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OT: Why I hate messing with anti-virus programs

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  • OT: Why I hate messing with anti-virus programs

    I wanted to try MS Essentials on my old computer to see how well it runs compared to the program I've already got. So, I closed Firefox, and opened IE8 to do the download. I navigate to the MS page. Then I disable the curretnly installed AV program. I hit the download button.

    Pretty soon I get an error message saying the file being downloaded is not a valid file, and the download stops. What?? Reload page, try again, same thing.

    So, I close IE8, open Firefox, go to the MS download page again, and hit download. The current AV is still turned off. The installation file is downloaded successfully. I open the file, close the FF browser, and start the installation. Everything goes fine for a while, then a message pops up saying the current AV program may not be compatible with MSE, and this may cause problems with MSE or the current AV program.

    So, it appears a trail run isn't possible without the risk of damage to the program I'm currently using and/or having problems with MSE because of the presence of the other program. The only way to try out MSE is to uninstall the current program, and then I'm stuck with MSE or having to get something else if I don't like it.

    That's really frustrating.
    Last edited by winchman; 11-27-2012, 02:16 AM.
    Any products mentioned in my posts have been endorsed by their manufacturer.

  • #2
    That is how it is. It generally doesn't work having two programs trying to do the same thing at the same time. If the old computer is Win 7 you can do an image backup and restore from that after if you don't like MSE.
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    • #3
      So just uninstall your existing AV. Try MSE, if you don't like it (heck, you wont even know it's running) uninstall MSE and reinstall your old AV. You own the current subscription to your old AV so it can be reloaded at no cost.


      • #4
        I learned a long time ago that "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
        Downloading something to just try it out is asking for trouble.
        I am not enamored of technology for technologies sake anymore.
        i used to be an early adopter of the latest AutoCad releases as soon
        as it was possible to get them. I gave that up after about 6 years.
        You don't get much paying work done trying to debug applications.
        (Notice that I said "Applications" and not Apps ?) After that I refused
        to upgrade until at least fix #4 or Service Pack 2, or whatever.
        Now I will not upgrade an Operating System. Just wait until it's
        proven good and buy a new computer with it already installed.
        Your old computer won't run well with the new OS anyway.
        I also don't Facebook or tweet !
        I get everything I want through email or Google searches.
        Yes I like Google. That was an early adopt the worked well.
        Haven't used Alta Vista in years. And Google Chrome is what
        I've settled on. Screw Firefox and all those others.

        Larry S
        Fort Wayne, IN
        Larry Swearingen
        Fort Wayne, IN
        New Hoosier


        • #5
          Bah ... I don't use AV programs. I haven't found one yet that doesn't slow things down. I keep a Knoppix disc around, just in case. In 6 years, I haven't had any serious issues. I've only used the Knoppix disc once and that was not related to a virus/malware at all.

          Sort of OT, but going along with what Larry said, I was surprised at how well I liked Google Chrome.


          • #6
            I've been running MSE on this PC build for nearly two years now. It has caught/stopped a number malware load attempts and I'm virus free. I run Malwarebyte's Anti-Malware weekly just to be sure. Other than the daily updates, you don't know it's there. MS has done a great job on this software and ranks right up with the high priced commercial software. And, it doesn't crash the system like most of the others. I wouldn't recommend anything else.


            • #7
              Originally posted by CCWKen View Post
              It has caught/stopped a number malware load attempts and I'm virus free. I run Malwarebyte's Anti-Malware weekly just to be sure.
              Really? I work behind a firewall and have Malwarebytes but in 6 years, I can count on one hand the number of times I had to remove malware. To register my machine on the University network, I have to have antivirus software so each year I download some antivirus software and run it to satisfy their goofy registration process and then I remove the software immediately afterward. Sounds like the MSE is something for me to look into for convenience sake.


              • #8
                Anti virus software is like getting flu shots. They work best when everyone gets one. Then the viruses don't find enough victims to spread.

                That's why your university requires it. If you removed malware once a year, you have probably spread it to dozens of other machines each time before you noticed it.

                In twenty years, I've used firewalls (stand alone) and anti viruses religiously. I've had to remove two viruses, both on my wife's PC. Never had to reformat a system.

                For the sake of others on your network, and AV is the socially proper thing to use. That and a shotgun to take out hackers that create viruses.

                At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and extra parts.


                • #9
         to use systems that don't require AV software.
                  Amount of experience is in direct proportion to the value of broken equipment.


                  • #10
                    Viruses are mainly created by organized crime and/or governments these days. Is there is any difference? Gone are the days of just wanting to screw up systems for bragging rights on the underground. It's all about money and spying as well as cyber warfare. Stuxnet was supposed to stay in Iran but it didn't. That was government, either Israel or the US, maybe both. China has been releasing viruses frequently just to see what they can find that is classified and poorly secured (plenty). The various mafioso are in it for the money using botnets to take down big money making sites in a modern version of the old protection rackets. Gambling sites are a favorite and to make it work they need your computer and thousands more so they can flood the target to the point it goes down.

                    MSE imposes no detectable load on the system at all. It works well and has alerted on quite a few sites that I sometimes visit. I keep up with the security issues and some of the sites I visit aren't very friendly. For those I use a version of Chrome that has everything turned off, no scripting, no active anything. With the threats now present with drive by downloads you must take care. I used to run without AV but almost got hit by a trojan so installed MSE. It is almost overly sensitive as it will alert on legitimate software including various of the Microsoft utilities from Sysinternals and remote control such as VNC. Anything that attempts to access normally off limits areas like the boot sector or protected ram will trigger an alert. That is as it should be and with MSE you can set up exclusions that prevent it from reading certain folders.

                    Microsoft has a big advantage when writing applications, especially system level software. They know all the undocumented hooks in the system and can take advantage of them. They also know when they will change. Other vendors also know about undocumented "features" but use them at the risk of their product suddenly failing because MS decided to do an update.
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                    • #11
             to use systems that don't require AV software.
                      There aren't any. The recent JAVA bugs are OS agnostic. They will run on any system that supports JAVA. It doesn't take much to tailor the payload to recognize what OS it is running on.
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                      • #12
                        What I use-

                        Hardware and software firewalls

                        MSE (running all the time)

                        Malewarebytes (for scanning)

                        Spyware blaster(spyware blocker)

                        7 Root kit scanning programs and security updates.

                        Everything that gets downloaded is scanned by all 5 programs. No single or even a couple of programs, will catch everything, if you aren't helping to stop viruses and black hats hackers then you are just as guilty of their crimes as they are.
                        The shortest distance between two points is a circle of infinite diameter.

                        Bluewater Model Engineering Society at


                        • #13
                          I will add one that is much more important for the computer literate. Know when and why your computer is using the network connection and keep an eye on it. I have a Networx graph running at all times so I can see when something is talking. I have shut off all "phone home" and auto update functions that I can so if communication occurs I either know what it is or find out soon using a packet logger. I also watch for unexplained disk activity on another graph.
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by danlb View Post
                            If you removed malware once a year, you have probably spread it to dozens of other machines each time before you noticed it.
                            I run it once a year but I have yet to remove anything with it...


                            • #15
                              I'm not a huge fan of most Microsoft software as it tends to be bloated and dumbed down a little too much for my tastes, but MSE is definitely one bright spot for them. It works great, runs fast, doesn't consume huge amounts of memory and they seem to do a good job keeping up to date with the latest threats. I still run SuperAntiSpyware since no one product catches everything.
                              I'm also partial to Scotty from BillP Studios. Does a good job preventing malware (or non malware for that matter) from adding startup programs without your consent.