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Upgrade Netbook from XP

Posted on 2014-03-14
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Last Modified: 2014-05-23
I have a Toshiba NB305-N310 netbook running XP Home which, while certainly not a screamer, serves several useful functions for me, including for travel and as a cheap work station at home from where I can remotely operate my main desktop system from one floor of the house to the other to check e-mail, do quick online research, etc.  I don't currently have the resources to replace this with a new device such as a tablet or smartphones (which would be "times 2" for both my wife and I).  With the end of XP support, I will be very sadly forced to abandon this device unless I can upgrade it to another OS and I don't find that XP is eligible for any upgrade version of later releases through MS.

The netbook hardware (2GB RAM, 1.66 GHz Atom CPU) would allow me to do a clean install of Win 7 32-bit Home Premium and run with somewhat slower performance and I am willing to do that but it has to be economical.  Most of what I find online for Win 7 Home Premium are OEM versions and I've found conflicting information (some of it old) about whether the resulting install would be considered legitimate:

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/bott/oem-licensing-confusion-starts-at-microsoft-com/535
http://winsupersite.com/windows-7/no-oem-you-windows-7-oem-packaging-not-individuals
http://www.pcworld.com/article/257599/windows_license_questions_your_faqs_answered.html

I have found an online vendor who offers what they call a "retail" downloadable version (no media) of Win 7 Home Premium at an attractive price.  However, I'm concerned about whether this will indeed be a legitimate copy and reviews and other research of the vendor give me doubts.  One could approach this by accepting that the device is more-or-less useless once XP support ceases and attempt the Win 7 "retail" (download) install and, if it doesn't work out (doesn't install properly or the version isn't genuine), just take the somewhat small loss of the cost of the download.

As an aside (venting here), it truly bugs me that MS leaves users in a bind like this.  Their terms of use of the OEM software seem way too restrictive (why should they care whether I install this version of Windows on a machine for sale to others or for my own use? -- I am paying for it after all and upgrading a product of theirs I already owned) and there seems to be no other upgrade path directly through them.

The other possible solution that has occurred to me is to install a non-MS OS -- the obvious one being Linux -- but I have no experience with anything other than Windows and don't have the time to deal with it.  I also have concerns with security running something other than a Windows-based system that receives regular updates.

Any advice about the above or options I haven't considered on my own would be very helpful.

Thanks very much.
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Question by:Conmari
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by:Frosty555
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Regarding the licensing - you are an end-user. If you want to upgrade your OS and license it legitimately you need to purchase a retail copy of Windows, not an OEM copy.

OEM copies are for system builder who are building a new PC for the purposes of SELLING it to somebody else. The licenses are cheaper, but have restrictions:

    - The license lives and dies with the hardware it is affixed to
    - The license can only be used by a system builder, not by the end-user for their own personal computer

Why does Microsoft do this? Long story short - because they can. They are a for-profit company with a huge influence on the market and they are looking to make money, and keep their industry thriving. They set their prices and their licensing restrictions accordingly depending on who the customer is - the end-user, a corporation looking for volume licenses, or an OEM who is building and selling computers.

I wouldn't trust the online downloads that you found - they are almost certainly a scam. Microsoft sets their price. There's no company out there who magically gets it for 80% less than everyone else. And a retail license is supposed to come with the media, product key, and box, with appropriate proof of authenticity markings and stickers. If the price is way too good to be true, it probably is and you're going to end up paying for a pirated copy of Windows. Read more here:  http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/howtotell/default.aspx
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by:Bing CISM / CISSP
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ID: 39930828
basically you just want to keep using the exisitng netbook and try to upgrade the OS to W7. right?

> The netbook hardware (2GB RAM, 1.66 GHz Atom CPU) ... Win 7 32-bit Home Premium and run with somewhat slower performance.

your netbook's spec looks OK for W7 if the computer has a fast enough hard disk which is not mentioned by you. W7 does not need too much resource that XP, it is much better than Vista.

W7 OEM versions are not theoretically legal for a used computer to upgrade. they are for new computerd only.

as you already have a genuine copy of XP installed, MS should offer a discounted retail version for you either from online store or retail shops.
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by:CompProbSolv
ID: 39930829
Something to add to "Why does Microsoft do this?".  The support is different between the different versions.  The OEM is responsible for support on the OEM versions; Microsoft is responsible on the retail versions.  That is a significant cost difference to Microsoft.
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by:Frosty555
ID: 39930832
Also if you are interested in knowing about how and when you can use OEM licenses, you should read Microsoft's OEM System Builder Licensing Guide:

http://oem.microsoft.com/public/worldwide/licensing/microsoft_oem_system_builder_licensing_guide_v2_012111.pdf

Specifically the part that says:

Do-It-Yourself Home Hobbyist

There is a growing market for Do-it-Yourself Home Hobbyists who assemble PCs from components for their own use. Microsoft FPP full version software licenses are the appropriate licenses for this market. OEM System Builder software is not intended for this use unless the PC that is assembled is being sold to another party.

So... can you buy an OEM license e.g. from Newegg.com? Yes. Can you affix it to your computer and activate it? Yes. Will it work? Yes. Will Microsoft give you a hard time about it? Probably not. Is it properly licensed? No.
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by:Merete
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ID: 39930837
Conmari I can fully commiserate with your task, I had a laptop that I used to travel around with very handy.The Laptop died unfortunately just from old age.
The real problem here as I see it is not necessarily upgrading xp but rather the life of the current computer hardware.
Even if you were able to upgrade how much longer would the motherboard / capacitors last, the cpu the psu.
Taking into account age this can also contribute to a problem upgrading XP to Window 7.
Windows 7 from my own experience is very simple to use and the change from xp was not that difficult at all. W7 professional would be the version I reccommend.
But I would install that on a new HDD never been used.
Then you'd need to look at the current psu and cpu does this system have the power to run the Aero
As for safety W7 and IE 11 is far more secure than in XP.
All in all the best securty is the owners activity as there nothing worse than an experienced web user no security device can stop you the user from clicking install or clicking open. With the right antivirus up to date anything we open or try to install it should immediately flag virus.
My thoughts on buying a digital download W7 to save money is a definate No NO.
Never buy an OS setup with out a disc.
You need that disc to fix windows.
The end of XP support isnt a big problem as far as I concerned if your computer safe practises and keep your anti virus up to date.
Teh main areas of concerns is that your browser will be unable to function and run the newer html5.
You may have noticed that already MS has started to blocks on such as IE 11 cannot be installed on XP. But it doesnt matter as there is the excellent Chrome much safer than IE. There is also Firefox.
Tons of open source tools and media players.
So it depends on what you want to do in the internet would determin your internet experience.
You can continue for a quite a long time to use yoru current xp and in the meanwhile start saving for two Del Laptops or my preferred Acer.
These days they come pretty cheap and fully installed.
You just need to shop around.
Hope I have helped ease your concerns for now.
Regards Merete
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Michael-Best earned 100 total points
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The cost of buying a Win. 7 tablet should be about the same as Win. 7 OS.

XP support ends but XP will remain usable for some time ( with ??? internet security risk )

Check that your netbook is ready for Windows 7.
Download the free Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor.

