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  1. #1
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Boot Time Security

    This may be paranoia but it's something I've had on my mind for some time and would like to solicit opinions from you. When I start or re-boot my computer I have like most of you, a number of apps that are loaded, not the least of which are PC-cillin and Zone Alarm. I also run ClipMate, AboutTime, DU Meter etc. For whatever reasons, usually DU Meter is the first item to show in my Tray (see attachment) and the AV and ZA are usually NOT loaded until a few other apps run first. The attachment shows that some of these program, as expected, access the web BEFORE the AV and ZA are loaded. I'm pretty sure I'm not at risk since I know what those programs do, but I wonder...

    I know there are programs around such as Startup Delayer from SnapFiles but do any Loungers have comments about whether it's worth being concerned about? Comments about how well such software performs?

  2. #2
    Super Moderator
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    Re: Boot Time Security

    If I remember right the Windows Firewall will kick in on startup (even if you have it disabled) until your third party firewall kicks in.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  3. #3
    Gold Lounger Rebel's Avatar
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    Re: Boot Time Security

    Al,
    According to ZA, the Truevector service starts (as a service) very early in the system boot process and before any user logs on. The ZA control panel (and the system tray icon) do not load until a user logs in. Truevector continues even when a user logs out and continues to run until the computer is shut down. If I interpret this correctly then, the actual firewall is loaded and running prior to logon.

    As for AV programs, I believe that many of their engines also load at boot time, rather than after a user logon. With NAV 2006 for example, there is an option to start their auto-protect during the boot process rather than when Windows starts. Symantec indicates that this is a feature which corrects an issue for WinXP SP1 users who have installed a faulty MS Hotfix (since corrected). Again, I would interpret this to mean that the autoprotect feature actually loads at boot rather than at logon.

    I think that's why we see so much disk activity prior to the logon screen (and even after the logon screen appears). These services are actually loading at boot. What we are seeing in the system tray are the user interfaces for these various programs loading.

    In my opinion then, if you are running well designed AV & firewall programs, I don't think you have much to worry about. Even the highly rated Windows Firewall
    <img src=/S/duck.gif border=0 alt=duck width=23 height=23> <img src=/S/flee.gif border=0 alt=flee width=25 height=25> claims to protect your computer before Windows is loaded.
    John
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  4. #4
    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: Boot Time Security

    Al,
    I went through this exercise about a year or so ago because of the same concerns that you have.
    I tried a LOT of different things like Startup Control, Start Delay, Boot Order and others . I could never seem to get them to work the way I wanted them to, so I ended up dumping them all and letting the system do it's thing, on it's own.
    I can't say that I've had any problems with a Security openings during boot time, by NOT having them control the sequence.
    I think John had a good take on the situation in his post.
    BOB
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  5. #5
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Boot Time Security

    Thanks John, Bob and Dave for your comments. Shows ya how naive I am - I thought that the appearance of the program icon in the tray indicated "startup" and never thought about XP loading services prior to those "GUI" kinds of things. Like Bob, I tried Startup Delayer early on in my WinXP experience, and as a matter of fact it's still installed but deactivated. I fiddled with it for awhile and couldn't "improve" my startup time so I deactivated it. Back then all I was looking for was a way to speed up boot time, but I resolved to just go get coffee or have a smoke while the machine boots. Thanks again.

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