• AV or Malware program that will run on Vista?

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    In another thread, I am working on getting my old Vista laptop computer set up with Linux, and realized that while I am in the process, the laptop has no antivirus software. I understand that it also has no security updates for Vista, but I thought that maybe I should try to put a free AV or Malware program on it till I make the switch over to Linux.

    Is there anything that might still be able to be downloaded and installed on that very old laptop?



    ETA – if there is nothing that will run, maybe I should “Work Fast and Stay off the Internet” while I am getting Linux set up – LOL

    Viewing 6 reply threads
    • #342448

      ESET Smart Security Premium/Internet Security/NOD32 Antivirus 11: Microsoft Windows 10/8/7/Vista/Home Server 2011. Not free.

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    • #342450

      Try Malwarebytes.com Last time I checked it still worked with XP so it should work for vista

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #342457

      You could try ClamWin, standalone AV. Clam is on Linux, ClamWin is the Windows version. You could use it to scan anything you download, and do scans. You can also run Malwarebytes, Avira and some others. These are all free versions. If you run Avira or Avast you will get protection from startup of the system and automatic updating.

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    • #342497

      Malwarebytes still works with XP (and above). You can download it on a secure PC and install it off-line on your old one. Likewise, you can download up-to-date definitions (a.k.a. “rules”) and install them off-line; the definitions file is of the type mbam-rules-YYYY-MM-DD.zip, where YYYY-MM-DD is the date, e.g. 2019-02-28. To install the new rules, extract the zip file and run the two executable files.

      You will find the zip file on various websites. I prefer to go to the original source:


      This won’t open a web page; it will just download the file.

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      • #2041207

        after the release of Malwarebytes 4.0 for Win7 in early November 2019, that Malwarebytes definitions download link no longer works and produces a 404 not found message

        • This reply was modified 3 years, 8 months ago by EP.
    • #342500

      Avast program v18.3.2333 Build 18.3.3860.316 still runs on XP. Newer programs are not supported. But the older program version is still getting definition updates on my XP VMs.

      I suspect that the older programs might still work on Vista as well.

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    • #342499

      I have a late 2006 XP-era laptop probably of a similar age to yours, now running Windows 7 (and 8.1 dual-booting). A couple of years ago I found that it was running increasingly slowly, so I tried several of the free AVs and finally settled on the Panda free AV.

      Panda AV does more checking “in the cloud” than the competition, so is more effective when online than offline, but I figure that I’m more likely to get infected online so that is a reasonable compromise. It is light in RAM usage if you don’t have much. The only times when it slows the PC down is when I attempt to install a new program and it has to check it. Given that these occasions are rare (what proportion of your week do you spend installing new software?) again this is a reasonable compromise.

      Quickly looking on their website (revamped since I last looked) it does not state if the Free AV works with Vista, but it does state that their paid for AVs do, so it is likely that the Free version (built on the same core?) will work with Vista also (maybe?).

      At the other extreme the Comodo AV (with or without Firewall) products do work with Vista, but I have found that Comodo products have the heaviest drag on my old laptop, so you might find it running too slowly for comfort?

      HTH. Garbo.

      BTW: I have thought about running Linux on my old laptop and when I tried a few distros in the past I found that those with the lightweight Xfce desktop such as Xubuntu or Mint with Xfce desktop worked best. Some of the desktops with more eye-candy are too slow for comfort 🙂


    • #342511

      You might find this list of software useful.  Microsoft Security Essentials 4.4.304.0 still works and receives signature updates, but  you have to be careful to hide newer versions if you run windows update.



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      • #2041211

        not anymore. MSE signature updates made in late October 2019 are SHA2-only signed and are no longer compatible for XP/Vista

        on the other hand, Malwarebytes 3.5.1 for XP/Vista still get new definition updates

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