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Re: Latest update causing excessive CPU and Floppy Drive activity

I appreciate the feedback and your estimation of our XP base is very accurate. The problem here is we have the VirusScan application which uses core components from another team. The core components are low level and if you are familiar with software development and AntiVirus, then you know any time you change something like that, it requires a lot of testing. We wouldnt want to rush something into production for 10% of customers and cause a bug with the other 90%...

I am pushing for some type of temporary patch for customers willing to take a risk and try it early. I will keep the thread updated as I know more.


Message was edited by: dougr_t3_support on 4/11/14 9:24:22 AM PDT
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Message 102 of 151

Re: Latest update causing excessive CPU and Floppy Drive activity

This is why I favor putting in the "extra" time to _understand_ the problem, rather than "trying" a fix.

It seems to me that McAfee should be looking at and making some internal procedural changes - in the way they look at QA in the first place, problem analysis in the second place, and distribution of solutions in the third place. So, don't see this as rehashing old complaints, instead see it as process changes that need to be considered, sooner than later.

Frankly, from reading this whole discussion, it is not even clear to me that anyone _understands_ the underlying cause of the problem. Theories abound, even I suggested one, but no one has yet said (that I saw) "Yep, we found it - this is it ... <explanation> ... - and we have a fix that is in testing."

Inspire confidence? Not really. Consider:

1. I don't know what percentage of the people even have the problem.

2. I don't know if we are dealing with two separate problems, or one problem with two symptoms (Performance and chatter). My theory - synchronous access to the floppy - explains both symptoms from one problem.

3. Most people will have no way of knowing the cause of the underlying problem - people who could have already migrated - they had to to support the latest games. Grandparents won't understand the issue, and have been told often enough to "always say no" that they won't install the fix. They'll just assume their machine is even slower (as I did from my sister's description of the problem) because modern software is just designed to assume a faster machine than yesteryear. And they'll put up with the crankiness until they can afford an upgrade.

4. If we assume the problem arrived in mid March and is now affecting over 2MM people, and won't be fixed until June (90 days, a quarter), and that many machines, like mine, are "bricked" until then, the number of machines that you actually fix will probably be vanishingly small.

What's the solution? I don't know, since I don't know what the underlying problem is - I would have regressed out the original change by a few days after initial release in mid march. (if you can't regress out a change, then you really need to revisit how you make changes).

Failing that, I would create a change that affects only Win XP, and targets a fix at the isolated issue for as soon as possible (not two months from now), considering it an emergency fix.

Which is part of the problem here - what's the internal severity level of this problem? It should be at, or near, the highest, as in a "significant number of users are unable to use their equipment as a result of McAfee products". At the time it was mentioned that installing McAfee caused it, and uninstalling McAfee cleared it, it should have been at the highest priority. In fact, your own internal testing should have confirmed that, which suggests that QA needs some additional review (unless you are going to sunset XP).

My suspicion here is not that a lot of people don't have a significant problem, but rather that a lot do, and don't recognize it for what it is.

If my sister hadn't called me, and I hadn't been willing to rebuild the machine, she would have simply replaced it as "old and past its prime".

(As I am sure some large number of people have already done.)

Heck MS and the hardware vendors owe you guys _several_ cups of coffee, and a _really_ big thanks. Won't surprise me if this causes a noticeable spike in sales for both.

It also wouldn't surprise me if the same problem that is very noticeable in XP is still noticeable in later versions of Windows, but just not AS noticeable. Only people who are particularly performance conscious, such as gamers, would typically notice. But, if that turns out to be the case, hmmm, I would imagine the fallout to be significant there, too...

Sorry, beating a dead horse. But the way this is going seems like bringing water to a man in a desert after he has already passed, and that seems to have been the case from day one. When you have a problem, step one is to understand it. Always. That lets you make informed decisions about how, or even if, it should be fixed.

As a procedural issue, that appears not to have been done here.

2 cents from the peanut gallery.


Re: Latest update causing excessive CPU and Floppy Drive activity

Sounds like you have some good ideas. Sometimes if you dont like the system, change the system.. We are hiring .

I dont want to get off topic here. Some customers will find the temporary solutions and information I posted useful. I don't want the temporary solutions and information to end up on page 10 of 15 of complaints and theories.

The fact that I am on the forums should be a sign we are taking this seriously.


Re: Latest update causing excessive CPU and Floppy Drive activity

Dear Doug

first let me send you my personal thanks, as also my appreciation for your courageous availability here, where a lot of persons are unhappy of the latest McAfee march upgrade (please allow me to call it in this way).

You are also the evidence about how wrong was a young moderator here, that at least I hope now will have learned something for the future, but this is just past history now.

I would instead be pleased in knowing your opinion about what I’ve reported earlier with my messages, in using Process Monitor (by Microsoft), as it shown a very clearly an exaggerated polling over all the drives (obviously including the A:\ floppy disk croaking), like up to 50 Hz or more, performed by mcshield.exe in attempting to execute the command "drive:\$Extend\Reparse:$R:$INDEX_ALLOCATION".

