out of order and I (or my family member) needs to use a computer for work.

 

To do this, I'd have to replace the broken HDD in the said computer, which would make me have to reinstall the system. The OEM CD is reeeaaaaally old, and I believe it doesn't even have the lastest Service Pack for Windows XP.

 

But I'm afraid that the second I connect such an old system to the internet (in order to download the latest Service Pack at least) I might get infected. Also, I have doubts if because of the end of support it is wise to connect to the Internet even an up-to-date WindowsXP installation.

 

Are such worries reasonable? How should I put such a system to use?



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#2 RolandJS

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Posted 12 June 2016 - 05:29 PM

Yes, absolutely!  First thing, use whatever you have available, whatever you trust, make backups of your OS and data partitions.  Next, download and install a simple 3rd party Firewall [maybe at library Google for 3rd party firewalls for XP].  Download one of any of the well-known and well-respected:  1 anti-virus program and 1 anti-malware program; or, download Emsisoft Anti-Malware, if you pay for it, you will quite well-covered for viri and malware.  Download free version SpywareBlaster [do the update once weekly].  Do not download or install any PC booster, leaner/cleaner, fixit/repair SwissArmyKnives [SAKs] -- that very likely is the fastest way to torpedo your XP.  Obviously, you're going to have to download and "sneaker-net" the above from the library onto your home computer.

 

I just remembered:  there is a very good SwissArmyKnife [SAK] combo from Malwarebytes!  Anti-Malware, Anti-Exploit, Anti-Ransomware.  This combo might have a free trial period, I don't remember.  If you buy this combo, you will not regret it.  I already have Ruiware/BillP  SAK and Emsisoft and Avira -- so I won't be buying/needing pay-for Malwarebytes.

 

If/when you need guidance on any of the above, and on other security programs, Quietman7's various posts are very thorough and easy to read, they are all through-out BC.


Edited by RolandJS, 12 June 2016 - 08:12 PM.

"Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee."  -- Ben Franklin revisited.

http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forums/45/Computer-Technologies/

Backup, backup, backup! -- Lady Fitzgerald (w7forums)

Clone or Image often! Backup... -- RockE (WSL)


#3 buddy215

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Posted 12 June 2016 - 05:47 PM

My suggestion...If the XP install CD is adequate for playing the games offline...definitely NOT online. Then install it on the new hdd.

 

Then create a dual boot with one of the lighter Linux Distros for using online when needed.

 

Trying to get Windows Service Pack 3 and later updates would be a problem. 

 

Second suggestion find some games that will work in a Linux distro with or without Wine and forget about the older games.


Edited by buddy215, 12 June 2016 - 05:47 PM.

“Every atom in your body came from a star that exploded and the atoms in your left hand probably came from a different star than your right hand. It really is the most poetic thing I know about physics...you are all stardust.”Lawrence M. Krauss
A 1792 U.S. penny, designed in part by Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, reads “Liberty Parent of Science & Industry.”

#4 kmph

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Posted 12 June 2016 - 06:17 PM

Thank you for your responses.

My suggestion...If the XP install CD is adequate for playing the games offline...definitely NOT online. Then install it on the new hdd.

I don't need internet to play. But how can I else download a game from Steam?

Then create a dual boot with one of the lighter Linux Distros for using online when needed.

Problem is Linux for some reason refuses to use the laptop's build-in Wi-Fi and even Ethernet. So what am I supposed to do if I really need a fallback machine for work?

Edited by kmph, 12 June 2016 - 06:17 PM.


#5 buddy215

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Posted 12 June 2016 - 06:47 PM

I'm not a gamer. If you can't download using another computer and then transfer to the XP machine using a flash drive or DVD or CD...

you are stuck taking a risk of going online to get new games.

 

You sure there isn't a problem with the Network card or other hardware? I've installed Linux on a 16 year old comp and have as a backup on an 11 year old comp.

As well as this computer...an 8 year old one. No problem with getting online even using as LIVE...not installed.

Try using one of the Live Puppy distros such as Slacko. How NOT to install Puppy Linux (to hard disk)

If you need more help with Linux visit BC's Linux Forum....lot's of good help there.


“Every atom in your body came from a star that exploded and the atoms in your left hand probably came from a different star than your right hand. It really is the most poetic thing I know about physics...you are all stardust.”Lawrence M. Krauss
A 1792 U.S. penny, designed in part by Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, reads “Liberty Parent of Science & Industry.”

#6 buddy215

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Posted 12 June 2016 - 07:02 PM

Are the games you want available on CD or DVD? Not necessarily from the Steam site? Like I said...I'm not a video game player.


“Every atom in your body came from a star that exploded and the atoms in your left hand probably came from a different star than your right hand. It really is the most poetic thing I know about physics...you are all stardust.”Lawrence M. Krauss
A 1792 U.S. penny, designed in part by Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, reads “Liberty Parent of Science & Industry.”




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