Windows 7 Exposing a virgin 2009 win 7 HDD to the internet in 2020 for updates Questions


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I just returned my 2009 win7 Toshiba Laptop HDD back to its factory defaults from the OEM hidden restore partition. With the final security patches for win7 due out next month in January 2020, I want to have a clean fresh out-of-box 2020 win7 install with all the service packs and security updates installed and ready to go as a backup / alternate boot drive. I also plan to clone it to a fresh SSD that I will upgrade it to Windows 10, as another alternate boot drive.

Before I expose this virgin 2009 Win7 HDD to the internet for the first time in 2020 I’d like like to check my concerns.

I am concerned for malicious intrusions during the now lengthy restoration process of my factory 2009 win7 system to the 2020 security level. And of course the time it will take to download and install my current Norton protection.

So what I am asking:

- Is there an intrusion risk to just hook it up to the internet and set win 7 free to download and upgrade automatically from the Windows Upgrade servers? (Keeping in mind I will NOT be using any browsers or e-mail clients during the process)

- If so, is the risk great enough to warrant upgrading off-line, or through an external fire-wall?

- What would be the best way to safely acquire, and install 11 years worth of service packs and security updates to this virgin 2009 out-of box Win7 HDD without exposing it to undue risk.

Thanks for your thoughts.

-Z (An intermediate to advanced user I am.... feel free to speak geek.)

In case you are wondering why I would want to do this for and old machine, it is because this unit works well and I have a selection of very fast SSD’s I use to alternately boot it into some very well behaved Ubuntu/Linux, configurations that run my home automation and entertainment systems.

So the system is alive and well, very useful, and I want to have a clean windows boot available for some legacy software I like to run from time to time.
While there is always risk associated to anything with technically. The risk is fairly low just having it install updates through the Windows Update mechanism. Also many updates get superseded, so it's not likely to be every update since Windows 7 was released.