Sorry in not repeating or quoting all the past message traffic (as otherwise I will be accused to send verbose messages), so please be so kind to review my previous two messages dated as 7 of april.

Please let me know your appreciated opinion, as I've already pulled out my left arm, as suggested by the McAfee Doctors since the earlier stage (and this removed in fact the continuos croaking of floppies), but still will be a sistematic system performance collapsing, as the system continuosly polls all drives, up to 15 or more times per second, over all system drives, and this still delay and create enormous latencies on our XP SP3 systems.

Have you any idea about reasons for such insane and huge polling in perfoming the "reparse" function?

With many thanks for your kind assistance and all the best from Italy

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Message 105 of 151

Re: Latest update causing excessive CPU and Floppy Drive activity

You are also the evidence about how wrong was a young moderator here, that at least I hope now will have learned something for the future, but this is just past history now.

What is this about no young mods here sorry.

Everything we said was and is mentioned by Mcafee as a workaround till Mcafee releases a fix for this. Namely leave a floppy in the drive, disable the floppy in Device manager ot the bios or yank it out (disconnect the power and data cables.

I still cannot repro a major slow down after I neatened up the two PCs before I upgraded them.

Actually I would have thought with XP support dropped off by Microsoft that they would be offerring a deal on win 8 upgrade dvds. Not so yet here at least we aussies pay top $ for software

Re: Latest update causing excessive CPU and Floppy Drive activity

Hi Tony,

I'm aware of my linguistic limitation, but by your latest reply, either allow me to think like I was not able to explain, or more probably you pretend to do not understand me. If the last one will be the one, young moderators, are now two (if not indeed younger by age, at least not enough experienced for such role, so young in terms of experience).

I wish to point out that I've not longer the age for which I wish to play.

I believe like I told something very clear and understandable, as also interesting.

Piracy is still well growing, and this is a fact: here in Italy, not significantly higher than other places as also by the European Community Laws, is very fought and significantly minimized.

We in Italy pay top money to for such type of softwares, exactly in Australia as also in all the other parts of the world, as another issue that I saved to talk here, is related to concepts like monopoly, oligopoly and dominant position, for which, fortunately , recently the European Community placed some fair fines to some well know operators. I wish very soon issues like the one running here, will be taken in consideration too.

To explain now very clearly what I meant, as no one should attempt to minimize or modify the sense of what I told, i wish to point out as follow:

1) I don't know how is in Australia (and this is a good reason to do not talk about), but be sure that here  in Italy we pay software and all the rest with top money; no house of piracy here.......

2) I don't see reasons to blame, to ask or to imply that Microsoft shuuld provide for such "bridge" from XP to Windows 8, for several reasons, like for instance, they always told that support would have been not longer provided on XP (programmed obsolescence), as also there are two other O.S. in the middle, so it would be better if the actual issue will be addressed to its sole originator, without move the "fault" if any from a pair of arms, to the next one: Microsoft may have its faults, but I've not mentioned any here, as I'm talking about someone else;

3) still referring to the above, I would understand why a XP to Windows 8 upgrade should represent a solution here for the issue originated by the McAfee: this is not a solution, this is teasing of people who paid for a safety software that is causing troubles to me and to a lot of others good guys: please have a look to the carton envelope of McAfee Total Protection 2013 (if you need a copy I can post a picture), where is very clearly quoted such software as totally compatible with XP (see minimum requirement section), so as this is will act as a true contract, valid for the law of any country in the world, so please tell me why as a moderator you suggest as a "possible" solution, to upgrade to Windows 8, when you know almost for sure, that no any XP SP3 originally tailored machine, almost surely cannot house a very big and resource demanding software like Windows 8 can be: this is one indeed of your moderator pourposes?

4) such tipe of issue, where it will cause me to do not longer be in condition to use my XP SP3 machines, will also cause the others well understandable loss, as clearly explained by my previous message because the majority of our licensed (and well paid) software, are not compatible with Windows 8: please have a look to my previous messages as I would not quote them again, otherwise I will be told to be "verbose".

Consequently, I would appreciate that for the future it will be avoided to interpret or minimize my messages instead to be just read, reply or add something constructive.

I would just sit on my 8 off as XP SP3 door stops, and see if Doug will be able to find any earlier solution than next june, as we are problems now, as also I'm sure I well paid the tickets (nine) for such show.

I'm also here to see if anyone will be so great to explain me the reasons of such exaggerated drives polling I reported as per my previous messages. I placed a very easy and precise question, but still here a lot of verbose, but such accurate and simple reply is still missed, and probably very far to come.

With all the best from Italy to all folks here


P.S.: I also noted that are starting messages with a lot of more pepper than mine, but these are not considered or interpreted like mine messages are: is so annoying what I told?

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Message 107 of 151

Re: Latest update causing excessive CPU and Floppy Drive activity


Sorry I do not understand what the young moderator comments are about (no pretending by me  here I do not work that way). I have 11 years here, Peter(Ex_Brit ) 9 or so and Hayton 7 or so. We are not young by any stretch of anyone's imagination in years or mod experience. Before here I was a Moderator for Asus for 3 years.

