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Author Topic: How to remove the Windows 10 GWX upgrade nonsense  (Read 16088 times)
K7MEM
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« Reply #30 on: March 13, 2016, 08:02:16 AM »

The ~4 shills that apparently frequent some ham forums need not pick a fight. :-)

I'm not sure what the problem is. I don't see anything objectional about your post. It certainly doesn't contain anything to pick a fight over. All the other posts here are just users expressing their opinion. I didn't think it got to the point of name calling yet.

Among other things, it depends on what you do with your PC.
Here's a few random thoughts.

1. We have been talking about both OS upgrades and updates here. Sometimes, if you don't do regular Windows updates, you risk being infected with malware. (That is starting to be the case with Linux distros to a lesser extent).

I agree. I think that regular updates are necessary. But good security has a lot to do with how you operate your computer. If you visit dubious sites and click on dubious links, you could have a problem. But I'm too old for that kind of nonsense and have been working for computers for way too long. These days a youngster is introduced to computers by showing him/her the internet. My interest in computers predates all of that.

And, I also agree that a Linux isn't any better than a MS OS for security. Its just that MS is much bigger target. So with Linux you may be a bit safer.

But along these same lines, it makes me wonder (random thought) about all of the hacked computer systems that appear in the newspaper, from time to time. The hackers break in and download loads of user information (credit card numbers, SS numbers, etc.). But they never tell you what kind of server setup was broken into. Did they just compromise a single workstation, or did they get directly into the server stack? Was it a Linux based server setup, or was it Windows based, or something else? I certainely don't know.

2. I have at least one XP Pro machine that can NEVER upgraded to anything else. Not Vista, Win7, Win8, or Windows 10. Not even Linux. The only driver available for my RAID 10 card (and IIRC, the older Intel MB) is for XP. Period. To reconfigure it for another OS would take far more time than I have, and would be an utter waste of time. I still depend on that PC for now.

I fully agree with you. That machine is not a candidate for upgrade. Being an XP system, it isn't eligible for an upgrade to Windows 10. Even a single upgrade to Windows 7, which would then make it eligible for a Window 10 upgrade, would probably be a bad idea. Upgrading should be done on a case by case basis.

But while the OS is getting older so is the hardware. For that you need to concentrate on efforts like backups, obtaining replacement parts, and possibly complete server replacement. I have had to support hardware and software configurations that were 20 years out of date. So I know what you are up against.

3. It's my opinion that the correct decision for us and our small business here is to completely move from Microsoft Windows to certain flavors of Linux. I am well into that process, and I never once regretted it. I should have done it sooner!

Yes, as long as you keep the network small, Linux is relatively easy to work with. It's only when you get hundreds of direct users, and a mixture of Unix/Linux/Windows operating systems, that the task becomes very difficult.

<story>Where I use to work, before I retired, all of the new engineers coming out of college were very pro Linux. That's what they learned with, so that is understandable. We had one new engineer, fresh out of school, that wanted us to give him the root password for the network (600+ users). He said he would fix the entire network. We could not have him shutting down the network, accidentally or on purpose, and idling 200 engineers, so he was told that that wasn't what he was hired for. We would just muddle along with what we had. He stayed with the company for about 15 years, but he never stopped trying to guess the root password. I guess he missed the part about the OS keeping records of every successful and unsuccessful root attempt. We had many reams of attempts spanning 15 years. I often wondered what he would have done, had we provided him with the password.</story>

If I come across software that won't run under WINE, then a virtual machine is a no-brainer fix for that.

I worked with VMs for many years and found that they are, at best, a work around. I did it reverse from your approach, in that, my company laptop had XP installed. But 99% of my work was on the Unix systems. I had two Unix boxes (Sparc and X86) under my desk, but they weren't very portable. So I had Solaris 10 and Redhat installed in a VM on the laptop. I also had to have a X-Windows server installed to get into the Sparc based machines. That all worked OK, but was kind of clumsy and overly complicates things.

Good luck with your business.
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Martin - K7MEM
http://www.k7mem.com
K7EXJ
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« Reply #31 on: March 13, 2016, 12:02:48 PM »

And, I also agree that a Linux isn't any better than a MS OS for security. Its just that MS is much bigger target. So with Linux you may be a bit safer.

This remark (phrased to appear as an agreement to a point W0BTU never actually made), all by itself, is the clearest sign of a Microsoft shill. The "Windows is such a big target" refrain is always one of the first to be trotted out when someone mentions security on Windows (of whatever version). It is sheer nonsense.

MS Windows is far, far, less secure than Windows. Windows is a bigger target, to be sure, but it's not just because it's so common; attacks on Windows are popular because they succeed!

