Process Guard Free - Problems and Feedback

Discussion in 'ProcessGuard' started by Paranoid2000, Jun 8, 2004.

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  1. Paranoid2000

    Paranoid2000 Registered Member

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    I decided to install Process Guard Free on my system (Windows 2000 SP4 running F-Prot, NAV2002, Outpost, SSM, Tauscan, WindowBlinds, WindowFX, CursorXP, Synaptics touchpad drivers, Logitech mouse driver) and encountered a number of issues, a couple of which I would consider significant.

    First, the most serious problem:

    Execution Protection The prompt to allow/block a new process uses a separate desktop preventing access to any other tasks until it is answered. Unfortunately, with Execution Protection enabled, running as a non-admin user on my system would bring this prompt up without any mouse cursor (this happens with CursorXP running - disabling it avoids the problem). This makes it virtually impossible to reply to the prompt and since it can't be Alt-Tabbed out, powering off the system is the only way out. This prompt needs keyboard shortcuts - either standard Alt keys or a function key like SSM.

    The inability to access the normal desktop also blocks any attempt to use Windows Explorer to check the details of the file in question - I would suggest either including these (the information in the Properties/Version dialog specifically) or adding a "Details" button to provide this.

    Other issues...

    Procguard only runs under the Administrator user Running this as a non-administrator results in 5-second pause then the following message "Error: Please make sure Process Guard is installed correctly before continuing". It works normally when run as Administrator but would then allow anyone else using the PC to use it to access a command prompt window with Admin access.

    Human verification An excellent idea which many other programs should adopt, however it does make PG unusable for those visually-impaired users who rely on screen readers. Please consider offering an alternative option (a speech add-on that reads out the letters would seem a good choice).

    Procguard Interface Well... ick. I don't understand why some developers think the WinXP style of menus is so cool that it should be retro-fitted to Win2K systems. :( PG is not the only offender - but it does make it incompatible with utilities that change Windows' appearance globally (e.g. WindowBlinds) which is a pain. Please consider offering a "standard" UI as an option. Also, although the free version reports an error when selecting a colour scheme, shutting down and restarting Procguard brings it up in that chosen colour scheme. No big deal, but probably unintended.

    Program Checksums This could benefit from 2 features - adding a program (and the Allow/Block setting) manually plus the option to remove obsolete entries (programs that have been deleted).

    Overall, I appreciate that there are issues specific to my system and software configuration (and thanks for providing a free version to allow people to test this), but PG does seem to have some wrinkles I would like to see resolved before committing to a full version. I hope this helps.
     
  2. nick s

    nick s Registered Member

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    I had the same problem with CursorXP and PG versions 1.3 (beta driver) and up. Occasionally, XP would load with no "visible" mouse cursor. What I mean by visible is that (for me at least) the mouse's functionality (click, right-click, hover, navigate, etc.) is still there even though the cursor is not. When in the PG desktop, move your mouse around, and, sooner or later, you will "highlight" the Allow and other buttons. Clicking on them will still work. No need to power off.

    Still an irritating bug, so I don't run CursorXP anymore.

    Nick
     
  3. Paranoid2000

    Paranoid2000 Registered Member

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    Unfortunately this is not a realistic workaround for me - I have a high-resolution (1600x1200) display and need the larger cursors (plus enhanced shadowing) of CursorXP to avoid losing the darn thing :) - and this means the PG execution prompt window takes up a far smaller part of the desktop making the "blind click" approach more impractical.

    However thanks for confirming this as a known problem.
     
  4. Gavin - DiamondCS

    Gavin - DiamondCS Former DCS Moderator

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    Press ALT - F4 instead, which will result in a BLOCK

    ..Ask CursorXP developers to correct the problem with desktop switching ;)

    Procguard.EXE only runs for administrators, but you dont need to reconfigure the system once its set up - and you dont need it running to be protected..
     
  5. Paranoid2000

    Paranoid2000 Registered Member

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    Thanks for that info, any chance of the other options being covered also? There are situations where control of the mouse pointer can be lost for other reasons (like mouse driver global hooks being blocked by PG...).
     
  6. Paranoid2000

    Paranoid2000 Registered Member

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    Out of curiosity, why is this a CursorXP issue rather than a ProcessGuard issue? On the Windows logon screen, CursorXP does revert back to a "standard" cursor so why is the ProcessGuard secure desktop screen different?
     
  7. Jason_DiamondCS

    Jason_DiamondCS Former DCS Moderator

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    The Process Guard desktop is just a standard desktop that is created AFTER the main ones are. CursorXP is designed to work with the standard "desktops", ie the Logon one, the main one, screensaver one. It seems it isn't designed to cope with any other desktop created, as such it is a CursorXP problem, you can ask the developers themselves to confirm it.

    The new button code that has been developed for TDS-4 will be used in the next ProcessGuard build, and that has keyboard support, etc.
     
  8. Tatersalad

    Tatersalad Registered Member

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    I have this problem as well with cursorXP.
    All you have to do is hit Ctrl+Shift+C to disable cursorXP.
    That will make visible the standard windows cursor so you can interact with the PG window. Hitting Ctrl+Shift+C starts cursor XP again.
     
  9. Paranoid2000

    Paranoid2000 Registered Member

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    Thanks for posting that Tatersalad, hopefully others will find it useful. :)
     
  10. notageek

    notageek Registered Member

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    I find it useful. Now I can use PG again without the cursor disappearing. ;)
     
  11. Paranoid2000

    Paranoid2000 Registered Member

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    On a related note, why does the Execution Protection prompt require a separate desktop? Using this rather than a prompt dialog on the standard desktop does make it impossible to do anything else before answering the prompt (like checking program details via Windows Explorer - or doing a Google search on an unfamiliar process name).
     
  12. Jason_DiamondCS

    Jason_DiamondCS Former DCS Moderator

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    We have taken in all user feedback for the next version, taking it in a step which we hope is easier to use.

    So without giving away too much, the next version works across user sessions (not the administrative configure utility though), plus doesn't switch to a new desktop anymore.
     
  13. Paranoid2000

    Paranoid2000 Registered Member

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    Thanks for the update Jason - looking forward to seeing it... :)
     
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