Okay, I ask that you bear with me. I'm going to give as much background as I can.
I own a machine that runs MS XP, service pack 2. I purchased it through the University of New Hampshire about 4 years ago, and it came with McAfee software preloaded (so the license is in UNH's name). Runs surprisingly well, given it's age. My last computer didn't last nearly so long.
Anyways, I mostly ignored your software for the first year; it ran fine, did it's job, and didn't give me any problems. Then, my machine got a moderate spy/mal ware infection, the kind that slows everything down but stops short of usurping your machine. And for whatever reason, your software couldn't touch it. I don't bring this up as a complaint, or out of malice, It's just what happened. So, I turned to something else to zap the bug dead. Since your software wasn't doing what I wanted to, I uninstalled it.
Now, this should be the end of my story. Problem is, it didn't stay uninstalled.
Periodically, these things just... grow back, for lack of a better word. I'm not sure if this is due to an incomplete removal, or some kind of automatic update process I haven't been able to turn off. It's hard to gauge because the timescale between revivals can vary a lot, and I haven't been taking hard data.
I object to the renewal of these programs not because of there one time failure, but because they seem to be operating without my consent, and their appearance heralds a slowdown of my machine as they eat up processor speed.
According to my programs list (figure01), I have currently installed,
McAfee Agent, ver 4.0.01494
McAfee AntiSpyware Enterprise Module, ver 188.8.131.52
McAfee VirusScan Enterprise, ver 8.7.0
McAfee VirusScan Enterprise (UNH Licensed)
It is not possible to remove all these programs via the windows add / remove programs window. I forget which does which, but one responds it cannot be removed while in use, 2 return errors and disappear from the list only to reappear later, and one uninstalls, only to return later. I could test which does which again, but then I'd have to wait until they resurrected to provide more info.
There's also an icon on the taskbar that calls itself McAfee OAS. Unlike every other program on the bar, it doesn’t seem to have an "exit" or "quit" option. I also can't seem to terminate the process with the windows task manager. The last time I tried it actually had the gall to tell me something had tried to terminate it, and it had blocked the attempt. I have to say, that gave me scary flashbacks to the last time I saw a machine infested with Antivirus Live.
There's now a McAfree folder on the start button tree that was never there before, last on the list. This showed up after the most recent resurrection. It doesn't have an uninstall option.
I haven't talked to the UNH CIS people about this. It's not their software, and I figured if I did go to them, they'd just have to turn around and talk to you.
So that's my problem. I'm willing to answer any questions you might have if you need more details. I'm not interested in fixing this software, or figuring out how to make my machine accommodate it. I'm also fine with permanently losing access to the license it's been running on. All I'd like is a way to get this stuff off my machine.
Again, I'd just like to be clear I'm not here to complain. I just feel I should have a right to stop using your service if I want to, and I'd like some help figuring out how to do that.
Tried first solution.
Ran MSIEXEC.EXE with the products installation string. That removed the taskbar icon, startbar folder, and McAfee AntiSpyware Enterprise Module, and McAfee VirusScan Enterprise from the program list.
McAfee Agent, and McAfee VirusScan Enterprise (UNH Licensed) remain on the programs list, and are still immune to uninstallation via the windows add / remove program utility. Pretty sure if those endure that the rest will eventually come back. Of course, I have the problem I can't prove that this stuff is gone. I can only tell if it does come back.
I'll attempt the second solution if and when that happens.Message was edited by: LCD on 4/24/10 12:56:02 PM CDT
Uninstalled Software has returned. That makes 13 days since I tried to remove it.
I'm trying the second solution now. Updates to follow.
Second Attempt: failure.
I got as far as step 13, where I was in C:\WINDOWS\Installer looking for the correct .msi file to remove. As I was doing so, a new .msi appeared at the bottom of the list. It was for VirusScan. I tried to delete it, but could not, for it was currently in use by another program, apparently undoing everything I'd spent the last hour or so attempting. See figure 2.
How do I stop VirusScan from reinstalling itself as I'm trying to remove it?
List of irregularities encountered:
Step 1: frminst.exe was hidden in C:\Program Files\Network Associates\Common Framework, not C:\Program Files\McAfee\Common Framework
Step 4: I got an error to the effect that the program or file being removed in this step was already gone. See figure 3.
Step 6: "Plugin Flag" already existed, with value 0. I changed it to 8.Message was edited by: LCD on 5/7/10 10:14:20 PM CDT
I decided to try the second solution again today.
This time I removed my computers connection to the Internet, and did the work in safe mode, in the hope that VirusScan needs to download data to revive itself, or that safe mode would block any attempts to install anything.
This time nothing unusual happened in step 13. I found 4 .msi files associated with either VirusScan or McAfee and removed them.
Step 14 was already done when I got there. The appropriate String Value was already there. I'm guessing this is because I've never used outlook.
Step 15: There was no McAfree Inc. under Non-Plug and Play to remove.
At the end of this process VirusScan was no longer on my programs list. I could remove everything except the McAfee Agent, which resisted Uninstallation.
End Result: Failure.
In the time it's taken me to write this post, VirusScan has reappeared to leer at me from the taskbar, and all four programs are now back on the programs list.
I think this confirms whatever's happening requires the Internet, since stuff didn't come back until I plugged it back in. I'm not sure if some remnant that survives the uninstallation calls for reinforcements, or if the process is started at the other end.
Either way, how do I resolve this?
Did a little digging on my own. Assuming that McAfee Agent is what keeps calling in reinforcements, it has to go. Following the instructions here
I was able to remove it. Then I took off VirusScan Enterprise using the add remove program list.
So... my machine appears clean. For the moment. Although testing if this stuff is truly gone is again trying to prove a negative.