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Windows 98se w/o firewall

by LDGagne / August 14, 2007 7:16 PM PDT

I have an elderly friend who has a 450 MHz Windows 98 SE computer. Hard drive is about 10 GB. She has AOL 9.0 dial up with anti virus & anti spyware included but no firewall. It has slowed down to a crawl and her daughter brought the RAM up to 740 MB from 128 MB and she said it operates better. When they asked me for help I recommended they should get a firewall (All I can find so far is Sygate) and include additional anti spyware programs Ad-Aware & Spy-Bot. I also recommended investigating AVG Internet Security Suite but I'm not sure if there will be a conflict between AVG & AOL. Paying for the right security package is not an issue with them. The issue is that the mother is used to AOL and really doesn't want to change. Would appreciate comments on maximizing Windows 98 se security. If they can protect this computer properly then I'll see if I can help them clean out junk but I really don't want to get into helping them on a computer unless it has proper internet security.

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by Bob__B / August 14, 2007 10:56 PM PDT
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Don't run any resident.
by Cursorcowboy / August 14, 2007 11:43 PM PDT

1. Please let me point out that the article "Understanding and Troubleshooting Unrecoverable Errors (Faults) in Internet Explorer (Q276393)" explains that IE runs in what is known as a user-mode (or Ring3) process that means it runs in its own virtual address spaces and does not have direct access to hardware or memory that is not allocated to it by Windows. Please note however, most programs interact with user-mode processes such as ActiveX Controls, Browser Helper Objects, tool bands, and other components that can add custom functionality, such as additional toolbars, wallpaper or banner ads and etc., and anything else added and unnecessarily used for/with IE is going to slow its process.

CAVEAT: However, I do not recommend the use of the Microsoft Internet Explorer Error Reporting tool to send a report to MS since you're not going to get an answer -- if used at all, use it for its information only.

2. Used Win98 from the day MS issued it until this past week without any active antivirus or spyware programs and never had a problem. However, I did only open e-mail for things which I knew. Run the stand-a-lone of Adaware and Spybot every now and then to see what they come up with.

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Maybe too new/bloated anti-virus
by bus / August 15, 2007 4:54 AM PDT

You said ?She has AOL 9.0 dial up with anti virus & anti spyware included but no firewall?. This software provided by the ISP, has it been updated lately? I ask because I too support a person who owns a computer with about the same specs but even less RAM and when we updated to a new version of anti-virus from the ISP, it was so bloated (resource hog) that it made the computer un-usably slow. We removed the ISP provided anti-virus and installed Avast Free home version anti-virus. The computer was still slow but not un-usably slow. If you believe the computer to be clean then this maybe the problem.

As to the firewall I have been told that if you are using Win98 and not using file and printer sharing then a firewall is unneeded. I have just turned off my file and printer sharing and may remove the Zone Alarm version 4.5 from my Win98 computer (that?s the only version I could get to work in Win98). I may leave it as a monitoring tool. I like it when it informs me a program wants access to the Internet. Still it is using up resources and slowing the speed. It?s a hard call to make.

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Yes I believe there is bloatware
by LDGagne / August 15, 2007 3:00 PM PDT

I do believe there is bloatware. All responses have led me to recommend the following to her: Choose between AOL's anti virus and anti spyware system or AVG Free anti virus with Spy-Bot and Ad-Aware free antispywares and live with the decision. She doesn't use sharing in any manner and I can let her know not to open any questionable e-mail messages. I haven't tried the free Avast anti virus yet so I will investigate that if it appears that AVG isn't right for her computer. Also on any firewall, she doesn't want to make decisions on when they request permission to allow or disallow because she says that she wouldn't understand when to allow or disallow. The decision is up to her. I appreciate everyone's response. Thanks, Larry

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