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  1. #1
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    I have a new Dell XPS 1640 laptop. It came with Vista Home Premium and, I assume, a trial version of McAfee. I really hate McAfee. I had it on my home computer (XP) and had so many problems with it and with McAfee customer support, that I uninstalled it and so many of my problems went away. It was pure joy.

    Now I have this computer that came with McAfee and I want to just uninstall it but I'm not sure if I can. Will I still be protected? This is my first experience with Vista. I opened Windows Defender once disable one of the programs in the startup directory, at least I think that is all I did, and now Defender won't start. I followed the steps that Microsoft had to uninstall and re-install Defender and that didn't help. It doesn't look like Defender is installed, it isn't listed in my programs when I go to Control Panel, Programs and Features. Yet, when I try to download and install it, Microsoft tells me it can't do it, because it is already installed.

    When I open Windows Security Center, all the lights are green, so am I OK? When I try and open Windows Defender from here, I get:

    Application failed to initialize: 0x800106ba. A problem caused this program's service to stop. To start the service, restart your computer or search Help and Support for how to start a service automatically.
    I just don't know what I should have running but I do know I don't want McAfee. What should I have? Thanks.

  2. #2
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    On most of my machines we are running F-Protect for our AV, free version ZoneAlarm, and free version of Ad-Aware.
    Those that are NOT running F-Protect we use the free version of Avast.

    Try doing a system restore to the day before you did this "I opened Windows Defender once disable one of the programs in the startup directory, at least I think that is all I did, and now Defender won't start.".

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

  3. #3
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    [quote name='donebb' post='779797' date='14-Jun-2009 13:18']I just don't know what I should have running but I do know I don't want McAfee. What should I have? Thanks.[/quote]

    On one of my Vista systems at home I use the Windows firewall, Windows Defender, & free AVG. On the other I use the Windows firewall, Windows Defender, & free Avast. On my XP system at home I use free ZA, free AVG & Windows Defender.

    Joe
    Joe

  4. #4
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    I should have stated that we have "Windows Defender" running all of our machines.

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

  5. #5
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    [quote name='donebb' post='779797' date='14-Jun-2009 14:18']I just don't know what I should have running but I do know I don't want McAfee. What should I have? Thanks.[/quote]
    Personally, unless I was dead broke I wouldn't and won't run any of the "free" Antivirus programs, especially AVG. The two I most recommend are 1) Kaspersky AV or 2) ESET NOD32... Kaspersky being the one I personally use and install and EVERY machine I build for clients, repair or upgrade. NOD32 is also very good but I prefer KAV. They both have "suites" that include firewalls, anti-spam, etc., but I prefer to not use suites (all-in-one) type security apps.

    Windows firewall is sufficient for most people particularly if you are behind a router.

    Windows Defender is also sufficient for most, although it has not been proven to be overly effective at stopping antispyware. The above AV's do quite a good job but that's not what they are designed to do. So, I much prefer to run Malwarebyte's Anti-malware... yes even over Spybot Search & Destroy. Malwarebytes has proven itself over the last year to be superior to all others in its field.

    So, there you have my perspective: Pay for a good Antivirus program, use Windows Firewall, install Malwarebyte's Anti-malware. The latter two are free. Anything more is really unnecessary but that all depends upon how paranoid you are and/or if you are in the habit of visiting nefarious websites and/or insist on running a P2P app on your PC and/or if you are involved with using Warez (pirated programs, music, videos, etc). Then, you are simply and honestly asking for trouble.
    Jeff
    simul iustus et peccator

  6. #6
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    Ok, here is the weirdness. Oh, and thank you all for your suggestions.

    This laptop that I have is a shared laptop. I downloaded Windows Live Mesh so I could share with my other computer. It came up at Startup so I wanted to take it out of the startup, since other people will be using this computer. Not being familiar with Vista, I Googled to find the answer, (I know, should have gone to Woody's first, but I'm learning) and it told me to open Defender, go to Tools and Software Explorer and take it out of startup from there, which I did.

    That was when the trouble first started because Windows Defender wouldn't come up. I followed DaveA's advise and did a system restore and all was good again, although I still had Live Mesh coming up at startup. So this time, figuring the advice about using Defender was wrong and after looking on Woody's Lounge, I ran msconfig and took Live Mesh out of Startup. Then I tried running Windows Defender and got the same result, it wouldn't open and I got the error message that I showed in my first post. After running System Restore again and trying everything again, the same thing happened again.

    It seems that if I have Live Mesh, it needs to run in Startup for Windows Defender to work, which doesn't make any sense to me. Since I got back to a good Restore Point I removed Live Mesh and now Defender seems to run OK.

    So, now back to the original question, which Pilgrim has answered pretty thoroughly. I'm curious as to why you are opposed to AVG, I use it at home and it seems to work fine, of course, I don't know if it is missing some virus's or not. Maybe it's not doing anything but I haven't been having any problems since I dumped McAfee and went to Windows Firewall and AVG. (I'm not sure what else I am running at home, I'll have to check)

    I didn't see any endorsements for McAfee, so I think that sounds like I'm OK dumping that.

    Thanks everyone for your help.

  7. #7
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    What I see that Mesh" is used to share files such as music, photo vedios and etc with other computers and devices. This would also sync them.

    Are there any other computers involed?

    I would uninstall this Mesh and get a clean start, so you can do what you want.

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

  8. #8
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    [quote name='donebb' post='779950' date='15-Jun-2009 14:34']So, now back to the original question, which Pilgrim has answered pretty thoroughly. I'm curious as to why you are opposed to AVG, I use it at home and it seems to work fine, of course, I don't know if it is missing some virus's or not. Maybe it's not doing anything but I haven't been having any problems since I dumped McAfee and went to Windows Firewall and AVG. (I'm not sure what else I am running at home, I'll have to check)[/quote]
    1. I'm opposed to AVG for a couple of reasons (at least):
    - It always does poorly on most of the AV comparative tests
    - without exception, every PC I have had to fix that had AVG Free installed was infected with something (confirmation of the above).

    2. McCrappy is horrible as it is infamous for slowing down systems, causing myriad errors, etc. At least AVG doesn't trash systems. hehe

    Being in the business of building, upgrading and repairing computers I get to see all kinds of things; good and bad. Security is the most obvious area that I check first. Either the owner is paranoid and has gobs of antispyware programs installed, firewalls, etc., or on the other end of things, the owner has little or no security apps installed or something which is next to worthless. Yes, there are differences of opinions on which one is "best", but the ones I have named are always at the top of most everyone's list: Kaspersky, Eset NOD32, Malwarebytes and Spybot Search & Destroy. However, it often comes down to credibility (who do you trust and/or which bunch of groupies do you listen too) and cost.

    That's my
    Jeff
    simul iustus et peccator

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