BIOS upgrade, not really necessary to install XP SP2?

Discussion in 'Dell' started by Joe Zorzin, Sep 6, 2004.

  1. Joe Zorzin

    Ben Myers Guest

    " the role firewalls should play in a company's security system, according to
    Microsoft", is fairly limited. Limited to exactly what the SP2 firewall
    provides. In other words, just as self-serving as the babble from the mouths of
    all politicians in this election season.

    The assumption here is that the rest of SP2 plus Outlook/Outlook Express plus
    Internet Explorer plus some anti-virus software is sufficient to keep varmints
    out of a computer, hence there is no need to monitor OUTGOING attempts to access
    the internet as is done by more comprehensive hardware and software firewall
    products.

    Think of the Windows SP2 firewall as a firewall with training wheels, better
    than nothing, but not adequate for the internet world in which we live. Trust
    me on this one, even tho I've been branded as clueless.

    .... Ben Myers
     
    Ben Myers, Sep 8, 2004
    #41
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  2. Joe Zorzin

    Jim Higgins Guest

    This is the sort of arrogance on the part of Microsoft that leads
    them to write insecure software. They always know best and
    everyone else is wrong. The customer will answer YES anyhow so
    they make sure he has no other choice. Oy veh!

    As far as I'm concerned, the Windows Firewall exists solely so
    some poor schmuck with a new computer and a broadband connection
    is reasonably safe while downloading a decent firewall.
     
    Jim Higgins, Sep 8, 2004
    #42
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  3. Joe Zorzin

    Ron Reaugh Guest

    All exactly right so far.
    Exactly right.
     
    Ron Reaugh, Sep 8, 2004
    #43
  4. Joe Zorzin

    Ron Reaugh Guest

    No, always flash the latest BIOS. The first thing that'll come up if one
    ever has a problem or contacts TS will be do you have the latest...and that
    includes the mobo's BIOS. Avoid flashing in the middle of a problem and
    stay ahead of the curve and always flash the latest BIOS just like always
    update to the latest device drivers etc....just like MS is strongly pushing
    folks to turn on Automatic Updates. The industry has changed; the latest
    is the BEST and SAFEST. Ignore the old foggers' outdated advice.
     
    Ron Reaugh, Sep 8, 2004
    #44
  5. Joe Zorzin

    Ron Reaugh Guest

    Ron Reaugh, Sep 8, 2004
    #45
  6. Joe Zorzin

    Ted Zieglar Guest

    "As far as I'm concerned, the Windows Firewall exists solely so some poor
    schmuck with a new computer and a broadband connection is reasonably safe
    while downloading a decent firewall."

    That's exactly why it exists - what's your problem? And if that "poor
    schmuck" doesn't know what a firewall is, let alone where to download one,
    at least they've got something in between them and the big bad Internet.
    Sure, Microsoft can be arrogant - but this ain't an example.
     
    Ted Zieglar, Sep 8, 2004
    #46
  7. Joe Zorzin

    Ron Reaugh Guest

    A great example of careful design and a good choice by MS. Use SP2's
    firewall + good virus checker and a good adware checker and one is good to
    go. Nothing else is needed except to keep Automatic Updates ON!
     
    Ron Reaugh, Sep 8, 2004
    #47
  8. Joe Zorzin

    Joe Zorzin Guest



    hmmm.... I'll do that- It's described as a processor frequency utility. I
    know that the chip is 2.3 gigawhatever. And, that utility will give the name
    of the CPU? Cool- I'll do it now.

    I see below that, apparently, Dell says the Prescott is one of the critical
    ones needing the BIOS flashing.
     
    Joe Zorzin, Sep 8, 2004
    #48
  9. Joe Zorzin

    Joe Zorzin Guest

    OK, I downloaded and ran that program from Intel which says my CPU is 2.26
    Ghz and with a 533 Mhz bus.

    Ergo, it's a Prescot, as I don't see any name listed? Ergo I must flash the
    BIOS. (according to some people here- I do like the diversity of opinions)
    Before I do anything, I'll call Dell in the middle of the night.
     
    Joe Zorzin, Sep 8, 2004
    #49
  10. Joe Zorzin

    Ron Reaugh Guest

    NOT a Prescott.
     
    Ron Reaugh, Sep 8, 2004
    #50
  11. You guys are all missing the final point referenced in the M$ article.
    Presenting _MOST_ users with a "Is <this incomprehensible thing> OK to
    do?" query every 5 minutes is going to result in them saying "Yes"
    all the time, which is worse than not looking at outbound traffic.

    Most users can't tell the difference between the OS version and the
    Office version they are running, most users can't tell the difference
    between IE and OE, and having the easy 90% firewall is exactly what
    they need.

    Sure, we're all clever here, and know how to answer the "btwins.exe
    wants internet access, OK?" question, but most users don't, and won't
    thank you for asking.
     
