Author Topic: McAfee VirusScan 5.x  (Read 813 times)

Offline Chandler

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McAfee VirusScan 5.x
« on: Sep 26, 2001, 09:26 AM »
Before I start, I think that it should be commented that McAfee VirusScan is one of the most efficient virus scanners available.  However, in an effort to offer the ultimate protection, it slows your system down a lot.

All of the problems mentioned here are ones that I have personally discovered myself.  There are dozens more on the McAfee web site.

There are a lot of bugs in this software (5.15 through to patched 5.21):

   >If upgrading from 4.0.3 OEM, installer halts due to undeletable files (discovered this by doing a manual un-install).

   >The system startup boot scan freezes Windows 98 loading.  Have to manually edit the Autoexec.bat file to change scan.exe to bootscan.exe.

   >Installing recent DAT and Scanning Engines causes very jerky mouse operation and temporary, random lockups (continues operating after a while) when real-time scanner is active or when manually scanning.

   >Closing any version of VirusScan 5.1x-5.2x (personally tested) results in windows Explorer crashing in an unknown module, this didn't occur with 4.0.3

   >Randomly accuses the retail version of being a trial version.  This disables on-demand scanning.  This isn't the problem documented on the McAfee web site since this applies to version 4 only.

   >Sometimes DAT updates have to be installed by using the "force" option.  Again, this happens randomly and prevents installation of scanning engines and DAT files.

   >Clicking on the Virus Scanning buttons in Outlook 2000 causes a crash in Outlook 2000.  Again, this is random.

   >Doesn't seem to trust many legitimate files (i.e. Cakewalk Pro Audio 9, Cubase VST32 5.0, GTA2 loads of core Windows 98SE files, Internet Explorer).  It doesn't identify them as viruses but freezes mouse temporaraly while scanning them.  Probably because they are common targets.

   >For a few seconds after connecting to the Internet, the mouse is very jerky.

   >Causes Explorer to crash when deleting large amounts of files at once.

   >Performance gets worse and worse with each engine update, DAT update and patched version.  It's currently VERY bad.

However, despite all of these bugs I use McAfee VirusScan because it offers incredible protection from most sources of virus infection.  That is, floppy disks, the Internet and E-mail attachments (including scanning HTML files), blocking of dangerous ActiveX and Java controls and it also allows the banning of certain web sites which are deemed "unsafe".  There is also Heuristic scanning for detection of unknown viruses in files and macros.

You also get regular updates, which although are often reported to be only for a year, can be downloaded from the McAfee site anyway.

Overall, I would recommend sticking with version 4.0.3 (or 4.1.5) if you already have it installed.  If, however, you're looking for a reasonably priced anti-virus solution, or if you're running Windows Me or 2000, then I would recommend it.  Patches will probably be released to sort out the slowdowns.  In fact, some DATs fix it, but when the next is installed, it runs slow again.

It's strange how the older 4.0.3 (which Quantex pre-installed on my system) doesn't slow down when the newer engines are installed, but the newer 5.1x does.  You would expect it to be the other way around!  I've checked to see which files it scans and they're the same so it must just be that the software just isn't as well written now.

Be warned that current versions won't install onto Windows XP.  This applies for both RC1 and RC2 Betas of the operating system which I guess are pretty close to the final code.  Check with McAfee to see whether it will work with Windows XP if you intend to upgrade.

Overall: 8/10

Chandler Bing

« Last Edit: Feb 03, 2004, 05:37 PM by Neon »