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McAfee Update is Shutting Down Windows XP PCs

By - Source: Tom's Hardware UK | B 8 comments

There's was trouble packed in with recent McAfee update for Windows XP.

A bad update issued today for McAfee for Windows XP is causing computers worldwide to shutdown and sent itself in a loop of restarts. Engadget received the following statement from McAfee regarding the continuing incident:

McAfee is aware that a number of customers have incurred a false positive error due to incorrect malware alerts on Wednesday, April 21. The problem occurs with the 5958 virus definition file (DAT) that was released on April 21 at 2.00 PM GMT+1 (6am Pacific Time).

Our initial investigation indicates that the error can result in moderate to significant performance issues on systems running Windows XP Service Pack 3.

The faulty update has been removed from McAfee download servers for corporate users, preventing any further impact on those customers. We are not aware of significant impact on consumer customers and believe we have effectively limited such occurrence.

McAfee teams are working with the highest priority to support impacted customers and plan to provide an update virus definition file shortly. McAfee apologizes for any inconvenience to our customers

The story is that the DAT update 5958 deletes the svchost.exe file, which then triggers a false-positive in McAfee itself. Early estimates say that this has affected between 30,000 to 60,000 machines so far.

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  • 2 Hide
    Clintonio , 22 April 2010 03:42
    Mcafee is a heaping pile of ****. Corperations and users only buy it because they don't know of the alternatives, refuse to look, don't know the risks of using sh*tware, or are scared that free products might be inferior where ironically, in the tech sector, that can actually prove to be a very wrong view to take.

    In short: Ha. Ha.
  • 1 Hide
    shakari , 22 April 2010 03:53
    Almost as funny as the EvE-online patch that deleted the boot.ini file, not as funny though and a bit more serious as the people who are aflicted by it probaly have no idea of whats causeing it and how to fix the problem!!!

    Used mcafee once(free install from isp) Uninstalled it in 30 mins cause it was to much of a system hog, reminds me of what norton used to be really, and now wouldnt touch Mcafee with a 7ft poll.
  • 0 Hide
    bosqueteer , 22 April 2010 03:55
    good thing there's windows 7
  • 1 Hide
    shanky887614 , 22 April 2010 03:59
    ive got mcaffee on my pc i should get rid of it, i dont use it

    anyway get malwarebytes its way better and if you pay you get an added deature where instead of a quick scan you can do a flash scanwhich scans all autorun and objects in memory along with the easily disabled website blocking and protection features
  • 1 Hide
    flaminggerbil , 22 April 2010 04:51
    Oh McAfee, you never cease to entertain me.
  • 0 Hide
    TheAngryKip , 22 April 2010 05:41
    I'm running Windows XP SP3 and I have McAfee. I've updated at least once today and I haven't noticed any problems, but thanks for the heads up.

    McAfee actually comes free as part of my broadband package, so I may as well use it. It is a system hog though, especially on this old computer. From a cold boot to an idle desktop takes roughly 2 minutes, which seems to be more HDD limited than anything else. Before installing McAfee it started up a fair bit quicker, but it's still no where near as bad as Norton. Before McAfee was part of my broadband package, they gave out Norton, and that was a real drain. McAfee is just about bareable.
  • 1 Hide
    guanyu210379 , 22 April 2010 16:25
    I have never used mcAfee anymore since years.
    McAfee's AV eats resources and always slows down your system. The worst thing is that it will never be completely uninstalled from your system unless you do it manually (searching all the registries and left over files).
    I don't know why people are still buying or using this kind of crap.
    BTW : the same problem goes also to Norton's.
  • 1 Hide
    metatasian , 22 April 2010 19:49
    People need to realise that Mcafee and Norton are the biggest viruses you can have on your machine!

    My girlfriends laptop came with some mcafee security suite blah blah... pre-installed onto it, will not let itself uninstall, had to go in and out of safe mode, trawling through documents and settings/program files/registry to manually delete anything 'Mcafee' and countless restarts later its off... the same process I go through to remove viruses/malware manually anyway!!

    And I havent even mentioned thats it's a resource hog. Seriously, PC world are pushing these products like crack onto computer illiterate consumers. It's the only way they get some market share as their products are crushed by free/easy to use/lightweight alternatives such as Avast/Avira/Microsoft Security Essentials/AVG etc.

    I have tried each one of these myself and they are ALL better than McNorton.