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 PostPost subject: Good antivirus (preferably free) for Windows Server 2003        Posted: Wed May 20, 2020 12:03 am 
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So I have a few VM's of various editions of Windows Server 2003, and I do occasionally take them out on the internet for whatever the reason they may be. The question is, with XP being out of support, are there any good antivirus programs out there that will run on 2k3? The reason I'm concerned is that a lot of my copies of 2k3 are activated using genuine product keys, and if I just reinstall every time I get a virus, I'll eventually use up all my activations - no that's not a myth, there IS a limit on how much a product key can be used (with that being said I know that's true for consumer editions, not so much for Server counterparts, perhaps someone can clarify if they know for definite?).

I tried avast 9, which works great for XP, but doesn't want to run on 2003 as it's a server OS, and it thinks it's for commercial use (how wrong they are). At the moment I'm using the XP version of Spybot Search & Destroy, but I don't massively trust it, perhaps someone can vouch for it?

Any suggestions greatly appreciated.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Good antivirus (preferably free) for Windows Server 2003        Posted: Wed May 20, 2020 1:31 am 
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You really shouldn’t be worried about a virus. Because Server 2003 is 5 years out of support and it’s a 17 year old OS, barely any viruses will be able to run on it. If you stay on trusted websites you shouldn’t get any kind of virus.

If you want to use avast 9 then set the compatibility mode for it to XP.

Use malwarebytes 3.5 if you want a good antivirus that is somewhat new for XP and server 2003.

Also use snapshots if your vm software supports it.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Good antivirus (preferably free) for Windows Server 2003        Posted: Wed May 20, 2020 1:52 am 
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 PostPost subject: Re: Good antivirus (preferably free) for Windows Server 2003        Posted: Wed May 20, 2020 2:10 am 
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Meow wrote:
You really shouldn’t be worried about a virus. Because Server 2003 is 5 years out of support and it’s a 17 year old OS, barely any viruses will be able to run on it. If you stay on trusted websites you shouldn’t get any kind of virus.


That's true, didnt even cross my mind.

Meow wrote:
If you want to use avast 9 then set the compatibility mode for it to XP.


It's not a compatibility issue, the installer starts up just fine, but returns an error something like "Avast Free will not run on Server 2003, our paid editions will though :P".

Meow wrote:
Use malwarebytes 3.5 if you want a good antivirus that is somewhat new for XP and server 2003.


I'll give that a look, thanks!

Meow wrote:
Also use snapshots if your vm software supports it.


I always forget about snapshots lol because I never use them. But that's a good idea for them.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Good antivirus (preferably free) for Windows Server 2003        Posted: Wed May 20, 2020 6:00 am 
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 PostPost subject: Re: Good antivirus (preferably free) for Windows Server 2003        Posted: Wed May 20, 2020 6:47 am 
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MCpillager12 wrote:
clamwin antivirus


I've used clamwin on several installations of Windows 2000 and Windows XP, I never really thought of it as a proper antivirus however, is it any good now?

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 PostPost subject: Re: Good antivirus (preferably free) for Windows Server 2003        Posted: Wed May 20, 2020 9:54 am 
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Regarding the limit, if you are using a volume licensing key, there is none. VLK didn't use online activation at all before Vista.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Good antivirus (preferably free) for Windows Server 2003        Posted: Wed May 20, 2020 9:58 am 
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mibrab wrote:
Regarding the limit, if you are using a volume licensing key, there is none. VLK didn't use online activation at all before Vista.


Most of my keys are OEM, so I know there is a limit on those. Just thought server editions might be exempt from limits as long as the simultaneous key usage doesn't exceed the agreed amount set by M.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Good antivirus (preferably free) for Windows Server 2003        Posted: Wed May 20, 2020 8:00 pm 
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Wasn’t Microsoft Security Essentials released for Windows XP?

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Or someone slipped on a banana peel, fell backwards and accidently hit both the betaarchive.com and "DDoS Express" buttons at the same time.


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 PostPost subject: Re: Good antivirus (preferably free) for Windows Server 2003        Posted: Wed May 20, 2020 8:04 pm 
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DVINTHEHOUSEMAN wrote:
Wasn’t Microsoft Security Essentials released for Windows XP?


Yes, and whilst it was very good, it has since been cancelled, and definitions cannot be updated.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Good antivirus (preferably free) for Windows Server 2003        Posted: Thu May 21, 2020 9:53 pm 
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Oh. I didn’t know that.

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mrpijey wrote:
Or someone slipped on a banana peel, fell backwards and accidently hit both the betaarchive.com and "DDoS Express" buttons at the same time.


