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Former Member
Message 1 of 11

Virus Scan Disabled

I am currently at work, so I don't have all detailed information on my system. What I do have is:

Windows XP Professional Svc Pk 3
3-User Download McAfee Virus Scan, et al (This is current)
IE 8.0

I recently installed a new hard drive, re-formatted and then re-installed Windows from the CD. Virus Scan worked for a few days. Then, I began receiving error messages that I wasn't protected because Virus Scan was not enabled.

After uninstalling and re-installing several times, I called Support. After at least an hour, I was not helped by them and referred to the $90 per incident Support.

Currently, when I run Virus Scan, it will run about 80% of the way through. Then, I get an error message that states that Virus Scan has encountered an Error and must close. I get a variety of errors, depending on what I am trying to do -- all with nothing definitive.

I do appear to be receiving the daily updates, though.

I have tried the McAfee Free Scan, Virtual Technician, as well as many other Scans and fixes. (Spybot S&D, Hijack this!, MBAM....)

Nothing -- including re-installing the product -- appears to help with this issue.

Nothing that I have used indicates any presence of virus, trojan, or rootkit. The only thing that I saw on one occasion was that McAfee Virus Scan was not enabled. That was in the registry. I have not been able to duplicate that finding.

I have checked all of the settings under the Advanced Configuration. Everything is enabled.

I would sincerely appreciate any help or guidance that anyone could provide here. I don't necessarily look forward to re-installing the OS and all of my apps -- unless this is the last resort.

Tks for your help!
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10 Replies
Message 2 of 11

RE: Virus Scan Disabled

Situation 1: You're infected. Probably not the case here, but have you also tried SAS (free), an online scan with A-Squared and an online scan with another AV like Kaspersky ? You may have to disable McAfee's real-time protection for the latter, I'm not sure.

While it probably would not help, you might want to try this in case you got a corrupted DAT download: http://forums.mcafeehelp.com/showthread.php?t=229135

You have tried uninstalling and reinstalling. Did you use the MCPR tool and the other instructions that can be found on this forum ?

Is it possible that there is something on your harddisk (like software, images) that could cause this ?

A possibility is harddrive failure. I think you can fix/check this with CHKDSK.

The question is, why did it work for a few days and then stopped ? You have a 3 user download, is your computer perhaps in any network, and could this somehow (malware ? McAfee settings ? ) cause your problem (maybe disconnecting it for the scan would work) ?

Often a plain reformat followed by reinstalling everything else is the best option.
You might not want to use McAfee after that ...
Former Member
Message 3 of 11

RE: Virus Scan Disabled

Thanks for responding, as well as your thoughts and input.

I had tried Kapersky earlier along with the others I mentioned -- no findings there. BTW -- this is a new hard-drive. Check Disk revealed no Issues.

I haven't tried the 2nd scenario with the corrupted DAT File, and I don't believe that I tried the MCPR Tool. I will have to research that and try it tonight when I get home from work.

My system is stand-alone and not part of a network. I have the 3-User Pkg since my wife and daughter also have their own PC's.

I have used McAfee for years and never had an issue. Again, this issue presented itself several days after I installed a new hard-drive.

I believe that it was possible that I got infected while I was doing web updates and installs, while the system was still vulnerable.

My guess is that the infection was cleared as a result of all the scans I've done, but that the registry was affected. The one log I did see showed that McAfee was disabled in the Registry.

Unfortunately, I believe I accidentally deleted the log that displayed that result. So, I don't know exactly which registry settings I should be looking for that affect McAfee. As well, I've not done alot with registry settings, and am not certain that I know which flag enables McAfee and which disables it. Definitely don't want to do the wrong thing there!

I was hoping for something definitive. I do not relish the idea of having to do another Format and Install, but will do so as a last resort.

Thanks again for your help. I will try the things that you suggested. If you can think of anything else that we may have over-looked, please let me know.

Message 4 of 11

RE: Virus Scan Disabled

'Again, this issue presented itself several days after I installed a new hard-drive'


I can't quite preclude that this is caused by some hardware (harddrive, mainboard, RAM, something else)/BIOS/BIOS settings/drivers/other software issue. I once dealt with a very complicated one.

Are there perhaps any hidden partitions or something else special ?

Anyway, if you are not behind a router it's best to turn on the Windows firewall before connecting to the internet (allow no exceptions), McAfee will deactive it after McAfee has been installed.

Is it possible that it is primarily a Windows issue ? You can make only limited changes to your system till that Windows validation stuff makes an issue of it. Perhaps it is somehow interfering with McAfee.

Have you installed all essential Microsoft updates ? (More comprehensive than Windows updates) If you are going to reinstall it's probably best to do this before installing McAfee.
Former Member
Message 5 of 11

RE: Virus Scan Disabled

No -- there was nothing special about the XP install. I added a new 1TB Hard drive and slaved the old drive. Then formatted the new drive, installed XP, and then McAfee. I didn't want to remain unprotected while doing the Svc pack updates.

I tried the fixes that you suggested and then re-installed McAfee. Still not working properly. I was able to manually run a Quick Scan, and thought OK, it might be working. The Quick Scan revealed no issues. Then I tried to run the Full Scan. It got approx 20% through and then gave me the same tired message about encountering a problem and having to shut down.