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/downloads/upgrade-advisor

I suggest that you look for reduced priced Win. 7 tablets rather than upgrading from XP.
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by:Darr247
ID: 39930854
I recommend either Ubuntu or CentOS.
Both of those links are to the 32-bit versions.
That version (12.04 LTS) of Ubuntu will be supported into 2017.
That version (6.5) of CentOS will be supported into the year 2020.
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by:willcomp
ID: 39930869
XP will not quit working and I'd just leave well enough alone. Ensure you have adequate malware protection and be careful on the internet. The registered version of MalwareBytes is highly recommended.
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by:Darr247
ID: 39930997
The monthly Malicious Software Removal Tool updates will be 'missing' the week after XP support ends.
I'm not certain about the daily Security Essentials definition updates, but I assume those will end immediately for XP.
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by:BillDL
ID: 39931008
Hi Conmari

To put all the "XP is dead" hype into context, willcomp has touched on the issue.  The main concerns have been whether malware writers have been deliberately holding back until there are no new Windows updates for XP, and they can then unleash a plethora of attacks on previously unknown and unpatched security holes in XP.  The supposition is that, because some of the base elements used in XP have been carried forward into Windows 7, then malware creators will have had the chance to experiment with unpatched holes in security and keep quiet about them in the meantime.  Microsoft would try to mitigate damage in Windows 7 by releasing patches to address new "zero day" malware, but XP wouldn't be patched and would be left exposed.

That is the fear in a nutshell.  Unfortunately there is no meaningful historical precedent through which security experts can examine malware release activity on the lead-up to an operating system "end of support" to assess whether there was a drop in previously unknown virus releases shortly before the event.  They can only guess what evil plans malware writers may have swirling around in their filthy brains and what they might have up their sleeves.

To be honest, I think it is all being exaggerated, but I'm not an expert.  The same warnings about all kinds of dire consequences facing users was force-fed to us when support for Windows 98 and 2000 ended.  I carried on using both operating systems for several years after their respective D-Days without acquiring any malware, but things have changed a lot in terms of the type of the "quality" of viruses now being released.  back then uniquely new viruses were only once in a blue moon, with most of the "new" ones just being variants of old ones and using fairly similar tactics.

In my opinion fully updated Windows 98se was actually more secure than Windows Vista or XP when they were released, but the current issue is not one of "which is the most secure at the moment", it is "which one will be left exposed to brand new viruses that adopt uniquely different tactics".

Think about it for a moment, though.  A "Zero day" virus is launched.  Unless somebody has warned Microsoft, only after it is in the wild and has affected an unknown number of computers will they write a patch and AntiVirus developers will try to write new definitions for their products.  The words "barn door", "horse", "bolted", and "after", come to mind.  There are still infected computers out there, whether they are XP, 7, or 8.  Of course, once Microsoft examines how and why the barn door was left open, and creates a patch to lock it for that virus and variants that use the same infiltration methods, the patches will secure Windows 7 and 8 from future invasions.  Microsoft Security Essentials and other AntiVirus products will still be updated (MSE for another year apparently - read the blurb) with definitions to detect that particular virus on XP computers and removal may be possible but, as is immediately apparent from reading any malware help forum, Windows 7 is still vulnerable even with Anti-malware protection in place, and removal usually involves running several different anti-malware utilities to get rid of deeply rooted viruses.

I would equate the risks to walking on a dark road at night without a hi-viz vest vs wearing one.  A sensible person will safeguard himself against being hit by a car by being aware of the risks, by listening and watching for vehicle activity, and by being prepared to step onto the verge.

Security starts at the router/modem.  If configured properly, that can prevent some common attacks.  All Wi-Fi enabled devices should be configured for minimum external visibility and maximum internal security.

Mitigate the risks of malformed PDF files, etc, being run in such a way as to bypass normal browser security by setting certain file types to always prompt for a save or Open option rather than automatically opening within the browser window via a plugin.

Disable all scripting and fancy features in Adobe Acrobat Reader, Windows Media Player, etc.

Set the default action of VBS, BAT, CMD, etc files to open in Edit mode in Notepad rather than just running.

Uninstall the Java Runtime completely, or at least only enable it when it is required for a specific task.

Disable AutoRun and AutoPlay for all removable devices.

Ensure that Adobe Flash Player is always kept up to date for as long as it supports Windows XP.

Consider using alternative applications for common tasks rather than outdated Microsoft applications that have passed their sell-by date and will not be patched.  Often malware uses vulnerabilities in installed Windows components and Microsoft applications, and takes advantage of the manner in which they open malformed files.  If you installed VLC Player and set it as your default media player for all file types, it would probably mitigate some kinds of malware, as would installing OpenOffice or LibreOffice instead of leaving Office 2002 or 2003 on the computer to handle "office" file types.  I've tried other non-Adobe PDF readers, but didn't really like them, however others may be less prone to common vulnerabilities present in Adobe Reader.

Internet Explorer 8, the last one you can upgrade XP to, will not receive any new security patches either, so I would suggest that you start using Firefox (my preference), Opera, or even Google Chrome and set it as the default.  Install one of the ad-blocking plugins and go through all the security settings and those for the plugins and extensions to see if they are causing any insecurities.

Disable Facebook add-on applications and configure Facebook for security.

Set all applications so that they don't automatically fetch or send any data out over the Internet, otherwise that leaves open ports that can be found and used maliciously.

Create a "limited" user profile to use for online activities and don't share folders with sensitive data.  Windows XP automatically sets up the first and subsequent user accounts with admin rights.  The Home version doesn't come with the means to set file and folder permissions on the right-click menu, but I tested a tweak that shows this option and I will give details if you need.

There are loads of security measures you can add, or should I say potentially vulnerable functions you can disable, and one of these should be disabling all non-essential Windows Services and Services created by third-party software that aren't needed.

Disable "Remote Assistance" in and out.

Move all sensitive files to an "offline" storage such as an external hard drive or large capacity USB Flash Drive.

Finally, although I have missed out lots that hasn't immediately sprung to mind, get some software that allows you to create an exact mirror "image" of the hard drive to an external drive.  If you were to be hit by a virus the System restore function is usually only partly or wholly useful in restoring your system, whereas with a drive image you can flatten all drive partitions and restore your image to it.  Just make sure that you make regular images so you don't loose too much.

There is also "EMET" (Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit) that is being adopted by IT administrators forced to keep using some XP computers.  It is intended to expand the limited on or off options provided in the XP "Data Execution Prevention" function, and allows much more flexible control over what is protected and what isn't.

If there are any aspects you need to know more about, just ask.

As far as Linux is concerned, you can test drive all the popular releases by downloading the *.ISO cd/dvd image of the bootable "Live" version, burn the disc, and boot to it so that it is running completely under its own steam.  It will run slower from a CD/DVD than the fully installed version, but it's a safe way to experiment with the different flavours of Linux.  Linux Mint (based on Ubuntu) is a very popular version of Linux for those migrating from Windows.  Be aware that just about every release of Linux can have a variety of different desktops.  In Linux the desktop isn't just a desktop like Windows, it has much deeper functionality and integration, so you would need to check out the various ones for Linux Mint if you wanted to eventually migrate to it.   The issue with Linux is that sometimes there aren't any drivers for some OEM hardware devices.

