Updating NAV and Windows 7 on laptop that I haven't used for a year
November 3, 2013 6:09 AM   Subscribe

Am I likely to get a virus on a laptop that hasn't been updated for a year, while I wait for new updates?


I am trying to update the security (NAV) and Windows updates on a laptop I bought last year. However, I am worried that the laptop might be compromised while I'm waiting for the latest updates to download.

Is it possible to get the updates posted to me by the relevant companies on CDs? What is the probability of getting a virus during the download?

Thank you for your assistance.
posted by Musashi Daryl to Computers & Internet (4 answers total)
A lot of us remember the "4 minutes until infected" tests of unpatched Windows XP systems of a few years ago. But the rollout of SP 2 for XP, which included a software firewall that, by default, was turned on and configured to automatically disallow unrequested incoming connections, greatly reduced the problems of worm style infections spreading automatically. And all subsequent Windows versions have had this feature, too.

It's great if you can pre-download all your patches and updates for Windows and whatever anti-virus and security products you intend to use. Even better if you can slipstream them all into an install image from which you can do your actual install, and not have to connect your machine to any network until it is fully patched and configured, as well as having a backup image of the configured installation created. Doing all that can give you a demonstrable point of install security, from which all your subsequent activities can be referenced, and a quick way to recover to a known good state from any future problem.

But it's more work to set up, and only you can decide if the extra effort and time involved is worth the small risk you are taking in doing a standard install, and network update.
posted by paulsc at 6:53 AM on November 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

You're likely behind a home router, which probably has some firewall options that provide some safety.
posted by theora55 at 7:15 AM on November 3, 2013

Are you behind a router? If you're behind a (properly configured router) and you don't do anything else dangerous (download or open anything that's not your anti-virus) then you're pretty safe. Not downloading/opening anything protects you from threats on your computer, and the router protects you from threats trying to connect to your computer.
posted by anaelith at 7:17 AM on November 3, 2013

Unless you're installing on a network that's absolutely infested with viruses and you have your firewall off, you should be fine. Just don't browse the web.
posted by empath at 6:56 AM on November 4, 2013

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