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  • Windows 8 refresh questions

    Posted on November 10th, 2013 at 07:44 woody 2 comments

    Two good questions from reader JH:

    Hi Woody,

    I have 2 questions:

    I did a “refresh” on my HP windows 8. I can pull up the list of the apps lost in the refresh. Is there a way to restore those?

    Also, I assume that I lost the “virus protection” provided from a disk I ran when I first bought my laptop in March…..do I need to purchase new protection? I read somewhere that these are a waste because Windows 8 has this protection “built in”.

    Please advise me on these 2 things.

    My response:

    If you’re using the same Microsoft account, just click on the Store tile. That’ll bring back your Metro style apps. For the other apps – the ones that work on the desktop – you’ll have to re-install those from the original CDs, or by downloading them.

    No need for extra antivirus. Windows 8 works just fine, all by itself. The disk you got when you bought the machine is a come-on by the people who sold you the machine: they get a kickback from every CD distributed

     

     

    2 responses to “Windows 8 refresh questions”

    1. You are kidding right? “No need for extra antivirus. Windows 8 works just fine, all by itself” Yes, W8 comes with AV included. And any security researcher worth his salt will tell you that defense in depth suggests, if not requires security software/hardware from different vendors. In addition, can you provide me with third party reviews of the Windows 8 Security software and show me it berforms as well as Bitdefender Free or other security software?

    2. I’m not Woody, but I’ve tried various third-party antivirus and firewall programs with many versions of Windows over the years.

      And one thing has become clear — extra protection always comes at a price in Windows.

      Any added shields or heuristics (e.g., HIPS) will cause additional strain on system resources. Scanning files and downloads takes up CPU cycles, and firewall or heuristic rules block perfectly benign actions. At the least, you get cryptic popup warnings which no one without an IT degree could possibly respond to in real time. Or, you just get locked out from App after App until you punch holes into your defenses which make the added protections a sick joke. And often an expensive sick joke.

      The only way to improve Windows security would be to rewrite the entire Windows OS from the ground up, with layered security, and to scrap backwards compatibility for programs, hardware and peripherals. Which for most of us who aren’t Apple users would be unacceptable.

      I won’t bore everyone with the many advantages of the UNIX/Apple/Linux approach of building in layered security and limiting permissions from the ground up. But it works. And Microsoft’s way — adding security as a thin veneer and then only as an afterthought — clearly does not work anywhere near as well.

      Still, this layered and permissions based approach does make Linux difficult to learn to use. Apple simplifies the end-user learning curve at the expense of not having much choice in how to configure and use the two Apple OSes. Android (which is really just a skin of Linux) similarly limits end-user choices.

      Nothing in security comes without a price. And no security (or slapping it on as an afterthought) has the highest price of all — failure to protect end-users. The resulting identity theft far overreaches any privacy issues resulting from Windows insecurity. No amount of third-party add-ons can change the grim calculus of Microsoft’s lack of concern for end-user security.

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