I've been a loyal McAfee customer since the DOS program was in beta, and I would never trust my protection to anyone else. However, the one thing about the product that just seems to have gotten worse and worse over time is the scheduled scan. I'm having two different "issues" with it right now, and they've been going on for years, but steadily getting more baffling. I'm on a laptop, and it is my primary computing platform. I know there is a lot on it, but it's pretty modern, and ought to be considered a reasonable platform on which VirusScan Plus works, and ought to work well.
First, when a scheduled scan starts doesn't seem to make a lot of sense. Scans on this machine take... for... ever.... I've tried to be a good egg and let it finish, but I seem to have to really work at trying to make conditions beyond optimal for my scheduled scan. I eventually moved it to run every other Sunday morning at 1am. I'm generally up late enough on the weekend that the system will still be up and running, and that SHOULD give the system all night to work on its own to get at least a large portion of the scan done. Instead of starting at 1am, however, it seems to sit around until sometime late Sunday morning before starting. It's almost as though there is some silly timezone bug inside there that doesn't know which timezone to work from to start, or something just as bad. For whatever reason, even though my system was up and running at 1am this morning, and it was not being used, the scan didn't start until sometime not too long before noon. I don't know when exactly, but that's roughly when it started.
Second, this takes long enough that I just don't want to go through it. The scan takes approximately 24 hours to check 700,000 files. There are two 500gb drives in this laptop, and I just don't need that kind of storage, so I use a product to clone one drive to the other. That means everything is going to get checked twice, but the point of this all ought to be that safety is worth the check. However, this is an oppressively long time to run, IMO. This is why I tried to time the scheduled start time, so that it could have a nice chunk of time when it could run on its own, and make as much progress as possible.
Third (yes, I said two, but I thought of the third!), even though a scheduled scan is running, the system will hibernate. Now, there's one that doesn't make sense at all! This is the kind of thing you really WANT to run when the system isn't otherwise being used! Instead, I have to do something "clever" like realize the scan is going to run, and then set up something like iTunes to play music, so that the system won't hibernate. Seems that if something as innoccuous as iTunes can keep a system from going to sleep, my important virus scan ought to be able to manage the same thing!
I've had a very safe environment over the years, thanks in large part to McAfee. However, a routine "let's check the whole system and make sure nothing slipped through" is an oppressive process, thanks to these three (formerly two!) issues.
I agree with you on all of the above. However I am no expert and prefer manual scans anyway. I do know that the seemingly irrational delay in the start of a scheduled scan (supposedly only if resources were in use) was a major complaint and was supposed be taken care of. Howver not all people may have received that update to the software if they get theirs from a 3rd party, ISP, PC Maker etc. etc. These "suppliers" often hang on to upgrades/changes while they "test" them. It's beyond McAfee's control what they do next unfortunately. But at least that issue is supposed to be solved. Also make sure that advanced power settings aren't putting anything to sleep that might delay startup.
The issue of a scan taking forever is rather involved because people have so many different setups. In your scheduled scan settings you could try unchecking the item 'scan using minimal resources' - that would sacrifice PC performance to allow the scan to proceed at full speed. You could also add files and folders or even drives to ignore if you know they are OK.
Technical Support might be able to assist you in this matter with some hints. It's free to phone them or use their online chat and linked under Useful Links at the top of this page.
I do think they need to expose more options. I've turned off the minimum resources setting, and I'm happy the thing runs faster. I can understand why some don't want it to run while they're doing work, but not everyone feels that way. I can understand folks leaving the computer doing something, but not everyone feels that way. I can understand someone wanting the computer to sleep, but not everyone feels that way. When I would write software, I would make all of this tunable, because different folks are... different! I think they should expose more of this in their UI, not less of it. I appreciate there are things bundlers do to the product, but I go to Fry's, I buy the three pack, I install it on my three machines, so there should be nothing preventing me from reaching everything McAfee wants to make visible to me. I'm not trying to counter what you're saying, I just think there is a good understanding of what's going on inside the machine for them to make their decisions, and I think their customers would be well served to have it exposed somewhere, even in an advanced settings section. I do have to laugh at the 10% usage thing I found mentioned back on support questions for some of the versions: even with eight cores on my laptop, my browser can easily burp and jump up to 5-8% usage every once in a while because of something still in an open tab, so add that to a few of the 26 or so "update" processes running as a result of startup, and it's very conceivable that you'll never hit a ten minute period where you don't hiccup above 10% at least once.
I agree, but the developers don't - it's that simple. We've asked for advanced options before and no luck. That 10% thing is in the past now and the most recent versions aren't supposed to wait longer than about 20 minutes, 10 minutes if the machine is busy, wait another 10 if nothing has changed and then go ahead regardless.
My machine has huge resources too but there are people out there with barely the minimum requirements and many, believe it or not, still on dial-up.
Message was edited by: Ex_Brit on 07/01/13 4:53:40 EST PM
For the first 'woe', your scan may not be starting on time as the CPU may not be idle long enough for the scan to start.
To start scheduled scan at the scheduled time irrespective of the machine being busy or not, Goto Navigation -> General settings and alerts.
Uncheck the option which says "Wait until my PC is idle...."
That should solve your first question.
Hi, I recently switched from McAfee Security Center purchased via Dell to McAfee Internet Security purchased directly from McAfee.
I had this issue with Security Center before, but it was then reesolved. Now, with Internet Security, the problem is back!
"Wait till my PC is idle..." is OFF.
I chatted with McAfee tech support but it was not helpful at all. They insisted that my PC had to be idle for 15 minutes before a scan can start and that there can be NO running processes.
This cannot be trus, because:
i) this is such an old problem ( see>> https://community.mcafee.com/thread/35578?start=100&tstart=0 ) and I thought we had moved on
ii) whatever happened to that fix where a scheduled scan will be force started after 2 hours if the PC is still not idle
and this is the kicker
iii) if I am working at my PC during the time the scan is supposed to start, it WILL start!
This is very disappointing and a product which I had which worked fine is now basically broken!
Didn't work for me. I'm fed up of the amount of time I spend trying to stop McAfee's scheduled scans starting at inconvenient times which I never requested and using up virtually all resources on all my various PCs. It's a complete joke. I've configured Windows tasks to wake the PCs up at 3am, 20 miinutes before the McAfee Scheduled Scan should start, and I've set the PC timeouts to 6 hours, which I grant may not be enough for this ridiculous over-priced lump of software, but at least I would expect to see some evidence that the scan had started. Instead I find the scan is now scheduled to start at 10:30 am...just when I really need my machines!Message was edited by: dik on 11/26/13 5:41:13 AM CST
It's difficult to troubleshoot such things in a forum so your best approach would be to open a case with Technical Support, it's free by phone or online chat and linked under Useful Links at the top of this page. If you have done that already, try again and this time ask for immediate escalation.
Improvements to how McAfee scans, especially at Startup, are on the way.Message was edited by: Ex_Brit on 26/11/13 6:43:48 EST AM