Haven't updated my Windows 10 for more than a year



  • Almost a year ago, I dual-booted Windows 10 and Linux Mint. And since then, I haven't booted into my Windows 10 OS.

    I still remember that the Wi-Fi adapter was off when I shut my Windows 10 down.

    Now, since my Windows 10 OS is not up to date with the latest security updates, is it vulnerable to malware even though it is not connected to the Internet?

    Note: I can't delete my Windows 10 partition yet, because I have all my important files (more than 400 GB) on it and I don't have a 400 GB thumb drive or external HDD or external SSD to back up those files and delete the Windows partition. (I have two 32 GB thumb drives and a 4 GB thumb drive.)



  • I have been in the situation many times, but usually it is not a problem. Just connect it to a secure internet connection behind a router and start downloading the updates. The updates are usually signed and if you connect directly to the ISP then the outgoing connections are unlikely to be attacked.

    One way to be moderately more secure is to boot Windows to safe mode, then connect and install the Windows updates. That way applications that start automatically in normal mode cannot interfere or be attacked. Updating your browsers would be next, because they are sometimes used by other applications for connecting to the web.

    Whatever you do, don't start using mail or browse the web before the Windows updates have been performed. I would also first update the OS and browsers and only then allow application specific updates to be run, as those may use the Windows / browser functionality.

    It is a good idea to have everything wired up if you're on a mobile device: use a LAN with Native Address Translation (NAT). A NAT commonly drops all incoming traffic. You might want to temporarily deactivate UPnP though.

    As for using a cable: you might want to connect to a power source anyway; you don't want the battery to drain during updates. If you're on the go, use a mobile phone connection and / or a VPN. Do not use public Wifi without a VPN and firewall installed.



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