I hope this helps you a bit towards a decision.
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by:Darr247
ID: 39931282
> (MSE for another year apparently - read the blurb)
I don't find any blurb on that page related to how long definitions for XP will continue, so that is essentially a blind link.

As far as I can tell, for "EMET-in-XP" support to continue after XP support ends, you'll need to buy a Premiere Support package from microsoft.  Do you have a link to a page where it says free support for EMET-in-XP will continue indefinitely?
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by:BillDL
ID: 39931366
"Blind link"?  I could have filled my comment with links to everything I mentioned, but decided not to and left a footnote saying "If there are any aspects you need to know more about, just ask."

The link wasn't specifically to the note that MSE definitions will continue for another year, it was a general link just to read about the product and the fact that the program must be downloaded before support for XP ceases.  I knew for a fact that definition update availability had been extended for a year because I read the Technet article when it came out so I didn't feel that I had to qualify that to anybody:
http://blogs.technet.com/b/mmpc/archive/2014/01/15/microsoft-antimalware-support-for-windows-xp.aspx

"Microsoft will continue to provide updates to our antimalware signatures and engine for Windows XP users through July 14, 2015."
"For consumers, this applies to Microsoft Security Essentials."


I didn't say anything about "free support for EMET", and nowhere am I suggesting that anything XP-related is "indefinite".

EMET customer support is paid for and only available through Microsoft Premier Support Services account holders anyway, regardless of operating system, although there is free assistance via the support forums.  It can be downloaded and installed on Windows XP SP3, although this OS can't take advantage of all the features.  If you are asking how long the program will be available to download, then your guess is as good as mine, unless you know better and ar just poking me with a stick to see if I know.  To be honest, this is probably overkill for a home-use laptop, and it breaks functionality of some applications, which is why I mentioned that some "IT administrators" are adopting it.  The inference was that it is more of a corporate solution.
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by:BillDL
ID: 39931669
Conmari

There is one thing I forgot to mention that I have used for a number of years on my XP computers.  I have an older version of the ZoneAlarm Free Firewall application.  The reason that I use an older version is that the areas relevant to my needs for it are more intuitively laid out than the latest versions.

The Free version does not have some of the features offered by the Pro Firewall and Internet Security Suite, but my main use is a "program blocker".  I have it set so that previously run programs that require access to the Internet have either already been set to "allow", "block", or "always ask", and the ZoneAlarm application will pop up a prompt asking the same when any new programs require to do so.  You can allow or deny as a one-time action or, if you know what the program is, you can tick the "remember" box in the prompt so you aren't alerted about that program again.

For example, I have Adobe Flash Player Update Service (C:\Windows\system32\Macromed\Flash\FlashPlayerUpdateService.exe) set to always allow.  If that EXE is ever updated and it runs, I will be prompted again.  The setup packages for new Flash updates will be run from a sub-folder in my "Temp" folder and I will be prompted each time to allow or deny this.  Because that is a one-time action, and because it is a different setup package from the last update, I will be prompted and can just allow it once.

Similarly, if I run a standalone portable utility program from one folder and set that to "always allow" when prompted, if I then run another copy from a Flash Drive it is detected as a different program and I will be prompted when that runs.

During setup or when first run the installer will inspect your system and try to whitelist known programs.  You can look at the program list and set some to "deny" or "always ask" immediately after this, and once you have used the computer for a while and had prompts asking you what to allow or deny, you will only occasionally have the intrusion of a prompt.  It is probable that an up to date version may have a better whitelist than an older one, and when looking up the online "Smart Advisor" list it will probably make more accurate predictions, but for my needs as a program blocker for which I manually maintain the program list every other week, the older version works for me as another firewall level.

Of course, there is also a built-in and configurable software firewall that blocks two-way traffic depending on how you configure it within the limitations of the Free version.

This is something that you may wish to consider while thinking about what to do with your XP Laptop.
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by:BillDL
BillDL earned 100 total points
ID: 39931695
Oh yes, one other thing to consider should you decide that it would be better to upgrade to Windows 7 (or 8 if you really must).  There are companies who are authorised by Microsoft to refurbish computers and install Windows 7 onto them, where this would not normally be permitted if you and I wanted to.

As you will be aware, large OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) like Dell, HP, etc, preinstall Windows on their computers.  The licence for the operating system is locked to that computer, more specifically to the motherboard.  The installed OS is tied to the computer and the computer and vice versa.  Support for the OS is via the OEM, not Microsoft.  There are a lot of restrictions.

A Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher or Certified Refurbisher can buy previously used OEM computers, upgrade and swap hardware around, and then install a more recent operating system that came with the computer.  Upgrading some hardware components allows for a better specification than originally built, and make it more suitable for the upgraded operating system.  You get their own proper COA sticker (Certificate of Authenticity) that is your new licence for the different OS.  A "Registered Refurbisher" is for vendors who distribute on a smaller scale than the "Authorized Refurbishers" who must shift 1,000 or more computers per month.

You can search for Registered or Authorized Refurbisher in your country and locality, and many of them sell their products via eBay and their own websites.  As long as you compare prices and sellers, buying this way will usually allow you to get a Windows 7 computer of good, but perhaps not outstanding or cutting edge, specification for a lot less than people would be asking for a computer than came preinstalled with Windows 7 and higher original spec.  For example, you can get a Dell PC that would have been top range spec for Windows XP or very highly specified for Vista now running as a medium to good spec Windows 7 one, and would pay less than you would expect to find a Windows 7 one of the same spec.

http://www.microsoft.com/refurbishedpcs/

Just something else to consider.
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by:Conmari
ID: 39931948
Thanks  all for all of this information -- far more than I expected but very welcome.  Confirms some of my suppositions but raises other possibilities.  I have read it through once but need to sort through and come back with other questions which I will do over the next day or so.

Thanks again to all for the help.

Updated 3/20/14:  Just getting back to considering responses received.  Will reply with any further comments/questions soon.

Update 3/27/14:  Was in the middle of an update comment, including some additional questions, which somehow got lost.  I haven't forgotten about this open question.  Have to start my last comment over.
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by:Conmari
ID: 39962675
With apologies for the “dead air”, I’m having to retype this response that somehow got lost before after I actually got to post it.  (Note to self, ALWAYS enter longer text into a local editor and copy/paste!  Maybe one day I’ll learn.)

Just a little more information about my situation:

1. There are 4 PCs connected to my home network, including a Win 7 Ultimate laptop, Win 8 desktop, Win XP Pro laptop and the Win XP Home netbook that this question has been about.  (After April 8, the XP Pro laptop will be disconnected from my LAN and only used to run a non-shared legacy peripheral device.)  The machines are running a mix of Norton Internet Security and Norton 360 (the netbook has NIS).  My wireless router is set for WPA2-PSK authentication, SSID broadcast is off and connections are limited by device MAC address.

The XP netbook is a little less than 4 years old and, within the last year, I upgraded it from 1 to 2GB for very little cost.  I had a choice when it was purchased to get it with Win XP or 7 and, for price and familiarity reasons, I opted for XP (already knowing that support was going to be pulled this year) thinking there would be a suitable upgrade path at a reasonable cost when the time came.  Big mistake.

