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  1. #1
    Plutonium Lounger
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    McAfee Antivirus Survey

    OK, folks, I'll take the first step and start the thread for us. This thread is to collect a list of SPECIFIC difficulties and/or problems about the McAfee ANTIVIRUS program that Lounge'ers can enumerate. One program, very specific problems! Remember, this is The Lounge! No bad-mouth, cursing or accusations. The Mods will be watching! In other words, I don't want to hear: "it stinks." Tell me something I can do some research on, please.

    I'll start it off with one comment I KNOW to be true. There seems to be an opinion that after a period of time, one has to PAY for "signature" file updates. Hoping that the wording was not intended to mean PROGRAM updates, I can tell you that the McAfee "DAT" files updates are always FREE and usually available weekly. I download one every Thursday or Friday and have for SEVERAL years.

    Please join in, but remember our liabilities! It would help if you include the version number of which you speak.....

  2. #2
    5 Star Lounger
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    Re: McAfee Antivirus Survey

    I too have been using McAfee for several years with No Problems.
    I was using Windows95 until a year and a half ago and have since been using WindowsMe (2 computer p2p lan).
    I update my virus files at least once a week....Free.
    McAfee has protected my system from infections on several occasions.
    My opinion of Norton..... <img src=/S/razz.gif border=0 alt=razz width=25 height=17>

    In reply to MercC, post 162679, I posted some reservations re AVG a couple of weeks ago. Last week I decided to give AVG a try.
    Over a 3 day trial, WindowsMe crashed repeatedly. As soon as I uninstalled AVG.....No Problems!!
    From my experience, AVG is NOT compatible with WindowsMe.

    Have a Great day!!
    Ken
    <IMG SRC=http://www.wopr.com/w3tuserpics/KenK_sig.gif>

  3. #3
    5 Star Lounger
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    Re: McAfee Antivirus Survey

    In my place of employment we were expected to use McAfee (always the latest version whenever it came out). I had reservations, having been a satisified Norton user for years. But . . . no choice. On my office computer (Win 98 SR 1), with the bare necessities running through Start-up, programs were exceedingly slow to open and run, available memory fell to 10-15%, lock-ups were frequent, even with only 1-2 programs open, usually IE and Word. Printing brought an even greater slowdown with the cursor jerking across the monitor. When I disabled McAfee, all the problems were eliminated. I was loath, however, to use the computer without an anti-virus program. Continuing frustration led me to uninstall McAfee, buy Norton at my expense, and install it. Since then, no comparable problems whatsoever. My take: regardless of its antivirus capabilities, McAfee wass a tremendous resource hog.

  4. #4
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: McAfee Antivirus Survey

    Ken....Windows ME doesn't get along with anything.... <img src=/S/laugh.gif border=0 alt=laugh width=15 height=15>....there are probably more people that hate ME than Norton and McAfee combined. <img src=/S/flee.gif border=0 alt=flee width=25 height=25> We better not open that can of worms though, or Al will be after us! <img src=/S/hiding.gif border=0 alt=hiding width=70 height=24>
    -Mark

  5. #5
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: McAfee Antivirus Survey

    Since yours is a post not-specific to a particular version, let me try to make a few observations. First though, everyone should know I'm NOT a programmer or even a systems analyst. What I AM is a 22 year "road warrior" in the PC arena. So, I may not always use all the right techie terms and definitions. McAfee Antivirus software, like the operating system and hardware on which it's used, has evolved A LOT in the past few years. When they were back in the 4.x and 5.x versions, there were ALWAYS "dot releases" to fix problems or make small enhancements. Some of those earlier releases had trouble with WinME and Win2K, and the list goes on.....

    However, to their credit, their technical support folks and their public forums were always very helpful to ME in working around a problem. Not everyone will feel that way, but isn't that true of any software or hardware situation. Some people have good luck with Fords and stick with 'em, others go to Jaguars and so on. We should keep in mind that all (most) software and hardware "behaves" differently depending on all the other software and hardware you mingle it wirh.