We posted the suggestions Mcafee also released in an FAQ Doug posted. The Operating System upgrade was a private thing I did and really you should not be forced to do this due to a mcafee bug but what happens when security holes are unpatched on XP in the next few months?. The PC I upgraded has a 76Gb drive 2Gb ram e6600 cpu. Not high level but not a P4.

The issue was not on my 2 boxes after I disabled the floppy and fixed up the daughters PC software clashes both worked ok and are running faster on win 8.

Doug will hopefully comment on the suggestion you made and he will, I hope, speed things up. We will discuss this in our Monday call i am sure it will be the first item we talk about.

So best to wait for Doug that was my reason I called him back here as this is out off our hands now it is up to Mcafee.


Cut out the 4 letter word(s) please.

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Message 108 of 151

Re: Latest update causing excessive CPU and Floppy Drive activity

I can confirm on win8 after I upgraded XP to win8 there are no issues I have monitored it on two PCs. My Daughter thinks her PC is reborn. Her issues were also affected by full c drive indexing and installing the full version of malwarebytes that has real time scanning active. These made her PC even worse than the march release of Mcafee did.

Of course this option is not available to all as explained above by jk7868

Re: Latest update causing excessive CPU and Floppy Drive activity

Dear Tony,

I appreciate your suggestion, but unless McAfee will not offer me a free Windows 8 licensed upgrade, as also where will be the case, McAfee will not pay me a more recent PC capable to house such "larger  and performance greedy O.S.", that will also immediately discard all of my past official (and well paid licensed softwares like Microsoft Office, Autocad, etc.), as not longer compatible with 64 bit architecture, that obviously I would ask McAfee to pay me for free upgrade, I would not consider your as a practicable solution.

I would instead suggest to start from another approach.

I paid for a service, that now is not granted to me, as also it is moreover affecting my system, inhibhiting my day by day work, and is very clear that is not depending from me or by any of my wrong use of my XP SP3 machines.

How will sound this instead?  What about a class action instead?

Sincerely, and not limiting this message to McAfee only, I'm indeed very tired and angry of such neither required or (functionally talking), significantly improved latest "upgrades" both in terms of hardware, as also as software.

You may be surprised about how still actual may be the oldest Wordstar for DOS environment, as also I'm sure the 50% of documents we prepare each day can be still arranged with such poor (and resource cheap) programs, for which, instead, we are required to use a lot of very "choreographic" apps (at my time these were just executable programs, and now is more trendy to call them app), but if you will look to the core essence, you will see that not so much have ben changed.

I understand that all the market operators (both for hardware and software) are stimulating within us new needs (not real, not very useful), just to keep the market up, well running, to match the "consumerism philosophy", but in the mean time, no one would realise how unstable and fragile are such new platforms and systems ( I wish to remind that in several severe application fields, e.g. for military applications, or safety pourposes, Window 8 and the earlier steps are not considered safe, at least in my knowledge, still being more appreciated XP or earlier or better other systems).

I hope will be a self regulating trend for all of such "running cowboys", as they have to understand that no longer people is still happy to waste money in purchasing something that as soon as you exit from the shop, is already elegible for un upgrade, or worst of all, being ready for obsolescence.

This probably also explain why piracy is still well alive, as also why several GNU or free software are still well growing and clustering. I hope indeed someone will think to these policies, as indeed, these reflect, in higher and bigger systems, also how thing are going over the world, and we all know that thing are not going very well, expecially if we talk about economy, finance, and human rights.

Ciao to all here


Re: Latest update causing excessive CPU and Floppy Drive activity

I've been following this thread since my original post around March 14 where I suggested the work-around of simply inserting a floppy into the chattering drive.  Since then, I have disabled the floppy in Device Manager as suggested by others here who are more sophisticated users than I am.  This works just as well and doesn't require floppy removal when rebooting.

My first reason for writing this is to let everyone know that my XP Pro SP 3 machine is a 2004 Dell XPS with a Pentium IV processor, pretty much state-of-the-art when new, now with memory upgraded to 3GB and harddrive to 1TB.  Last summer when I upgraded to the 1 TB HDD after the failure of the old one, I ran for a while using the free AVG protection and when I later re-installed McAfee AntiVirus Plus I noticed a small but perceptible slowdown in performance speed.  This was not a big deal and simply indicated to me that McAfee does consume resources.

Second, in my case the only symptom was the noise of the floppy drive - I had no related performance issues - even without disabling the floppy drive by using either of the methods noted above.  So my problem is not as severe as some of those "victims" here who have my sincere sympathies.

Finally, given that Microsoft is no longer supporting XP and that my present machine is now 10 years old, I have decided to treat myself by ordering a new Dell with a 4th gen Core i7 processor, lots of memory and HDD space at half the price of my 2004 unit!  The only downside is that I'll have to put up with Windows 8.1.  I guess one could say that this is the ultimate in an expensive work-around to the McAfee issue but that was not part of my decision.

Good luck to all who are staying with XP and I fully support your position that McAfee should fix this issue and soon.  Unfortunately, the Heartbleed/SSL problem could well focus their resources to that problem and away from XP.



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