I have a three year old laptop (Acer Extensa 5420) that has had malware in the past and other antivirus softwares (demo of McAfee and perhaps even Norton if I recall correctly). Both have been uninsalled a while ago and the McAfee Antivirus Plus 2011 hasn't had problems since the day I installed it in December. I'm running Vista Home Premium Service Pack 2 and I don't use IE so I assume its version is irrelevant, I use Opera version 11.10.
Recently my laptop's been randomly crashing. First the program I use to connect to the internet through a USB stops functionning, and then a few seconds later any video I'm playing on VLC media player stops, and after that I can't open any new windows and cannot fully close VLC media player. It simply ends up as a hidden icon in my toolbar. However that's not my problem, I'm just mentionning it in case there might be any relation.
This morning when I turned the laptop on McAfee told me that I wasn't fully protected, it first said that my Real-Time Scanning was off and that it couldn't update. I tried turning it on and it turned itself back off. I decided to try and scan the movie I downloaded off a torrent last night, and surprise surprise, none of the scanning options work. I'm told that an error has occured and I should try again. I do so but to no avail. I ran a search on the internet and checked services.msc. McAfee OOBE service is disabled and I can't enable it. I'm not sure if I should want to enable it but I don't see why I should need a service if it's just going to be disabled. And then I started McAfee scanner, thinking it couldn't automatically do so.
McAfee had meanwhile tried to update again and realized everything was up to date and there was no problem there. I don't really how I did the following, but I managed to turn the Real-Time Scanner on and have McAfee tell me my computer is fully protected without ever suddenly going into the red "Your computer is at risk" mode. But whenever I check the "Virus and Spyware" drop-down menu I would see that "Buffer overflows" and "Scripts in Internet Explorer and Firefox" are turned off and require my attention. I therefore click on "Real-Time Scanning" and it's turned off again. I turn it back on, see that the buffer overflows and scripts in IE and Firefox boxes are already checked, turn it back on, go back to Home and then it tells me the buffer overflows and scripts are unchecked again. Lather, rince, repeat.
Now, I don't know if htis is relevant, but my security report says in the "Items detected" section that there have been 26 trojans, 1857 tracing cookies and 25 potentially unwanted programs. But I'm rather sure that those were all before I bought the antivirus.
EDIT: Almost forgot, I tried opening a file with VLC yesterday and it gave me very colorful static, thought maybe another media player would behave better and I tried everything until I decided to even give Windows Media Player a shot. It seemed to work since Windows Media Player told me I needed some specific codec and it could download it for me, so I let it do its thing and then I was asked to download something from wm9.codecinstallationpack.com, I was told it had no valid digital signature or something and didn't download it. After a quick google search I realized I was this close to downloading a virus, and now I figure I was this close to download another virus since my McAfee is apparently being affected by one. on 5/7/11 4:06:24 AM CDT