Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Level 7
Report Inappropriate Content
Message 1 of 33

DAT file won't update


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 And I do not get any error messages (yet -- I suppose I will get a warning in a few days that my DAT file is out of date).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.



32 Replies
Level 10
Report Inappropriate Content
Message 2 of 33

Re: DAT file won't update

I am having same update problem. Says it is downloading then says installing McAfee ViruScan but stops after a few seconds and no notice or anything and nothing is installed. Hopefully Saturdays dat will correct this problem. Still have dat 5854 here also.


Level 7
Report Inappropriate Content
Message 3 of 33

Re: DAT file won't update

Just moved this thread from Security Center 9 to here, as I realize this is the correct place for it (sorry, I'm new to this forum and not very facile with forums, as a whole).

Just to provide the 1 critical tidbit I omitted from the original post (my VirusScan version): Virus Scan 13.15.113

And my most recent MVT Session ID was: 23233658 (didn't realize this info would be meaningful for anyone).

Still stuck on DAT 5854, and updater won't update (this is the only "problem" MVT can find).

Now that I've found the similar threads, I realize that this problem might actually be on the "McAfee" end, with DAT 5855.

So, I'll wait to see what transpires.

In the interim, I would still appreciate any advice from the experts.

Sorry for any confusion, and Thanks very much for your time and trouble!


Re: DAT file won't update

I suggest you all stop panicking as obviously there is something wrong with the 5855 DAT release, so just as well we all aren't getting it.   It's happened many times before and this wont be the last time.

I'll see if I can get an answer internally but it's a weekend so I doubt it.

Level 7
Report Inappropriate Content
Message 5 of 33

Re: DAT file won't update

Thank you very much, Peter.

This problem is a "first" for me with the McAfee software, and I appreciate your expertise and advice.

I will look forward to a resolution from McAfee, perhaps with the next DAT version.

Until I know for sure that updates are proceeding normally, I'll take the liberty of leaving my question "unanswered", if I may.

Thanks again,


(FWIW, I was not panicking --  just a bit frustrated by the lack of definitive info from 2 lengthy telephone Tech Support contacts. I was just looking for assistance, and hadn't noticed the ongoing threads here on the same topic before I posted my question.  Had I seen them, I would have entered the ongoing threads, rather than starting a new one, and would have spared you all the level of detail in my original post. Apologies for the inconvenience and trouble.)

Re: DAT file won't update

No problem MoxieMomma.   I multi-boot between 2 Vista (1 I use regularly and 1 for beta-testing things) and 2 Windows 7''s - same arrangement) and last night on one of those test rigs I experimented with uninstalling McAfee (after having enabled Windows Firewall) and running the cleanup tool.  That involved 2 reboots.  I then reinstalled McAfee and lo and behold, there was DAT 5855.  I suspect from that there was trouble with the download server perhaps.

I see that my other McAfee's have all updated now to 5855 so it was a pointless exercise really.

Re: DAT file won't update

Correction: I was in error, only one of my systems has that DAT.  The problem still exists so they must be still working on it.

Message was edited by: Ex_Brit on 09/01/10 11:41:06 EST AM
Level 7
Report Inappropriate Content
Message 8 of 33

Re: DAT file won't update

So do you have any idea when McAfee will put out a new DAT file, 5856 perhaps?

Will it be today, Saturday?

I just tried updating and the problem is still occuring.

Should we just be patient or do you recommend we do something with out computers?

This is the first time I am experiencing such a problem and am not sure what to do.

If this is not resolved by them at some point will my security center stop staying that "Yes I am protected" and if so what do I do then.

Re: DAT file won't update

Mine just auto-updated to 5856.   It has to be several days before any warnings start appearing.

Level 7
Report Inappropriate Content
Message 10 of 33

Re: DAT file won't update

I just now twice selected the update option on my security center and the install is still failing.

Once a new DAT is put out there by McAfee do all users have access to it at the same time.

Why would I not be getting 5856 if you got it?

How Many Badges Can You Collect?
Ready for a little competition? Members like you are earning badges and unlocking perks for their helpful answers. Are you? Click here to find out.

Community Help Hub

    New to the forums or need help finding your way around the forums? There's a whole hub of community resources to help you.

  • Find Forum FAQs
  • Learn How to Earn Badges
  • Ask for Help
Go to Community Help

Join the Community

    Thousands of customers use the McAfee Community for peer-to-peer and expert product support. Enjoy these benefits with a free membership:

  • Get helpful solutions from McAfee experts.
  • Stay connected to product conversations that matter to you.
  • Participate in product groups led by McAfee employees.
Join the Community
Join the Community