    There's no need beating the dead-horse of all their prior versions, but one major problem with the antivirus program through many versions has been system slowdown and non-responsiveness. McAfee has done a number of things to solve that problem, but one they evidently have still not solved is a logging program of some type that I've mentiond before (and so have countless others). This program is called ALOGSERV.EXE. On the McAfee support forum and in direct email to me, their technical support said that this program can be "disabled" without disruption of the scanning and "catching" process, in other words it's not critical to the operation of the program. I've done so ever since version 5.x and as I said, I don't know why the problem hasn't been officially fixed. On MY systems and on all those I used to be responsible for at my former employment shack, this workaround has solved the slowdown and sluggishness problem, or at least held it at arms-length!

    And before someone has to ask me, I will say that in the "several" years I've used and administered McAfee's antivirus software, I've never (fingers crossed) had a machine corrupted by a virus, worm or trojan. The only time I've ever seen someone get "stung" is when they don't keep their data files as up to date as possible. Whew! I'm gonna stop now!

  6. #6
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: McAfee Antivirus Survey

    Al, I must say that although I use Norton Systemworks, which includes virus protection, I honestly don't care for either Norton or McAfee.

    I have had numerous issues with McAfee that are different in nature than Norton AV. Notable, There was a period where I had exceptional difficulty getting McAfee to work on a new WIndows installation. The first thing I do after installing an operating system is to add AV software, and McAfee tanked several - by several, we're talking in the teens, just from my own experience - Windows 98 PCs. I would encounter BSODs when booting. All of these machines were on different hardware, and over a period of about a year. It did not happen every time but the easiest solution was to avoid the problem altogether. At that time, AVG wasn't even around, that I know of. It was at that time that I quit using McAfee and migrated personally and professionally to Norton. This I believe was around version 4 - which also had a complex user interface.

    I can't believe, however, that McAfee sucks that badly - after all, actions speak louder than words, and if their products were that viral, no one would be buying them, and they wouldn't have a market.

    I have had problems with the installation of Norton's products too. More often than not, it's not a show-stopper as the previous issue I noted. But it's exceptionally irritating to have any notable number of problems at all - both of these companies have the resources to provide us with quality assurance, were they to care. Norton also has an annoying feature with its outgoing email scan in the most recent version. It's intrusive, annoying, unnecessary - and it makes a big dent in performance when it runs. That is completely unacceptable from a company of that size.

    For all interested, Norton AV updates are also available free. You must download the "Intelligent Updater" which is updated with the most recent build of definitions, no subscription necessary. In fact, I need to do that now, because I've removed and re-installed Norton AV twice on this very machine, and it still can't auto-update itself. "Cannot read subscription data. Please reinstall Norton Antivirus."

    Funny, I didn't hear anyone defending AOL or Compaq... <img src=/S/hmmn.gif border=0 alt=hmmn width=15 height=15>
    -Mark

  7. #7
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: McAfee Antivirus Survey

    Great writing, Mark. Oooh! I wouldn't dare say anything about AOL or Compaq, but I would if asked! <img src=/S/bash.gif border=0 alt=bash width=35 height=39>
    <hr>and McAfee tanked several ... <snip>... Windows 98 PCs. I would encounter BSODs when booting.<hr>
    Well, you can see how my Ford - Jaguar analogy relates. When I last worked, I was "responsible" for 30 to 40 desktop machines, all running Win95, then Win98 and I NEVER had a problem installing or running McAfee. Just goes to show.....

  8. #8
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: McAfee Antivirus Survey

    Understood. As I stated I think that they're both on the same level, except I took longer to do it in that post. <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15> I also failed to add that a client of ours had an NT workstation with McAfee, and I have no idea what version, and this PC would lock up, fail to log in, all very unpredictably - and removing McAfee fixed it. Our corporate standard is to include the latest version of Norton AV on all outgoing systems (they're ghosted from a master image that is updated periodically after people like me complain about the install).

