A workable strategy for an XP user post mid April

Hello good people,
I am still using XP and currently won’t be able to afford to change to Win 8.1 let alone Win 7, (preffered option), until after the end of Microsoft’s support for XP mid April this year.

Linux is not an option for the way I currently use the PC.

So how do I safely sustain the machine until say mid-year.

The PC’s specs are more than adequate for either Win 7 or 8 I should add.


XP won’t suddenly implode, and MS has apparently decided to extend support for the Windows security tools until 2015. Make sure you have the MS security suite installed and enabled for updates.

After that, it’s how fast the malware crowd goes after new exploits in XP and how well the MSE updates alone will protect against them. XP systems on the net could run fine for years, or be unusable by fall. I would keep all personal data off one and not use it for secure transactions.

Your computer won’t stop working in April. It will keep chugging along doing what it’s doing now. The only thing that happens in April is that Microsoft will officially stop making patches for it.

You will need to keep your anti-virus up to date, and if you use this for web browsing you will want to keep your browser up to date. That will stop most of the baddies from harming your computer. If someone discovers a security flaw in XP during that time you will be vulnerable to it. In the past, Microsoft has patched obsolete operating systems when there was a major security exploit going around, but that’s no guarantee that they will continue to do so, and they don’t patch the little security holes that are found that aren’t causing users big problems.

Keep the machine behind a firewall and don’t worry about it.

Thank you both, so replacing avira and zonealarm with MSE is a requirement to get the most stable use after April?

It’s hard to say whether MSE will be more stable or reliable than any aftermarket tools, but the difference is MS has the internal code for their work and the others don’t.

“Choose… wisely.”

It is good to hear that I’m not the only one who doesn’t want to leave XP. My very good graphics program (Micrografx) won’t work on a 64-bit machine and I don’t want to change. And btw, I have heard exactly zero people rave about Win 8.

Thanks again, Amateur Barbarian, I think taking all into consideration I may gut the current machine and get a new Mobo and CPU and move up to Win 7 asap.
From the few win 8/8.1 machines I look after for friends it’s way too clunky and user unfriendly at the moment.

Ta again.


Use either firefox (or chrome), fully updated, with Ghostery and Adblock plus installed and active. Don’t use internet explorer. Don’t connect your computer directly to the internet, you must use a Router/Firewall. Uninstall Java if you can. Do run a more effective Antivirus than MSE (keeping Microsoft Security Essentials up to date for a little longer doesn’t make it better than an antivirus that works better).

The most likely ways your computer would get compromised (windows XP or not), is either a remote execution vulnerability (which is why we don’t connect to the internet directly), or a malicious ad (like from yahoo) - hence the Adblocker/Ghostery.

The one point not mentioned so far is backups.

  1. Use something like Macrium Free to make disk images of your system:
    Macrium Software | Macrium Reflect Free Trial
  2. Use something like Syncback Free to back up your data daily
    SyncBack - best backup software for Windows

When you use tools like these if malware destroys your system then you can quickly recover.

I still occasionally use Netscape Navigator and that hasn’t been supported since 2008.