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That isn't its normal state, it should be started and automatic....I'm assuming you are referring to the item in services.msc.
Something is interfering with it, either an infection or competing software.
What is your operating system and service pack and what other protection software have you installed or did you have installed, plus have you been using any kind of registry cleaners, or PC speedup software?
Scan your machine with the online scanner here: http://www.eset.com/onlinescan/
Please post these details.
list of security applications installed.
version of Internet explorer.
What is the type of connection that you have?
Try booting to Safe Mode With Networking by tapping F8 repeatedly while booting up and choosing that option from the menu instead of regular Safe Mode.
Download and install a free software from here: http://www.malwarebytes.org/mbam.php up date it and run it in that mode. Let it clean anything it finds.
Peter & Vinod_r2
Funny you should send me to ESET, I got fed up with McAfee always hanging up on pause on the Real Time Scanner and tried ESET's trial version of NOD32. I thought I might give their smart security a try as well. I had a few issues with NOD32 during the trial. I also ran into issues trying to get it uninstalled. I had to download a tool, then go in to systems 32 and empty the temp folder.
As far as Malwarebytes, I have their free version on my desktop. I can't update that because I keep getting an error message.
As to what I'm running:
Vista Home Premium--- did not install SP1 because Acer said it might not be compatible, they are working on a fix. Something about a driver.
Computer is an Acer Q6600 dual quad processor, 2 GB of DDR2 memory, 500 SATA hard disk. I have over 1200 MB of memory space still free.
When I check the security status through the control panel I find that McAfee is turned off. When I click to turn it on, it tells me 1 or more error occurred, same for Malware protection. Windows defender is turned off. Windows firewall is off and McAfee's is on.
I'm running IE 8.0.6001
I have a dial-up connection, Netzero is my ISP
No registry cleaners, I don't play in the registry, can get into too much trouble if you don't know what you are doing, and I don't.
No PC accelerator programs either.
I did run Malwarebytes and it didn't find anything. Am running ESET right now
As to the Real Time Scan, it is set to "automatic". When I open properties to try to turn it on or change the settings I can't. RTS is on pause and nothing I do even, uninstall and reinstall it, changes that.
I'll let you know if ESET finds anything, but the last scan I did before I uninstalled it came up clean.
One of the Techs on Malwarebytes had me run something called "HiJackThis". I have the log from that if it would help. They are trying to help me find what is screwing up the update process for that program. That is an error code 732 if you are familiar with their software.
McAfee update is downloading something named vso_cnt. I don't know what that is, never saw it before. It could possible mess up the scan being run by ESET
It sounds to me like everything is corrupted - just too many problems. If it were me I would format and reinstall.
Who knows why that is, so many things can cause it. Injudicious use of registry cleaners, too many System Restores which always messes up software that relies on date-related material like VirusScan and MBAM.
NOD32 removal instructions including a removal tool: http://www.betterantivirus.com/faq/faqs/1170455686.html
Malwarebytes removal instructions: just use Programs/Uninstall a Program in Control Panel.
It's quite bizarre that you would be told to keep your machine in an unsafe state (Vista minus SP2, forget SP1) just because a driver isn't available. What driver is it and could you live without it?
P.S. We don't read Hijackthis logs here. Post it on one of the following forums for expert free advice.
BLEEPING COMPUTER FORUM
GEEKS TO GO FORUM
MAJOR GEEKS FORUM
MALWARE REMOVAL FORUM
SPYWARE INFO FORUM
WHAT THE TECH FORUM
Be sure to read all the sticky announcements/instructions at the top of each malware forum!
Sorry about the hijackthis log thing, you're right I should have read the sticky.
Vista has a SP2 already???
The problem with Vista is it does a system restore every day and deletely the older ones. I can't ever back anything up beyond the "today restore". PITA
As to the driver, Acer didn't say what the deal was, just they wouldn't be responsible if I installed SP1.
What did you mean by "format and reinstall"?
I meant wipe the drive and reinstall the system, but see what they say about the Hijackthis log first.
Yes SP2 has been out for some time now.