Best Free AV for Windows 7

Discussion in 'other anti-virus software' started by Alexhousek, Nov 12, 2020.

  1. Alexhousek

    Alexhousek Registered Member

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    I am trying to help a non-techie friend with his laptop. It's apparently quite slow. Upon first inspection, I found that he is not running any AV. (Ugh). So, I'm looking for a recommendation for a free AV for Windows 7. This laptop is a Sony Vaio and is close to 10 years old. It has an I5 and 6 GB ram. (I haven't used Windows 7 in years.)
     
  2. cruelsister

    cruelsister Registered Member

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    Have the person install WiseVector StopX. It needs no tweaking at all.

    One trial of WVSX that did was in a VM using Win7 with minimal resources (simulating the biggest Piece Of Junk that exists) and WV ran Fast and True.
     
  3. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    I run Win7. WVSX is great protection, has good support by its developer here at Wilders, is rock stable & light as a feather.
     
  4. EASTER

    EASTER Registered Member

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    +1

    It would serve the Windows 7 well & without the resource drag some AV's might weigh it down with.

    GL!
     
  5. Krusty

    Krusty Registered Member

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    Upgrade the HDD to a SSD would make a huge difference to the speed of machine.
     
  6. Hiltihome

    Hiltihome Registered Member

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    +1

    On a notebook with I5, 6GB Ram and SSD, you can easily run W10, with Windows Defender and WVSX
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2020
  7. Alexhousek

    Alexhousek Registered Member

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    I'm ok with computers and particularly software. Hardware, I'm less competent. How would I determine what type of SSD would work with this PC? Would you need to know what the motherboard is?
     
  8. Krusty

    Krusty Registered Member

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    I didn't do any research before buying my SSDs. All machines accepted them without worry.

    Something you will have to consider is size. if the SSD is the same size or larger it won't be an issue, but if it is smaller than the HDD you will need to shrink the partitions. I'll leave that to the forum experts to elaborate.

    Another option would be to upgrade the machine to Win10 so that activates the license, then replace the HDD with the SSD and clean install Win10.
     
  9. Alexhousek

    Alexhousek Registered Member

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    Forgive me if I should start a new thread with this next question. In running WiseVector StopX, I noticed that it was taking forever to scan the whole c drive and I noticed that it was scanning the windows.old folder for a long time. So, I ran disk cleanup to see how large this folder was. It is 100 GB!

    As you can see, the whole current system is 159 GB! Can I go ahead and delete that windows.old folder? I have cut/pasted all his old documents/pictures from windows.old to his My Documents folder.
     

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  10. Gandalf_The_Grey

    Gandalf_The_Grey Registered Member

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    Normally the documents from windows.old are also in the new/current documents folder. Windows.old is automatically generated whenever you perform an installation of Windows with a previous version of the OS already installed. And yes you can use the Disk Cleanup utility to delete this windows.old folder. More info can be found here: https://helpdeskgeek.com/how-to/remove-windows-dot-old-folder/
     
  11. Alexhousek

    Alexhousek Registered Member

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    My apologies if I wasn't clear. As you can see from the attached picture above, I did use disk cleanup to find out how large the windows.old folder was. I was getting ready to go ahead and clean the folder, however, I was shocked at how large the folder was! And, I wondered how it got that large considering that the OS is Windows 7?! And, I was seeking reassurance that I could still go ahead and use disk cleanup to clean out 100 GB's.
     
  12. Gandalf_The_Grey

    Gandalf_The_Grey Registered Member

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  13. Brummelchen

    Brummelchen Registered Member

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    Why not Windows 10? Or even a Linux with such specs?

    Pushing a pure security issue (Windows 7 truly is!) to not tech-savvy people... not really, or?
    An antivirus can not fill security issues nor do know about those. It only prevents the abuse of data but the breach already happened.
     
  14. EASTER

    EASTER Registered Member

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  15. Alexhousek

    Alexhousek Registered Member

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    Do you think this old laptop running the specs below could handle Windows 10? I would think it would be even slower than it currently is?

