Windoze XP Myths

By kangaruffian ยท 13 replies
Jun 12, 2006
  1. halo71

    halo71 TS Rookie Posts: 1,090

    Very interesting read there! Funny, I always heard that Linux was more secure than Windoze too!! lol
  2. kangaruffian

    kangaruffian TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 175

    Yeah same here! :unch:
  3. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    "Myth - "Windows XP requires a high end PC to install and run"

    Reality - "Windows XP can be installed on surprisingly low system requirements contrary to popular opinion. With the average life cycle of a regular PC being roughly 4-6 years, just about any PC being used today can run Windows XP. The following requirements are Microsoft's "official" minimum system requirements which I have tested to work fine with the exception of only 64 MB of RAM (performance is poor). Increasing your RAM to 128 MB would be the only upgrade I would strongly consider as my absolute minimum Windows XP system requirements." - Source

    233 MHz CPU (300 MHz Recommended) *
    128 MB Recommended (64 MB of RAM minimum supported, may limit performance and some features) *
    1.5 GB of available hard disk space *
    Super VGA (800 x 600) or higher-resolution video adapter and monitor
    CD-ROM or DVD drive
    Keyboard and Microsoft Mouse or compatible pointing device"

    Yes, but with a such a low end system, it will take forever to get anything done, plus it doesn't leave hardly any space for any other programs. I wouldn't run XP on any system with less than 512mb of memory. RAM is too cheap these days.
  4. kangaruffian

    kangaruffian TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 175

    Agree, but if u use it only as a typewriter.... or a boat anchor :haha:
  5. Spike

    Spike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,168

    erm wrong. I've used XP for various purposes and reasons on 333mhz machines with either 128 or 256 mb of ram (depending on what was lying around) and I have run it quite reasonably. There are others on this forum who have done the same. There was a thread in WinOS where this was shown a few months back.

    That said, even though the page seems to be by the "firefox myths" guy (firefox myths being a complete load of proverbial twaddle), the XP myths page isn't all that bad on the whole, with the exception of one or two points and a whole load of "myths" that I for one have never heared of.

    However, just like the linked "firefox myths" on the xp myths page, his security guide is more than a little "off" too. For example, it recommends that Windows Update should be used even before a firewall is installed. In fact, it recommends that you should mess around with antivirus and antispyware programs, then windows update, and only THEN, after I don't know how long online, install a firewall. Further, it claims that the Windows firewall is sufficient for an average user, which it simply isn't. It even recommends to download a program to simply shut off the messenger service for pre-sp2 machines which is blantantly unnessecary.

    In short, I would suggest that you take everything that site says with a pinch of salt, and better still, just don't read any of it. Honestly - you can't trust a word the guy says.
  6. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666

    LOL, the guy probably trolls this forum too!

    Heck I've seen XP installed on an, originally, Windows 95 PC, with 64mb of RAM.

    If you change to classic theme, turn off half the services and "features", XP runs about like 95 did before it!

    And don't forget the insanity of that dude who stripped XP down to some ridiculously small space, like 200megs or something.

    *sigh* now us nerds have to repeat the last 5 years or so of XP, with Vista. Will history repeat itself?
  7. kangaruffian

    kangaruffian TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 175

    Doing some diggin on chest of drawers i found 256Mb stick of ram.
    Now i Must admit that i tested and i notice that actually XP can run pretty well on 256Mb... :blush:
  8. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,165   +986

    fyi: (pls excuse off subject comment) Many - Many commercial IT groups have mandated the uninstall of MS Messenger and the disable of the service.

    Like you, I would never go online w/o a firewall either, but setting up AV software is a good first step along with (oh my) purchasing a good firewall.
    MS updates can be done anytime (except the transition from SP1 -> SP2).
  9. Spike

    Spike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,168

    Hi Jobeard.

    The Messenger service is nothing at all to do with MSN messenger or Windows messenger if you are referring to those, and in terms of the Messenger service, there's really nothing to uninstall at all. It's a service that's very limited in scope, and has no dependancies anyway.

