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Thread: Leaving Windows update turned off, just use up to date antivirus

  1. #1

    Default Leaving Windows update turned off, just use up to date antivirus

    Back in the old days, I simply installed Windows XP sp3, turned off windows updates, and I survived with no trouble at all for many years using just an up-to-date antivirus and browser. Any similar experiences? I think windows update is bloat to the OS and just fixes items for "what if" situations.

  2. #2
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    I have always turned it off.

    Now if only I could remember how to turn off that stupid security warning.

  3. #3

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    I'm using Vista on two of my main machines so it's been dead there for many years.
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    The tradeoff is that the anti-virus needs to have code to stop every exploit that OS updates would have patched. Is having a bloated slow anti-virus worth the streamlining of the OS?

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    Quote Originally Posted by krebizfan View Post
    The tradeoff is that the anti-virus needs to have code to stop every exploit that OS updates would have patched. Is having a bloated slow anti-virus worth the streamlining of the OS?
    This.
    AV will not stop someone was probeing your system. If say a hacker wants to hack your system the old school way and not use malware your system will be easy pickings.
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    Quote Originally Posted by computerdude92 View Post
    Back in the old days, I simply installed Windows XP sp3, turned off windows updates, and I survived with no trouble at all for many years using just an up-to-date antivirus and browser. Any similar experiences? I think windows update is bloat to the OS and just fixes items for "what if" situations.
    Not sure that's true. Windows Security Patches usually fix specific security vulnerabilities, many of which would not be caught by AV because they are not viruses. When I worked in a commercial environment infections usually occurred because of missing security updates, usually because some bit of software was kept downlevel because the update broke something else. Of course in such and environment the users are definitely not careful so call center staff who could use the web when not answering calls often caused most problems...
    Dave
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  7. #7

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    Remember, that mass outbreak of ransomware a few years ago wouldn't have happened if people had applied their updates. Microsoft had released a windows update patch 3 months earlier.

    Since then, I have applied all updates as they as released, and I also went back over my XP machines and spare HDs and updated them too. XP is a bit tricky though, as some updates can break the updater, and even at the best of times the updater can be a bit flaky, with its reliance on IE.

    I'd love to update my older OS's too, but all the patches have been removed from the windows update site.

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    A Windows 10 update screwed my laptop over and I had to force a reset (kept the data, lost the settings, and other apps that weren't released by Microsoft), and doing a system restore didn't work either (never worked for me very well since Vista, but, on my desktop, it always worked).
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    I think it's reasonable to disable updates as long as you don't connect the system to the Internet, and if other machines on the same network that do connect to the Internet are all getting updates and have antivirus. The idea is your system either needs to be immunized against exposure to malware (updates/antivirus), or you need to avoid being exposed to it entirely. If you aren't a big company or a government agency, malware is not going to target you explicitly. You will, however, be at risk from drive-by malware looking for targets of opportunity or systems to add to their botnets.

    Regarding system failures due to updates, you're kind of damned if you do, damned if you don't. Have backups of your systems, because you will either need them due to hardware failure, malware trashing your system, or updates trashing your system.

  10. #10
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    I leave Windows update off on our clients computers because of issues like a few weeks ago when a windows 7 update killed network shares. Every client we had was calling saying that at least two or three computers on their network wouldnt access or serve some file or another. I find it much easier at my job to just leave everything status quo, and put out the occasional "fire" at a client rather than stay proactive and on top of things. Clients like it too because their workflow rarely gets interrupted. they pay their monthly fee for hours they never use, we never have to visit them because the small issues that they DO have can be handled over remote assistance, and I get to stay seated in my office chair till 5 and collect my pay.

    Case in point. We have a client who still has a Pentium III server running Win2k Server as their web server and domain controller. workstations are all XP SP3 running the latest firefox that xp supports. Office XP and the internet are what they use. they call maybe once a month with a minor issue that we are able to either fix entireley or work around. To suggest they upgrade, well, im sure their owner would go for it. He isnt against spending money. But then I have to migrate their E-Mails, files, et cetera. Its easier for me to just say nothing and keep patching up what they have than to upgrade them.

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