I've had "fun" with McAfee Antivirus today and I thought I'd share my experiences in case I wasn't alone in this. I was asked by a customer to sort out a PC of theirs which had become infected with viruses, trojans and whatnot, and was sending out loads of emails. Said PC (behind a NAT router on ADSL) was running McAfee Antivirus 8 and McAfee Security Center and when I asked them to check, they said McAfee Activesheld wasn't running and wouldn't restart either. The virus signature files were dated some time in March 2005 and there were errors in the system log (Windows XP Pro, but only on SP1) suggesting that DCOM was having trouble running the McAfee update service. I told them to get hold of Stinger and run it, which stopped the emails being sent, then I told them to run the Trend online scan to clean out the rest of the crap, which worked fine. Then the real fun began. I told them to put the McAfee AV CD in and re-install MAV, which they tried but it kept stopping with an error to the effect that the version on the PC was newer than the version on the CD, so that failed. They were then referred to the McAfee web site where they were told to go to My Account and get the latest MAV v8 from there. Fine, except that they didn't have a clue what their login was for their account and when they tried the alternative .NET login on the McAfee site, they were led around in concentric circles until they gave up. So I checked the McAfee support stuff online and, sure enough, they did have to get the latest MAV from the web site and not install the MAV from the CD, otherwise they'd lose their registration details from that PC and would have to pay again. According to McAfee. Except that they had a completely legal version of MAV on CD which wouldn't install and no idea of the My Account login because their MAV had been set up by another company who also had no idea what their McAfee My Account login ought to be. OK, time to get radical, I decided, so I told them to uninstall McAfee from the PC and re-install it from the CD which would hopefully give them real-time protection back again. That was the theory, anyway. So they removed MAV successfully from said PC and re-installed it from the CD, giving them a now working MAV, but virus signatures from some time in 2003. So they clicked on "Update" and... were taken to the McAfee web site and asked to login to My Account in order to download the latest virus signatures. They were starting to get a bit bored with this stupid game, as was I. Then a clever idea entered my head and I directed them to www.softpedia.com from where they downloaded the latest McAfee SuperDAT signatures file. Great, almost there, or so I thought. No way, said McAfee - when they ran the SuperDAT file, it aborted with a "No qualifying products" message. At this point, our resolve collapsed in a heap and we were totally demoralised. And I can honestly say that I was overjoyed that I had left the McAfee fan club some 5 years ago to join the ranks of happy users of other antivirus products. So the next step was obvious. I got them to remove McAfee and download an AV of their choice (well, my choice, but I let them think they made it), and lo and behold, not 10 minutes later we had a fully protected (against virus attack) PC thanks to Kaspersky and their 30 day trial of KAV which will soon turn into 3 licenses per annum ongoing, and a similar loss to Network Associates. Now I can't help feeling a sense of wonder here, that someone with a legally purchased antivirus product, and a leading one at that, has not only found their PC riddled with virus infections that shouldn't have happened, and then totally unable to re-install the product that they had bought from the CD that they had bought. And then, when they eventually did install the product from the CD they had bought, they were unable to use it because it refused to update and McAfee have hidden everything useful behind mandatory logins, so that even if you download the freeware SuperDAT file from Softpedia (because McAfee don't have it accessible to the general public on their web site...), you can't use it in an emergency because the legal product from their legal CD isn't a qualifying product. Or do I have unrealistic expectations here? My own feeling is that McAfee have completely lost sight of their customers' needs, but I feel I need a reality check from somewhere.