2. When I wrote the original question, I had already purchased Win 7 Home OEM from an online retailer but had not opened.   Based on replies to this question and other reading, I decided to return the software.  Contrary to at least one response above, MS no longer sells Win 7 (upgrade or retail) directly and I did not find any other retailer who sells it on disc.  (That is why I had bought the OEM version.)  One reputable download site I’ve used before has a link for this which only takes one to the Windows store that now only offers Win 8.  So there seems to no longer be any legit upgrade path to Win 7.

3.  All things considered, I’ve decided not to run the XP netbook as is connected to my network.  While some say it may be a reasonable risk to do so, the following gave me greater pause:

http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Windows/XP/A_13195-Windows-XP-Office-2003-Server-2003-End-of-Life-April-8-2014.html

http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Windows/XP/A_13059-Strategies-for-Windows-XP-in-2014.html

While I might have some peace of mind when connected to my own home network, it is being connected to public networks while travelling that would make me nervous.  I don’t have any significant applications installed on this machine (e.g. Office) or store any data on it but, even when connected at home, I’m also concerned about cross-contamination infecting other devices on the network, though I don’t know how likely this is.

BTW, I did discover that my Verizon FIOS router has a security weak spot in that its login screen is visible based on its external IP address.  I’ve since made my password even stronger than the previous one (certainly not the factory default), which helps, but I will contact Verizon to see if this can be changed.  (The firmware is current, however.)

4.  At this point, I believe my remaining choices are:

a.  Replace XP on the netbook with another non-MS OS such as Linux.  While this is appealing since it would be low cost, I don’t have the time to start something I am totally unfamiliar with.  The idea of trying it out from removable media sounds interesting but I think that is something for a future project.  I also don’t know enough about Linux security to be sure how much better off I would be.

b.  Upgrade the existing netbook to Win 8, which MS offers for about $120.  Since I don’t have a significant number of installed apps or hardly any data on this machine, this wouldn’t be too onerous.  I ran the Win 8 Upgrade Assistant from the netbook and it is compatible except for some minor issues with utilities that I would have to find replacements for.  (The display resolution also won’t allow using the Windows store but I don’t find that a gating issue.)  Considering the specs of this machine (2GB RAM, 1.66 GHz Atom) I would mostly be concerned about performance – my Win 7 Ultimate laptop has 4GB and a 2.50 GHz Core i5.

c.  Purchase a refurb (off lease) Win 7 netbook from an online retailer.  I have found one for as little as about $170 (2GB, 1.2 GHz Intel Dual Core – only 60GB HDD but don’t need a lot for apps or data).  For not too much more $, I get possibly (slightly?) newer hardware and don’t have to bother with an OS install.  My main concern here is the wear and tear a used portable may have taken but there is 1-year warranty for some peace of mind.  (I purchased a refurbed desktops from this vendor that worked out fine.)

d.  Purchase a new Win 8 netbook.  MS is offering a promotion to get people off XP for as low as about $250.  The advantage is the new hardware but I wonder how the performance would be considering that the low end unit has only 2GB of RAM (apparently not upgradeable) and a 1.0 GHz processor.

http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msusa/en_US/pdp/ASUS-X102BA-BH41T-Touchscreen-Laptop-Black/productID.288728900

I’m afraid I would have to spend even more to get something that runs Win 8 reasonably well.
With option c or d, I don’t reuse the hardware I have, though I could also do a Linux install (option a) at some point in the future to regain its use or just use it offline for whatever in the meantime.  I’m leery of the Win 8 upgrade (option b) for reason stated.

Of options c or d, I believe the refurbed Win 7 netbook seems the better choice based on cost.

I do have a few remaining questions:

A.  Any further thoughts/advice about my statements / concerns above?

B.  In particular, would there be much performance difference between Win 7 and 8 on a netbook with similar specs?  Again, my main use is for remote access to the Win 7 Ultimate netbook on the home network and for e-mail/browsing when travelling.  I don’t expect to do any heavier office work on this machine.

So, after the long delay in posting this, if anyone is still interested in this question, I’d appreciate any further thoughts.  This perhaps isn't the most monumental decision I'm trying to make but it would be good to avoid any further pitfalls.

Thanks much again.
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by:Merete
ID: 39962943
Hi Conmari
you say here you took the W7 setup disc back> I had already purchased Win 7 Home OEM from an online retailer but had not opened.   Based on replies to this question and other reading, I decided to return the software.  << why
What did others say here to deter you from using it?
If it was brand new unused
OEM just means original equipment manufacturer
The COA  binds to that computer's mainboard it cannot be installed on to another.
And how long before you need new hardware?
I also wouldnt install W7 onto an old HDD I would use a brand new HDD was what I said
My comments included never buy a computer without a setup a disc.
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by:Conmari
ID: 39963115
Merete,

Re: your last post, I reference comments by Frosty555 and bbao as well as the OEM license on the box.  Also links I included in my original post that provided conflicting opinions.  I note the article that said to go ahead and install an OEM version was the oldest one.

Furthermore, if I'm trying reuse the existing hardware to save money, I don't want to be having to buy a new HDD.
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by:BillDL
ID: 39963453
>>> "Note to self, ALWAYS enter longer text into a local editor and copy/paste!  Maybe one day I’ll learn." <<<
No you won't.  I don't know how many times I have said that after losing a very long post ;-)

>>> "This perhaps isn't the most monumental decision I'm trying to make ..." <<<
It's one of the biggest decisions, in terms of computing, a lot of people have had to make for many years.

I'm going to have to leave all the hardware spec comments to others, because I lost track of actual processing efficiency a few years ago and I have only used Windows 8 once.

>>> "I also don’t know enough about Linux security to be sure how much better off I would be." <<<

Too many people think that Linux is immune from malware.  It isn't.  I would hazard a guess that every self-respecting malware writer or hacker uses some non-Microsoft operating system.  Evil people don't tend to target their own kind, so the vast majority of malware has traditionally been targeted at Windows and Microsoft has always had to try and play catch-up.  Because a significant amount of program code is carried forward between Windows versions (for some backward compatibility and probably also an element of laziness or penny-pinching), previously undiscovered security holes that affect several versions of Windows at one time can still be found.

There is also the issue of running with admin rights.  On a fresh install of Windows, the first user profile created by a new buyer is configured with admin rights.  "Home" versions either have the "permissions" options ommitted or well hidden in some mistaken belief that it makes things more complicated for most home users.  So, malware is able to run with fewer restrictions on many Windows systems than should be the case.  Efforts to patch this up with UAC (User Account Control) and the option to "RunAs" a user with greater priviledges haven't really worked very well.  Many people find it a nuisance and found web pages that told them how to disable it, many home users were never prompted to and didn't know how to set a password for the administrator account, and malware creators quickly found a way to circumvent the feature using priviledge escalation tricks anyway.