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 PostPost subject: Re: Good antivirus (preferably free) for Windows Server 2003        Posted: Fri May 22, 2020 1:28 am 
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Microsoft is aggresively doing their best to remove all traces of anything older than Windows Vista from their site. A lot of updates for Pre-Vista operating systems have been removed from their website (although these can still be accessed through the Windows Update Catalog).

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 PostPost subject: Re: Good antivirus (preferably free) for Windows Server 2003        Posted: Fri May 22, 2020 6:41 am 
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Why do you need an antivirus? Its not like you'll really be surfing with it. And even if you do end up surfing with it and installing [censored] the only damage it could do to your actual PC is if the virus in question had the capability to infect your network then you'd be [censored] but otherwise VMs are essentially a sandbox so any virus on there like say Bonzi Buddy or MEMZ cannot penetrate it without effort or without you allowing it specifically.


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 PostPost subject: Re: Good antivirus (preferably free) for Windows Server 2003        Posted: Fri May 22, 2020 2:49 pm 
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Voyambar wrote:
Why do you need an antivirus? Its not like you'll really be surfing with it. And even if you do end up surfing with it and installing [censored] the only damage it could do to your actual PC is if the virus in question had the capability to infect your network then you'd be [censored] but otherwise VMs are essentially a sandbox so any virus on there like say Bonzi Buddy or MEMZ cannot penetrate it without effort or without you allowing it specifically.


If you read my first comment you'd know. My VMs are (for the most part) all activated legitimately using product keys that I own. If a virus trashes my VM, I have to re-install, and reactivate, which would be an activation wasted.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Good antivirus (preferably free) for Windows Server 2003        Posted: Sun May 24, 2020 6:03 am 
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SkyeVega405 wrote:
If a virus trashes my VM, I have to re-install, and reactivate, which would be an activation wasted.


You could use snapshots. I mean, you could simply take one snapshot of a "good" state of your VMs. And if a virus hits any VM, you can access the VM's virtual disk from your host (or from another VM), extract your important data, restore the VM with the snapshot and put back your data, and you're done. And this is just in case any relatively recent virus found its way through an antivirus of that time, because most virus simply don't target NT 5, not even being able to run on the OS.

And btw, MSE can be updated manually, simply download the latest update for MSE definitions from https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/hel ... icrosoft-s

Edit: Just checked and I was wrong. Latest update for MSE won't run on XP (NT5)

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 PostPost subject: Re: Good antivirus (preferably free) for Windows Server 2003        Posted: Sun May 24, 2020 8:57 am 
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SkyeVega405 wrote:
Voyambar wrote:
Why do you need an antivirus? Its not like you'll really be surfing with it. And even if you do end up surfing with it and installing [censored] the only damage it could do to your actual PC is if the virus in question had the capability to infect your network then you'd be [censored] but otherwise VMs are essentially a sandbox so any virus on there like say Bonzi Buddy or MEMZ cannot penetrate it without effort or without you allowing it specifically.


If you read my first comment you'd know. My VMs are (for the most part) all activated legitimately using product keys that I own. If a virus trashes my VM, I have to re-install, and reactivate, which would be an activation wasted.

You won't waste an activation by reinstalling any Windows OS in the same VM (or even different, as long as one product key is only tied to one VM at a time). And if it indeed does become an issue, a free call should do the trick.


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 PostPost subject: Re: Good antivirus (preferably free) for Windows Server 2003        Posted: Sun May 24, 2020 5:26 pm 
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 PostPost subject: Re: Good antivirus (preferably free) for Windows Server 2003        Posted: Wed May 27, 2020 12:13 am 
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ClamWin and Clam Sentinel should do the job just fine; I prefer them as they're open source... As long as you're not visiting sketchy sites, you should be okay. In fact, I run a 2k3 physical machine for ActiveSync and WinCE development and have never encountered a problem. Obviously, SMB1.0 is disabled on all of my modern hosts.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Good antivirus (preferably free) for Windows Server 2003        Posted: Wed May 27, 2020 4:25 am 
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I always snapshot my VMs right after activation, as well as at other times when I think I might break something.

Apparently snapshots can cause performance issues though, presumably because the hypervisor has multiple places to have to go looking for your data. Also once you've taken a snapshot, if you overwrite existing data (rather than adding new data) a lot you'll end up with more disk space used. The most obvious cause of this would be snapshotting right after installing the OS then installing a service pack later.

However, the performance impact is probably made up for by the fact that we're talking about old OSes designed for much slower machines than what we're actually using now, and the disk space impact is probably made up for by old OSes being fairly small and disk sizes having increased a lot. I have lots of snapshots in my Windows XP VMs and they still seem really fast to me.


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