General Aggravations, Observations and Concerns

Discussion in 'ESET Smart Security' started by megentry1, Jan 20, 2013.

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  1. megentry1

    megentry1 Registered Member

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    I have been an Eset user for many years--first with NOD32 (pre-version 3 if I recall), then Smart Security. During this entire time, I have never received an email from Eset telling me when a new version has been released. Never, ever. Only by frequent visitation to Wilders Security Forum am I able to keep track of Betas, Release Candidates, new versions, etc. And this time, even that sort of fell through the cracks....

    As I have been a Beta/Release Candidate user of the 6.X family ever since the Beta was first announced, I have been concentrating my focus only on the Smart Security Beta part of the forum. In that section, user 'cumlaude74' started the "6.0.300.4 thread" on December 1st

    User "Cudni" posted a link on that thread (January 15th) stating the wait is over; Following said link reveals moderator "Marcos" declaring ESET NOD32 Antivirus 6.0 unveiled (message heading). Only buried in his message is the fact this also includes ESET Smart Security.

    No announcement of the new software on the ESET Beta forum. No Sticky. Nothing. The previous Release Candidate got the sticky treatment. Why not the final "flagship"?

    Eset has my email address. Why is such low-hanging fruit--common to other 3rd party products in terms of good consumer relations (like simple email notifications) to your paying clientele, non-existent?

    Now for observations encountered during the installation of the new product:

    Conflicting information. I've found numerous statements that say it can be installed over the top of existing ESET, as well as recommendations that say previous versions should be removed. These statements conflict, and, frankly, even when attempting to uninstall the previous version, I found I could not "comply" even when attempting to uninstall the previous product.

    When the previous version was attempted to be removed (first via Programs and Features, and then via ESET's own Uninstaller menuitem located within Program Files), an error was encountered located at Program Data\Eset\Eset Smart Security\Charon\cache.ndb This file could not be removed, nor could msconfig be used to prevent the Eset Service from running. Instead, I had to download Eset's "special" manual uninstaller to remove the application (in Safe Mode).

    There was an unintended consequence (i.e., "casualty") when I ran the manual uninstaller: a text file I had created that listed my Username and Password, and had located as a menuitem (also homed at Program Data\Eset\Eset Smart Security), was GONE. Eset did NOT create that file. I did. Why would Eset remove a file it did not create? Thankfully, I had a backup copy of this within My Documents. This simple text file was created by myself so I can use copy and paste of Username/Password--plus it's just handy to keep on hand. Most application installers only remove files its installer correspondingly created. Eset should be no different in this regard.

    I went to Eset's download page to obtain the new version. Got Eset's "Smart Installer", waited the 10 long minutes to download a 68MB file, only to have the the install fail due to the ...\Charon\cache.ndb error above (yes, I attempted to install the new version over top of RC1). When that failed, I tried other uninstall options (i.e., Programs and Features and the built-in Eset Uninstaller menuitem created by the Eset installer), both of which failed. Only the "special" Eset Uninstaller worked.

    Once Eset was successfully removed, I re-ran the Smart Installer, which, of course, required another 10 minute wait to re-download the same 68MB file that was already downloaded previously. Why did it need to be downloaded again, why does it take 10 minutes (and the fault does not lie with MY connection), and finally, why can I not download a full, standalone product like we used to be able to do? Because of your relatively "new" methodology (i.e., the "smart" installer"--which is really just a stub application), my computer was unprotected for a longer period than necessary.

    Personally, I prefer having the full standalone available--especially if something occurs that makes me have to uninstall your product (like I once had to do when dealing with the installation of my company's Juniper VPN client). Having a file I can execute means I can install it without needing to be connected to the Internet. I know your current methodlogy was rolled out some time ago--so it isn't exactly "new" anymore, but this fact does not mean it's a "better" solution.

    Ultimately, I got the new version installed and it is working properly. I just felt compelled to share these observations as suggested areas of improvement for future versions. And because these are of such a general nature, I thought listing them here rather than in the Future Versions section might be better, as the Future Versions seems more relegated to specific functionality and actions. My complaints are rudimentary compared to that sort of thing. Eset seems to do better with the more difficult tasks, while the simple things outlined herein seem to cause problems.

    Frankly, these sorts of "issues" should not exist to my thinking. Am hoping in future versions, they won't.

    Regards,

    Mike Gentry
     
  2. zfactor

    zfactor Registered Member

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    you know you can select the "offline" installer from the eset webpage and then you do not have to wait for it to download the file. this way you have it for use on your system for however many times you need it.

    you would go to eset main page click download at the top, then select i already purchased, then to the right you would see 2 options the second one is the offline installer. hope this helps.

    also for those having a hard time upgrading try to remove v5 first. if you can not remove it through the normal programs list download the removal tool and run that in safe mode:

    instructions and download here: http://kb.eset.com/esetkb/index?page=content&id=SOLN2289

    in the case you can not find it here is the direct link to v6 offline:

    http://www.eset.com/us/download/home/detail/family/5/?installer=offline
     

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    Last edited: Jan 20, 2013
  3. megentry1

    megentry1 Registered Member

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    zfactor,

    Thanks for your reply.... The main download page--even when selecting the "already purchased" option, only downloads the Live Installer, but the link you gave me provides me what I was looking for all along, so thanks for that.

