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  1. #1
    Uranium Lounger
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    I just updated Spybot S&D late last night and the install routine threw up an error saying that the Global Hosts updates would not immunize the system because Zonealarm & other security programs might mistake them for malware and not allow the update. So I went to the site forum and followed the suggestion to immunize in Safe Mode. Worked as advertised and I rebooted, shut off the monitor and went to bed (I leave my system on overnight to run system maintenance and just because I find it the better way to go). This AM when I went to check my email, nothing worked. Clicking the links brought the hourglass for a moment and then it would revert to the normal cursor. After trying to start OE several times and IE severl times the system began to bog down and I noticed that my free memory was down to about 45 MB from a normal of about 175-250 MB. I hovered my cursor over the different items in the System Tray and when I got to Spysweeper it showed it still loading. I had rebooted over 8 hours ago. At this point I could not shut the system down normally so I did a hard shutdown & rebooted. Same problems. Rebooted in Safe Mode since I couldn't access the Spysweeper options page normally, and then went in and disabled the Start with Windows option and rebooted. All was right with the world again. I could email and access the net no problem. Did my morning routine and then went back to troubleshooting. Opening Spysweeper at this point brought a bunch of other issues and I noticed that the update feature was turned off (not by me) and when I updated, found a new version available which I downloaded. Then Spysweeper would not shut down and I noticed it had re-enabled the option to start with Windows and I douldn't uncheck the box. Finally got the window to close with task MGR, but was told that Spysweeper could not be shut down because it is locked by the system. Safe mode again throught the routine and reboot. No Spysweeper running, so I run the .exe file for the update and all goes well. Now it will start and load Spysweeper, but the system is slow and unresponsive.

    My thought is that Spybot S&D caused this and, as I am becoming less and less enamored with the benefits of the program, think that I should remove it first and see if things change. If not, I only have 6 months left on my Spysweeper subscription and feel that if it is suffering from bloat and causing system slowdowns then I'd be better off with out it or only run it for scans and not real time protection.

    Opinions please.
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  2. #2
    3 Star Lounger
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    Sympathies. All that trouble you've been through. Likewise, I've gone off Spybot S&D and it seems to be getting more and more poor mentions in many forums etc. Luckilly there are plenty of other progs that do a good job so maybe time to ditch any loyalty we may have had with it.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    [quote name='DocWatson' post='778026' date='02-Jun-2009 19:37']I just updated Spybot S&D late last night and the install routine threw up an error saying that the Global Hosts updates would not immunize the system because Zonealarm & other security programs might mistake them for malware and not allow the update. [/quote]
    I've been getting this message for a few months' now - and also have decided to get rid of Spybot (and, incidentally, Ad-Aware) in favour of Malwarebytes AntiMalware.
    BATcher

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  4. #4
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Like other respondents, I've ditched Spybot Search & Destroy and LavaSoft AdAware in favor of MalwareBytes' AntiMalware. S&D and AdAware were getting slower and slower and causing problems (AdAware's latest incarnation looked horrible on my PC, and S&D's Immunization doesn't play nicely with Internet Explorer 8).

  5. #5
    Uranium Lounger
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    Thanks for the thought folks. We seem to have a concensus of opinion on this one.

    I dumped Adaware over a year ago and have not regretted it at all. Spybot seems to have reached the end of it's useful life too. I already run Malwarebytes so I'm off to uninstall Spybot.
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  6. #6
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    [quote name='DocWatson' post='778026' date='02-Jun-2009 20:37']I just updated Spybot S&D late last night and the install routine threw up an error saying that the Global Hosts updates would not immunize the system because Zonealarm & other security programs might mistake them for malware and not allow the update.
    [snip]
    Opinions please. [/quote]
    I don't know about other people's experiences, but I don't use any kind of immunization with Spybot S&D. It's just a scan tool for me, and as such it works OK (and I use other tools also). Yes a bit slow, but I don't expect it to be finished in 60 seconds, and above all: comparing scan times is anyhow more or less futile, since all have different data and amount of data.

    At first it seemed like it was Spysweeper that was stubborn, but I don't know anything about that software. But as you said, it happened after an update to Spybot S&D.

    If you remove Spybot S&D; it would perhaps be good to first remove any applied immunization, since when Spybot S&D is removed there is no way to change that. As you know, there are other tools such SpywareBlaster that add kill-bits etc, and I usually remove that before a new installation.

    Otherwise one might end up with a PC with some "protection" of some kind in the registry but no knowledge of what type or way to change it.

  7. #7
    Uranium Lounger
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    [quote name='Argus' post='778093' date='02-Jun-2009 19:30']I don't know about other people's experiences, but I don't use any kind of immunization with Spybot S&D. It's just a scan tool for me, and as such it works OK (and I use other tools also). Yes a bit slow, but I don't expect it to be finished in 60 seconds, and above all: comparing scan times is anyhow more or less futile, since all have different data and amount of data.

    At first it seemed like it was Spysweeper that was stubborn, but I don't know anything about that software. But as you said, it happened after an update to Spybot S&D.