    Processor: Intel Core i5-2450M (Cores: 2)
    Memory: 6 Gbytes (DDR3)
    Video: Intel HD Graphics 3000 (2 Gb)
    Disk: Hitachi HTS547575A9E384 ATA Device (699 Gb)
    Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)

    [Performance Score:]
    Intel Core i5-2450M: Average (Rating position: 1315 of 3021)
    Intel HD Graphics 3000: Low (Rating position: 1103 of 172:cool:
     
  16. Joxx

    Joxx Registered Member

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    I have to agree with this one.
    For such an old laptop Linux is the best option; considerably lighter than Windows and no need for an AV.
     
  17. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    For many years I have done much business via internet and have always been a heavy user of the internet for recreation, as well.

    I ran Windows 95 until long after Microsoft dumped it. I then ran Windows XP until long after Microsoft dumped it. I now use an old laptop and am still running Win7 long after Microsoft has dumped it.

    Win7 is quite safe and very very zippy under the following conditions:
    • You practice safe surfing while using a vigorously updated browser such as Firefox or Chrome.
    • You have Win7's built-in firewall activated.
    • You use Macrium Reflect or a similar app to image your computer to an external drive, at least 2 or 3 times weekly.
    • You run-real-time: (a) Voodoo Shield free*, and (b) WiseVector free**.
    * VS is a primarily a default-deny whitelist + anti-exe (paid alternative: SecureAPlus)
    ** WV is primarily an AV + behavior blocker (paid alternative: ESET)
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2020
  18. A_mouse

    A_mouse Registered Member

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    There are 2 likely reasons for it to be slow.
    The drive has aged and needs refreshing with a tool like Spinrite or Diskfresh
    The system is heavily fragmented so it takes longer to read all the segments making up a file.

    The favoured solution is to low-level format the drive and reinstall windows fresh again.
    Spinrite or Diskfresh can only deal with the physical tracks of the drive, not the mess of the filesystem, but this will make it faster again.

    One of the biggest differences in security with Win 7 and 10 is that 10 has the anti-exploit features of Microsoft EMET built-in.
    You can and should add this tool to tighten the security with it.
    https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/2458544/the-enhanced-mitigation-experience-toolkit
     
  19. Alexhousek

    Alexhousek Registered Member

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    Folks. Thank you a ton for all the suggestions and resources! I have learned a lot just reading this forum. Unfortunately, my wife tells me that the guy who owns this laptop (a colleague from work) is far from tech savvy. I can tell that by all the stuff (junk) that was on this computer and the lack of updates. I'm confident that he probably has never heard of Linux and I doubt he can manage even something like VS. (I love VS and have it on all my PC's.)

    I have installed WiseVector and ensured that is firewall is active. I have also installed Kerish Doctor. I also installed and have run Defraggler. I have run all Win 7 updates.

    I will suggest that he consider upgrading this machine to Windows 10. Ideally, this system needs an SSD and more RAM. But, I'm not sure it's worth putting a lot of money into it. It now has less than 60 GB of space utilized and is pretty snappy. Chrome is updated and funs pretty quick.

    Again, thank for all the suggestions. (I'm not familiar with EMET and/or Diskfresh.)
     
  20. Hiltihome

    Hiltihome Registered Member

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    Replace the HDD with an SSD, for example Crucial BX500.
    It's cheap, not the fastes, but more than sufficient, and reliable,
    and you are good to go with win10.

    Forget about voodoo, to speed up the old mechanical disk.

    I'm running an even older Dell XPS1350, with Core2-duo, 4Gb DDR2 ram, and SSD.
    This old guy is snappier, than most newer Notebooks, with mechanical HDD.

    W7 is outdated, and insecure, when operated by a non technical guy.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2020
  21. assersegsten

    assersegsten Registered Member

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    Hi, If Bitdefender supports Windows 7 you should give it a try, you will not be disappointed:thumb:.
     
  22. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    That CPU runs at about the same speed as the i3 in my main laptop and Windows 10 runs really well on it. It's worth noting that you can still upgrade to Windows 10 for free.
     
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