    Also, a note about my stated Norton AV problems (LiveUpdate failing to update Norton Antivirus). I again removed and re-installed, to no avail. The upshot is that I did fix this - it involved a registry edit, so the faint of heart, beware and don't try it if you're the least bit unsure. Norton complained that it could not find "IraLrShl.exe" and provided a path. I checked in the registry and found an 8.3 named path:

    C:PROGRA~1COMMON~1SYMANT~1LiveRegIraLrShl.exe

    When this was replaced with the full Windows long filename path

    C:Program FilesCommon FilesSymantec SharedLiveRegIraLrShl.exe

    everything worked. Now here's the weird part: The registry has reverted to the 8.3 style path, and things continue to work. Now THAT, my friends, is ridiculous, and in my book, a bona-fide bug. Don't bother reporting it to Symantec, though, my experience is that they will point you to a few knowledge base articles on their site, and if that doesn't fix it, then it must be YOU, the user, in your stupidity. Twice I have queried about a reproduceable problem and twice my persistence was met with blank stares and a stone wall. I concluded that their support is in the <img src=/S/toilet.gif border=0 alt=toilet width=24 height=26> if the online articles don't help - and they don't always.

    More than <img src=/S/2cents.gif border=0 alt=2cents width=15 height=15> from me, I put some serious <img src=/S/money.gif border=0 alt=money width=17 height=15> down here! <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>
    -Mark

  9. #9
    New Lounger
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    Re: McAfee Antivirus Survey

    Used MacAfee Office 2000 updated from about 1998 Nuts & Bolts, on WIN 98SE standalone platform. Virus worked - as long as disabled the scan-all-opening-files (with that on, whole machine slowed to crawl, but admit MacAfee warns you of that). Wasn't fully happy with utilities. Organization asked me to go to Norton, which I'd used at home. Maybe because it was latest version, was happier with Norton Utilities & anti-virus. But, discovered that even though had uninstalled MacAfee, Registry still had over 600 MacAfee entries, machine was running slow, crashing. Had to buy RegCleaner, everything back to normal. A program should uninstall correctly.
    As far as anti-virus, frankly never seen difference. I do like the way Norton sets up separate address and filters incoming & out-going e-mail, am aware that feature has crashed some people, and aware the latest MacAfee does something similar, so it was just the older version of MacAfee that didn't have the features I wanted.
    MacAfee does has very confusing messages that do give impression you have to pay to update - how handy (financially) for them, no? Am fan of Bob Rosenberg's V-Myths.com web site and philosopy, getting disgusted with sheer size of major anti-virus files and computing power needed. Swtiching to Opera for Browsing, but need HTML e-mail so can't go to Opera e-mail totally, or even The Bat!
    One final specific. MacAfee website is NOT totally w3-compliant, so had to fire up IE 5.5 to update anti-virus, search, etc. IE (and OE) are part of the virus problem and MacAfee forces you to use them?
    Our organization has about 15 standalone computers and it really seems like MacAfee and Norton both are extremely sensitive to each individual computer enviroment, but MacAfee more so. So, is it MacAfee's fault, hardware, other software, older gear, newest gear, or what? Darned if I can tell - and gurus either are totally opinionated or admit baffled too.
    Tell me - if you just download the DAT files, aren't you missing out on the new engines that detect better? MacAfee's website sure gives you that impression.

  10. #10
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: McAfee Antivirus Survey

    <hr> Tell me - if you just download the DAT files, aren't you missing out on the new engines that detect better?<hr>
    No, not if you download the correct stuff. Their "superdat" files contain not only the latest virus updates, but if there is an "engine" change, you get it too. Besides which, it's an executable that is kinda automatic. I usually get mine from one of their MANY web pages, <A target="_blank" HREF=ftp://ftp.mcafee.com/pub/antivirus/superdat/intel/>here</A>.

  11. #11
    Star Lounger
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    Re: McAfee Antivirus Survey

    I,m just surprised no one has mentioned,the prices they dare ask for their little piece of software.
    And I`m talking about both MacAfee and Norton here.


    Greetz.

  12. #12
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    Re: McAfee Antivirus Survey

    I have been using Nortons since the early DOS days. I have had some problems, but they were related to 'Clean Sweep' and the "System Checker" (I can remember the real name) program to keep your machine in shape. I have NOT installed "Clean Sweep" for several revisions, since it needs to be installed before you install any program so it can know how to uninstall the added program. Nortons dropped the system checker program several years ago so it is not longer a problem. I also do may own "Live Update", as I do NOT trust any Auto type system including Windows Update.
    Since these two programs are not on my machines Nortons AV and Utils work just great. The Speed disk with the 2002 could be a lot faster.

