I have a customers computer, and it has McAfee security center 9.11 with virus scan version 13.11 (Windows XP Home, SP3, all hardware drivers up to date)
The customer said they were getting blue screens when they tried to click the "fix" button in McAfee when it was saying it had not run a scan in 30 days. They also said trying to install IE8 would blue screen the same way when it got to the part of the install where it checks for malicious software.
The specific blue screen message is BAD_POOL_CALLER.
I have searched around and not found anything substantial to correct the issue. What I have tried so far is this:
uninstalled McAfee, ran the removal tool from their site to remove all traces. Made sure there were no WiX entries via the windows installer cleanup utility, and then installed the security suite again. Same problem occurs, as soon as you do a scan. It never shows any progress, and just blue screens.
Interestingly though, while it was uninstalled, I tried to run the IE8 installation, and it went through without a hitch. So this sort of points fingers at mcAfee. The system seems totally stable when mcafee is not installed, and becomes unstable when it is.
I also ran memtest86+ for about 40 minutes to make sure it was not a ram issue, however ram issues usually cause sporatic BSOD, and this BSOD is very specific, happening only when a scan is started.
The only other protection software on the system is the windows XP firewall, and they had Ad-Aware. I tried disabling the ad-aware service and running the mcafee scan, but same BSOD.
Any thoughts on how I can correct this issue, because the answer I am going to give the customer soon is that McAfee is not compatible with his system for one reason or another, and have him get a different product. I don't want to have to do that, since the customer just bought this software a month ago.
Well, wouldn't really point any fingers only at McAfee's software. Can be lots of other things. Have you done a search on the Internet for that particular error message? See here or here. But if it only happens with McAfee's software then I'd remove it too and replace it by something different. There are a few free ones available on the Internet. As long as the computer is safe...
Hey thanks for the reply. I actually resolved this, but I did not have time to come back here and post my results.
The issue was McAfee, but not directly. I found out that there were in fact viruses on the system.
I noticed that if I unchecked the option to do the "stealth" scan which I guess checks for rootkits and what not, that the scan would complete without error. Checking off the stealth scanning option and doing the scan would bring back the blue screen.
I scanned the drive with Microsoft Security Essentials beta, since I am have been testing this beta with good results, and it found 7 virus files including some labels as root kits and successfully removed them.
After doing this, McAfee no longer blue screened during scans.
So while the issue WAS in fact a virus, it is still a bit sad to me that a virus can cause McAfee to blue screen, while other vendors software (a beta that will be free software no less) was able to fix the problem easily.
What good is a antivirus software if the virus is more powerful that the protection?
Anyway, hopefully if someone has this exact issue, this thread may help them out. the BSOD message is related to many different things.
My best guess is that with that option checked, it was in fact encountering the rouge file, but was unable to actually do anything about it, causing the blue screen. Unchecking makes it not scan for that particular malicious type (rootkit) so it doesn't encouter the file, and doesn't crash.
Either way, when a virus makes your anti-virus blue screen, you have to question if its the best protection for the computer.