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Still safe, still no viruses on XP - am I just lucky?

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11 replies to this topic

#1 Sheilasnuts


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Posted 19 December 2017 - 10:17 AM

Hi all
I am still currently on XP.  I hate change!  But I'm having problems with my OS and I think rather than re-install XP, it's finally time for me to jump to 7/10.  Apart from joining the modern era, I also want to make use of more than 4GB RAM....  Anyhow, putting all that aside for the moment...
Up until now I have never had any viruses or internet related problems that I'm aware of with my PC.  I run Panda AV Free, but I do not have any software firewall installed.  Even when XP WAS still supported, I NEVER ran any of the MS updates, so I must be WELL out of date as I built my PC in 2008!  I am on SP3.  I use Chrome as my browser, and I use the internet a lot.
So - have I just been lucky or is there more to it?  From what I've read, the fact that I use XP alone should have me riddled with viruses, etc.  Add to this that I've not run updates since 2008...  and...  well...  So I'd be interested to hear people's thoughts.
Many thanks

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#2 JohnC_21


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Posted 19 December 2017 - 11:13 AM

You've been lucky but then again 90% of infections is caused by the person behind the keyboard. XP 's security hole is so big you could drive a truck through it. If you plan on keeping XP then update it.


You can also do a registry hack that makes the computer look like a POSready computer. This would give you security updates till 2019. You need to do a google search on this hack. I can't provide the instructions. I have done this on an old XP computer I have without issues but lately XP takes forever to look for updates so I turned off automatic updates and do POSready updates through the Microsoft Update Catalog.


Depending on how much RAM and the CPU you could put a light linux distro on the computer and not worry about malware. It would depend on if you need any mission critical windows programs. If all you do is browse the internet and email then linux would be the way to go.

Edited by JohnC_21, 19 December 2017 - 11:43 AM.

#3 Eyesee


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Posted 19 December 2017 - 12:35 PM

Google chrome has stopped supporting XP and Vista since April 2016.

The only web browser that still supports XP is Mozilla FireFox

End of XP support for FireFox is scheduled for June 2018

End of support for Panda and XP was January 2017


If you are still using an XP system online that has never been updated you take your chances and have been lucky.

In the beginning there was the command line.

#4 alvaro0114


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Posted 03 January 2018 - 10:01 AM

I have been using xp and nothing unusual although i try to limit searching the web safely no online gaming or anything

#5 RosyBear


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Posted 31 January 2018 - 12:29 AM

Hi mate, I'm on Xp as well! I learned a lot about registry entries and how to deal with problems when my system was running on Windows 98, and just this helped a lot. I never had any antivirus program 'cause they always cause a lot of problems and slow down the system. I've been lucky enough till August 24, 2016, when a nasty ransomware came to destroy both me and my PC. After this, I had to surrender and now Malwarebytes and Hitman constantly watch over. At least, they're effective and discreet enough.

But still no virus!

#6 DavidLMO


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Posted 31 January 2018 - 01:24 AM

If you are not click happy -- that is what is Key.  I have 15 YO Gateway using XP.  Only problem ever was my click happy 13 YO daughter got a real nasty ! 13 years ago.  Nothing since.  It is my back up machine.  Main machine now is win 7 pro box.

#7 Havachat


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Posted 31 January 2018 - 01:59 AM

Much in the same boat ,have a XP32 Bit connected to Plasma TV { Prior Main Pc @ 2012 } now just some Net / Movies / Music Vids { Run Caddy Racks }.

Gave up on Updates 2013 and only had SVC Pk 2 , still the same.

Avast Antivirus early version { Def Updated } always blocked 95%.


Im behind the wheel so no issues there , and an Image { C:\ Drive } Windows only, at hand externally if ever needed ...10min Done:

Edited by Havachat, 31 January 2018 - 02:00 AM.

#8 hamluis



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Posted 31 January 2018 - 07:12 AM

I find that the adage about the user...being the greatest vulnerability re malware...holds true.


I have no issues with my XP install and haven't had any since XP stopped being the primary focus of all those demented persons who develop malware.  I believe that's the key item to realize.  There is no more reason to target XP today...than there is to target Win 98, Win 95, Win 2000, Win 3.1.


That said...there is no reason to use an unsupported O/S today...with limited access to websites...and without basic AV support...and expect to have a good day on your system.


So...yes, you have been lucky...because circumstances have changed sufficiently so that XP is not a primary target.  But the fact that browser support and AV support have/will disappear...makes using XP a gamble...and you would be wise to prepare for the possibility of losing that gamble, along with the inconveniences of using XP in 2018.



Edited by hamluis, 31 January 2018 - 07:18 AM.

#9 Sampei_Nihira


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Posted 08 February 2018 - 02:55 PM

To be able to use Windows XP safely today, you need a lot of preparation.

It is possible to take some ideas from my security setup:


Windows XP Home (My PC)
Windows Firewall
Remote Desktop Off
Google DNS
PsExec for (Limited Rights) protected by MBAE.
DEP Always ON
Trick POSReady 2009
Black Viper's List
No NET Installed
No Java
No Flash I.E.8
Added TLS 1.1 and 1.2 Support to I.E.8.
SMB Protocol Disabled
MBAE Premium
Firefox ESR - Custom Setting About:Config
U.B.O. - Nocoin Filter List + CoinBlocker List + AaK list
Canvas Defender
No Resource URI Leak

#10 r.a.d.


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Posted 08 February 2018 - 03:20 PM

My 3 computers were XP's, one kept at SP2 which were never compromised. 
Avast free, Malwarebytes free, Windows firewall, SpywareBlaster... that's about it.
Java entirely removed, and also (mentioned in above response) many services.msc entries set to manual or disabled as per Black Viper's (and the Eldergeek's)  sites that took some time researching dependencies for each. Some were for security reasons.
With newer operating systems, the experts here recommend against fiddling with those services now. However, such things speeded up cold boot/shut down times as well as closing some vulnerabilities. 
And yeah, sometimes I'd get careless yet catch no bugs, either because fate smiled upon a fool or for the above. Also used Firefox, but kept that at an older version with some changes made in about:config.

Add:also used Erunt (registry backup) in case of an infection which sometimes compromise System Restore points, though never had to try it for that.

Yet another edit: forgot to mention using XP long after MS support ended. Last one died about 1 and a half years ago from hardware failure as did the other two the previous year.

Edited by r.a.d., 08 February 2018 - 03:35 PM.

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#11 Sheilasnuts

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 03:57 PM

Hi all


Thanks for all the further thoughts.  My XP HDD has conked out (well documented elsewhere on the forum) and this has forced my hand and the change to Win7 Pro.  I guess it had to happen at some point.  And being king procrastinator I think I'll look back on the failure as a good thing.  Just waiting for the virtual dust to settle first :)


It's good to hear all of this in the meantime.  I did run A/V and always kept it up to date.  But like I said, I installed an nLited XP SP3 back in 2008 and never installed another update from there.  I never had a SW firewall.  I never disabled JS or anything like that.  I didn't visit torrent sites, but did visit the odd dodgy site every now and then ( ahem).  On reflection of that and what some people have said, I do think savvy use and not being click happy had a massive part to play.  How much was luck?  I'm still not certain! 



#12 OldPhil



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Posted 09 February 2018 - 07:04 PM

You can easily and very cheaply move to 7, all versions available for not much over $25 10 would be a leap of faith!  You will need a 64 bit OS to use more than 4g's ram.

Edited by OldPhil, 09 February 2018 - 07:05 PM.

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