    As for McAfee, with it installed I have serviced to many machines that were slower than <img src=/w3timages/censored.gif alt=censored border=0> and just by uninstalling McAfee the machine speeded up to a usable speed.

    I also know that the AV world is just like the Mac and PC bit, which is the best, which ever one you use first is the one you will like and use the most <img src=/S/bash.gif border=0 alt=bash width=35 height=39>

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

  13. #13
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: McAfee Antivirus Survey

    Y'all may well be gittin', but y'ain't suppose'ta:
    <hr>Are DAT Files Free?
    <font color=blue>McAfee offers free online virus signature file updates (.DAT files) for one year</font color=blue>. VirusScan owners can also subscribe to a maintenance and upgrade plan, ensuring complete virus protection beyond the first year, for a minimal fee.

    http://download.mcafee.com/updates/whaTDat.asp<hr>
    <hr>Automatic LiveUpdate checks for and installs new virus definitions when you're connected to the Internet to keep your system updated against the latest viruses*.
    ...
    * <font color=blue>One year of free virus definition service updates included with purchase of Norton AntiVirus 2002</font color=blue>; annual subscription service available online for subsequent updates.

    http://www.symantec.com/nav/nav_9xnt/features.html<hr>
    <hr>Simplified updates and support
    Trend Micro PC-cillin 2002 offers a new way to register your software online, making it easier for you to maintain your registration as well as recover from lost CDs, lost serial numbers, and other common problems. Simply fill out a few details on our online Registration page, receive your License Key, and insert it into a field on the "Register Now" screen of the PC-cillin 2002 main window. You may easily return to this Web page to update your contact information, which will be used to verify your license if you lose your License Key, CD, etc. <font color=blue>Once you have registered, you receive a year of virus pattern file and scan engine updates</font color=blue>, technical support, information about future updates and early warnings about the latest virus threats.

    http://www.trendmicro.com/pc-cillin/...s/features.htm<hr>
    Frankly, developing signature/pattern files and updated engines costs money. Software engineers want to get paid; those writing open source products apparently are getting paid by someone else and have time on their hands. As long as the antivirus business is a kind of arms race, rather than a cooperative venture with a single file format, these costs are not going to go away. So moves toward "enforcing" the one year rule were inevitable, if not in the current version, then in the next.

  14. #14
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    Re: McAfee Antivirus Survey

    Being that Nortons comes out with a new version almost every year and I update to the new version I am a paid in full supporter.

    I agree with you, one NEEDS to pay their share if one wants to continue to have some kind updates, nothin is <img src=/S/free.gif border=0 alt=free width=30 height=15>. not even <img src=/S/free.gif border=0 alt=free width=30 height=15> email and ISP's remember them?

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

  15. #15
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: McAfee Antivirus Survey

    <hr>A program should uninstall correctly.<hr>
    Don't lay all of the blame at the feet of the software vendor. The installation and removal routines of software depend somewhat on the facilities the OS (Windows) provides them. Microsoft's Installer is a step towards correcting that, but it too isn't bug free. 600 entries is a lot, sure - how did you determine that figure?
    <hr>MacAfee website is NOT totally w3-compliant<hr>
    You'd be hard pressed to find many sites that truly are. Remember that the vast majority of users are visitng with some form of Internet Explorer. Rather than spend the capital to maintain 100% standards based web pages, I'd prefer to see them sinking that into research and development. And if you think Microsoft's pages, or Symantec's for that matter are standards compliant, I would bet that they are not.
    <hr>is it MacAfee's fault, hardware, other software, older gear, newest gear, or what? Darned if I can tell - and gurus either are totally opinionated or admit baffled too.<hr>
    Frankly, I am amazed at how many different hardware configurations Windows itself works on, let alone the applications that depend on it. Both of these products hook into the system at a very low level, so it doesn't surprise me that they are sensitive. You simply can't test for every hardware configuration. PCs can be frankenstein monsters or pre-assembled. Where Apple excels is by control of the hardware in their lineup, which leads to very predictable behavior from the OS and applications.
    -Mark

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