Since yesterday, the Security Centre is geving me the big red cross - "your subscription has not been activated". I'm used to being nagged every few days to perform this totally redundant action, redundant because I activated it after upgrading months back. But now when I click Fix I get a box with no header which merely says "One or more problems require yoiur response". The only option is to hit the "Close" button, which gets me back to square one, with the supposed problem still unfixed.
As far as I can tell the "problem" does not affect the functionality of the product. I can still scan and I can still update virus definitions and so on.
In fact today's update has changed. Instead of being asked to update my subscription I am asked to verify it. Still a red cross, and still the same useless "One or more problems" box. I clicked on the verify message, got "OK it's been verified" back. So no more red crossed, right? Wrong! "Your subscription has not been activated"...
I also have the problem that updates appear to disable Systemguards, bringing up a yellow cross. As other users of the computer get confused by this, I disabled automatic updating to retain some semblance of control, but I should not have to do this.
Having kept an eye on some of the threads over the last few months, there appears to be no recognised cause or solution. The general response from Mcafee seems to be either "Have you tried uninstalling and installing it again?" or arguing that it must be linked to some other software installed on the PC. I do not want to mess around uninstalling and installing the software and I see no reason why it would clear the problem in any case.
From where I am sitting, Mcafee IS has gone from being an excellent bug-free product to a nagging bug-ridden pain the backside! I cannot see myself staying with Mcafee when renewal comes up unless the problem(s) are recognised and solved quickly.
I am on SecurityCenter Build 9.3.137, VirusScan 13.3.117. Personall Firewall 10.3.106 and SiteAdvisor 2.9.258. I do not have the other components installed.
Perhaps I am the only one with this particular problem.
Anyway, updating has not cured the problem. In fact updating with 5570 left me with a long string of things which needed fixing. The Fix button did all of them ... except of course the one I posted about in the first place.
Thanks to the 200+ people who read my posting. I'm not entirely surprised nobody felt able to respond, given what seems to be an increasingly long history of unresolved bugs, though I see that Peter responded quickly when I put some "suggestions" on a thread on suggested features for McAfee 2010!
Re Peter's advice in that response, I did try Technical Support Chat when I had problems with Systemguards being disabled whenever the DAT file got updated. It was pretty hopeless and guess what it ended with. "I'm going to push you a tool that will uninstall McAfee...". While that might well fix it, can anyone guarantee that it won't make it worse? At least I can scan and update at the moment.
From where I am sitting, McAfee seem to be in denial about the problems experienced by users. Must be some other product's fault (and what does that argument say about a security product we depend on?). No it isn't, it is your DAT updates each time, including what appears to have been a particularly bad one which promoted my "you must activate..." niggle to a big red Fix cross that potentially obscures any real security issues around.
If you are in denial, the problems won't get fixed. That's my conclusion and I really have to decide whether to get my money's worth, sort of, and put up with the hassle, or give it up as a bad job and find another product.
Sorry to be such a downer, but for me McAfee has gone from hero to zero in a couple of years.
What is your operating system and service pack and are you up to date?
What version of Internet Explorer do you have? (Regardless of whether or not you use it).
What other protection software do you have or have had in the past?
The Systemguard issues have been numerous and well documented here. The developers tell us that 2 out of 3 causes for that problem have been fixed. The 3rd one is rather difficult to crack and apparently wont even be an issue in the next year's version. Unfortunately that's several months away as it hasn't even entered the public beta stage yet.
We all have been getting the occasional problem after updates have occurred with the Systemguard warning but usually clicking "Fix" and/or rebooting works, on my machine at least.
As I stated on that other person's thread, Tech. Support can escalate the case to a higher level than we can here.
Also as an afterthought...if you are using registry cleaners, stop right now. They cause more problems than they purport to cure.
Thanks for the response. I saw someone had given me five stars but that wasn;t helping me much.
My computer is dual booted. The main operating system is Windows XP SP2. I didn't like the sound of what SP3 was supposedly doing to some computers. The other one is Windows 98 but it scarcely gets used now, and never on the internet. I'm not even sure if the current products work on W98. One consequence of the dual booting is that the two boot partitions have to fit in quite a small space, and the XP partition is often tighter for space than I would like.
The computer is six years old and has always used McAfee products, and no other anti-virus or firewall software. I only use the AVS and firewall components of Internet Security.
I have never used registry cleaners, for the reasons you give.
"Fix" sorts out Systemguards - until the next DAT file arrives. It definitely does not sort out the latest problem, which is the one that finally got me onto this forum in frustation. I see that a number of other posters have reported some variation or other of the "One or more problems require your response". It hit me the day after the "bad DAT file". Advice generally has been that the next DAT file will sort it out. It hasn't.
I appreciate that I'm on my own with Windows 98. It was basically up there for old games my daughter played when she was a lot smaller and for a scanner for which no XP driver was ever produced. I haven't attempted to install SecCen 9 on that partition
When you say SP3 will soon be mandatory in order to receive security updates, are you referring to updates from McAfee, from Windows Update (as the thread you pointed me towards) or both? I haven't seen anything anywhere else about this (yet) and it would seem odd if Microsoft, having supported W98 for best part of ten years, left users who did not want to install a service pack high and dry.
My intention is to get a new PC (and a scanner) soon after Windows 7 appears, skipping Vista. I might have to dual boot that with XP, I suppose, in order to support some software or kit. With any luck I will avoid the shutters coming down on non-SP3 XP, at least while it is my primary operating system.
I could pretend that I made a principled decision not to install SP3 but it wasn't like that. For some weeks something was downloading in the background and this turned out to be SP3. Shortage of space on the hard disk was probably why it took so long. OK, I've arrived, it tells me - do you want to install me? Yes ... but an hour or so later the installation failed because of lack of hard disk space. I then looked up some of the reviews, which suggested (a) that there was little to gain if you were otherwise up to date and (b) too many people had suffered the perpetual restart problem. The rational decision at that point seemed to be not to try and install it again, even if I could free up enough disk space without hobbling my system in some other novel way (I've already shifted a heck of a lot onto data partitions).
If you are telling me that McAfee products may not work even now without SP3 installed, that seems to me another reason to ditch the product, I'm afraid. If my PC becomes less secure because I can't have up to date protection without installing a service pack I do not want, that decreases everybody else's security a little bit too. Assuming that everyone is, or is prepared to be, bang up to date in terms of hardware, Windows Update or whatever seems to me the antithesis of maximising security.
It is of course possible that rival products would be no more flexible, but with any luck I can research that before buying.
Sorry if I'm sounding negative towards your advice but if I can possibly avoid installing SP3 I intend to do so - and I may not even have the space available to do so!
Thanks for the link. I think I'll be on a new PC by July 2010! However, we have got a XP laptop as well, on which McAfee does not show the antisocial tendencies that is does on the desktop. I don't think I ever installed SP3 on that but if I have to at least space won't be a problem. I'm dead meat if it screws up though! It is rarely used on the internet so when McAfee updates it gets several weeks (at least) worth in one go, which perhaps prevents bad DAT files setting off problems.
In the current economic climate there are going to be even more people who put off upgrades of hardware or software (or whose non-upgraded hardware can't cope with software upgrades). The IT security product industry really has to try and keep those people within the tent, as it were.
I may give Tech Support another go, despite previous experience on Systemguards. Thanks for your advice anyway.
Good luck. Lots of people put off installing essential patches and service packs, agreed. They are the ones flooding the help forums all over the world wailing that their machines are unusable. I have had problems installing some service packs in the past. With a bit of research and perseverance, I succeeded.