    William P.N. Smith, Sep 9, 2004
    #51
  12. Joe Zorzin

    Colin Wilson Guest

    OK, I downloaded and ran that program from Intel which says my CPU is 2.26
    I`m a little confused by all this myself - brand new Dell 2400 2.6Ghz
    celery, 400Mhz bus 128k secondary cache, cpu type 0 family F model 2
    stepping 9 revision 17

    Sounds like this machine might be a little more "crippled" than I thought
    (bus / cache) compared to the "slower" one listed above, unless of
    course, i`m missing something spectacularly obvious (excepting the Ghz
    rating)...
     
    Colin Wilson, Sep 9, 2004
    #52
  13. Joe Zorzin

    Ron Reaugh Guest

    That might be a Celeron D and might be subject to the SP2 issue. Flash the
    latest mobo BIOS and then do SP2.
     
    Ron Reaugh, Sep 9, 2004
    #53
  14. Joe Zorzin

    Ted Guest

    Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the Celeron D has
    256KB L2 and a 533 MHz FSB. A google for: Celeron D cpu-z
    reveals some pages with screen caps of cpu-z tests that report
    family F, model 3 for said processor. Elsewhere I read that family
    F, model 3 identifies 90nm process CPU's, which also jives. IOW,
    I don't think that is a Celeron D.
     
    Ted, Sep 9, 2004
    #54
  15. Joe Zorzin

    Ben Myers Guest

    No, no, no. It's not a dialog box popping up every five minutes asking the user
    whether to allow an outgoing program. An intelligent firewall keeps track of
    which programs have outgoing access, and also the user's preference for those
    programs.

    For example, the first time a dialog box pops up telling you that IE 6.0 wanted
    to access the internet, you would respond to allow it to always have outgoing
    access. Any time afterward you used IE 6.0, no dialog box would pop up.
    However, let's say you upgraded to IE 6.1. Aha, IE 6.1 is DIFFERENT than IE
    6.0, so you would be asked to give it permission to access the internet.

    Now, let's consider the case of dial-a-porn.exe (apologies to all porn lovers to
    be PC) trying to access the web, because somehow it got into your system, maybe
    via an OCX control. Boom, up pops the dialog box telling you that
    dial-a-porn.exe wants to go to the web, and you say no and never allow it to
    access the web. Now dial-a-porn.exe is blocked, and more importantly, you know
    that your system has been compromised, so you can take corrective action..

    This is more or less the way that Zone Alarm (my preference) and Norton's
    firewall work. In other words, not terribly intrusive at all for the added
    security and information they provide.

    Give at least some users credit for having the intelligence and the desire to
    know that their system is behaving incorrectly. Most of the clients I deal with
    fall into that category, not the head-in-the-sand category. Inquisitive kids do
    the most damage to a home or school computer, because they have not learned
    enough to understand what is going on and are easily lured by free offers and
    other sugar-coated enticements... Ben Myers
     
    Ben Myers, Sep 9, 2004
    #55
  16. Joe Zorzin

    Ted Guest

    It is when you are writing networking apps. Well, OK, I usually
    don't build/run every 5 minutes, but you know what I mean. I
    don't know if any of the enhanced firewalls provide a simple
    means of temporarily disabling outgoing checks, and then resuming
    without having to reapprove previously trusted apps. Have you
    encountered such a feature?
    Do most of your clients fall into the "typical home user" category?
    Do you think they would pass tests such as:

    InternetExplorer.exe is trying to access the Internet... allow?
    WindowsUpdate.exe is trying to access the Internet... allow?
     
    Ted, Sep 9, 2004
    #56
  17. Two problems here. First, it doesn't ask if IE 6.0 (or Internet
    Explorer, or anything else recognizable by name to the average user)
    wants access, it asks if IEXPLORE.EXE can have access (if it's not
    asking about something really incomprehensible, like wisptis.exe).

    Secondly, by telling the firewall that Internet Explorer can do
    anything it wants on the internet, you are leaving yourself open for
    the next bit of malware that overflows a buffer or hands the OS
    something that looks and feels like a music file to the browser, but
    which the OS knows is a .SCR (and knows just how to handle).

    Most users (not you and me, and everyone here, but common ordinary
    people) can't properly parse the question "Is it OK to do this?" for
    all values of "this" that a firewall is going to ask them. It's only
    going to annoy them to the point where they _always_ say yes.
     
    William P.N. Smith, Sep 9, 2004
    #57
  18. Joe Zorzin

    Ron Reaugh Guest

    YES and much more.
    And with a good virus checker and spyware checkers and Automatic Updates
    enabled the SP2 firewall is much closer to a 100% firewall.
    YES!
     
    Ron Reaugh, Sep 9, 2004
    #58
  19. Joe Zorzin

    Ron Reaugh Guest

    Clueless, clueless, clueless.
     
    Ron Reaugh, Sep 9, 2004
    #59
  20. Joe Zorzin

    Ron Reaugh Guest

    A much better test of the user is how they'll react to ZA saying it's run
    out and is goona stop firewalling. That usually leads to zero firewall.

    Use SP2's firewall and a good virus checker and adware checker.
     
    Ron Reaugh, Sep 9, 2004
    #60
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