    I have it now--just in case.

    Regards,

    Mike
     
  4. zfactor

    zfactor Registered Member

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    you have to look to the right side of the page see my pic see where the arrow points and click the words "offline installer" even though it appears to be greyed out you can still click it it will then give you the option to select your os and language. for the future it should work fine. either way you have it now.

    glad i could help.
     
  5. megentry1

    megentry1 Registered Member

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    zfactor,

    Overlooked your graphic earlier (small monitor). Saw it this time, and I now see where you pointed out the Offline item. Sorry. Missed that before. Not sure how.

    Regards,

    Mike
     
  6. agoretsky

    agoretsky Eset Staff Account

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    Hello,

    I believe that ESET North America now emails a quarterly newsletter to consumers, but since you have been using the software for so long, you might have automatically been opted out from a subscription. If you contact customer care toll-free at +1 (866) 343-3738 they should be able to adjust your customer record and get you signed up for the newsletter.

    I'm sorry to hear about the problems you had upgrading. ESET's manual uninstaller is "aggressive" in that it removes (or tries to remove) the directories where the ESET software was installed on the computer. I will speak to the developer's about adding a message to the manual uninstaller about what precautions need to be taken if you are going to use the program's installation directory as a data directory.

    Here are direct links to the full installation package for ESET Smart Security:

    ESET Smart Security 6 (32-bit) - download.eset.com/download/win/ess/ess_nt32_enu.msi

    ESET Smart Security 6 (64-bit) - download.eset.com/download/win/ess/ess_nt64_enu.msi

    Regards,

    Aryeh Goretsky
     
  7. megentry1

    megentry1 Registered Member

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    agoretsky,

    Thanks for your reply. Unfortunately, I never received notification you actually replied, as the Forum did not send me an email stating you made one. I even checked my ISP's SPAM folder, but nothing there (as well as my Outlook SPAM folder). I just happened to log in today, and saw the Reply Count on my topic was higher than my last visit to the forum.

    While here, today, I also learned there was another version change (from .306 to .308 ). Since I now know to grab the "Offline version", I downloaded that right away....

    Of course, I attempted to install this over top of .306, but once again, the NCACHE.NDB file located within the ...\Charon\ directory prevented this from occurring.

    Believing this behavior to be some sort of a permission issue since one cannot run Microsoft Installer files (i.e., *.msi) with the "Run as Administrator" option, I even tried launching cmd.exe with Run As, and navigated to where I had stored the new *.msi file. Unfortunately, I got the same result.

    It now seems quite impossible to install ESET over itself without first completely removing the old version with the "special" uninstaller (executed in Safe Mode). This behavior is "new" to me--commencing with the .306 version and continuing with .308.

    I cannot help but believe this behavior acts very much like a bug.

    I'd like to ask why, but I surmise the reasons can be many and varied.

    Still, if possible, I'd like to know.

    I'd also like to know why ESET uses *.msi files for the Offline version rather than *.exe (which can be executed as Administrator and might be more successful at installing over top of previous versions.

    As an aside, the existence of *.308 was never promoted via Eset's normal updates, and was not specifically mentioned as a new heading in the Forum. I saw others allude to it, and that was my only clue such an update even existed. And, of course, the web site never mentions the current version anywhere. You never know what you're going to get until after one has downloaded the file and hover your mouse over it in Windows Explorer. Because the version is not part of the filename (file name is just a generic "ess_nt32_enu.msi" name), one has no other way to tell.

    I guess I am trying to suggest some improvements to the manner in which new updates are communicated. Previous updates seemed to receive greater visibility in the forum. I made note of the absence of the "final" version in the Beta forum, in my original post--this thread, but this may have been overshadowed by some of my other comments.

    I think ESET makes a great product, I just cannot quite get my head around the absence of some of the fanfare that ought to be communicated to its users when something new rolls out. Especially since, in the past, such info was provided. What's changed?

    Oh. BTW, I alluded to my having installed a 'data file' (my username and password) in a simple text file at Program Data\ESET\ESET Smart Security. That's not quite right. The real (full) path is:

    C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\ESET\ESET Smart Security\Eset License Key.txt

    The end result is the same, though.... Running Eset's special uninstaller removes everything stored at that \Microsoft\Windows folder location--including my manually created License Key file. I understand the special Uninstaller's need to be "agressive", but perhaps not THAT agressive--This location is not the installer's location. Rather, it is merely Microsoft's location for Start Menu items. This location should have NOTHING to do with some file still holding an exclusive lock--thereby preventing it's uninstall. Frankly, it would be better if I did not have to uninstall the previous version at all.

    I NEVER had to do so prior to the 6.X family being introduced. If this is going to become standard fare, that's fine, I suppose, I just need to understand this going forward.... And I should point out that in Marcos' message of January 15th, he, also (as I pointed out in my original thread) that numerous places it is stated one can install over top without removing.... Here's what he said:

    "Installation over an older version (v3, v4 or v5) is supported. In case of problems with installation, uninstall the previous version and install v6 from scratch."

