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McAfee antivirus program goes berserk, freezing PCs

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32 Comments
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No better advertisement possible for Microsoft’s Security Essentials. Its free and seems to know the operating systems files.

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That's why I always uninstall it when I buy a new computer, haha. It is NOT a good program, it never has been.

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“It looks to be a train wreck,” Rothman said.

Looks like NorthAm needs Magnus, Robot Fighter.

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Had this happen to me once with a free TRIAL version Trend Micro AV software a few years ago. Needless to say, I didn't pay to up my subscription and uninstalled it after I got the PC working again.

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That's why I love macintosh!

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Windows cannot be trusted and should only be VM-ed under a Unix type system. -That way you only lose the one OS (Windows) and it won't take out the rest of the system. Parallels (Mac) works and VMware is the classic. Dual-core+ only.

Most servers run VMs now = 4-20+ OSes on one server.

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mcafee sucks!

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If your PC is frozen, how do you do the patched update. So glad I only use Apple products.

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Badsey - you're right - if one HAS to run Windows, at least it should be run on VMWare on top of AT LEAST a CentOS system (if not Red-Hat or other)...

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Computers in companies, hospitals and schools around the world got stuck repeatedly rebooting themselves Wednesday after an antivirus program identified a normal Windows file as a virus

Scanner found a root-kit like signature within a Windows library? Surprise, surprise. Probably, it is a root-kit. ^)

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i thought McAfee is a virus itself. i am using windows7 and MS free security essentials, and i never have a problem.

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please just stop using Windows. Problem solved.

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@badsey, @ebisen.

Sweet network idea. You could also do the userfriendly trick of taking a screenshot of Windows desktop then using it with your flavour of Linux ;)

glad I use Ubuntu

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You people that use freeware Linux are way ahead of the game, but a Mac OS is $29 ($49? Full OS) upgrade which is very fair also for the computer illiterate. Even an iPhone/iPad could be better for the illiterate, but I would wait a few years for better hardware (print etc) options.

=I still use Win programs like Ahead Nero. Since Norton Corporate I gave up on McAfee (~year 2000) since it was a poor performer and annoying at that time.

The more people that use Unix -the better off the world will be. =There are many fast running Linux derivatives for these laptops and older computers also. Good communities of users also.

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I really can't understand why people use/buy Windows. Did you know that there's no anti-virus for Apple? For there's no virus that affects the system. Sure there are some on sale, but they're mostly decorative. I use an Core2 Duo 2.66 which has a partition for Windows OS, and whenever I have to access the Windows side - to retrieve a file stored there for instance - it seems it takes ages for the whole system to wake up and work. And I really hate all those updates that take minutes. I am glad that I am getting confused when using Windows - a clear sign that my brain is working faster with Apple.

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Whahahah, it is a nice joke. Anti virus program got crazy and did not distinguish between friend and foe. "An apple computer a day keep virus away" I think apple should use my slogan.

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No programs to download for Apple = no viruses or need for virus scanners :p

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No programs to download for Apple = no viruses or need for virus scanners

= totally false sense of security = sitting duck

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LostinNagoya I use an Core2 Duo 2.66 which has a partition for Windows OS, and whenever I have to access the Windows side - to retrieve a file stored there for instance - it seems it takes ages for the whole system to wake up and work.

-You are doing the worst thing using boot camp since a virused Windows partition can be used to gain access to the OSX side. -You really need to look into a VM and Parallels can be downloaded for free just to try it out ($80 full). You must protect both OSes the way you are running it with a VM you only need to protect the one. Max out the memory and OSX VM Win.

http://www.parallels.com/products/desktop/ (free trial)

-by VMing you can grab those files easily.

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Yes Badsey, you're right. However whenever I have to open Windows, I check it with 4 different anti-viruses - that takes at least 2 hours - also when I have to use Windows, I disconnect it from the net. Actually, Windows became sort of a "file of dead files". I am going to erase it from BootCamp as soon as I am sure I don't need any of the things I keep stored there.

No programs to download for Apple = no viruses or need for virus scanners :p

I suggest you study a little more. Surely there aren't so many programs for Apple as for Windows. However, and that' a big however, programs for Apple work better and everything you do on Windows you can do better on Macs. That's a fact.

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I don't understand it, if Apple is so good, then why do they have such a small share of the market in comparison to Windows? And you can't blame Windows for all of the problems, it's the software makers that can't seem to get things compatible. Until this year, I paid for internet security and there were glitches now and then after updating. The paid versions also seem to slow things down. This year I bought a new PC with a McAfee trial version pre-installed. I got tired of it pretty soon and now using Security Essentials, which works just fine without slowing PC down and no problems to date. And it's free.

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Depends on the market = server market 99% (if not more) non-Windows. Super-computer market 99% non-Windows. Virtual-Machine market 99% non-Windows.

CD/DVD burning software = 90% Windows, plus I still like and use Nero 5-6 and the Apple DVD burner is crap compared to my Hitachi. =Windows preferred.

