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I have a problem quite similar to yours. I think it is an issue of the server with the OS of the costumer.
Can you tell which is the OS on your wife's PC?
Try running the free versions of both these tools:
Make sure the PC is up to date with all Microsoft updates.
Try the following after enabling Windows Firewall:
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 (MCPR.exe). 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
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.
But the main problem is that neither I not Security Center are any more able to connect to McAfee site!
Thank you anyway,
Then I think the only solution would be to format and reinstall the system.
Formatting and re-installing the entire OS is really a big step, considering that the only problem is the incapacity of McAfee server to send a valid response to my PC.
When one month ago iTunes made a minor upgrade of his servers with a resulting problem for some users, those users were said to reistall everything. It was useless. Until iTunes identified and corrected the glitch. So you can understand that I am prudent. I am sure some check could still be done along the line, before I zero-bomb my OS...
Have you tried the first suggestion - downloading and running those anti-malware tools?
I am trying right now. But I have already tried other security programs in the last hours, and I have always kept great care, so I doubt my PC is infected.
I will try your second suggestion, too. Even if I already went yesterday through the whole cycle of removing and reinstalling McAfee, to no avail. Now the newly installed Security Center tells me it is update; but this morning I accepted to have a look to an upgrade it adviced me, and it was uncapable to connect to its own server.
The Virtual Tech Tool failed in a similar way.
Maybe I will be forced to upgrade my OS. But I am an experienced user, and every symptom tellsme that the problem is not on my side...
Thank you for your help,
Either that or check with Technical Support Chat linked in my signature.
I chatted with a McAfee technician for one hour in the morning. He was very helpuf and couldn't change my problem in any way.