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Level 9

McAfee unable to update... can't connect to the Internet


I recently received that message on my mother's PC. The modem was operating normally, as I was able to connect to the Internet and reach McAfee from her computer.

So, I checked the error log and found an "unexpected condition" ocurred following the most recent "automatic" update. When I contacted tech services I was informed this was likely due to an "incomplete or improper" installation of the 2011 upgrade. However, the upgrade had been running for three weeks without a problem. And, the error log expressly indicated a cause other than what tech services told me. The technician went on to say he couldn't help if I wouldn't allow "remote access" -- end of that chat!

I decided the best course of action was to remove the McAfee product and reinstall it. After receiving a "McAfee Total Protection 2011 Successfully Removed" message and restarting the computer, I attempted to download the product again. The download failed -- twice. A third attempt [following the respective removal of the partial downloads] was reported as "complete" and "Successfully Installed". When I attempted to customize the settings I discovered components were unavailable.

The shield was missing from the taskbar. When I clicked the desktop icon I received a message delcaring the destination file "mcagent.exe" could not be found. A search of the C-drive failed to locate it; however, a search of the registry found it. When I navigated to the folder indicated by the registry record, I found the folder empty {even displaying "protected" files failed to reveal it}! More, I found several McAfee folders on the C-drive were duplicated and empty. A couple folders had single files, most had nothing but empty sub-folders. Determining another {!} removal and {another!} reinstall was needed, I found no McAfee products listed on the Add/Remove Programs list!

Again, I contacted technical services and {AGAIN!} was told the error was due to an improper upgrade and could only be fixed by "remote".

By now, the McAfee error message on the PC had returned, declaring unable to update, connection to Internet failed...! This time when I attempted to connect to the Internet for some troubleshooting, the network adapter was no longer functioning. The Device Manager listed three network adapters but I only have one in the machine. The two additional adapters carried the McAfee name! I learned [via another chat, from my laptop {using the same modem connected to the PC}] the adapters listed aren't actually hardware but are software components "necessary for the adapter to function". WTF?! From where did that crap come?!

I ckd my laptop for a similar hardware list but found no McAfee adapters. I did find a Microsoft Tun Adapter, which I'm told is also software related. {Something to do with NET Framework changes.}

Anyway, I scanned the registry and found several McAfee folders [most duplicated thrice] in the registry that weren't on the c-drive; likewise, several folders on the c-drive didn't seem to match any registry line.

I finally, formatted the drive and successfully returned to the Internet and loaded a complete and working McAfee Total Protection 2011!

The point of all of this is, McAfee [like many others] must do better at writing the script for their removal tools used during installations, updates or upgrades! I have no doubt, had they done anything remotely, it would have been just what the software did "automatically". Perhaps it would have worked but I'm certain it w/hv nonetheless created a fubar registry condition. The end result of which w/hv been the adapter failure!

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2 Replies
Level 16

Re: McAfee unable to update... can't connect to the Internet

Hi Wetmoref2,

Probably, you could run McAfee virtual technician and see if that report for any pending updates to the DAT file or could have checked the Host file , for instance if it was modified due to some reason, ultimately you would have issues in connecting to McAfee website and also downloading the latest updates to security center.

Since, you are OK now, please get back any time if you feel that you have issues with updating McAfee or any other.


Dinesh K

McAfee Online Community Moderator

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Level 9

Re: McAfee unable to update... can't connect to the Internet


The virtual technician is a waste of time! All it does is look for missing McAfee files!

I Didn't Have A Problem Updating -- McAfee's Own Software Had A Problem!

The script had incomplete and inconsistent code. It failed to to consider the individual configuration of the system. The code didn't even note the ports it was trying to use were blocked by itself - the ports were closed by user. And, as no exception string had been written, the software continued to write the updated code creating a run error.

Microsoft has a similar problem with it's latest NET Framwork and Windows Service Pack. Not Everyone Is Using Windows 7. And, Not Everyone Is Accepting Default Settings. Some of us are quite particular with our systems and networks. Some of us actually arrange our drives as we like to use them, Not As Microsoft [or McAfee] {Or Any Software Company} Would Like Them To Be.

It's long past time for software writers to return the way it was done 20 & 30 years ago. Every instruction had to be written exactly, specifically, with a beginning and an ending for each step of a desired task. And, for every instruction an exception line had to be written. If this, then that. If not this, then that. Go here, do this. Go there, do that.

There's far to much copying and pasting today. To much reliance upon "typical" conditions.

Some of us are far from typical.

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