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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Hi,

    This is my question, I have a computer dual booted to run Win XP SP3 on two separate hard drives. On one drive I run XP with all my general applications connected to the net with a wireless network gateway, Wireless internet but the computers are connected to the gateway by ethernet cables.

    The second drive has XP SP3 and is not connected to the internet, I use it for graphics and video work, so to make it fast and clean I did a clean install of XP SP3 with no updates, firewall or antivirus installed, this works well with processing speed being almost twice as fast as the general system, I have been using Photoshop CS2, I have now purchased Photoshop CS5 Extended and thereby comes the problem, you have to have internet access to "Activate" CS5. ( curses on Adobe and all those other companies that seem to believe you are only entitled to have a computer and use programs if you are connected to the internet).

    My problem is I want to set up internet access only long enough to activate the program and then disable all access, so I don't have to hang all the junk on the OS, and installed programs can't phone home.

    My present plan is to connect and activate, and then disable Internet Explorer access to the net. Will this be sufficient to keep my system safe? Are there any backdoor ways programs can connect, or outside processes gain access to my system?

    Your thoughts on this please, and please keep answers not too technical, don't assume I would know how to do certain actions, the old brain doesn't work quite as well as it once did.

    Thanks,

    Max

  2. #2
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    Programs usually do not communicate through Internet Explorer, so doing that won't help.
    Likely your best bet is to disable your network card(s) in Device Manager. You can then re-enable them when you need.

    Of course, if you need access to the local network, you will need a firewall that allows access to the local network and stops access to all the other networks. ZoneAlarm had an easy way to do this and I think the free version likely is enough to achieve this.
    Rui
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  3. #3
    5 Star Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by Max Schaefer View Post
    .... Wireless internet but the computers are connected to the gateway by ethernet cables.......
    Hi Max - A bit confused here. Do you have two computers?
    "but the computers are connected to the gateway by ethernet cables" The words "computers" and "cabless" are both Plural ?

    If two computers, disconnect the ethernet cable on the one when internet access is not needed.

    Tim

  4. #4
    New Lounger
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    Hi Rui,

    Good idea, I hadn't thought of that, should do the job.


    Hi Tim,

    Yes we have two computers connected through the gateway. I had thought of pulling the ethernet cable, but decided there is always the risk I will forget when I reboot and leave the system vunerable, I really wanted a method that would leave my "Graphics" system totaly disabled unless I needed it for Activations. For me it needs to be goof-proof, and disabling the network card sounds like the best solution. I have no need for the local network on the "Graphics" system so that is no problem.


    Thank you both for you input and ideas.


    Max

  5. #5
    5 Star Lounger
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    Disabling the network adapter is the way to go as Rui said. Easier way to do it though with better management properties. Simply right click on My Network Places and choosing properties takes you right to the network adapter so you can disable it.

    Even better, go into the properties of your local connection and under the general tab there is a place to tic "Show icon in notifications area when connected."
    Then if you see the two monitors icon in the tray, you know you are connected. You can also then even more quickly disable the adapter by right clicking on the icon and disabling the adapter. You will have to go back to the Network connections window after disabling in order to enable the adapter again.

  6. #6
    New Lounger
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    Thanks Byron, all useful Info.

  7. #7
    New Lounger
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    This comes close to answering a question of mine.
    Disabling the network connection doesn't seem likely to save much in the way of available ram other than Win no longer having to stop and look into that address.
    The savings would be in the no longer needed FW / AV umbrella for protection.

    I'm on just one machine and use it frequently working with audio file manipulation plugins that get pretty ram hungry at time which max's out, crashing the program.

    So in my case could I set up a separate user account that didn't include those functions and switch back/forth?
    If so, are there services that I could then dispense with in the pared down account?

    My current 'services' profile leans heavily on blackvipers recommendations for a 'safe' connected system.
    Are the services the same for both 'users' or configurable to change form one user to the other?

    WinXPSP3 2G ram

    tia

  8. #8
    5 Star Lounger
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    I think your plugins or program must be behaving badly. I process a lot of audio on an XPSP3 system with 2 gigs of RAM...sometimes up to 20 gigs of parsed wav audio at once and the program has crashed on me maybe twice in two years.

    To answer the question though, yes you can set up minimal services loading profiles, usually its for something like gaming, so nothing interupts or steals any processor time, but I guess it could be for anything else too. I don't know of any resource better than the BlackViper one so I think you would just follow the minimalist load profile and see if it does the trick.

  9. #9
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    JFYI......

    One thing I always do, when setting up any PC to use the internet, is to first make the connection and set it to show the icon on the taskbar when it's activated. Then I make a shortcut to that connection and put that on the desktop.
    If the connection is active, clicking on the shortcut will open the status windows, from which you can click the button to Disable the connection. And if the connection has been de-activated (Disabled), clicking on the desktop shortcut will immediately RE-Activate the connection.
    This little trick gives the user full control over whether their PC is on the internet or not.

    I like to go OFF-Line when I'm doing my system maintenance, because I also disable my AV software when doing that.
    So with just one or two mouse clicks, I can control my internet connection.

    Cheers Mates!
    The Doctor
    Experience is truly the best teacher.

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