Problem began yesterday: McAfee Security Center 9.15 won't update DAT file.
Description: Have update options set to "download and notify" before installing updates. Today, received customary dialog box notification bottom right of display to say that "updates have been downloaded and are ready to install". However, when clicking "OK", the installation process SEEMS to start (moving icon/widget appears in system tray of task bar), but the process does not complete (no pop-up box & audio chime to say that installation is complete). So, every few hours, the notification appears that "updates have been downloaded and are ready to install", but the installation does not occur when I click "OK". So, I am "stuck" on DAT file 5854 (1/7/2010), even though there is an updated DAT file (5855) available.
Had this same problem once before, nearly 1 year ago, when system was new, and it was fixed on the phone by tweaking the updater.exe file, and a few other steps I don't recall, etc. 2 calls today to tech support so far - no help. 1st call: agent didn't understand the problem and told me it was all fine (it wasn't). 2nd call: agent understood problem but could not fix it; he escalated it, but told me I would have to wait 24 hours for "research" and a call back that would likely require reinstalling the whole security suite! In my experience, uninstalling/reinstalling security suites always creates more problems than it solves, and both the system and the McAfee have been rock stable for a year, so I REALLY hate to open that can of worms.
More info: All (daily) scans have been clean (no viruses or other pests on the machine). No recent software, hardware, OS or other changes. McAfee had been updating and running just fine for nearly a year. No problem with internet connection itself. And I do not get any error messages (yet -- I suppose I will get a warning in a few days that my DAT file is out of date). I am not a computer engineer (if I were, I wouldn't be using McAfee to begin with), but I'm not totally computer illiterate and, to the best of my knowledge, there has been no change to the system that would have corrupted the program or caused this sudden problem.
Troubleshooting: cleaned all temp files, windows disk clean up, IE data cleanup, reboot. 2nd agent had me download and run the "McAfee applications are not able to update through authenticating Proxy servers causing Signature files to be out of date" fix (TS100291), even though I do not use a proxy server -- this did not solve the problem, either.
2nd agent had me try to manually rename the "C:" > "Program Files" > "McAfee" > "Virus Scan" > "DAT" folder (presumably to try to manually replace it with the new version), but, even though I have administrator privs on my own computer Vista UAC wouldn't let me rename the folder (see below).
Ran MVT several times today -- each time, it identifies "only" the "1" problem -- outdated DAT file -- and each time, I click on "fix it", and each time it says it has, but it has not (the DAT file is outdated every time). When I sent agent 2 the Session ID this last time, he determined from his end that there is a "problem" with "the whole McAfee" program but could provide neither details nor solutions. I can send the MVT log and diagnostics files, if that will help.
Platform: DELL Studio XPS 420 Desktop. Vista Ultimate SP2 (x86), fully patched; Quad Core chipset, 4 GB RAM. OEM McAfee Security Center 9.15, Virus Scan DAT file 5854 (1/7/2010). Internet: Time Warner Cable HSI. Browsers: IE8 and Firefox 3.5.7. Windows Firewall and Windows Defender are disabled. The only other security app is Counterspy 3, which is NOT running resident/active protection - I only use it for manual spyware scans from time to time, but NOT for active protection (and I have had no conflicts between CS and McAfee for > 1 year).
I noticed the post from Ex_Brit back in Mar 2009 suggesting rebooting in safe mode and manually deleting the DAT folder contents and then rebooting in regular mode.
(I think that was more or less the direction agent 2 was headed, though he didn't know how...)
Should I try that while I wait to hear back from "Tier 2" (who will likely advise reinstalling the whole durn Security Suite)???
To retiterate: as of yet, I am not getting any error messages. The only inkling there's a problem is that I am repeatedly prompted to install downloaded updates, but attempting to do so doesn't work, and the DAT file, as of the moment is only 1 day out of date.