Linux has always been more geeky in that the command line has been more readily used for many tasks, even simple ones like running a setup package.  Modern user-friendly versions allow most tasks to be done from the user interface, but occasionally you will need to use the SUDO and SU commands to override user account restrictions.  You do, however, have to be added to a slightly more priviledged group to run the commands, something along the lines of a "power user" in Windows.  SUDO <followed by the command> is much the same as the "RunAs" or the UAC prompt in Windows in that it allows that specific process to run as Root (administrator), but with the current user's password.  SU allows you to switch completely into Root with the administrator's password, do what you need to do, and then exit back out of it, similar in some ways to Windows Fast User Switching.

Of course, Windows and Linux priviledges can be escalated easily by malcious processes, and there is a weakness in that some versions of Linux leave the SUDO window open for 15 minutes, but Linux has been lucky in that most viruses are crafted to intentionally target Windows operating systems.  Neither UAC nor the Trusted Users and SUDO commands can be relied upon to prevent malware.

The three biggest inherent weakness with Windows (ignoring the fact that many users are running with admin priviledges) are:

1. The way it runs essential processes as "Services" at different levels, and latching into one with high system rights then allows other malicious processes to run at that level unimpeded.

2. Being the most popular mainstream operating system, a higher percentage of users are ill-informed, click-happy, people who go hunting around all kinds of sites for additional utilities and programs to install, sometimes downloading malicious software.  Most Linux distributions have verified and tested repositories of additional software available and accessible from their own servers, and finding them is as simple as searching for Firefox or Chrome add-ons from within Chrome or Firefox.

3. The way data is stored in memory when a process is launched. Malformed files can be written to play havoc with the data in memory, then fool the system into running malicious programs from code dumped into memory.

More recent versions of Windows have new "mitigations" in place to lessen this possibility, but virus creators will most certainly catch up with this and find a way to get around them.

With more than 100 mainstream Linux distributions, and quite a number of "shells" and desktop environments, it would be much more time-consuming to write viruses that would infect the majority of them, whereas Windows only has different versions and one basic "kernel" that share much of a common base.  One virus is capable of infecting a much greater percentage of computers if it is written to target Windows.  When you are into malware for big money rather than just to be a nuisance, which is the case these days, you go for the biggest target and the least technically adept "home" users.

One issue with Linux that will not appeal to Windows users migrating to it from Windows is the problem with new vulnerabilities affecting the "kernel", like this one:
http://secunia.co­m/advisories/41693
Solution:  Update to version 2.6.36.
Hmmm.  How do you do that?  Well, you might have instructions like this to learn, depending on how easy the version of Linux makes it for you:
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Kernel
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Kernel/Upgrade
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Kernel/Compile
The good thing is that there are so many online documented resources to refer to for things like this that it isn't as complicated and geeky as may first appear.

If you can get a popular and well documented version of Linux (eg. Mint or Ubuntu) that is easy to install, is easy to use for everyday tasks and allows the use of productivity and entertainment software with a familiar feel, and which supports all your hardware, then the above kind of update is far less common than the annoyance of twenty Windows Updates per week, and is not much more complicated.

There are quite a few antivirus applications written for Linux, so that aspect is not really a problem.

It's not an easy decision, but perhaps the above sheds a little bit of light on the "security" aspect of Linux.
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by:Conmari
ID: 39977080
Thanks BillDL for additional info about Linux.  Will close this question out very soon.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Conmari
ID: 39979013
I found the following points most helpful:

1) My concerns about both Win 7 OEM and Win 7 download confirmed.

2) I found Win 7 retail no longer available anywhere which would require going to Win 8 to stay with a legal version of Windows, with possible performance issues on old hardware.

3) My decision to not have XP exposure on Web means most cost-effective (short-term) solution to be purchase of refurb Win 7 netbook.

4) Time permitting, later installation of Linux would extend life of current netbook and there is a way to test it before full installation.  (Again, I might consider Win 8 but probably won't due to cost and hardware limitations.)

I spread points equally among those who contributed to the above.  The amount of responses deserves more than a total of 500 points but I don't know a convenient way to do that.  I had to choose only one "Best Solution", though, even though I thought they were equally good.  But Michael Best was the first to cut to the chase of my ultimate decision.

Thanks to everyone for this extensive amount of information.
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by:BillDL
ID: 39979608
Thank you Conmari.
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by:Merete
ID: 39979616
Thank you Conmari.
And hi Ventrilo Quist (BillDL) ??
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by:BillDL
ID: 39979619
Hi Merete, yes, it's me.  I forgot to change my temporary pseudonym ;-)
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by:Merete
ID: 39979706
Hello Ventrilo Quist /  Waldemar Strompelknauff  aheh what a mouthful throwing your voice..
I feel rather" Plain Jane Elderfunkin" now..
Ok better not use this post for Social meetings ;) (LMHO)
cheers
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by:Conmari
ID: 40002762
Just a quick update after closing this question.  I have since ordered and received a refurbished Win 7 notebook from one of the big online computer retailers.  Unfortunately, it wouldn't boot and, after contacting tech support, it was determined it needed to be returned.   Upon further thought, including seeing that the unit seemed to have more wear and tear than I was hoping for (and is already 6 years old), I decided to return for a credit rather than exchanging and hoping for something better the second time around.  

Furthermore, the 4 y.o. XP notebook I already own is in "like new" condition so I also decided to install Win 8 (DVD ordered directly from online MS Store).  Further reading indicates that for the light work I do on the notebook, Win 8 shouldn't be significantly slower, and might even be a little faster, then Win 7.

http://www.pcworld.com/article/2011906/how-to-optimize-windows-8-on-old-hardware.html

I'll post something after I complete the Win 8 install about how this has worked out.
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by:BillDL
ID: 40003111
Thanks for the feedback.  It might be a good idea if you have a read through this page and the Microsoft page that it links to:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/gordonkelly/2014/04/15/microsoft-abandons-windows-8-1-take-immediate-action-or-be-cut-off-like-windows-xp/
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by:Conmari
ID: 40005535
Thanks very much, BillDL, for the heads-up -- I read the Forbes article and the articles it links to.  From Win 8 (8.0) to 8.1 to 8.1 Update, they couldn't make this more confusing.  (Windows XP had Service Packs 1, 2 and 3 to accomplish similar updates, though perhaps those didn't include functional changes to the extent that 8.1 and 8.1 Update do.  But, as suggested in the above, 8.1 and 8.2 could have been easier to keep straight.)  Very good to know the necessity to install the 8.1 Update by May 13 in order to be eligible for subsequent patches.  (It's deja vu all over again.)  And it is even stranger that Win 8 users (who don't install 8.1) will still receive patches until January 2016.

Great to also learn that 8.1 Update allows booting directly to the desktop and that the desktop will include a Start button for those of us still using non-touch screen pointing devices.  (Quasi-luddites take heart!)

Additionally, I found the following:

http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9246525/Users_mock_Microsoft_for_asking_their_help_on_XP_to_Windows_8.1_upgrades

I purchased a Win 8 Upgrade DVD (intended for XP and Vista users) from the MS Store.  (Haven't received yet, however.)  If I understand the above article correctly, I will be able to peform an upgrade to my XP notebook vs. having to do a clean install, preserving existing data and applications.  (It's understood that having current system and data backups is still best practice.)  This is as opposed to purchasing an 8.1 DVD which does require a clean install.  Once I've upgraded to Win 8, I will then be able to download and install 8.1 and, subsequently, 8.1 Update.

