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It's obvious that you're angry and frustrated, but you haven't given much information about relevant details to get real help, like, do (or did) you have any other security programs running real-time, did you previously have any other security software installed and which one(s)(often there are leftovers), how old are the computers, what service pack did you have etc. (Don't get me wrong, I won't make a lot of effort to sort out your problems)
It's of course possible that you were already infected when you tried to install the McAfee software, and that the residing malware didn't take kindly to your attempts to install McAfee. Maybe you can scan the 'other computer' that isn't totally trashed with free MBAM and SAS, possibly an online scan by a different AV like Kaspersky ?
Out over $1000 on one computer ? What do you mean, you paid that much to get software issues fixed ? It's difficult to imagine that McAfee damaged your hardware.
If you want to retrieve information, there is software that may do that. Files on your computer can be located in the FAT table, if that has been damaged it doesn't necessarily mean that the information is gone, you may be able to retrieve information with certain software (perhaps Spinrite at www.grc.com ? I don't know if that one would work for you)
It may be a litle different if your computers use the NTFS system, but I think it's basically the same. But you may want to leave that to a specialist.
You can do a CHKDSK to see if the harddrives are physically damaged.
There is the MCPR tool (plus instructions) that can be used to remove all traces of McAfee, or close. If the computer is in too bad shape it won't work.
It's always possible for security software to cause a lot of destruction, although situations like these are uncommon.
If the harddrive is not damaged you can do a reformat and reinstall, if you want to try to retrieve information you should do that first.
Perhaps you should take your computers to a REAL specialist (not McAfee), preferably one that doesn't overcharge you.
Thank you, I appreciate your input.
We have only used McAfee on our desk top (a 2002 Dell) and lap top (a 2005 Toshiba) they came with the program. They both have windows XP.
They have always stayed protected, as far as we know. I do not really know what service pack it was, it was just what was all inclusive.
It was after the up grade to up date out McAfee that we started having problems
We did the McAfee online scans before loading the up-grade.
I don’t know that we can do anything to retrieve information on the Dell as we can not get past the blue screen error when it boots up.
Our desk top (Dell) is the one that had a total failure and would cost over $1000 to replace it. We spent hours on the phone with McAfee and Dell then finally had to take it to a specialist. The specialist tried to retrieve information & files, but said it was not possible and we most likely will need to replace the hard drive or get a new computer. So far it cost $200 for testing & attempt to retrieve anything on the hard drive.
It's possible for security software to cause a lot of destruction? What kind of destruction? How can it be fixed? I have been looking up a lot of info on computer problems caused by McAfee. There were several, but no real solutions.
Both computers had serious problems after the up-grade.
Our Toshiba is still functioning but frequently shuts down with a blue screen error, then will come back up after it resets. We were advised it was being caused by corruption in the opperating system initiated by the last installed program which was the McAfee up-grade.
We ahve spent a lot of time on the phone for this copmuter as well & are still waiting for the "Senior Tech." to call us back.
We have been working on a resolution for almost 3 weeks.
It's possible for the OS to become corrupted by the installation of security software.
What I didn't get from your original post is that you already had McAfee installed.
When installing a new version of McAfee it's usually best to uninstall according to the instructions that can be found on this forum, including the use of the MCPR tool.
But I don't know if that will do you any good at this point.
If I recall correctly, Dell ships often with a different (=older) version of McAfee.
That could possibly explain the different results with your desktop and your laptop.
The specialist said no information could be retrieved ? If that were the case, it would be very unusual. Maybe you can find a real 'specialist' that can help you and won't overcharge you.
Maybe you can get some assistence at an online forum, but I'm sorry to say I don't happen to know one.
What version of XP is this? 32 or 64-bit (x86 or x64), SP1, 1a, 2 or 3 ? Also are they totally up to date with both critical and non-critical updates from Microsoft, Java, Adobe Flash and so on and so forth?
What memory (RAM) do you have and how much free HDD space?
What other protection software was installed, if any?
Had you been using any registry cleaners?
Had you noticed any bizarre behaviour prior to this?
What errors, if any, did you see pop-up during installation and is this the software provided by AOL or are you downloading directly from McAfee?
I can tell you categorically that the installation of McAfee cannot destroy a computer in this manner, unless it was absolutely ridden with infection from end to end, or was not compatible in the first place but then the installation would normally have halted and thrown up errors, or was teetering on the edge of some kind of breakdown anyway.
Please answer all of the above questions and I'll see if I can find someone to answer you.