When three of your computers start acting up, you look for the common culprit. By acting up, I mean slow to a crawl or shut you out of key applications.
I know my way around a PC, but am no match for diagnosing the myriad problems that afflicts PCs. However, I suspect the culprit in this case was McAfee and possibly a new version.
Here’s what’s been happening:
My notebook stopped running videos a week ago and kept asking me to install Flash or in the case of games and animations, Shockwave. Well, both were already installed. So I un-installed them and reinstalled them. No luck, but today, miraculously, the problems have disappeared and all of a sudden, McAfee is asking me to allow or not allow files all the time.
So maybe it was McAfee barring certain files and and not the fault of Flash or Shockwave after all. We’ll see how long my notebook (Win7) stays healthy. The last McAfee AntiVirus Plus update was on Oct. 26 which I assume to be a new version.
(added 11/10…10:45 pm ET) I should also add that Chrome should come in for some serious criticism. It just crashed for about the 20th time in the past month, telling me “The following plug-in is not responding: unknown.” Well, that’s helpful. My only choice is to shut down Chrome, my favorite browser save this very irritating problem, and pick up on Firefox or Internet Explorer.
Concurrently, Chrome on my wife’s notebook stopped allowing Internet access (don’t you love how PCs just start doing stuff you did not initiate?). It must be McAfee, I thought. Indeed, it was. I shut off the firewall and Internet access was restored.
Of course, that’s not safe, so I turned the firewall back on, but switched to a “full access” for all my programs. That worked. Then I restored the default settings (“outgoing access” only) to where I was when the notebook barred Internet access from Chrome (my favorite browser, but you have to endure its flakiness). It still works…..for now and reminded me how PC users are consigned to time-wasting tinkering.
Finally, my desktop slowed to a crawled yesterday after being left on for a few days. It must have accumulated the crap PCs do and gotten clogged up. And yes, there is a McAfee angle. An alert kept asking me to restart my computer so a McAfee update (new version? Cripe, I don’t know) could take effect.
Technically, my desktop never broke like the two desktops and ran much better this morning upon restarting. Strangely, my control panel tells me I last used used my McAfee Internet Security on 1/24/2008 when I opened it and changed settings this morning. Where’s this new version that was following me around yesterday?
I have two feelings about this experience with McAfee and anti-virus software. I want McAfee to protect me from all the threats out there, but never bother me. On the other hands, these frustrating experiences also made me open McAfee and learn my way around.
Nahhh…I’ll take the former.
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