Again, when all of this is accomplished over the next few weeks, I'll report back to let anyone who is interested know how well (hopefully) this has worked out.
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by:Merete
ID: 40005578
Thank you Conmari, I'm very interested as well as I have my own perspectives about upgrading from xp to windows 8
You are by passing windows 7 all together
Look forward to your updates.
Merete
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Author Comment

by:Conmari
ID: 40006759
Merete, happy to provide feedback.  The Win 7 solution ran into too many blocks (in my opinion) so Win 8 is my alternate choice.  Yet to be seen whether this proves to be a good move or not.

BillDL, the info you provided also was relevant to me even if I didn't decide to upgrade the XP notebook to Win 8 as I also have a Win 8 desktop (my wife's) that hasn't been updated to even Win 8.1 (the first increment) yet.  Since I understand the problem with 8.1 Update 1 and SSL/WSUS 3.2 described in the articles doesn't seem to affect the average home user, I think I can go ahead and update that machine even before I tackle the XP upgrade.  Just have to complete it all the way to 8.1 Update before May 13.

I'll also mention that, since this is a closed question, I won't be asking for any further assistance under this thread.  If I have any problems/questions with Win 8 upgrades, I'll create a new question specific to that particular issue so that additional points can be awarded.  Otherwise, I'll just post results on the upgrade of the XP machine here.
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by:Darr247
ID: 40006813
CentOS would have been free, disregarding the cost of install media.
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by:Conmari
ID: 40006859
Thanks, Darr247, while cost is a factor, my primary concern about open source software is security.  (Isn't the Heartbleed disaster caused by opensource code? http://www.zdnet.com/heartbleed-open-sources-worst-hour-7000028420/)    I realize there is no such thing as 100% security assurance with any software but I'd need more time in the short term to become knowledgeable enough to be comfortable with this.
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by:Darr247
ID: 40007186
Heartbleed affected CentOS (and other linus distros) for only a few months... only an OpenSSL update issued mid-December 2013 for CentOS 6.5 had the exploit available...  CentOS 5.x, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3 and 6.4 never got that OpenSSL update. The OpenSSL update to patch that CVE (Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures) was placed in the CentOS 6.5 Updates repo on 07 April 2014.  Good luck getting microsoft to fix published bugs that fast in windows. e.g. it took them ~14 years to fix the 'classful' bug in their TCP stack, even though the RFC describing classless inter-domain routing (CIDR) was published more than 2 years before the release of Win95 (the first version of windows with its own TCP stack).

And I haven't heard of anyone claiming to have actually compromised a system with a Heartbleed exploit, so I wouldn't exactly call it a disaster (or even a debacle). Even though the memory leak itself wouldn't be logged, the Heartbleed exploit typically requires the use of a specific API call, which would be logged.

Anyway, good luck with Win8... I would use it on a tablet, but I hate it without a touch screen.
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by:Merete
ID: 40007986
Thankyou Conmari

I've been using this HeartBleedTester  to test web sites security if it helps you
https://filippo.io/Heartbleed/
HTG Explains: What the Heartbleed Bug Is and Why You Need to Change Your Passwords Now
http://www.howtogeek.com/186735/htg-explains-what-the-heartbleed-bug-is-and-why-you-need-to-change-your-passwords-now/

So you are informed
I'd like to also share with you about this other malware I recently discovered
It is a popup and appeared in both the browsers I have here Chrome and IE.
Also on the other computers we have here.
It will prevent opening any web pages and clicking the X to close it then you can progress.
flash warning ieI checked in control panel Flash Player and it was up to date.
If you click on it and go the the web page the so called Adobe web page looked dubious and not like the real Adobe..
So if you see this popup download Malware bytes run a full scan and delete all your cookies.
Eset online is also good.
I also replaced our router as flashing it didn't remove it
uninstalled all browsers deleted all cookies, the popup is now gone.
I have no idea how it got on-board. But I couldn't remove it from other PC here and had to reinstall his windows.
Here's the info I found and used, btw I never saw any of those programs in my add remove.
Remove “WARNING! Your Flash Player may be out of date” virus
http://malwaretips.com/blogs/warning-your-flash-player-may-be-out-of-date-virus/
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Author Comment

by:Conmari
ID: 40008093
Darr247, I appreciate your perspective.  However, based on what little other reading I've done about Heartbleed, the degree that it is a "problem" (I'll reserve the best descriptive noun to others) remains to be seen, e.g.:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2014/04/14/heartbleed-is-about-to-get-worse-and-it-will-slow-the-internet-to-a-crawl/

However, the effect of this on the problem I presented is that it heightens my concern of working with any OS that I have practically no experience with and have virtually no time to invest in at the moment.  If I had been able to keep the refurbed Win 7 machine and still have the XP machine to use as a learning platform for CentOS (or other) at some point in the future, that would be different.

If I might editorialize for a moment, until about 7 years ago, my tech experience was in business information systems development for 25 plus years.  (I've had two other careers, one in engineering and the other in the arts.)  I have picked up some hardware and system/utility software abilities mostly as a user and the necessity of maintaining my own PCs (I go back to DOS and Win 3.1!) but I'm not expert in this area.  I view PCs as tools to do my work, not something I want to spend a lot of time "under the hood" on.  My beef with MS is that it has forced me to learn more about their balky systems over the years than I ever wanted.  (XP was actually a joy in that after SP3 came out, it was as stable as a rock.)  I probably should be a Mac user but that's another bullet I never bit into.  So, at this point in life, with other interests to pursue, what I really want is to have are working devices that I don't have to worry about and don't break the bank.  <End of editorial.>  ;-)
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by:Conmari
ID: 40009380
Merete, thanks for the links.  I have used the Heartbleed website tester since shortly after word came out about the problem.  Symantec/Norton has also created something similar.  The bogus Adobe flash player update has been noted as well.

Sometimes it makes one just want to unplug.
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by:Conmari
ID: 40020597
Well, this has turned into an even more protracted process.  I ordered the Win 8 Upgrade disc from MS Store on 4/15 and within a few days it showed as backordered.  (Could have sworn that it showed "In Stock" when I ordered it.  You mean that their order and inventory systems don't work well together?  How old is this business, anyway?)  MS has not estimated shipment date (VERY helpful of them) but promise not to abruptly cancel the order.  Somehow or other my confidence isn't as high as I'd like it to be.  

