4 Replies Latest reply on Feb 24, 2012 1:52 AM by Hayton

    Hard drive faults, high cpu, and crashing issues caused by McAfee

      First of all my specs of McAfee:


      Security Center: 11.0.654


      Virus Scan: 15.0.294


      Firewall: 12.0.345


      Most important part is the virus scan because that is what is causing the huge problem.


      I have been having major problems from my computer being overused by the scheduled scan. Normally this is not a big deal for me. It is quite annoying and i have to stop whatever i'm doing and let it do its little scan or it'll whine at me every day until i let it.


      Now its gone too far. I left my computer on last night to take care of compressing files to free up disc space for later use when i got on my computer this morning I found i had been logged out and when i logged back in my computer reported that it had crashed and had to restart. McAfee was running a scan again. A cumbersome task because i have 200 gb's to scan. The compressed folder was corrupted and i have to do it again tonight.


      Then today as i was doing a college assignment online i noticed my laptop was working unusually hard. It was constantly working even though i was just on the internet. For about 15 minutes this occurred and then my computer started making a weird noise. My laptop is generally quiet but it started giving off a little shrill sound that worried me. About a minute later my computer froze for about 30 seconds. Obviously something was wrong, so i started task manager, which then escalated the situation. Froze again for a few seconds and then it came up so i started the performance and reliability monitor. My computer froze for about 30-45 seconds and then finally the performance and reliability Monitor came up with a very odd incident.


      Most of the time when McAfee causes me problems it takes up about 85% of CPU power and basically crushes my system from doing anything. (this happens quite often but theres nothing i can do about it)


      As usual, 90%, nothing new there. But then i look at the other specs of my computer. My disk slot and memory slot were at 100%. Not only that but i was getting many memory hard faults. It was fluctuating in the KB and MB range. On the dropdown list I noticed the programs causing it to be McAfee programs. Primarily the scheduled scanner, but the on access scanner was next on the list. As i was closing out a blue screen pops up saying to protect the computer it MUST be shut down. It displayed for only a couple seconds and then it restarted my computer. Everything is fine now but this has happened twice now and i will not let it happen again. I stop McAfee scheduled scanner now because i won't let it run until this problem is resolved.


      Does anyone know what caused this? I find this situation quite baffling. My laptop has 4 gb of ram and has run any program i throw at it. It only has 2 ghz speed but with the 4 gb ram it has been able to run any program I put on it. Some have had to be removed because they worked too slow but it has never actually crashed or showed me this blue system screen until now.


      My McAfee expires in 1 month. I like the security of knowing that i'm not going to get infected by a virus (even though i've never gotten one and i'm quite careful to not even give them a chance, but just in case i screw up i like having mcafee for backup) but i do NOT want my computer crashing when it scans. When i play a game McAfee's on access scanner eats up CPU and when it randomly scans it makes the game slow so i have to close out and just leave the computer alone. But now McAfee is crashing my system with the scheduled scanner, that is going too far. Would like some advice on how to stop McAfee from causing hard drive faults and taking up CPU speed. I didn't understand what the blue screen says when my computer crashes but it does say something about hard drive faults so i'm quite sure that is the problem. (when i opened the performance sub tabs all the top things were mcafee programs cluttering my system until it crashed)


      I can't keep a program that crashes my laptop. I am a college student with 18 credit hours and a job but i can't afford another computer or the resources to fix this computer if something were to break on it because of this.


      I used the McAfee Virtual Technician to scan my McAfee for errors but all it found was one registry problem between it and Firefox (which i just installed a week ago)


      My laptop specs:   

      Acer Extensa 4630Z       2 ghz     4 gb ram      Windows Vista 32 bit  Home Premium        3 years old (and has never crashed until now)


      All system programs up to date except my atheros wireless adapter software on my computer.


      I'd like to renew McAfee but if these problems aren't resolved i'm going to have to uninstall it completely to protect my computer. A bit of a hypocritical statement considering its an ANTIVIRUS program but it makes no sense to just let it crash my computer.

        • 1. Re: Hard drive faults, high cpu, and crashing issues caused by McAfee

          First thing to look at is whether you have a disk (hardware) problem. If you download Speccy from Piriform that will give you full technical details of your laptop, including your disk drive.