Here is a recent list of exploits for Windows (almost 9,000) with links to the source code on GitHub:

https://www.exploit-db.com/platform/?order_by=date&order=desc&pg=1&p=windows

Here is the list of Linux exploits (all 843 of them):

https://www.exploit-db.com/platform/?order_by=date&order=desc&pg=1&p=windows

(It should be noted that the attack vectors on Linux boxes almost always require either physical access to the hardware itself or a shell account. While attacks on Windows boxes are accomplished through remote exploits and/or user errors - "social engineering" - based on the fact that Windows applications offten hide the type of files users are invited to click on.)

Here is what PCWorld, which focuses mainly on MS WIndows, has to say about Linux security:

http://www.pcworld.com/article/202452/why_linux_is_more_secure_than_windows.html

Here is a link to ZDnet (often accused of engaging in Linux FUD, itself) refuting a Microsoft partner's allegations that Windows is more secure than Linux by noting that in 2012 there were 36 Windows exploits compared to 9 for Linux.

http://www.zdnet.com/article/linux-windows-and-security-fud/

Exploit code is often written to include references to *nix just on the off-chance that a *nix user is stupid enough to automatically execute certain types of code (like .jar files) and then knowledgeable enough to mark them executable. Windows happily executes such code with nothing but a little pop-up warning to the user who is often too naive to understand what it means (a *nix user who might execute the code would have to enter his/her password on a desktop distro - or the root password on a server).

I recently investigated a RAT exploit that was widely touted to affect Windows, IOS, Unix and Linux but it did not take much investigation to show that although there was code in the RAT that might have affected *nix devices, it would fail because the RAT depended upon automatic execution of Java code (.jar) - which Windows does automatically - the fact that *nix file execution depends upon setting a file to "executable"  rendered the RAT useless except to Windows machines. (On which, by the way, it was very effective.)

If a Linux user clicked on the .jar file (which, on Linux, would clearly be seen as a .jar file - since Linux, unlike Windows, does not omit the suffix file-type indicator as Windows - and especially Outlook - does) it would have simply done nothing. While a Windows user clicking on that file would have installed a remote access exploit.

Any exploit that includes code for Linux - whether it would work or not - is BIG NEWS and covered by all the computer-oriented websites. It would be big news because, quite frankly, it so rarely happens.

Your welcome to examine the code itself if you like (and read my comments about how it would not work on *nix, written a year ago (with no response). Search for that RAT, however, and you'll see a lot of talk about how it would work on Linux/Unix/Mac; which (for reasons explained above) it would not!

http://blog.idiom.ca/2015/03/alienspy-java-rat-overview.html?showComment=1429973262031#c7503887980042551221

Also, your remarks about VMs being "at best a work-around" is sadly far out of date. It is now routine even with Server 2012 to run Exchange, MSSQL and other servers inside VMs to expedite configuration issues. And you might ask Amazon if their popular (and profitable) AWS systems are work-arounds. (I noticed Amazon advertising for Linux expert who could qualify for Top Secret (plus)  clearances to work on AWS so apparently even NSA/CIA/DIA are using Amazon cloud services.)

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73s de K7EXJ
Craig Smiley
K7EXJ
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Posts: 875




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« Reply #32 on: March 13, 2016, 12:58:06 PM »

2. I have at least one XP Pro machine that can NEVER upgraded to anything else. Not Vista, Win7, Win8, or Windows 10. Not even Linux. The only driver available for my RAID 10 card (and IIRC, the older Intel MB) is for XP. Period. To reconfigure it for another OS would take far more time than I have, and would be an utter waste of time. I still depend on that PC for now.

We've had similar issues with hardware RAID cards. I had one customer whose girlfriend decided I was too expensive (at $70 an hour) and switched to a new IT guy ($35 an hour I suspect). I learned that I had been replaced when she called me on a Saturday on my cell phone (driving the XYL to Costco 70 miles away) and asking me to tell her "IT guy" (formerly, me) how to work on their server. Just as he came on the line we went over a hill or down a ravine or something and we lost cell service. They never called back. I would have been happy to talk to him; at $70 an hour.

So the next thing was that he called me and wanted to know if I could fix the RAID box. Their $35 an hour RAID guy had managed to destroy the RAID array completely; nothing left. And apparently they had not backed up their data - crucial to their business - that they didn't want to pay me to back up.

If it had been Linux software RAID we might have had a chance. But hardware RAID is its own thing.

Be gentle with yours. I found theirs, at one point, in the middle of a room being painted by painters and uncovered with the plug pulled out. Splattered with white paint.

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73s de K7EXJ
Craig Smiley
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