    If you remove Spybot S&D; it would perhaps be good to first remove any applied immunization, since when Spybot S&D is removed there is no way to change that. As you know, there are other tools such SpywareBlaster that add kill-bits etc, and I usually remove that before a new installation.

    Otherwise one might end up with a PC with some "protection" of some kind in the registry but no knowledge of what type or way to change it.[/quote]

    If you are not using the immunization feature of Spybot how are you protected ?? When you update the program (Search For Updates) and get the list of mirrors, download the update, do you not next go to Immunize and add the new updates to the database before running your scan ???

    I install mosteverything these days using Total Uninstall and that takes care of EVERYTHING. Installed files are removed, registry keys and values are removed and any changes to the registry are reversed. Even gives you the option of reviewing and removing updates and such added after the program was installed.

    I hadn't noticed previously, but my scanner was not able to automatically configure itself on bootup after the Spybot update. Removing Spybot corrected that where I could not do it manually.

    The problematic portion of the update was the Global Hosts stuff. I didn't look at it prior to the update, just DL and installed the updates. Won't do that again with any program I can review the updates prior to installing them.
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  8. #8
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    [quote name='DocWatson' post='778095' date='03-Jun-2009 01:44']If you are not using the immunization feature of Spybot how are you protected ?? When you update the program (Search For Updates) and get the list of mirrors, download the update, do you not next go to Immunize and add the new updates to the database before running your scan ???[/quote]
    I don't need to "... Immunize and add the new updates to the database before running your scan .... Immunization is a separate part of the software. As soon as I have downloaded some updates (as you mentioned) they are ready in the definition databases IF I would like to run a scan at that time.

    On the other hand: If I, when I installed Spybot at some point, thought that immunization (via Spybot) is a good thing and did "Immunize" the PC it would be missing the point if I didn't update that as well. I.e. "re-Immunize" with the latest updates.

    But as I said, I don't use that part of the software. As an example, there is no real-time protection or "latent protection" la Spybot or SpywareBlaster in the free version of Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware, and that one works fine. I use 'em as scan tools.

  9. #9
    Uranium Lounger
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    I wasn't aware that it was a seperate part of the software. So you are not being "protected by Spybot but use it as a scan & removal tool. Interesting....

    I found this article that helped me understand what you are doing. You taught this old dog a new trick today Argus. Thanks.

    But I'm not going to reinstall the program. Spysweeper, Malwarebytes, SpywareBlaster and Avast will do nicely I think.
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  10. #10
    Uranium Lounger
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    [quote name='DocWatson' post='778048' date='02-Jun-2009 13:38']We seem to have a concensus of opinion on this one.[/quote]
    Serendipitous discussion. While I'm not having any performance or update issues with it, I have noticed that SpyBot doesn't seem to have updates as frequently as MalwareBytes and SuperAntiSpyware, which makes me question its currency and efficacy. I dumped Ad-Aware and MS Defender about 6 months ago.
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  11. #11
    Bronze Lounger
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    [quote name='Argus' post='778097' date='03-Jun-2009 08:03']I don't use that part of the software. As an example, there is no real-time protection or "latent protection" la Spybot or SpywareBlaster in the free version of Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware, and that one works fine. I use 'em as scan tools.[/quote]

    This is consistent with my practice as well, and you might note that Spybot recommends updating at least weekly, which implies that it be run at least weekly. I run it manually from time to time, and it is one scan tool that really does appear to find and give me the opportunity to nuke things that all other scanners have missed.

    My primary protection at present is Norton 360, but that is AV and firewall. It is not my first choice but I got it on sale, and it is much improved in resources required over the original, and it does have bells and whistles that make it worth considering.

    Today Malwarebytes found malware for me, but that is a rarity.

    I have ad-aware installed as well, but seldom run it, I guess the argument being that I have the active version on at least one computer.

  12. #12
    5 Star Lounger ibe98765's Avatar
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    I've never had any problems with Spybot but then I have never, ever had any spyware infections. I update it weekly. I use FF and rarely use IE.

  13. #13
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    [quote name='ibe98765' post='779836' date='15-Jun-2009 11:18']I've never had any problems with Spybot but then I have never, ever had any spyware infections. I update it weekly. I use FF and rarely use IE.[/quote]

    I just had occasion to install Spybot on a new computer, and it appears to have more features than in past. This was on an x64 system, so maybe it goes with the territory. And yes, it found a slew of bad things that my primary protection, in this case Kaspersky Internet Security, did not catch. Malwarebytes failed to catch them as well. (Setting up is one set of circumstances in which we tend to be exposed to a lot of such troubles.) I have only had a computer virus that I was aware of on several occasions, but spyware is another matter, and that in turn is a matter of definition. The fingerprint reader comes to mind.

  14. #14
    2 Star Lounger
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    Hello everyone in this thread,

    Am in the process of replacing SpyBot with MalwareBytes. Argus says to remove the Spybot immunization before removing the program. How do I remove the immunization? I see an undo button, but I applied the immunization days ago and ran the program since.

    Thanks,
    Kris

  15. #15
    Uranium Lounger
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    Click the Undo button and you will notice all the protections and immunizations will go to zero. Once that is done, you can uninstall the program.
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