6 Replies Latest reply on Nov 4, 2009 3:13 PM by Grif

    McAfee VirusScan 8.7i and minimum machine specifications


      We are trying to decide the best approach at offering McAfee VirusScan 8.7i (Patch 2) to our user community. Currently, we have been distributing McAfee VirusScan 8.5i with Patch 7. However, one of the Sysadmins said that VirusScan 8.7i slowed a system down so badly that he removed it and installed Microsoft Security Essentials. He said that the computer was three years old and had at least 1GB RAM.


      I work at a university and so see a hodge podge of systems. I was thinking that we would tell the helpdesk to offer VSE 8.7i to systems that have at least 1GB only. For systems with less than 1GB we would still offer VSE 8.5i. How are other people handling VSE 8.7i when there are a hodge podge of systems? Would it be better to say that we should only support it on systems that have at least a dual core processor? I am trying to avoid issues with system performance by just making 8.7i available and not VSE 8.5i.

        • 1. Re: McAfee VirusScan 8.7i and minimum machine specifications



          In regards to the slow down caused by McAfee, we find very little difference between VS 8.5i Patch 7 or 8 and VS 8.7i Patch 2. We were able to run either one on a dual core machine with 512 MB of RAM but neither did well unless 1 GB was installed. We have both Windows 2000 SP4 and XP PRO SP3 computers here. Unfortunately, that caused us to seek a different option for those computers with less than 1 GB.. So, YES, I'll go with your recommendation for 1 GB or more and a dual core processor but I'm not sure using VS 8.5i on the slower machines is an acceptable option for many..


          Hope this helps.



          • 2. Re: McAfee VirusScan 8.7i and minimum machine specifications

            When we release a new version of VSE or even a new patch there is always emphasis on improving performance. I don't think that the issue is with the hardware but more than likely the configuration that needs to be changed within VSE to better compliment the system. The best approach to take would be to use either his system or a test system that is close to what is within the user community and try to reproduce the issue while running Process Monitor.


            Identify a system to test with

            Ask Sysadmin if he can reproduce the issue

            Try and reproduce the issue while running Process Monitor

            Make sure to enable "advanced output" under the "Filter" menu

            Save the logfile in PML format once the issue is reproduced.


            Open the PML log using Process Explorer

            Go under the "Tools" menu and select "Process Activity Summary"

            Identify what process are spiking the CPU and respond here with the data.

            • 3. Re: McAfee VirusScan 8.7i and minimum machine specifications

              Nice thought.... but if you have thousands of machines to deal with, posting back here to a forum is asking a little much for any SysAdmin. Beside, each customer should have their own McAfee contact person regarding such issues. Many corporations have a wide variety of system configurations and supporting them all is tough. As just an example, as a small cog in a large government agency, I oversee only a handful of the thousands of machine in our system.. And yet, I've got 10 year old Windows 2000 SP4 machines with 128 MB of RAM and 6 GB hard drives, plus Windows XP machines that originally came out with 256 MB of RAM,  and all the way up to quicker comps with more processing speed and RAM..


              Sorry to disagree, but in the real world, it IS with the hardware, primarily with processing speed and RAM.. As VirusScan has aged, it simply requires more of both so the machine doesn't drag.. Of course, there are lots of reasons for that and some simply can't be avoided.. Heck, when I first started using McAfee 3, the DAT files could be placed on a floppy disc.. (By the way, I still have one of those old floppy discs in my desk, just for old time's sake.. DAT-3101.zip from 3/6/98) A superdat now is over 100 MBs..


              Hope this helps.





              Message was edited by: Grif on 11/4/09 1:17 PM



              Message was edited by: Grif on 11/4/09 1:19 PM
              • 4. Re: McAfee VirusScan 8.7i and minimum machine specifications

                The Sysadmin is question does not have access to the computer in question any more. I believe it was a student system that he finally decided to put Microsoft Security Essentials on. I did tell him that he needed to run some of those sysinternals tools. Like most Sysadmins they are all too busy to focus on just one system. We still have about 6 systems in EPO still running VSE 8.0i. These are systems that are very slow, like older Pentium 4's. One of these older systems the users even decided to install Windows 2003 server so that they could run some graphics program. I am going to recommend that they install Microsoft Security Essentials as they won't be candidates even for VSE 8.5i.


                It is a hard job balancing the different systems across our university. Not all departments have the budgets to go out and spend money for upgraded hardware. I wish McAfee would come out with a product that could take less system resources may a McAfee Lite.


                You guys have least given me some ideas which I thank you for. I am going to recommend that the helpdesk only install on dual core minimum processors with 1GB of RAM. Hopefully VSE 8.5i won't end-of-life too soon as we would have to find another anti-virus vendor.

                • 5. Re: McAfee VirusScan 8.7i and minimum machine specifications

                      I understand your point. All in all this is more along the lines of a Service Request from support as you state so that support can assist. Now, EPO is a very powerful tool that is used for instances just as this when many systems may be involved. If we can identify what the issue is on the system that has the issue with system performance then we can determine if this is a one off issue or environmental. If it's pointing to an application used across the environment then we will be able to use EPO to create a policy to enforce on all systems that way VSE 8.7 can be deployed. If it's only related to one particular system we can create the policy just for that system, etc. I would just have to disagree with delaying deployment of VSE 8.7 due to a system performance issue from one test without identifying what the issue is. The post says there is a 1 gig of RAM. This should definitely be sufficient for running VSE 8.7. Minimum requirements state 128MB. VSE 8.7 implements features that help protect against Malware that VSE 8.5 does not.

                      From what I take from the original post it seems that we are wanting to know what is best to recommend to the user community for protection. I recommend troubleshooting the system performance issue as stated. Then we can configure VSE via EPO or locally so that we can take advantage of the added protection that VSE 8.7 offers and proceed with deployment. If we can identify what is causing the system performance issue using Process Monitor then that will give us direction. I understand that this may be asking a little much for a forum. If you feel assistance is needed please call and log a case with support. If you have time, post the requested data so we can proceed.








                  — 128MB RAM (minimum) for a Pentium or Celeron processor running at 166 MHz

                  and 256MB RAM (minimum) for a Pentium II processor running at 350 MHz. For information

                  on optimal operating system performance, review the Microsoft guidelines for RAM









                  • 6. Re: McAfee VirusScan 8.7i and minimum machine specifications



                    Regarding your note about Memory.. Yep, we all know what is "optimal" and we've all seen the "minimum" recommendations made by McAfee for it's programs.. Unfortunately, our experience here shows McAfee simply doesn't function well with "minimum" amounts of RAM because there are other programs on the computer that require RAM as well. (That's exactly why Twenden is asking for recommendations.) Running Windows XP with 256 MB of RAM with NOTHING else on the computer is an experience better left for those that enjoy long periods of meditation.. Add the newest version of McAfee on the same machine and the computer operator doesn't get much work done during the day because of long wait times between loading windows.


                    Couple that with a lack of funds to upgrade expensive older RAM on hundreds of older machines and you should now see where we have issues.


                    Take care and keep up the good work.