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  1. #1
    Untangle Ninja
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    Question Windows 7 end of support and the wisdom/risk of running it behind Untangle

    On January 14 Windows 7 becomes officially orphaned. The conventional wisdom among those who will still use Windows 7 past that date is to isolate the machine running it from the Internet. I've done a similar thing in the past with medical equipment that had Windows XP at the core, so I see the sense of that.

    But I'm wondering if there are Untangle users who feel confident enough in Untangle and in their own behavior to continue to use Windows 7 as always past the 14th. I have one Windows machine left, a laptop running Windows 7, and I use it infrequently for a couple of very specific purposes related to drones. I'd intended to convert that computer into a GNU/Linus machine and forego the drone applications, but since i still use it for those limited purposes, I'm considering leaving it as is and letting it connect to the Internet in the context of those limited purposes.

    What ya'll think?

  2. #2
    Untangle Ninja sky-knight's Avatar
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    The free upgrade to Win10 never stopped, slap in an SSD and update the thing. If the computer is so ancient that it cannot handle Windows 10, it's time to put the thing down.

    Windows 7 was purged from all of my networks almost three years ago... and I'm the "slow" guy... If you've got a line of business app that's so ancient it still needs Win7, just unplug it.

    Untangle is powerful, but it cannot save you from a threat inside the walls. Win7 on the network is just one misclick away from doomsday. Though I suppose if you put each Win7 device on a dedicated Untangle port, on its own IP range... that might be safe enough and still allow some Internet use.
    Rob Sandling, BS:SWE, MCP
    NexgenAppliances.com
    Phone: 866-794-8879 x201
    Email: support@nexgenappliances.com

  3. #3
    Untangle Ninja
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    There are also some hacks to get the enterprise extended support. Google will find them.

    Will your drone software run under wine on linux? Not sure how secure that is but might be an option.

    PS just got a promotion to ninja. LOL
    Last edited by donhwyo; 01-04-2020 at 10:24 AM.

  4. #4
    Untangle Ninja
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    Congratulations on your promotion!

    Quote Originally Posted by donhwyo View Post
    Will your drone software run under wine on linux? Not sure how secure that is but might be an option.
    That's a good question, and I actually wondered about that for a minute. Since the only copy of Windows I have is the OEM preloaded installation discs, I don't know what happens if I try to install Windows under a VM.

    The drone software supports out-of-production drones; it hasn't and I'm sure won't see updates. I'm not sure how much longer hobbyists will be able to fly older drones in the US in the wild, maybe three years max, so I'm less than highly motivated about the whole thing.

  5. #5
    Untangle Ninja
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    Quote Originally Posted by sky-knight View Post
    Win7 on the network is just one misclick away from doomsday. Though I suppose if you put each Win7 device on a dedicated Untangle port, on its own IP range... that might be safe enough and still allow some Internet use.
    That's a thought.

  6. #6
    Untangle Ninja sky-knight's Avatar
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    Are you sure the software in question won't work on Windows 10?

    If you've lost the installer, my standard upgrade process is this:

    1.) Update BIOS
    2.) Update Drivers
    3.) Remove all extra software
    4.) Image HDD to SSD
    5.) Swap HDD and SSD, leaving HDD disconnected
    6.) Boot Win7 on SSD
    7.) Insert Windows 10 USB 3.0 installation key
    8.) Run Setup.exe

    Typically, that process winds up with a fully functional Windows 10 install, with everything from Windows 7 still there, including any installed software. And there's not much in my experience that could run on Windows 7 that won't run on Windows 10. There are a few things... but not many. And if it doesn't work you have the original install still sitting there on the HDD offline. You image it back to the SSD, and leave Win7 on the SSD. At least you've conquered the drive failure risk, and with the above isolation it would probably be safe enough to use.

    P.S. I've literally gotten old and gray performing the above procedure... there are SO MANY HDDs in this place, I keep scrapping them and another batch of machines shows up. There was a point in 2018 where I was pretty sure I existed just to upgrade Win7 boxen.

