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Windows 7: Business software won't run on Win10; options for post-2019 security?

4 Weeks Ago   #1
pseudonym

Windows 7 Home Premium 64, Windows 7 Professional 64
 
 
Business software won't run on Win10; options for post-2019 security?

We use very specific software for our business that does not run reliably on Win10, so I have prepared a couple of extra backup computers running Win7 that can hopefully keep us running through about 2023, at which point we'll need to reassess our situation. Until then, however, can we use something along the lines of ZoneAlarm or another 3rd party utility to protect our computers after 2019, when support from MS ends?


If it's felt that that option is not sufficiently secure, can I run a Win7 WM and expect better security by virtue of the extra layer that the host OS affords? Or is it that since the IP address is different from the host, the same level of insecurity in the VM would apply, and the only upside is that by using a VM, a clean backup VM could be substituted at relatively short notice.


Thanks in advance for any guidance here.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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4 Weeks Ago   #2
lehnerus2000

W7 Ultimate SP1, LM18.3 MATE, W10 Home, #All 64 bit
 
 

Does the software need network access?

If no, then you could use a W7 VM with network access disabled (use the Host OS for network access).
It may also be possible to use a "Host Only" network (VMware has an option for this).

I run a W10 VM in VMware Player on a Linux Mint Host OS.

After the 1709 "upgrade" failed multiple times, I blocked all network access (in the VM & the VM manager) so that MS couldn't get in and break it again.
It's run flawlessly ever since.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
4 Weeks Ago   #3
pseudonym

Windows 7 Home Premium 64, Windows 7 Professional 64
 
 

@lehnerus2000, thanks for your reply, and for moving my post to a more appropriate location.
The software is installed either as a client or as a server. The client installations work fine on Win10, but some installed supporting components required for server installations do not function properly on Win10, dropping the connection to the network frequently. I tried all sorts of things, from static IPs to reserved MAC addresses via the router, but simply using a Win7 computer as server solves all of the problems.


Yes, the computer involved does require internet access beyond the LAN, so I was hoping we could continue as we are, just substituting 3rd party firewall/AV software for the current Microsoft security updates, as of 2020.


If not, I could set up Win7 as a VM in WMware, essentially making the installation relatively "replaceable".
But I would be less happy, obviously, as the server performance would take a hit.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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4 Weeks Ago   #4
lehnerus2000

W7 Ultimate SP1, LM18.3 MATE, W10 Home, #All 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by pseudonym View Post
@lehnerus2000, thanks for your reply, and for moving my post to a more appropriate location.
One of the Admins must have moved this thread.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by pseudonym View Post
If not, I could set up Win7 as a VM in WMware, essentially making the installation relatively "replaceable".
But I would be less happy, obviously, as the server performance would take a hit.
VMs have good performance these days.

On my PC the only thing I notice is they take longer to boot up (~2x) than the hardware installs.
Once the VMs are running I don't really notice any performance issues.

That said, the VMs I run the most are on an SSD partition.
The VMs that are on HDDs aren't as smooth.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
4 Weeks Ago   #5
pseudonym

Windows 7 Home Premium 64, Windows 7 Professional 64
 
 

Thanks, I'll test a copy of Windows 7 in a VM and see if it's practical. All of our computers run on SSDs, so we might be OK.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
4 Weeks Ago   #6
lehnerus2000

W7 Ultimate SP1, LM18.3 MATE, W10 Home, #All 64 bit
 
 

I'm not sure how "hard" VMs are on SSDs (wear & tear).
You might want to use a dedicated PC for this purpose (i.e. the PC only runs the OS, VM Manager and your W7 VM).

Allocate as much RAM as possible to your VM to reduce the number of page file writes.

Remember to leave some RAM for your Host OS.
I usually leave a minimum of 2 GB (my main PC has 12 GB of RAM).

If your software requires access to your GPU you may have issues.

Hardening your network defences (e.g. firewall) is still a good idea as it will protect all of your PCs.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
4 Weeks Ago   #7
pseudonym

Windows 7 Home Premium 64, Windows 7 Professional 64
 
 

Thanks again for your suggestions, lehnerus2000.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Business software won't run on Win10; options for post-2019 security?




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