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  • Using Win 7 without connecting to the internet

    Home Forums AskWoody support Windows Windows 7 Questions: Windows 7 Using Win 7 without connecting to the internet

    This topic contains 25 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  Kathy Stevens 1 week ago.

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    • #2138080 Reply

      anonymous

      My Win 7 laptop currently holds all my music and picture files. I like using Windows Media Player and Windows Photo Gallery, so I haven’t rushed to find alternatives for Win 10 so I can move these files. I will never be connecting to the internet on the Win 7 laptop and I do have all this data saved to a backup. Will these Windows programs work indefinitely without updates? Without an internet connection, there will obviously be no security risk. Thanks!

    • #2138086 Reply

      Microfix
      Da Boss

      Good to read you have already backed up.
      I would think that the music and photos will be safe and (hopefully) everything will work as intended for the life of the device.

      BUT one important thing to remember, even if you are not connected to the internet, is the antivirus definitions and system protection.

      I’d switch autorun/autoplay off when media is inserted

      Suppose you insert a USB key with data that happens to have malware/virus on it many months from now and have forgotten..then what? Will the AV pick it up and do what is needed?
      What I would do is download your AV definitions manually via your W10 device (assuming it is another device) and transfer the defs to the Win7 laptop and update prior to inserting data media.
      It’s along winded process but ensures the OS and device protection.

      Win7 Pro x64 | Win8.1 Pro x64 | Linux Hybrids x86/x64 | Win7 Pro x86 | W10 never again
      • #2139054 Reply

        DrBonzo
        AskWoody Plus

        I’m running a Win 7 Pro SP1 machine with MS Security Essentials. I’m taking the machine off-line but want to make sure I can update the virus definitions. On another computer (running Linux Mint) I downloaded the latest virus definition update to a flash drive and transferred that update file to the Win 7 machine’s desktop. It’s a .exe file and when I ran it, it looked like it was running (got a brief spinning circle), but there is no indication in either Windows Update or MS Security Essentials that any update actually occurred (only the previously automatically installed update was listed in both programs).

        As a further test, I downloaded the definition update directly to the Win 7 desktop and tried to run it. Same thing happened – the spinning circle, but no indication that an update actually occurred.

        So, my question is How can I verify whether or not an update actually took place?

        • #2139087 Reply

          geekdom
          AskWoody Plus

          mse

          or from the little arrow to the right of the Help notation:
          mse02

          G{ot backup} TestBeta
          offline▸ Win7Pro • SP1 • x64 • InUse
          online▸ Win10Pro • 1909.18363.657 • x64 • i5-9400 • RAM8GB • HDD • CanonMG3620 • Firefox74.0b6 • Windows{Defender/SystemImage/RescueDisk/Firewall}
          Attachments:
          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #2139104 Reply

            DrBonzo
            AskWoody Plus

            @geekdom – Thanks. Unfortunately a manual update doesn’t show up in either location (I’d forgotten about the arrow next to ‘Help’). I just downloaded and manually installed the 1.309.813.0 definition update. BUT each of the two places you mentioned as well as Windows Update fails to show 1.309.813.0 as the latest update (or in the history of Windows Update). All that shows is 1.309.810.0 which was the latest update that was done automatically.

            And, yes, I did download the correct file – Win 7 64 bit.

            1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #2140253 Reply

              geekdom
              AskWoody Plus

              Let me run a few tests… and return with results… but not today.

              G{ot backup} TestBeta
              offline▸ Win7Pro • SP1 • x64 • InUse
              online▸ Win10Pro • 1909.18363.657 • x64 • i5-9400 • RAM8GB • HDD • CanonMG3620 • Firefox74.0b6 • Windows{Defender/SystemImage/RescueDisk/Firewall}
              1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #2140290 Reply

              DrBonzo
              AskWoody Plus

              @geekdom – I appreciate the offer of help, but I just tried manually downloading/installing a definition update and it worked just fine. Did it a second time and it worked just fine as well, so I think it’s a non-issue. I don’t know what the problem was but maybe I just got a bad download before.

              MSE gives me a correct indication that the update installed, although Windows Update doesn’t.

              • This reply was modified 1 week ago by  DrBonzo.
              1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #2140293 Reply

              geekdom
              AskWoody Plus

              Thanks for the information. It’s nice to know with all the Windows 7 update flap that offline definition updates will work.

              G{ot backup} TestBeta
              offline▸ Win7Pro • SP1 • x64 • InUse
              online▸ Win10Pro • 1909.18363.657 • x64 • i5-9400 • RAM8GB • HDD • CanonMG3620 • Firefox74.0b6 • Windows{Defender/SystemImage/RescueDisk/Firewall}
              • This reply was modified 1 week ago by  geekdom.
              • This reply was modified 1 week ago by  geekdom.
            • #2140314 Reply

              OscarCP
              AskWoody Plus

              DrBonzo, you described the update as “an exec file”. If memory serves, exec files get executed, but they are not patches in the normal sense (they do something  connected to a certain patch) and do not appear listed in the Windows Update directory of installed patches. If this is the case here, then everything is as it should be.

              Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group B & macOS + Linux (Mint) => Win7 Group W + Mac&Lx

            • #2140319 Reply

              DrBonzo
              AskWoody Plus

              The manually downloaded definition updates are in an executable file. When that file is manually successfully run, MSE indicates such. When the definitions are updated automatically, MSE AND Windows Update indicate such. Therefore I thought perhaps Windows Update would indicate when a definition update was manually installed.

