cancel
Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Hayton
Reliable Contributor
Reliable Contributor
Report Inappropriate Content
Message 41 of 134

Re: Site Advisor browser button is always gray?

Jump to solution

So, to summarise.

  • SiteAdvisor is installed and you have the latest version.
  • SiteAdvisor is not disabled in Chrome (note, Chrome has taken to disabling SiteAdvisor by default because it doesn't come from the Chrome App store) and hasn't been accidentally turned off in IE9 as a result of responding to those "Speed up IE by ..." messages I sometimes see in Win7. (Um, please check these two if you haven't already done so ...).
  • In Firefox the latest SiteAdvisor version in the PlugIns should be 3.6.0.126 - at least, that's what I see in Firefox.
  • The SiteAdvisor icon in IE8, IE9, Firefox and Chrome is greyed out most of the time BUT sometimes the colour comes back.
  • Uninstalling and re-installing SiteAdvisor, or even the whole McAfee bundle, cures the problem so long as the PC remains running but when you power down and restart the PC the icon reverts to grey most of the time.
  • Even when the icon is grey SiteAdvisor is still functional, and can be used to get site reports.

So ....

the program can contact the servers. Scratch one possibility then, *probably*. I wouldn't entirely rule out a glitch in client-server communications at the client end.

SiteAdvisor icon display works fine immediately after re-installation, but re-booting brings the problem back. That maybe suggests that either some process is failing to start correctly, or SiteAdvisor is using a different file or version of a file after a reboot than it was using before it.

In Process Explorer I see two processes connected with SiteAdvisor :

1 - saUI.exe (c:\Program Files\McAfee\SiteAdvisor\saUI.exe)

  which has the following McAfee DLL files associated with it :

- McSACorePS.dll (SiteAdvisor)     version 3.6.0.137

- sahook.dll (SiteAdvisor)                version 3.6.0.187


2 - rundll.exe ("C:\WINDOWS\system32\rundll32.exe" "c:\PROGRA~1\mcafee\SITEAD~1\saHook.dll", saHooker_Initialize_and_Wait)

which has the following McAfee DLL files associated with it :

- hiphandlers.dll (HIPS signatures)  version 8.0.0.4704

- sahook.dll (SiteAdvisor)                    version 3.6.0.187

- HcApi.dll (McAfee HIP Engine)         version 8.0.0.2102

- HcThe.dll (McAfee HIP Thin Hook Environment)  version 8.0.02102

The first process is a child process of svchost.exe and appears to be linked to IE - I don't see it until IE starts.

The second process appears automatically at startup and is a child process of McSvHost.exe, but those dll files are obviously mostly to do with Intrusion Protection.

This doesn't get us much closer to the reason for the SA icon being greyed-out, but it's a refresher for whoever next gets to have a crack at diagnosing the cause.

Possibilities:

1. Intrusion Protection.  I don't see how this could affect SiteAdvisor, but the HIPS dll files are activated at the same time as SiteAdvisor. Try disabling it (in Firewall settings) and see if it makes a difference.

2. In Firewall settings, 'Internet Connections for Programs', check that SiteAdvisor (saui.exe) has Full access to the internet, and turn off Netguard for SiteAdvisor if it says On.

3. Click on the arrow to the right of the SiteAdvisor icon/button to get the dropdown menu, and select Options. There are only two that could conceivably make a difference : in 'General', check whether SSL is Enabled; and in 'Trusted Sites' look to see whether there are sites in the Trusted List.

There is one final clue to this, as noted in post #21 by mattlucky : he disabled the SA add-on in IE and re-booted, then re-enabled the SA add-on and it all seemed to work fine. So something is perhaps being set wrongly when SiteAdvisor is activated during startup. If SA is disabled at startup maybe those wrong settings aren't applied?

Typically, the test machines being used to try to replicate this problem aren't showing any of the symptoms. Maybe the techs should try rebooting them a few times :)

mvissche
Level 9
Report Inappropriate Content
Message 42 of 134

Re: Site Advisor browser button is always gray?

Jump to solution

Hayton, great summary - this is perfect summarizing notes for the tech call.

As we continue to dig into this on the McAfee end, I just want to reassure everyone that SiteAdvisor protection should not be compromised for those experiencing these symptoms.  Regardless of the color of the toolbar button, SiteAdvisor also has independent browser navigation functionality to automatically redirect you to a warning page if the page is red or yellow.  From what we understand of this issue, those affected are still protected in these circumstances (a simple test would be to try navigating to screensavers.com - and you'll see our "woah" page).

Thanks again for all the help from the crowd in troubleshooting this with us.

Cheers,

Mark

jess1ca
Level 7
Report Inappropriate Content
Message 43 of 134

Re: Site Advisor browser button is always gray?

Jump to solution

I agree with 'Lizbeth that it would be great to know if sites are safe before visiting them.

However, with regards to Mark's reply, I tried the screensavers.com. I made it to the site without seeing the "woah" page. And I have tried the above save the whole uninstall thing because I don't know exactly how to re-install, so I don't want to do anything too drastic. I've tried re-installing SiteAdvisor alone, even going to Control Panel to uninstall it. But it doesn't turn green at all. Be it with or without the reboot.

I'm not sure it's the same problem, I hoping it is, so a solution proposed would work for all, but I'm starting to get a bit worried.

I don't want to seem like I'm rushing you guys for an answer. I'm just providing more information regarding the situation I have over here.

Thank you.

jmckee
Level 10
Report Inappropriate Content
Message 44 of 134

Re: Site Advisor browser button is always gray?