          If you haven't defragged the disk in a while you could also run Defraggler (also from Piriform) which analyses the state of your disk and gives it a Health rating. The noise you heard may well have been disk-related - Defraggler has an option to check the disk itself for errors. So, of course, does the standard Windows defrag program, but Defraggler is more informative.


          If you're compressing a lot of files this will slow down the McAfee scan, I've noticed. Have you compressed the entire disk? If so the scan is going to be much slower than normal. And if you need to save space (on a 200Gb drive? Oh well, maybe) then you definitely need something like CCleaner to get rid of all the junk files that accumulate.


          As for the Blue Screen : it's just a Microsoft emergency-stop screen. You get a minidump  - look for c:\windows\minidump\ - from the BSOD, which can yield useful information if you feed it into an analysis program like Nirsoft's BlueScreenView.

          • 2. Re: Hard drive faults, high cpu, and crashing issues caused by McAfee

            Uninstall McAfee first,the defragement your hard Disks,check all the disk if there is no error,use tools like cc cleaner to delete the unused files ,clear your cookies by deleting them from internet explorer. Delete all the temporary files. Now restart your system and try to install the McAfee again and check if the it is working fine

            1 of 1 people found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Hard drive faults, high cpu, and crashing issues caused by McAfee

              Speccy reported my disk in good condition. However, interestingly enough my CPU and motherboard were in good temperature ranges (46 Celsius) but my hard drive was slightly in the warning zone (51 Celsius) so perhaps overheating caused the hard drive to fault.


              My computer automatically defragments all files i put on it. I've tried running it once every 1-3 months or so only to have the defragmenter tell me the disc is in good condition. However, this time it reported it needed defragmenting so i defragmented it. I'm guessing it probably couldn't auto defragment the compressed files so it created bad sectors. This is only the 2nd time i've ever had to run disk defragmenter on this computer.


              I am letting my computer store some anime movies for a friend and they take up enormous amounts of space, hence why i decided to compress the files. Otherwise my computer wouldn't have needed the compressing in the first place. I am only compressing the video files not the entire disc (compressing the whole disc sounds like a bad idea to me). I use CCleaner on a regular basis and just barely used it and all it removed was TEMP files from my internet browsing so it wasn't any odd cluttering i'm aware of.


              The blue screen advice was probably the most helpful. I did indeed have a crash in the night like i suspected, and it matched the one i had while i was using my computer in the day today when i used the blue screen checker. Some google searches of the error reports showed that my computer was probably having memory issues or possibly a boot sector virus (unlikely since i had to defragment the disc).


              So it could've been overheating, hard drive faults, or bad sectors on the hard drive, or maybe even a combination of 2 or 3.  (or even the boot sector virus, can't throw that possibility out, but mcafee hasn't detected anything and my disc is showing green right now according to piriform speccy) 

              One of my programs did freeze after the incidents saying it was suffering I/O problems. So it seems likely the disc was in dire need of defragmenting after compressing.


              In any case, the solutions above did seem to explain the issues and appear to have fixed them. Will repost if issue happens again if its MCAFEE related but if not will go to microsoft. It seems to me like any program with excessive memory use would've caused this problem after the compressing so I guess i'll find out later.


              Thanks for the help! Things appear to be good now.

              • 4. Re: Hard drive faults, high cpu, and crashing issues caused by McAfee

                Good. That looks promising. Noises from a PC or laptop usually mean something in there's getting too warm, and maxing the CPU and disk thrashing definitely need investigation.


                If you need to check the memory there are two places you can go - http://www.memtest86.com/ or http://www.memtest.org/ (for memtest86+). Take your pick.


                For Boot sector viruses there is a little-known McAfee utility that you could try : SaveInfo.

                SaveInfo is a utility to capture possible boot sector viruses. This tool saves the MBR, the first two tracks of your hard disk, as well as the last track of each partition and and the last track of the physical drive.


                You should run this from a bootable diskette from your A: drive.


                I haven't tried it, so I can't rate it. It looks like a legacy program, since it needs a diskette aka a floppy, and many new PCs and laptops have dispensed with the A:\ drive. Still, if you think you have a BSV, and want to give it a try, this utility is available from http://www.mcafee.com/us/downloads/free-tools/save-info.aspx.