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  • Old Windows 7 gaming desktop

    Posted on AlexEiffel Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums AskWoody support Windows Windows 7 Questions: Windows 7 Old Windows 7 gaming desktop

    This topic contains 7 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Lugh 7 months ago.

    • Author
    • #1879850 Reply


      I wanted to reuse an old but great Vista era desktop and install Windows 7 on it for someone to do gaming. I would like to ask the people here what they think since some of you keep up with patches much more in depth than me.

      Here is the context:

      The desktop is capable, but old, so it would preferably not run any side-channel patches to avoid slowing it down.

      There is not much to steal from it, as it probably won’t be used to navigate the web and on the rare occasion it would, it would be with Firefox and for non sensitive use.

      Still, I want to reduce the risk of getting infected, so I would ideally like it to be patched against worm-type vulnerabilities, as those could potentially be more serious than the side-channel ones or other click-me type vulnerabilities in this particular case. Basically, I want to eliminate the “get infected by doing nothing” type of scenario.

      That’s it.

      So I am looking for a patch up to this and then manually add patches x and y and z type of advice.



    • #1879895 Reply

      Da Boss

      Telemetry: If you try to avoid telemetry, the main patches to avoid at all times are listed at the top of AKB2000003.

      Rollup patching: MS started cumulative updates (as defined today) with the Oct 2016 Rollup. Although it did not contain telemetry, Rollups beginning with Nov 2016 do. The KB2952664 functionality (Compatibility Appraiser) was added to the cumulative Rollups beginning with the Sept 2018 Preview and the Oct 2018 Monthly Rollup. The Security-only updates have (supposedly) been telemetry free until July 2019, when the KB2952664 functionality (Compatibility Appraiser) was added to the July 2019 SO.

      MS started the Meltdown/Spectre mitigation with the Jan 2018 updates, so patches prior to that time do not contain the side-channel mitigation.

      If you are starting from scratch, you will need (of course) SP2 and the patches up to whatever break point you choose. It should include IE11 (you may also need KB2670838 Platform Update) , whatever .NET needed for the programs, and updates for any other MS products. If you are using Windows Update to do the updating from scratch, I would recommend installing KB3020369, KB3138612, KB4490628 (SSU), KB3172605, and KB4474419 (SHA-2 patch) manually first.

      What have I forgotten?

      • This reply was modified 7 months ago by  PKCano.
      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #1879963 Reply


        minor correction PKCano – the Meltdown/Spectre patches from MS began on January 2018

        • #1879966 Reply

          Da Boss

          Corrected (That was an ooops, I knew that). Thanks.

    • #1880183 Reply

      AskWoody Plus

      The side-channel mitigations can be disabled through the registry or with a tool like InSpectre, so don’t be afraid to install the rollups for that reason. PKCano’s details on what patches contain what is right on the money, so you can decide how much you care about telemetry on a dedicated gaming rig.

      You might be fine to just install all the patches and realize Microsoft will know what games you play. But if that bothers you (and it bother me more than it logically should), you can manually patch and avoid the telemetry and still get reasonably up to date on security.

      Edit: Microsoft KB4073119 lists the registry settings to enable/disable the mitigations.

      • This reply was modified 7 months ago by  DAVe3283. Reason: Added KB link
      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #1880330 Reply


      Thanks all. That still seems way too much trouble for the little time I have to go group B and install everything manually.

      So, after reading your comments, I wonder if telemetry can be easily disabled after the patches have been installed if I rolled up group A style until December 2017. Then, I would only need to install security patches that address worm-type vulnerabilities after that (there was only two if I am not mistaken for the last 2 years).

      One last question: I know security patches are not cumulative, but if I only installed the ones related to worm-type security issues, will it work or they can depend on other patches that I wouldn’t have installed? In other words, are all security patches truly independent? It doesn’t look very feasible to prove that they all are so it would mean you install them all or you don’t.

      Maybe the simplest thing would be to fully patch and then disable telemetry and side-channel mitigations that invade privacy and/or unnecessarily tax this old gaming rig?

      I love this “and it bothers me more than it logically should” comment, I am a bit like this.

      • #1880335 Reply

        Da Boss

        To disable the telemetry see @abbodi86 ‘s instructions in AKB2000012. I am patching Group A and using the script as a scheduled task at login. Seems to work for the most part.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #1890541 Reply


      Windows 7 on it for someone to do gaming

      It’s probably not on, but no harm running the Win10 compatibility checker on it, just in case it works. Win10 is somewhere between better than 7 and much much better than 7, depending on the gamer’s overall profile.

      side-channel patches

      What are these, just curious as I don’t know the term.

      it probably won’t be used to navigate the web and on the rare occasion it would, it would be with Firefox

      Any PC gamer is likely to want considerable web access. Try the new Opera GX browser, which is aimed at gamers—I’m using it as my 2nd general browser atm. Web access would be for:

      Explore and test mods;
      Manage accounts with the main distributors & retailers;
      Get patches, updates and DLC;
      Take advantage of the huge discounts which are available all the time [make sure to get an EpicGames account since they’re giving away a $15-20 game every week];
      Reading tips & strategies—Reddit is a good general place to start;
      Participate in online multiplayer;
      Watch playthru videos, streaming, or specific mission vids.

      Alienware Aurora R6; Win10 Home x64 1803; Office 365 x32
      i7-7700; GeForce GTX 1060; 16GB DDR4 2400; 1TB SSD, 256GB SSD, 4TB HD

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