Jump to solution

One thing I have noticed recently is that if a site is gray to start with , it will often go to green if the window stays open for awhile.

csc32
Level 7
Report Inappropriate Content
Message 45 of 134

Re: Site Advisor browser button is always gray?

Jump to solution

Started Live Chat with McAfee Technical Support and allowed them access to my machine.

After about 20 minutes the problem was escalated to Level 2.

The Level 2 Tech Reset Internet Explorer Setting including Personal Settings (this will cost me hours to recreate Remembered Passwords, Search Providers, Accelerators, Home Pages, Tracking Protection, and ActiveX Filtering data).

He then unchecked various items in the Internet Options Advanced Settings

Security

- Check for publisher’s certificate revocation

- Check for server certificate revocation

- Check for signature on downloaded programs

He checked - Use SSL 2.0 (3.0 was already checked)

He disabled & enabled the SiteAdvisor add-ons and then re-booted.

SA was working (Green) and the ratings were present.

I re-booted again and all was well.

The Level 2 Tech stated that if the problem recurred that I should revert back to IE8.

Well the problem did recur later after another re-boot.

This leads me to believe there is a compatibility issue between SA and IE9. When I run MVT it re-sets the ‘Check for server certification revocation’ Key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings CertificateRevocation

I started another Live Chat but they refused to reopen the problem and wanted to start from scratch which I refused.

Maybe one of you will have better luck.  Just remember the Reset Internet Explorer Settings may cost you a lot of work afterwards.

Message was edited by: csc32 on 3/4/13 7:12:57 PM CST

Re: Site Advisor browser button is always gray?

Jump to solution

We mentioned this in the call tier 2/2.5 will be calling 1 of you guys so any volunteers?

Csc32 you got a SR job number? As you tried calling do you wish to volunteer?

As I mentioned mine works fine on 3.6.0.187 as does the other 2 mod's installs

Message was edited by: Peacekeeper on 5/03/13 11:31:55 AM
csc32
Level 7
Report Inappropriate Content
Message 47 of 134

Re: Site Advisor browser button is always gray?

Jump to solution

Peacekeeper, The Service Request was #: 1040288279 Sorry I will not volunteer after what I went through today. Sometimes the cure is worse that the disease. Thanks anyway.

Hayton
Reliable Contributor
Reliable Contributor
Report Inappropriate Content
Message 48 of 134

Re: Site Advisor browser button is always gray?

Jump to solution

jmckee wrote:

One thing I have noticed recently is that if a site is gray to start with , it will often go to green if the window stays open for awhile.

Now that is interesting. One suggestion I made in the call is that we shouldn't rule out a connection with the firewall. Conceptually, the problem is easy enough to describe : the client software (SiteAdvisor on your PC) isn't receiving site rating information from the server, and so can't set the colour of the SiteAdvisor icon. I suggested that the server might be trying to send that information through one of the non-standard ports, which might well be closed off by the firewall rules. If the SiteAdvisor icon starts off grey but later goes to green, then that information is being received by the PC - just with a time delay. It's possible that the client-server connection is being wrongly set up at the start. Just a guess, but possible.

As for all the changes to IE settings that csc32 had to go through, it seems a lot of trouble to go to, especially as this problem occurs in other browsers. The one change that caught my eye was this one :

He checked - Use SSL 2.0 (3.0 was already checked)

This might be what did the trick, although SSL 2.0 has a number of security flaws and is widely deprecated - even SSL 3.0 has largely been superseded by TLS 1.1 or 1.2. I wonder then if de-selecting 'Use SSL' in SiteAdvisor options would make a difference?

SA SSL settings.JPG

When a secure connection is being established there's a lot of to-ing and fro-ing between the two parties involved in the connection. There's a lot of so-called handshaking going on, and there is always the danger of encountering that bane of network programming, the Deadly Handshake (where each side sits waiting for the other to just do something). The issue of ports comes into this :

Since most protocols can operate either with or without TLS (or SSL), it is necessary for the client to indicate to the server whether it wants to set up a TLS connection or not. There are two main ways of achieving this; one option is to use a different port number for TLS connections (for example port 443 for HTTPS). The other is to use the regular port number and have the client request that the server switch the connection to TLS using a protocol specific mechanism (for example STARTTLS for mail and news protocols).

Once the client and server have decided to use TLS they negotiate a stateful connection by using a handshaking procedure.[3] During this handshake, the client and server agree on various parameters used to establish the connection's security:


.... If any one of the above steps fails, the TLS handshake fails and the connection is not created.

Wikipedia goes into this in some detail. Note that TLS has pretty much superseded SSL, because of security weaknesses in SSL.

Apologies for the digression .... but it's a communication problem, I'm pretty sure of it. (Although of course I could be totally wrong ... )

jmckee
Level 10
Report Inappropriate Content
Message 49 of 134

Re: Site Advisor browser button is always gray?

Jump to solution

Hayton wrote:


Apologies for the digression .... but it's a communication problem, I'm pretty sure of it. (Although of course I could be totally wrong ... )

That has been my feeling as well , since the button does go green at times. Suspect the server end as it happens in both IE and Firefox..

Message was edited by: jmcke on 3/6/13 3:30:16 AM EST

Re: Site Advisor browser button is always gray?

Jump to solution

I too never saw the "Woah" page that Mark indicated when going to screensavers.com. site.  My Site Advisor button remains gray, and hasn't been green for several months now, no matter what I've tried to do.

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