            • #2140323 Reply

              OscarCP
              AskWoody Plus

              Quite, I was referring to my own experience, manually installing the execs. I have not dealt with the other options. Also, I do not use MSE, so that is something else I don’t know about.

              Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group B & macOS + Linux (Mint) => Win7 Group W + Mac&Lx

    • #2138087 Reply

      PKCano
      Da Boss

      Beside a data backup, make sure you have a full disk image with a reliable backup program, as well as the bootable Rescue disk from that program. This in case your HDD goes out.

      I would also recommend making a record/printout of the hardware specs using something like Speccy or Belarc Advisor. If any part of the hardware fails, you will have the information to replace it.

    • #2138240 Reply

      MrJimPhelps
      AskWoody_MVP

      If you aren’t connected to the internet, chances are, everything will keep working forever, as long as you don’t accidentally delete / overwrite something, and as long as your computer doesn’t develop any hardware issues.

      You would do well to follow PKCano’s advice in post 2138087 about backing up your drive, as well as the hardware printout.

      Group "L" (Linux Mint)
      with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
      • #2138248 Reply

        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        If there is a router with WiFi, Ethernet, etc. to connect various devices to each other and, or with the Internet, then to keep a Win 7 PC wholly off the internet something has to be done with this router, so software installed on the PC, including components of Win 7 itself, are unable to call the mother ship through the router. I have no home network, so I am also free to turn off the router while the Win 7 PC is up and running, and turn it on again when it is not (one could also turn WiFi off at the PC, but that is controlled by the installed software, so you never know…) Therefore, perhaps the question remains of how to run a home network where different devices have to be connected at various times maybe to each other and, or the Internet, so turning off the router is not always an option.

        Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group B & macOS + Linux (Mint) => Win7 Group W + Mac&Lx

        • #2138282 Reply

          Paul T
          AskWoody MVP

          There is a solution in this thread.

          cheers, Paul

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #2140367 Reply

            Sueska
            AskWoody Plus

            @paul T. The method you referenced in your post-2041688 works well for my purpose of accessing the network printer, while preventing access to the internet.

            1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2138725 Reply

          wavy
          AskWoody Plus

          Get a VLAN capable router

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_LAN

          🍻

          Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
          • #2138726 Reply

            wavy
            AskWoody Plus

            Paul’s solution looks good too.

            🍻

            Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
          • #2139033 Reply

            Paul T
            AskWoody MVP

            I won’t use a VLAN at home because it’s just too complicated. Setting one up is no easy task and then making sure it applies to one specific computer is even more daunting. A change on one PC is much easier and simple to revert.

            cheers, Paul

    • #2138526 Reply

      anonymous

      Thank you everyone for the input.

      I had not considered AV definitions and system protection for when I might need to use a USB. My wireless hotspot router for internet connections can be turned off when Win 7 is in use. I do have another wireless router that is only for using my older wireless printer – long story, but i have to disconnect from the internet and connect to the wireless router to print (no modem involved). I have to also use this setup for my Win 10 laptop, so turning off the second wireless router would be doable, but a hassle. Disabling the WiFi at the PC would be my only option if a PC-wireless router-printer connection has any risks.

      I have a bootable Rescue Disc but have not made a full disc image. I rely on doing regular data only back ups. If the HDD or any other hardware components fail, they won’t be replaced.

    • #2138745 Reply

      anonymous

      A full disk image is really nice to have.  Although rare, corrupting the windows install even with no failure of the hardware or hard drive, is possible.  Recovery can be a multiple day task if you don’t have a full image.  It can be as quick as 10 minutes if you do have the image.  Recovery can even be impossible if you don’t have the right installers and keys.

      How can the install get corrupted?  One way is any software crash that causes a blue screen or system reboot.  Or a slip of the mouse moving the system32 folder into my documents, or accidentally typing destroy all data at the command prompt instead of what you meant to.

    • #2140298 Reply

      Kathy Stevens
      AskWoody Plus

      I still have DOS and Windows XP machines that are working perfectly.

      I do not connect the XP machine to the internet.

      • #2140312 Reply

        geekdom
        AskWoody Plus

        What do you use for a virus checker?

        Do you backup your machines?

        G{ot backup} TestBeta
        offline▸ Win7Pro • SP1 • x64 • InUse
        online▸ Win10Pro • 1909.18363.657 • x64 • i5-9400 • RAM8GB • HDD • CanonMG3620 • Firefox74.0b6 • Windows{Defender/SystemImage/RescueDisk/Firewall}
        • This reply was modified 1 week ago by  geekdom.
    • #2140368 Reply

      Kathy Stevens
      AskWoody Plus

      I do not connect the legacy computers to the internet and thus no need to run a virus checker.

      I mirrored the C drive to the second hard drive in case of an emergency.

      The DOS machines are seldom used.

      The XP machine has some software that I occasionally use with our radios and graphic related work.

    • #2140408 Reply

      Paul T
      AskWoody MVP

      I mirrored the C drive to the second hard drive in case of an emergency.

      You can’t boot from a mirrored drive without booting to a rescue disk and fixing the boot. An image is better IMO as it can be restored wherever you need it.

      Rather than having individual machines you could virtualize them and run them all on one machine. Then it’s easy to move them to a 3rd machine.
      Use MS Disk2VHD to create the virtual image.

      cheers, Paul

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2140476 Reply

        Kathy Stevens
        AskWoody Plus

        Paul T

        Thanks for the suggestion.

        My post was responding to the question that started this thread, “Will these Windows programs work indefinitely without updates? The answer, in my case, is yes.

        In reality, my old computers are in storage and are dragged out every once and a while for a special project or to see if they still work.

         

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