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Windows has so many problems, that is for sure. McAfee is a good example of why the less Windows-based programs I use, the better. I'm just waiting for the day when someone comes out with some critical viruses for Mac. I don't want that to happen, but it is that sense of "well Apple products never have problems" that just seems to set them up for it. It makes me nervous. Kind of like calling a ship unsinkable on the eve before its demise, haha. Though if I could actually afford a Mac, I would probably buy one.

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reading many people comparing old window OS with whatever newest available from the other camp and feel sorry for them!

any this is about McAfee error on their work. why it turned to MS hate news, i have no idea!

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everything you do on Windows you can do better on Macs. That's a fact.

no that is not a fact. i use both at work (now). that is just a stereotype.

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why it turned to MS hate news, i have no idea! the death, it's not a MS hate thing, it's just that Windows is a vulnerable OS, there's no way of not comparing it to other safer OSs.

though if I could actually afford a Mac, I would probably buy one. kokoro, I didn't understand you, Macs and PCs have almost identical prices.

I don't want that to happen, but it is that sense of "well Apple products never have problems" that just seems to set them up for it. It makes me nervous. Kind of like calling a ship unsinkable on the eve before its demise, haha. In a sense it will be a good thing, because then Macintosh OS will become safer and more reliable.

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oh, my whole post is quoted! damn!

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A little more info sharing might have prevented this. But as malware is improving its stealth methods I guess it was just a matter of time before this happened.

Regarding non-Windows OS, if for instance less people use Windows and more people use Mac OS, Mac OS may have the malware directed at it. That may not be too far behind though.

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Windows is a vulnerable OS

but this news have nothing to do with other OS and very little to do with MS as an OS! it's all about McAfee mistaken on identify an unharmed system file in window as a virus related... well just read the news!

"well Apple products never have problems" that just seems to set them up for it. It makes me nervous.

yeah, good luck for those think it that way! and this is not going to turn to apple vs windows, so i am not going to point any thing out now.

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LostinNagoya-- Well I mean when you're buying cheaper computers, they always have Windows. And as far as I know, the Mac Netbook was just a rumor/still in the works? If I could get a "cheaper" Mac for the same price, I wouldn't have this gripe I suppose. But then, maybe I'm just missing it. Also, reading earlier in this thread just now, I had no idea you could buy the Mac OS like you could Windows. I only ever hear about dual running Linux on your machine. Learn something new everyday.

I wonder if all virus programs will end up destroying themselves like McAfee after a while, as malware becomes more complex.

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I have always found Mcafee too memory intensive and intrusive. I have no idea what it's doing or pretending to do for the memory cost and have always removed it for AVG on Windows systems resulting in an immediate speed boost. I went Windows free in 2008. Bliss!

Anyone can have a virus. But the capacity to look under the Unix/Linux hood and stop a problem on a more or less multithreaded system is far in excess to that of Windows, where you have no idea what's working running or consuming resources except for "services.exe" or whatnot. So Apple being BSD/Unix based is protected just by being different. I'll count. That's once removed from Windows based virus.

But that's not all. Apple is not a target because so many use Windows, so is a market share issue, not a technical incapacity. If three people are making a brick wall, and lets say that Linux has one 100 feet, Apple 100 feet, Windows 40 feet, the virus target is easy to spot. Apple and Linux are not a focused target. Twice removed from Windows based virus.

Also the community of Unix/Linux are top notch, so a virus killed by that group would end the kiddies reign of terror whereas Windows never ends, always has holes and is the gift that keeps on giving. Why spoil it? No doubt being nice people the Unix/Linux community would share their findings with Apple and Windows, so its not worth being discovered. Three times removed from Windows based virus. If Apple is hacked all these would have to change first.

Now, add on top of that any flavour of Linux with slightly different directories than BSD and slightly different security functions, file systems and setup files, and it adds another layer of unlikelihood of infection. But again though, I am not naive to think I can never be infected, only of its increasing utter remoteness. One up on Apple now, four times removed from Windows based virus.

The double irony is that with Unix/Linux, you already have every piece of software available to you for free that you could every possibly need and not being squeezed out of your wallet by Apple in discreet stages. I find my downloading more or less just videos, updates and software packages that I have selected myself. Even alpha or beta software, but no shareware or trials, which harbour the virusus, malware etc. So even in the general use of the computer, the route of infection would not even be the same and thus lower. Two up on Apple, fives times removed from Windows based virus.

Less buying of software also means less exposure to online credit card theft or identity theft. Three up on Apple, six times removed from Windows based virus.

Thus I can conclude very easily that there is no comparison to the McAfee Windows issue here, any Apple users beside them, and any Linux users waaaay over there oblivously typing away.

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In a society that is becoming paperless, this is scary because we have become a society that depend on computers for all our needs.

@LostinNagoya, I thought you could only have one anti-virus on your computer at a time.

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