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Level 7

unsolicited upgrade to broken version...?

McAfee Total Protection just upgraded from v8 to v9 without my intention...
I am not running IE8 and this new version of McAfee security center does not exactly freeze but has slogged to a snails pace of performance.
Clicking on a configuration button or tab renders it useless for many minutes at a time... with
many minutes of blank screen area.
Any advice would be appreciated.
Like I mentioned above... No Internet Explorer 8 to be found on this system.

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5 Replies
Level 21

RE: unsolicited upgrade to broken version...?

What operating system and service pack do you have?

Do you have any conflicting software - anything doing similar work to McAfee?

Is your browser set to default settings and Content Advisor off under Tools/Internet Options? What browser is it?

The 2009 products should, in fact, use less resources than before, so things should run smoother. I have them and I find everything much quicker. Also these upgrades are automatic and cannot be prevented, unless you cancel your subscruption and uninstall the software.

A lot depends on you keeping your machine up to date with Microsoft, however.

You may have a corrupted McAfee installation so try doing the following:

1. Uninstall all McAfee programs through "Add or Remove Programs" in Windows "Control Panel".

2. Use the MCPR tool, see this article: How to remove supported McAfee consumer products using the McAfee Consumer Products Removal tool (MC... This will remove all McAfee remnants from your computer. (you must have Windows Vista, XP or 2000 SP4 to use this tool)

3. Launch Windows Explorer and delete all McAfee files in "Program Files" but especially in "C:\Document and Settings\<user>\Application Data" and "C:\Document and Settings\All Users\Application Data". You have to set Windows Explorer to show all hidden files and folders (Tools > Folder Options > View tab). Just delete the McAfee folders even if they are empty in all the "Application Data" folders. Can be more than one!
In Vista: C:\Program Files, C:\ProgramData and C:\Users\yourname\AppData\Roaming

Don't worry if you can't find these files and folders.

4. Reboot and redownload/reinstall your McAfee products directly from your account at the McAfee web site, NOT from any CD that you may have.

If you are McAfee direct customer, go to and log in to download your McAfee products.

If you received your McAfee products from your service provider, please use the list below to download your software.

Comcast users should go to and log in to download your software.

DELL users should go to and log in to download your software.

Gateway users should go to and log in to download your software.

eMachines users should go to and log in to download your software.

MSN users should go to and log in to download your software.

AOL users should go to and log in to download your software.
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Level 7

RE: unsolicited upgrade to broken version...?

Thanks for the reply.
False Alarm perhaps??... After using, last night, McAfee Quick Clean
and running a full virus scan
(I was able to get functionality, albeit slow)
this morning Security Center is running crisply.
But I will post a few answers for clarification.

Window XP Home SP2.
I have yet to take the SP3 plunge, as this computer
is slightly older and it does not seem an urgent update at the moment.

Based on my review of McAfee Document ID: 107064
I have not conflicting software... I did think it strange that
Spybot is on the list considering it is a highly popular add on.

Browser settings on IE7 are default (Content Advisor not enabled)
While IE 7 is default browser (Windows updates and all that)
I do use latest Safari a bit.

Things seem to be fine right now... but I will take this opportunity
to say that I would prefer a setting for McAfee's "Automatic" updates
to inform the user something to the effect that "Your McAfee product is being automatically disabled while updates are being installed"
For I find it a bit disconcerting when I boot up only to see that little Red X icon show up in the Task Bar
... it just makes me think that some nefarious process has turned it off.
(just my 2 cents)
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Level 21

RE: unsolicited upgrade to broken version...?

As far as slowness is concerned I would just suggest the normal Windows clean up processes & perhaps look into increasing hardware resources, especially memory (RAM).

SP3 isn't mandatory (yet) but is advised. It isn't as drastic as SP2 was (and I can recall that quite well) and if you need any help look here:

Spybot's labelling is due to its "Teatimer" feature which has always clashed with anything McAFee.

Using Safari shouldn't cause issues.

Regarding the red X issue whilst updating. This has been reported often although none of us can reproduce it.
I can only assume that it occurs (perhaps wrongly) due to some aspects in the setup of the machine.
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Level 7

RE: unsolicited upgrade to broken version...?

Things seem fine now on system one.
I did notice another funny symptom on system two (similar system specs, different model).
We had another Windows system that updated to MTP 2009
yesterday that after reboot
would not recognize Ethernet/DSL connection.
Today rebooted and fiddled with Firewall settings and set from Auto to
Standard. Internet now accessible.
Perhaps this is all coincidence, and anecdotal, but by my (two example) experience
suggests that it takes more than one Restart for McAfee Total Protection to finally "settle down".
My "feeling" is that by adjusting a parameter in the configuration sort of
woke it up. .... hmmm, very Scientific... not.. :rolleyes:

P.S. Firewall settings seem a bit mysterious to me. The new Auto/Standard/Stealth settings seem to behave
very similarly except, I suppose in how alerts are managed... any advice or comments or referral to
clarifying article would be appreciated. I assume Standard is fine compared to the Auto setting for which the recent
set to default.

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Level 21

RE: unsolicited upgrade to broken version...?

Yes, that new firewall setup is a bit strange and we've never really had it explained fully.

Standard is what was the default in the past. The new Automatic with the 2 options of allowing full access or outgoing only is a bit off-putting but from what I can gather is the one that many (especially gamers) prefer as it almost eliminates pop-up warnings or requests for permission.

Standard is the old default and results in the usual pop-ups asking for permission when something is seeking access, unless you tell each one to be remembered, then eventually they will dwindle to almost zero.

It's really a matter of personal choice I guess.
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