We need more details please.
What is your operating system and service pack and are you up to date with Microsoft and other updates?
What version of McAfee are you trying to use, is the taskbar icon square or shield-shaped?
If you had another brand of security software prior to this did you run their cleanup tool?
Any weird popups or warnings displayed?
My operating is XP, current updates. My acafee is a sheild. I've been using Mcafee for 5 years. The popups eventually take me to something that my protection need attention. Then there's a button or link that says that my online "whatever" doesn't work. I tried to just do a manual scan, but it wouldn't do anything. Since then, I have been trying to get on touch w/ mcafee in every way possible. I found the chat sight and jumped through all those hoops and waited the standard 9 minutes; I have waited as long as 30 minutes, staring at the icon
I guess I was writing to find out if there was actually any tech support. This happens about 3 times a year. At least the impossibility of getting tech suport. I'm sick of it. The reason that I mentioned Norton was I had already tried that and realized that it didn't suit my purposes. The last time my mcafee went out it was 2 months before I got it fixed. I prefer to use my machine to do work and play dvds. I just can't spend all my time attempting to get my virus protection to work. I'm sick of it. Mcafee used to have tech support. As far as I can see, it doesn't anymore.
I just tested Chat here and got through in 3½ minutes and it's the US one. It can malfunction if you are using more than one pop-up blocker at the same time such as that in a browser and a toolbar for instance. Try running the Virtual Technician anyway and see if it fixes anything, also check your system clock for accuracy both time and timezone-wise as it can cause malfunctions.
Also check for malware using the FREE version of THIS software after updating it. Malware can also cause this sort of thing.
That's XP SP3 I trust? Also what browser and version are you using and if not Internet Explorer, what version of IE is installed?