Continuing to use the XP netbook as is for now.  I figure that updates are usually monthly anyway and the last one was on April 8.  Making sure Norton is up-to-date.
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by:Merete
ID: 40021808
While your waiting you could mess with XP and make it look like W7 or W8 and confuse the malware.
I made my XP back then look like Windows  LongHorn which was the original OS name for Vista and was changed later
I just installed the UXtheme.dll and the ran the Longhorn theme.
There is also W8 wallpaper
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by:BillDL
ID: 40022170
The ordering does sound like a fiasco, and I commiserate because this type of thing really makes my blood boil.  Too often these days things show online as "in stock" when in fact they are out of stock and the seller knows it full and well.  Most of the time they just want your money up front to make it harder to cancel the order.  A common expression used these days is "pre-order", which is a nonsensical and ridiculous expression for the situation that you are now in.  The customer should be given the options:
In-Stock > Order It > Pay > Send It To Me Now
Temporarily Out Of Stock > Pay and Place It On Back Order For Me
Out Of Stock > Cancel or Email Me When Back In Stock.
I hate it when companies have goods despatched from a 3rd-party supplier and can't seem to keep tabs on the stock levels.  Grrrrrrr!  Look, now you've got me started.
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by:Merete
ID: 40022215
Hi BillDL and Conmari
You should get this stress relief tool for your desktop,I've had it for yonks and found it's still out there.
Crazy funny, smash your desktop up then wash it back to normal or put a picture onit and drill it chain saw it machine gun even drops the bullets  pretty funny.
Includes that wonderful sound of smashing glass with the hammer, all have sounds
click on this below at the bottom
•download 2 (.zip) 522 KB
http://www.mystressmanagement.net/download-desktop-destroyer.html
desktop stress relief
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by:BillDL
ID: 40023412
Great idea Merete, but I don't need stress relief software.  I just let off steam verbally or in a Lounge comment, and it usually works ;-)
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Author Comment

by:Conmari
ID: 40025896
Merete, I might have otherwise thought you were joking but don't see any ;-)  to indicate such.  So I'm curious how making a change that I assume is purely visual can mask the true OS identity to an external hacker.  Seriously, I'm interested to know.  Wouldn't that only work if someone were to actually log on vs. getting in under the hood.

As I said earlier, I'm more of a driver that changes his own oil (with the help of a Chilton manual) than a mechanic.

BTW, I remember the stress-relief game from a few years back.  Great stuff.  The flame thrower is a nice touch.
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by:Merete
ID: 40026612
I was just joking Conmari
With all the hype  about how unsafe XP is now that MS nolonger gives any support my suggestion to while away the time was one thing while waiting for your W8 disc and added tongue in cheek about hiding your OS from Malware targeting XP cause it would look like W8.
If it was in poor taste I apologise for misleading you, no we can't actually hide from malware other than what our firewalls do for our identity protection, besides it doesn't install unless we ok it or agree to it and install it.
in refs to changing the xp to look like windows 7 or W8 this is only a desktop theme.
And yes you can make XP look like windows 8..
Yeah I was surprised to see the stress relief still kicking around on the net, same version as I have.
It's still funny..;P
Merete
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by:Conmari
ID: 40027093
Merete, actually the bigger joke is when you said "while away my time."  ;-)  Thanks for the clarification -- just didn't trust my own instincts.  No harm, no foul.

But I was interested in what you say about malware not infecting a system unless someone intentionally installs it.  If that's the case, why has Norton from time-to-time alerted me (even before April 8) to malware (e.g. Trojan horses) that it has been dynamically blocked (vs. an explicit scan) while surfing?  Would those have simply been downloaded and been harmless unless I clicked on some installation question?

(I guess this is becoming extracurricular to the original question.)
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by:Merete
ID: 40028433
We are whiling away the time Conmari ;)
It doesn't matter as it's your question..
I see the world of internet and computers just like the world of humans and how we interact with life /and people as we go about our business of life/work/relationships.
Sometimes they knock on our doors. Sometimes they ring. Or send something in the post. Some try to break into our houses. Some hire an assassin. lol
The term trojan/ virus/malware, spyware botnets all perform a little differently and have different rolls just like the flu and diseases in our world effect different parts of our bodies..
My computer represents my body in the world of internet but I'm steering this computer through my keyboard and mouse.

Imagine walking up the center of the street in a busy City.
Lots of traffic moving back and forth about their business.
Lots and lots of people exposing us to their germs and flu and god knows what else.
The internet traffic is the same.
The main thing I keep in mind is my computer has an ip address, a ping signal just like we have a postal address and telephone number.
There are malicious folks out there that write programs that perform a scan similar to the wireless looking for ip addresses that have an open port or weak entry point.

Then there is web pages that have hidden nasties.
Our firewalls and AV are determining which pings are just pings bumping into each other and which are trying to access our systems.
So if someone knocks on our door we can choose to open it or not, if we go shopping we choose which shop/building to go into.
The same when we open a web page , it is full of shelves of information, ads/ all kinds of stuff going on, if our AV is doing it's job it scans the web page scripts in nano secs
and if it detects something amiss as per the protocols it has been programmed to inspect.
Our AV sends us a message it found the intruder lurking in the back allay of that web page and did away with it.
Sometimes they are sleepers embedded in the core and await a signal to open.
Just a click from us away.
These are botnecks I believe they are called this. They have many names.
Like sleeper Terrorists in our world, and we need specific software to scan for them.
Every nasty uses a special language and we need the tools to find them just as we use a spanner to loosen a nut and not a teaspoon. Java, PHP CSS HTML C++ like in our world of languages from foreign countries.
A quick introduction to botnets - what they are, how they work
http://www.f-secure.com/en/web/labs_global/articles/about_botnets
Windows malicious software remover, spybot search and detroy etc are such .
When you open a web page in internet explorer like this one, flash cookie cleaner
http://www.flashcookiecleaner.com/
 go to the top then view>source
Now you see the html code used to make that web appear as it does.
What is it linking to and what tasks it is to perform.

But if I was to click on that big red button out of curiosity as to why there is a page with a big red button that says don't touch!!!
our curiosity has cost us and we have opened that door, but that's where our security guard if trained and up to date jumps in front of us and pelts it one preventing it from running.

Our security software virus definitions are for that purpose.
They are programmed to recognise the new threat every day and are updated to meet this task of our web browsing.
The AV software programmers use tools that are constantly searching for these.
If you wanted to hide your computer from the internet activity ask yourself how would you hide your body from real people?
I suppose cameo clothes would help. Stealth approach like the military.
If you don't want attract attention don't wear loud clothes or expose yourself to attention.
Same with computers we can use stealth language but you need to pretty computer savvy /stay away from risky places and use protection like our security software.

Everything with our computers and internet uses a language at the core called binary code. ( the registry)
Zeros and one's/, kinda like Morse Code. SOS lol
Again it's like our human DNA is built on
So what language is written over that binary code is how it works.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binary_code
http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Binary_language

It's nothing to fear so long as we use safe sex/best approach/understand what they are after in real life so we also need to use safe procedures in the world of internet.
Be aware of the dangers and protect yourself.
Keep all your files in a safe.
I use external drives to store all my precious stuff so if windows took a hit I lose nothing.
Touch wood it has never happened as yet.

In my humble opinion upgrading from XP to Windows 8 is like having plastic surgery on an old body to make it look it look younger.
Is it worth it?


I'll stop here as I could just go on and on.
But hopefully that gives you a good perspective.
Regards Merete
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Author Comment

by:Conmari
ID: 40033674
Merete,  I like your analogies.  To continue with those thoughts, doesn't it go beyond plastic surgery into something much more futuristic (in terms of surgery) whereby, from time to time, some of the DNA is repaired to eliminate known flaws that the germs can use to attack the body -- the primary defense?  Without the surgery, the flaws won't be repaired leaving one more exposed should one forget to duck the sneeze of someone carrying some odious disease or is inadvertently exposed to other unknown environmental hazards?