    Of course, it's best turned off, and it is off by default in SP2, but if it happens to be on at any time, it's a very simple matter to turn it off again.

    Go to start-> run -> type services.msc and hit enter.

    scroll to the messenger service, stop the service if running, double-click it, set startup type to disabled, and apply -> ok.

    That's all there is to it, and there's absolutely no need to download anything to do it. That's was my point rather than to say that it shouldn't be shut off (though, if a person keeps their machine up to date, there's be no need to shut it off as the SP2 update does this for you anyway.)

    It should be added also that a firewall comes first always if everything is to be obtained online, followed by an antivirus, and only THEN followed by Windows update - not that it takes long to get an av first, so it's not a cardinal sin, but to do everything else before a firewall on a fresh installation is really asking for it (as is leaving a live (ethernet) internet connection in your machine while installing windows, but that's something else).
  10. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666

    I have mixed feelings about it all. While firewall and AV are very important, they can also interfere when installing service packs and updates and other software.

    My usual steps are to install Windows -> drivers -> updates -> programs -> AV last. Hate to say it :) And I never use software firewalls, hate those things. At least on MY personal PCs I don't use them.

    Well for one, I'm always behind a hardware firewall. For two, I always install strait to Windows with the latest service pack slipstreamed. Now having Sp2, it adds the ADDITION of the Windows firewall during this setup time. But that is now double-firewalled with hardware and software.
    Third, I don't expect viruses to jump off Windows updates when I download them. It's no different then installing an Antivirus, and having to connect to get the updates for it, there is still a time of not being protected fully. And it doesn't take long to do all the updates on a high-speed connection. But if your first line of business is to find your porn or look for software cracks, expect your PC to DIE without that protection.

    Since the Antivirus or security suite is so obtrusive, I put it on last, to be sure it doesn't mess with my previous installing.

    I've done it this way hundreds of times over the years, never failed once.

    HOWEVER, if you don't have SP2 slipstreamed, or if you don't have a hardware firewall, or if you're on an unprotected network etc... Get your protection on as early as possible!

    And that's all I have to say about that...
  11. Spike

    Spike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,168

    I agree entirely Vig, believe it or not :D

    The key there is that you are behind a hardware firewall in the first place. Personally, I would say that for such a short period of time, even a routers NAT is probably reasonably sufficient, but in the case of a machine open to the network (internet), well, we all know the statistics ( - that said, we also all know that there are lies, damn lies, and then statistics).

    To be honest, my biggest problem with that page is the clear and obvious predjudice against certain programs, and while it's advice is certainly more secure than nothing at all, for a page claiming to be the be-all and end-all of XP security, it shouldn't be making such fundamental ommissions and errors, giving no consideration to what *could* happen - or in other words, for a security guide, the process is remarkably insecure in its ordering and detail.
  12. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666


    I remember back when Blaster hit everybody around here. I remember having stories of people who were formatting and reloading their XP machines over and over because as soon as they got online, they found it was "still" infected. When, in fact, without SP1 updates, Blaster found their PC over the Internet and infected it within seconds. A firewall would have stopped that. Our office didn't suffer from Blaster and Sasser and its variants.

    Security is in 4 steps:

    1- Don't be an ***** (porn, cracks, free screen savers, unknown E-Mail attachments etc)
    2- Have a firewall and antivirus
    3- Keep good passwords on everything
    4- Do your critical updates

    Most problems are avoided with those steps. Did I leave any out?
  13. Spike

    Spike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,168

    no vig, in terms of key security basics and common sense, that's a fairly comprehensive list. Of course, there are little tweaks and the likes to be used if required and if beneficial, or for the security paranoid/concious, but the basics (the most fundamental and important steps) are as you just said. I completely agree.

    Of course, in the interests of being picky, passwords should never be kept in plaintext files, and avoid activex like the plague it is :p
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