SN 952 observations

  • SpinRite v6.1 Release #3
    Guest:
    The 3rd release of SpinRite v6.1 is published and may be obtained by all SpinRite v6.0 owners at the SpinRite v6.1 Pre-Release page. (SpinRite will shortly be officially updated to v6.1 so this page will be renamed.) The primary new feature, and the reason for this release, was the discovery of memory problems in some systems that were affecting SpinRite's operation. So SpinRite now incorporates a built-in test of the system's memory. For the full story, please see this page in the "Pre-Release Announcements & Feedback" forum.
    /Steve.
  • Be sure to checkout “Tips & Tricks”
    Dear Guest Visitor → Once you register and log-in please checkout the “Tips & Tricks” page for some very handy tips!

    /Steve.
  • BootAble – FreeDOS boot testing freeware

    To obtain direct, low-level access to a system's mass storage drives, SpinRite runs under a GRC-customized version of FreeDOS which has been modified to add compatibility with all file systems. In order to run SpinRite it must first be possible to boot FreeDOS.

    GRC's “BootAble” freeware allows anyone to easily create BIOS-bootable media in order to workout and confirm the details of getting a machine to boot FreeDOS through a BIOS. Once the means of doing that has been determined, the media created by SpinRite can be booted and run in the same way.

    The participants here, who have taken the time to share their knowledge and experience, their successes and some frustrations with booting their computers into FreeDOS, have created a valuable knowledgebase which will benefit everyone who follows.

    You may click on the image to the right to obtain your own copy of BootAble. Then use the knowledge and experience documented here to boot your computer(s) into FreeDOS. And please do not hesitate to ask questions – nowhere else can better answers be found.

    (You may permanently close this reminder with the 'X' in the upper right.)

SeanBZA

Well-known member
Oct 1, 2020
158
53
Listening to the podcast now, and Steve and Leo are wondering about where those machines are that never get updated. My guess is that those machines are all associated with the following groups:

1 - Government departments, where they have little to no centralised IT that runs with a hard hand, being neutered by hundreds of little fiefdoms in offices that deny them anything, in either fear it might move an icon (very common, most staff being barely computer literate over the ability to follow instructions to the letter), or break some ancient software they have to have to work ( still with IE4.0 and ActiveX controls there for a "special task" they no longer know the developer of, or have source code any more) to do some function.

2 - Hospitals, because the same reasons, plus they "absolutely cannot" allow any downtime for any updates to be implemented, because they did it once, and they needed 10 hours for the machine running XP (before EOL) to catch up to current after a decade of no updates, so updates are forbidden forever on. If it breaks a new machine, current to this date, is brought in to replace it.

3 - Small business, large enough to have a few dozen computers, and possibly an IT service that is contracted to them, but where they refuse to pay for any updates, and also refuse to allow automatic updates, because "it takes too long to start in the morning" as excuse, along with them paying peanuts, and getting monkey service, of fixing only when totally broken. Note they also have likely no backups either, and also the passwords are a variation of "Password1", written to the post it note in the top drawer, because sticking it to the monitor, or under the keyboard, is not secure, but in a drawer is.

4 - SOHO users, where again the computer was bought as an appliance, connected to the wifi, and left like that, and updates were turned off, as "too annoying", and any anti malware was also removed, after the "first 6 months or 12 months FREE" period was over, again "too annoying", plus it interfered with the gambling and adult sites they are addicted to. Got a copy of Office with a crack or a keygen, and installed, and left it that way, because it works, and it now costs nothing to use.
 
I suspect you're correct about a lot of that, Sean. Also, unfortunately Microsoft has adopted the strategy of withholding all updates, security and feature, as an incentive to coerce the users of its software to upgrade. So once those older, yet still buggy, versions of Microsoft's software have fallen out of support, they will forever remain out of support... and vulnerable. It's an unfortunate consequence of the way the industry has developed. The problem is, old software still works.
 
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Yes, so now you can offload all that old ewaste onto the DOD, who are scouring fleabay and Aliexess for it, paying whatever price is demanded.