BTW, in light of the latest discovery of IE's vulnerabilities to some of the above, I've spent recent time installing Firefox as the primary browser on all of my machines.  Particularly important for the XP machine, still yet to be upgraded.  (Win 8 still backordered.)  I understand that Godzilla can't be in every neighborhood and we should practice safe browsing, but reducing the chance of a fateful lapse seemed prudent.

Incidentally, my main system (Win 7) is a standard laptop and carrying another portable device for storage wouldn't work well for me.  (And flash drives are way too easy to lose.)  I should be doing backup images much more often, though.  However, that wouldn't prevent files from being stolen from the internal drive.  There's the cloud to consider but I haven't quite achieved a comfort level with that either.
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by:Merete
ID: 40033800
Hello  Conmari, how long has it been since you bought it?  
Is this windows 8 or 8.1?
I'm not comfortable with OneDrive and Cloud either.
Just like our banks where we deposit our hard earnt money we rely on them to keep it safe from intruders but they themselves invest our money elsewhere at a risk to us who is the the real villain ;)
doesn't it go beyond plastic surgery into something much more futuristic (in terms of surgery)
In this case it's not like a heart transplant and all the major parts  rather new code and new software yes lol.
The HDD / video card /cpu/ power supply unit are used parts.
Especially the motherboard.
My line of thinking is how soon would I need to buy a new system anyway?
And if this W8 upgrade is an OEM can you use that again on a newer system as OEM is original equipment manufacturer.
I have to say I am surprised that you can upgrade from XP to W8 and bypass Windows7 makes me wonder if it is just a  baseline theme without real changes other than the bling to support mobile devices ipads.

I find this often with multimedia video editing tools some quite expensive and when they offer upgrades they don't really give anything newer in the software tools,
 these upgrades even go as far as removing some aspect that was brilliant in the old just to add 3D support and access to the newer devices on the market and now it has to be paid for .
Apps is the go and each has to be purchased.
 I have also read that Windows 8 nolonger supports DVD playback, go figure just like in XP.
Windows 8 Pro and the optional $10 Media Center Pack is the go now.
Luckily we do have our open source media players
Update to Windows 8.1: FAQ
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-AU/windows-8/upgrade-to-windows-8
 XP-to-Windows 8.1 upgrades
http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9246525/Users_mock_Microsoft_for_asking_their_help_on_XP_to_Windows_8.1_upgrades

worst-windows-8-irritations-and-how-to-fix-them
http://www.pcworld.com/article/2013667/8-worst-windows-8-irritations-and-how-to-fix-them.html
Cheers
0
 
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by:BillDL
ID: 40034081
In continuation of the "new skin" analogy, I personally view each iteration of Windows as a bad skin graft performed by medical semi-graduates in their spare time as some kind of amusement.  In some places they can't be bothered to remove the old scarred and blemished skin first because it would be too much work, so they just stretch a bit of new skin across as a facade to disguise what's still underneath, and in other places they chop ragged bits of skin out and sew in some new chunks without first peeling off the large lumps of bloated fatty tissue from the underside.

By cobbling more and more bits onto much the same substructure and slapping on a bit of cosmetic make-up Microsoft can push out new versions one after the other.  Unless you are willing to get the whole new skin overlay, they will cancel any appointments you have made to burn off the little blemishes with liquid nitrogen that might turn cancerous later, and where you already have piercings for expensive jewellery, they will refuse to puncture the new skin in those places to allow you continued usage of the adornments.
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by:Merete
ID: 40034132
Yes, and now  XP support has just ended low and behold suddenly we have a high risk Zero Day atomic bomb count down stuff aimed at internet explorer and there is no patch.
Poor XP.
And if that's not enough now the Adobe flash is being targeted.
Co-incidence ? conspiracy? terror in the making.
Zero-Day Attacks on IE8 and IE9 Might Already Be Active in the Wild, according to MS
I can see the black hole
Now where's my light sabre?
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Author Comment

by:Conmari
ID: 40036269
Time = Money = Time
When one doesn't have a lot of either, one doesn't always do what one might otherwise.  But considering the Win 8 shipment is still delayed, if I have some time (there's that ugly word again), I would like to grab a copy of Linux and run the netbook from an SD card to check it out.  I imagine I could also install as an alternate boot option.  Not much to lose at this point, other than more time.  But, again, the netbook is only 4 years old (purchased in the waning days of XP when 7 was already available), has not been beat on and looks new.  I have an old laptop that is 10 years old (also XP and will soon be recycled) and still runs, though I did have to replace the hard drive when it was about 5 years old.  No guarantee the netbook will last that long but I don't think it is necessarily ready for the recycle bin.
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Author Comment

by:Conmari
ID: 40036921
Well, they did take care of XP users as well re: IE.  MS must have been conscious of the widespread conspiracy suspicions.  I installed it yesterday for XP.  Wasn't available for 7 or 8 until today.

http://money.cnn.com/2014/05/01/technology/security/internet-explorer-bug/

I already installed Firefox on all of our PCs and, for now, will use that as the default browser until I find a reason to go back.  I did have one print rendering come out a little weird using Firefox (ironically on the EE site) but so far that's the only unusual difference I've noticed.
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by:Merete
ID: 40036949
How about>Money=power=control
You could run XP in VMware with your windows 8 in Parallel
something to read over the week end
Run your Windows XP system in Windows 8 with VMware
http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/windows-and-office/run-your-windows-xp-system-in-windows-8-with-vmware/
I just can't live without my two computer towers anymore I love that I can switch between them with my KVMP so if I want to do something on one I can switch over and do work on this one without disturbing the other.
Have a good Week End and hopefully your disc will be delivered by then.
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by:Merete
ID: 40036961
Wow I didn't even see this as yet and I am subscribed to receive update notices.
Thank you so much Conmari, I'll check that out now.
Checked my windows updates and it's there.
Done !!
PC users will get an automatic update for Windows to keep hackers from hijacking machines.
It's a good read all the comments below
cheers
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Author Comment

by:Conmari
ID: 40037408
I would guess that business XP users, who can't do wholesale upgrades as readily as the home user (my wife's office would have to spend big $ replacing legacy software as well), would have screamed bloody murder if MS didn't fix such a huge problem with IE so soon after terminating XP support.  This is especially true for businesses that haven't bounced back from the Great Recession as well as others.  But, even so, it must add to thoughts already in their heads for future IT strategies.
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Author Comment

by:Conmari
ID: 40086529
Update:  Windows 8 Upgrade finally arrived from the MS Store.  For upgrades from Win 7 Home Basic and Premium, apps are preserved.  For Win XP (my situation), Vista, 7 Prof or Ultimate, apps need to be reinstalled.  Fortunately, I don't have that many apps on this machine, so that's not so onerous.

All I need now is the time to do this.
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Expert Comment

by:Merete
ID: 40087792
Finally!!!! woo hoo.
Please keep us updated Conmari
All the best
Merete
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