Viper Squad Ten

[ Sunday, March 20, 2005 ]

Anti AV
Starbuck [20:51] Comments: 12 []
Damn antivirus applications. They're the bane of my life, especially when they belong to the older generation of family members.

Today's hassle - my dad's creaky Trend Micro PC-cillin 7.5, as running on his croaky Windows 98 machine. Or it was, until the machine froze during an update yesterday. Luckily I forced the machine into Safe Mode by punching all the buttons during bootup, and after performing a few diagnostic start-ups via Run-msconfig PCCIOMON.exe looked to be the guilty party.

Time to reinstall it then. Unfortunately IsUnist.exe failed during the InstallShield process, and any further attempts where hampered by it being "unable to locate installation log file uninst.isu" - that's because the damn log file had just been deleted.

In times like these one decides to try a few easy things which sense advises really won't work, so I emptied the Windows Temp file - no luck, as per usual.

Searching through the Trend Micro website it looked like PC-Cillin 7.5 was no longer supported - its End of Life date was June 2004. My dad had been sent it free by the Halifax, concerned that their users were likely to be vectors of electronic diseases. So even if I could reinstall it (not possible without uninstalling first) I might not be able to reregister it - and after a quick Google the one person I'd discovered with the same 7.5 problem had been told by Halifax & Trend that they wouldn't be able to update it even when they had reinstalled it. Bugger.

However I believe in keeping my fingers crossed. Even though, according to Trend's website (and much of the internet) PC-cillin 7.5 doesn't even exist (unlike version 8, aka PCC 2000.) And hidden within the Halifax website was a reference to another Trend Micro Support Portal website, from where I could download PCCTOOL.exe to uninstall it when the uninstall feature doesn't work. It didn't work.

What did work was hacking a great chunk out of the Registry (a lá the first help page I'd looked at, looking out for the different product name within the registry entries. PCCIOMON.exe wasn't where it should have been, lurking within the duplicate keys Run- and RunServices-, which is probably the source of the problem. Though I know naff all about it.

And after deleting to my heart's content the fabulously free Trend Micro PC-cillin 7.5 could again be safely reinstalled on the system, and no hassles with the updates.

The lesson learned (its been a long time getting here) in the words of Kate Bush is DON'T GIVE UP. I just hope that this is of use to some fellow desperate sod some day. If they can be arsed to read this far down.

Now just don't get me started on Norton Internet Security 2005, and its "bonus" feature of turning the innards of your four-year-old machine into a ZX Spectrum emulator. Gah!

12 Comment(s):

Comment by Blogger Starbuck, at March 20, 2005 9:38 pm  :

Hmmm. Maybe I should've stuck with bullet points.

Or not even put finger to keyboard in the first place... snore...

Comment by Blogger 3rd daughter, at March 21, 2005 12:56 am  :

lol... looks to me like you know a little more than naff all about it... are you an IT type person? I've often wondered what you do to earn a living... i'm a bit of a stickybeak really...

Comment by Blogger Starbuck, at March 21, 2005 12:50 pm  :

A stickybeak? What the flip's a stickybeak?! Sounds like the basis for a dodgy joke that I really shouldn't write during work time (lucky escape there!)

But nah, I'm certainly not what you'd call an IT type. Though the search engines are my friends...

But I can exclusively reveal that what I do for a living (now that the time-machine is kaput and the band have collapsed) zzsssssszst is szzt sztxzxx zsssszss for the tszsszzs sztsztsz sztsz sztsz szt zstst zsszt click

Comment by Blogger 3rd daughter, at March 21, 2005 1:10 pm  :

stickybeak is aussie slang for a nosey person who sticks their beak in where it is not wanted :)

nice job description. i'm sure i know someone in the same field...

Comment by Blogger Astolath, at March 21, 2005 2:33 pm  :

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Comment by Blogger Astolath, at March 21, 2005 2:34 pm  :

Oh the joys of hacking the registry - I'd forgotten how much fun it can be!

Someone recommended the freebie ap 'Antivir' and I've had it running on my machine for about 3 months now without any hassle. If you need a decent replacement for the Trend stuff, I'd highly recommend it.

Comment by Blogger Starbuck, at March 22, 2005 3:52 pm  :

Cheers, Astolath. Should Trend ever realise that they're not (and have never) got any money out of my Dad (curse these EOL dates!) then I'll shove it on his machine.

I think I might have tried installing it on my father-in-law-to-be's machine once. It failed to install, but then it would, knowing how fracked his machine was.

It was THAT machine that Norton Internet Security has brought to a standstill. What a bunch of crack. Rather than just getting an AV for use with his lovely free Zonealarm firewall as we'd advised, he went and got the full security package. That failed during install as well. It failed badly. I spent most of a Sunday sorting out the bastid. Grrr.

And now its on there, the machine takes at least 10 times as long to do anything. Rrrrrubbish. And I don't trust its "smart" firewall one bit.

And if that's not bad enough, it's attitude stinks. I've read about AV companies nurturing users worries for cash, but this wears its "politics of fear" on its sleeves. What's with all this "breaking news" style pop-ups advising of threats spreading across the internet? Who the frack needs to know? Why try to worry the poor user? Why not just quietly do your job without messing with our heads?

Truly the Dubya of Security products - corrupt, bloated, cynical, exploitative.

Comment by Blogger The Saturnyne, at March 22, 2005 3:52 pm  :

Aye, and i hear good thingies about the FREE AVG antivirus, too!

Outta the paid ones, me mates never had any prob's with the "Kaspersky" one. Doesn't even slow his machine down.

also, there's this site:

which is an online antivirus scanner. I use it a lot.


Comment by Blogger Starbuck, at March 25, 2005 7:34 pm  :

Yeah, Kaspersky does me very well at work.

AVG used to be great, apparently, but I hear its gone all paid-for.

GREED! (as the Addams Family pinball machine used to say)

Comment by Blogger Starbuck, at March 30, 2005 9:04 pm  :

Well, the problem's been back, and my Dad (by proxy via me) is now a proud user of AntiVir.


Comment by Anonymous Anonymous, at July 03, 2007 3:26 am  :

silly sheep, go ahead and mock antivirus software but I highly doubt you can protect your system without them. I use Trend Micro simply because it's much better at finding the lil buggers than Norton or Mcafee

Comment by Blogger Starbuck, at July 11, 2007 1:17 pm  :

Yep, but Norton or Mcafee are hardly recommended. Norton Security especially is one of the most cackhandedly coded bits of, erm, cack I've ever had the misfortune to ruin a machine with, at least when it comes to older machines on older OS's.

Likewise, and confusedly, Norton Antivirus is bad, but Symantec Antivirus Corporate Edition is good. What's all that about, then?

Your best bet - use Firefox with the NoScript extension, get a free AV product (no need to pay for scaremongering rubbish where you are effectively just paying for its marketing budget), get a decent free firewall, plus a heap of other - wait for it - FREE security apps. And don't be an idiot when opening emails. Sorted.

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