Running Windows 2000 under VMWare to avoid viruses?

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by lloyd709, Jan 22, 2009.

  1. lloyd709 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2008
    #1
    I'm currently running XP under VMWare just to run a few old apps, like Lotus 123, without any need for the internet. It's now dead though after too many viruses and everything else the internet put on it without me knowing.

    Being primarily a mac user now, I don't want to have to learn about, and keep up to date with, antivirus software just to run a few old macros. So I was wondering if I can install an older operating system, such as Windows 2000, without ever telling it about the internet so it will have no connection with it and hopefully not die on me.
     
  2. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    London, England
    #2
    If you really don't want it to have the internet, just don't enable networking on the VM. The OS doesn't matter.
     
  3. contoursvt macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2005
    #3
    2000 wont keep you away from viruses, infact it may allow more in.

    Just stick with XP with SP2 or SP1 or Vista with SP1 and surf carefully and you'll be fine.

    I have not run AV on my windows boxes since 2003 and no viruses yet... Common sense is enough to keep viruses away :)
     
  4. Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #4
    I set up a Windows installation inside Virtual PC once and neglected to install any anti virus software for a few weeks while I tended to other tasks. I came back to that VPC install and it was so loaded down with malware that I had to delete it and reinstall Windows.

    Windows, any version, is a malware magnet. I've been using Antivir for the past 5-6 years. It works, it's free for non-commercial use, and it's the first software I install in a Windows installation. http://free-av.com/
     
  5. contoursvt macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2005
    #5
    The only way there would be viruses would be or or a combination of the following:

    -no hardware firewall
    -XP SP2 or older
    -Not enabling automatic update
    -Surfing to sites where one expects to find viruses
    -Running hacked software or executing unknown files from emails of unknown origin

    2003 until now and no virus is not just a stroke of luck :) I run 5-6 windows boxes by the way.

     
  6. Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #6
    Let's see:

    There was a hardware firewall
    Win 2k - don't recall the SP level - this was a few years ago
    I don't recall if auto update was a feature of Win2k
    I didn't use the virtual machine - it was just sitting idle - so no surfing of any sort
    No haX0r software, nor was an email client installed on the VM

    Technically, I run a number of windows machines too. I have a Windows Server 2003 VM running a data warehousing development environment. I am also running an XP VM as my main client environment, plus Vista and Windows 7 environments just to see what they look like. All the non-server environments have Antivir installed, and the server environment is running inside some very restrictive software firewalls. Everything is behind a router.

    No viruses since that one experience, but I attribute that to the use of anti-virus software.
     
  7. lloyd709 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2008
    #7
    Thanks for all your responses but it seems the answer to my question is that I can't run window's - even if I turn networking off (is this correct?) - without have to be on the ball with anti virus software/procedures.
     
  8. daflake macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2008
    #8
    Funny the above responses and only one real answer.

    To answer your question.

    Any windows system will be at risk of a virus or trojan if you connect it to the internet without AV and proper patches installed. That being said, as mentioned above, you can disable the network portion all together in VMWare and as long as you don't introduce the infection, you will be ok. If you are just in need of a windows machine I would simply install XP as going backwards won't protect you any more than XP would. I don't recommend not having AV installed . In fact, you are given free AV software with VMWare or you can get free AV (Clamwin AV) to install on your machine.

    So, you have two choices.

    1. Install the OS of choice (XP or 2K) with no AV and the network turned off on the VM and roll the dice that a file of yours might be infected.

    2. Install the OS of your choice and install a free AV.
     
  9. Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #9
    If you turn networking off, then you'll have to disable automatic updating of the OS as well, since that connection goes out over the internet. You're best off just installing anti-virus software. I provided a link to a package I use in my first post. I imagine there are others.
     
  10. lloyd709 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2008
    #10
    Thanks - I'm a lot clearer now.
     
  11. certsoft macrumors member

    certsoft

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2007
    Location:
    John Day, OR
    #11
    I run W2K under Parallels on my MBP but have it setup for what I think they called "Shared Networking". Normally in the office everything is behind a hardware firewall but when I'm on the road I enable the OSX firewall.

    With shared networking W2K is running behind the OSX firewall so none of the ports are open to the internet. I've run nmap against this configuration and nothing shows up as open. I would think that VMWare has a similar mode.
     

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