I did try Virtual Technician and it gave me the same error message and abruptly shut down. I ran another Scan with MBAM and it noted a few cookies, but nothing else. That's because I hadn't cleared my cache prior to running the scan.

At any rate, it appears that I'm back to square one -- unless you or someone else has something else to offer.... It appears that I'll be re-formatting and doing another XP install. LOL! Don't mind the install as much as doing all of the updates!

Nonetheless, I really do appreciate all of your help and advice. Believe it or not, I do work in IT, but this one really has me stumped.

Tks again!
Message 6 of 11

RE: Virus Scan Disabled

(partial quote above)

I'm sorry to say that doesn't look good.

'slaved the old drive'

Well, you work in IT, but I don't know what <exactly> you meant by that/what you did.

I guess there was some McAfee stuff on the old drive ? I don't know if that could be an issue.

'Then formatted the new drive, installed XP, and then McAfee. I didn't want to remain unprotected while doing the Svc pack updates'

Maybe the order of that was wrong ? I'm still using service pack 2 plus all essential updates, for as far as I know service pack 3 adds little to nothing. And I have read about isssues with service pack 3, for example with AMD CPUs.
I would have formatted, installed XP, installed service pack 2 (my CD predates service pack 2 !), installed the necessary drivers, configured what needs to be configured, installed the software, then McAfee. Although installing McAfee before software like MS Office shouldn't be a problem.
Of course you wouldn't be unproteced if you activated your Windows firewall without allowing exceptions.

Were McAfee and the Windows XP installation both present on the old drive after you slaved it ? I could imagine that the McAfee/Windows XP installation on your new drive could have an issue with it. Just a thought. If McAfee starts scanning (both drives?) that MIGHT be an issue. Your quick scan went well. It certainly doesn't scan both drives completely. You can also try a custom scan, and see how that goes.

Of course, it could be some very complicated harddrive(s)/mainboard,drivers,BIOS/or incompatability issue that even a reformat wouldn't solve.
Message 7 of 11

RE: Virus Scan Disabled

Any news/progress ?
Former Member
Message 8 of 11

RE: Virus Scan Disabled

Sorry it took so long to get back with a reply, but it's often difficult to make progress at home after working long hours.

I believe that I have narrowed down the issue. I believe that Spybot S&D is disabling my McAfee. My logic:
1. I did a complete re-format and install of XP Pro.
2. Installed all drivers -- Set Restore Point
3. Performed all Windows Updates -- Set Restore Point
4. Downloaded and installed McAfee
5. Ran a Virus scan -- with NO issues
6. Dowloaded Spybot S&D (as well as updates) -- Did not do scan
7. Downloaded MBAM -- did updates -- did scan
Scan was clean but revealed that McAfee had been disabled
8. Attempted to run scan with McAfee -- I was greeted with the same error message
that I had seen so many times before.

At 3:30AM my time, went to bed so I could be at work at 7:30. I will attempt to trouble-shoot and resolve this issue this evening.

I did back up the registry before adding Spybot and MBAM. That's the current status. Thanks for following along with me, as well as your help, thoughts, and support.
Message 9 of 11

RE: Virus Scan Disabled

Hi. Well, that certainly looks different.
Usually, when you have S&D installed and you try to install McAfee you'll get a message that they can't coexist (I don't know the exact words).

From what I know, it is possible to install S&D AFTER you have installed McAfee.
I don't know S&D at all, but I have read that there is an issue with the tea-timer of S&D versus McAfee. Supposedly, disabling the tea-timer (and 'not immunize' ?) would allow these programs to coexist and work together.

But hey, I don't think I've ever used S&D, I just mention what I've read.

But all of this began after you installed a new drive ? A new version or configuration of McAfee and/or S&D ? It seems that 'what changed' after the installation of the new drive caused your problems.

You also mention restore points and backing up the registry. While I can't say much about the latter, McAfee 'breaks' Windows system restore. If you have installed McAfee, made a system restore point, and McAfee gets updated/changed, you just can't use system restore, you'd end up with pieces of the old and new McAfee, and since McAfee is so tightly integrated with the OS, a corrupted OS probably as well. If you want to go back to the point before you installed McAfee you may have to remove McAfee (MCPR tool etc.), but I really don't know if that should be done before or after going back to a previous restore point, or if that would even work at all.

Note added later: I just got an update of the SecurityCenter, Virusscan and Firewall. Maybe you got this update earlier (especially since you reinstalled it from your online account) and this is the change that in interaction with something else causes the problem ? I don't know, is there McAfee software on the slaved drive ?
Former Member
Message 10 of 11

RE: Virus Scan Disabled

Well, I don't know if they can currently co-exist (McAfee and Spybot S&D). I have not had that issue until I did the re-install of XP Pro.

At this point, I have gone into the Registry and found the settings that were disabled. I enabled them. My next step was to run a Full Scan with McAfee. Remember that it would begin and then I would get an Error Message before.

This time, the Scan ran successfully -- no issues at all. Not willing to leave well enough alone, I ran a second scan. It, too, ran successfully.

Although it is premature to say that all is fixed, it appears that McAfee is working. I will continue to test the compatability of the two together and try to reach some sort of conclusion.

I'm not sure (since I am new to the Forum) if I should continue to post my findings. Let me know. I could close this post if you believe that the issue is resolved.

At any rate, I do Thank you for your help and support.

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