    Maybe I need to take him more literally, and not just his implication.... In truth, he did omit v6 from the "older version" moniker. Maybe that wasn't an oversight?

    Regards,

    Mike
     
  8. patch

    patch Registered Member

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    Could I suggest you put your key text file not in a ESET/system special locations. I prefer with your copy of the installer in the documents directory. Keeps related things together and prevents system tools making assumptions you do not like.

    I login to an account with administrator privileges and install over older versions with out issue. I suspect your installation has got corrupted with all the changes you have made.

    Btw, I believe attempting to uninstall ESET via the windows control panel uninstall a program option, causes problems with ESET self protection, resulting in a corrupted install. Using the ESET specific menu item to uninstall avoids this for me.
     
  9. megentry1

    megentry1 Registered Member

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    Patch,

    Thanks very much for your reply.

    I must say I hardly think including one single text file in the file location that WINDOWS (not Eset) reserves for Start Menu items constitutes 'corruption' for "all the changes I have made".

    This file is, functionally, no different than the eula.rtf file the installer adds (the content is different, of course). The only substantive difference is I added it rather than the installer. If something this simple and innocous causes "corruption", then frankly, I think there exists a much larger matter....

    Especially given the existence of this text file--in this same location--and by my creation, long before the existence of the v6 family of products.

    But, to be honest, I cannot rule it out, either. Further, now that I have twice had to use the "special" uninstaller, (for .306 and, now .308 ), both installs have been "brand new", so-to-speak. There's essentially nothing to corrupt but the single, actual, installation of each product.

    No. I think something else is at work here. I'll experiment by removing the 'offending' text file and see whether there's any merit to your hypothesis. I'll report back, later.

    Incidentally, but related to the discussion, if the full download were an *.exe file (rather than an *.msi file), I would not require the use of a separate "administrator" account login (that creates an added attack vector on my system, in my opinion), as I could, as earlier stated, use the Run as Administrator feature of my own login.

    Not to mention the fact I'd never encountered this behavior until v6 went final.

    Regards,

    Mike
     
  10. patch

    patch Registered Member

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    Sorry, I think I have not explained myself clearly.
    I believe there are 3 issues
    1) ESET manual un-installer deleting your text file due to it's aggressive cleaning. A solution to which is store the txt file in a non system location. That way you will not loose the text file and ESET can continue to offer a simple but aggressive un-install for the few occasions this should be required.

    2) Avoid using Windows control panel uninstall of ESET as I thought it caused problems with an ESET install, probably due to the self protection the program employs. ESET menu uninstall should be used for routine uninstalls. Their manual uninstall program can them be run if this fails.

    3) The difficulty you are encountering with upgrade over an existing installation is different to my experience. I have found it just works as expected. I always update/install programs from and account with administrator privileges, and with ESS v6 have done (a) incremental update from ESS update screen, (b) update over and existing install using the off line installer (and in the past (c) clean installs, but tended not to use (d) on-line installer). It makes me wonder if your installation has somehow got corrupted (or hardware fault or ESET program incompatibility or concurrent antivirus program incompatibility or virus infection or something else).
    I thought the recommendation was to install over an older version of ESET as it will probably work (provided it is not corrupted or has erroneous configuration), so is often worth trying first as it is typically easier. If you have upgrade problems or the older version had problems on a particular computer, then uninstall followed by a restart and new install was recommended instead.

    Hope I'm explaining my self more clearly now.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2013
  11. agoretsky

    agoretsky Eset Staff Account

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    Hello,

    I am unsure of why you did not receive an email notifying you about my reply—I do receive messages like that from the forum and believe it has to do with a setting in the User Control Panel for the forum software.

    I recall a similar report of an issue, but am unsure of why you are experiencing this particular problem. I was able to install 6.0.308.0 over my current installation of 6.0.306.0 on my Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate Edition SP1 x64 install, so it must be something environmental that is different between our two systems.

    ESET started providing .MSI installers in the 3.0 timeframe (2007, I believe). From what I recall, this decision was based on adopting the trend of using the operating system vendor's framework for installing software, as opposed to writing code to do that.

    ESET uses a major.minor.trivial version numbering scheme with current products. Trivial version updates are announced here on the forum, and via the support news section of our web site, and on social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook. However, ESET does not typically notify customers of these builds as long as they are on a supported version that works correctly in their environment since there's always the risk that installing a new version could introduce instability into a current environment. Trivial versioning/bug fix notifications might go out to customers awaiting a specific fix—that's probably handled on a per-issue or per-customer basis. There's sometimes even a fourth digit used in versioning, but that's typically used for scheduling language editions.

    As stated, I have notified the developers about the ESET Manual Uninstaller removing the text file. No response on that yet, but I have to say this is probably a low-frequency issue. At least, this is the first time I can recall hearing of someone use the directory structure in that fashion.

    Regards,

    Aryeh Goretsky
     
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