How best to protect Windows XP machine after end of support?
Posted on 2014-01-16
I wrote an application using VB6 back in the 1990s for my customers, who are still using it. The program is a property management system that I have not been able to replace with any new software. Nothing out there does all the things my program does, so my customers want to keep using it.
They have three machines: two in the main office and one at a satellite. The satellite does not need to be networked with the other two, but the first two do. The first two are actually Mac computers running VMWare with Windows XP. The satellite is a brand new computer that a friend of mine built with XP.
The problem is that Microsoft is going to end support of XP in April of this year and that means no more security updates, so the computers will be vulnerable. Maybe some anti-virus company will step up to the plate and offer something to protect those old Windows XP machines.
In any case, I cannot make my software compatible with Windows 7 or 8 because I used third party tools that no longer exist. A wonderful calendar control, a data bound grid and something else I can't think of right now.
So, please do not suggest that I update the app, as this is not possible. The third-party tools would have to be re-written. So, I am looking for a way to keep these computers safe. My thoughts are as follows:
Make some kind of an image of the entire C: drive onto the additional E: drive. With that, in case of disaster, I can go back to that point in time. Of course, that means I would lose everything I did since that time.
So, I will also perform daily backups of documents and data files. When a disaster occurs, I plan to restore the full system backup and then apply the updated data files.
After I set it up, I will take a snapshot. Then, after my clients put all their stuff on it, I will take another snapshot. I would probably do this quarterly and make sure the backups are working by testing restores monthly.
So... here is my question:
What software should I use? I used to use Ghost, but I have no idea if it still exists or whether it is a good product. Windows has "system restore points" and I will use those, too, in case a problem is not catastrophic, but I don't want to rely on just that.
Can anyone suggest tools and methods to use to implement my plan?