    P.P.S. Microsoft 365 Business subscriptions have the enterprise support, but that extended support is only good for another three years. It can be purchased separately, at a cost of ~$50 / year / device. This cost is CUMULATIVE and REGRESSIVE. So if you wait a year, and you want it, you have to pay double. And it's only available via channel partners that are offering Windows 7 ESU, because it's attached to a support liability on older hardware not too many of them are going to do this for much less than $200 / year. And don't be a douche and steal it, software pirates can burn. There are plenty of legal options to be a knob about it.
    Last edited by sky-knight; 01-04-2020 at 12:00 PM.
    Rob Sandling, BS:SWE, MCP
    NexgenAppliances.com
    Phone: 866-794-8879 x201
    Email: support@nexgenappliances.com

  7. #7
    Untangle Ninja
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    Quote Originally Posted by sky-knight View Post
    Are you sure the software in question won't work on Windows 10?
    No, I'm not. I have only the existing system requirements documentation, and that could be incomplete or out of date. I can say that the Mac versions will not run under macOS Catalina, so that route is now closed.

    I have no interest in being a douche and never have. In fact, I find it odd that people think Microsoft didn't mean it when they said the free Windows 10 upgrade path is over just because it can still be done.

  8. #8
    Untangle Ninja sky-knight's Avatar
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    I was directing that bit at donhwyo, and anyone else that come along from Google University thinking it's OK to steal access to stuff they haven't paid for.

    But seriously, before you go too nuts I'd just install that stuff on a Win10 box and see if it flies, because if the software works on a new rig, and you can easily and inexpensively update the old one... why not? Windows 10 has been the most stable, and capable operating system Microsoft has ever produced. I'm not saying it doesn't have its issues, but it generally just works. You don't need AV for it anymore because it's built in. And as annoying as the semi-annual feature update march is, it's cured install creep... so I have Windows 10 units that have operated since release without a single maintenance interval... That's HUGE, previous Windows releases always need something every 18-24 months. Windows 10 usually does too, but there are cases were it doesn't. Which is pretty crazy.

    But if the last few years have taught me anything about Windows 10, it's that people have been far too afraid of it than is warranted. All that spooky telemetry everyone hates has directly contributed to a better product. Not saying we don't still have privacy issues, because regulators have been... well let's just say ignorant about the issue for far too long. And the systems in question don't really have trust built into them, but none of this is new, nor is it something you avoid by staying on Windows 7... because a current patched Win7 has Win10s spyware in it! So what is the drag to stay on 7?
    Last edited by sky-knight; 01-04-2020 at 01:22 PM.
    f1assistance likes this.
    Rob Sandling, BS:SWE, MCP
    NexgenAppliances.com
    Phone: 866-794-8879 x201
    Email: support@nexgenappliances.com

  9. #9
    Untangle Ninja jcoehoorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sky-knight View Post
    If the computer is so ancient that it cannot handle Windows 10, it's time to put the thing down.
    This isn't quite true. We have some laptops dating back to 2013 and even 2014 that have lived most of their lives on the same desk, are still in great shape. The original users are due for new machines anyway, but normally at this point I'd cycle them down for use with college workstudy, or faculty checkout, or similar. Instead I'm retiring them "early" because they never made a Windows 10 driver for the graphics chips.
    f1assistance likes this.
    Five time Microsoft ASP.Net MVP managing a Lenovo RD330 / E5-2420 / 16GB with Untangle 15.1.0 to protect 500Mbits for ~450 residential college students and associated staff and faculty

  10. #10
    Untangle Ninja sky-knight's Avatar
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    That's early Windows 8 era stuff, which sure would be Windows 7 if you bought them that way... but a lack of graphics driver? Are these pre-iSeries Intels? I've heard some horror stories with graphics drivers, and I've seen a few too. But in all my cases a fresh install of Windows 10 resulted in a working graphics driver automatically. If I upgraded the things from Windows 7 they'd blow up... but fresh installs worked fine and continued to do so.

    Usually stuff from that ages pukes on the USB 3.0 controllers, if they work they're spotty at best and I wind up disabling them.
    f1assistance likes this.
    Rob Sandling, BS:SWE, MCP
    NexgenAppliances.com
    Phone: 866-794-8879 x201
    Email: support@nexgenappliances.com

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