Why does PCtools FW freezes?

Discussion in 'other firewalls' started by Jose_Lisbon, Feb 5, 2010.

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  1. Jose_Lisbon

    Jose_Lisbon Registered Member

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    Hi all.

    What I'm going to describe happened 3 times, one of them after a clean Windows install.

    I downloaded the FW from the main site. Installed it, rebooted, started to get familiar with the GUI and... everything just froze. No comands would work. Not even ctrl/alt/delete. I had to unplug the power cable.

    Anyone has any idea of why this happens? I know I'm not the only one with this problem, but I'm yet to find an answer.

    Any help will be apreciated.
    Regards,
    Jose.

    AMD Dual-Core RM-70, 2.0 ghz, Vista sp2, 32-Bit, 3 GB RAM, NVIVIA GeForce 8200M G, Compaq Presario CQ-60
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2010
  2. 0strodamus

    0strodamus Registered Member

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    Before you go crazy chasing down software as the cause of your freezes, I would run a memory scan with Memtest86+. There's nothing more aggravating than spending hours troubleshooting what appears to be a software issue only to find out it's a bad memory module. Unfortunately, I know from experience. :'(
     
  3. Jose_Lisbon

    Jose_Lisbon Registered Member

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    Thanks for the answer but you didn't read my post properly.

    One of the attempts was made after a clean windows install.

    I'll give you my steps: OS install. Uninstall Norton IS with Norton removal tool. Install MSE (both Norton RT and MSE installed with USB pen). Connect to the net. Install Windows updates (hours). Download and install PCtools FW.

    So... when I installed the FW my machine was clean and proper. And what I would like to know is where the conflict is. But I know it is with PCtools because I'm not the only with this issue.

    Regards,
    Jose.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2010
  4. whitedragon551

    whitedragon551 Registered Member

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    Bad ram would effect even a clean install. Get and run Memtest86. You may also consider checking your HD for failure using Seagate Seatools.
     
  5. 0strodamus

    0strodamus Registered Member

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    You're welcome. I did read your post properly. I saw that one of your attempts was made after a clean Windows install. That is what prompted the thought that this may be something other than software causing the lockups.

    It takes much less effort to run a simple memory test than to spend hours uninstalling and reinstalling software and Operating Systems, but that's your call to make.

    One thing that doesn't make sense in your second post is how you ended up with Norton IS on your system after your OS install. Are these steps not in chronological order?

    If the issue is indeed PCTools Firewall, I'm afraid I'm not going to be able to provide much help. It's running on 2 systems here without any problems. The main differences to what you're running is the OS is XP and the A/V is avast! 5 on both systems.

    Good luck. I hope you get things sorted out.
     
  6. whitedragon551

    whitedragon551 Registered Member

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    If its an OEM disc NIS may come pre-installed.

    But I too have it installed on my laptop with ESET NOD32 with no issues.
     
  7. 0strodamus

    0strodamus Registered Member

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    Thanks for bringing that to my attention. I've never used any OEM recovery discs, so I didn't even think of it. I always build my own systems (other than my netbook and that got reformatted right out of the box). :)
     
  8. Jose_Lisbon

    Jose_Lisbon Registered Member

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    Yes, it's an OEM with Norton IS preinstalled.

    I don't quite understand what a memory test is, but it smells like registry cleaner, it smells snake oil.

    On a clean system a software should install cleanly. if it doesn't it's most probably the software's fault. And that's what I'm trying to understand. PCtools forums have not been very clarifying yet.

    To Derelict and whitedragon: my grateful thanks, and keep me informed of anything that you may think of/know, please.

    Regards,
    Jose.


    P.S. I'm a current user of Comodo (no AV) but I'm not confortable with the upcoming V4. Thay's why I'm looking for an alternative; and I quite like PCtools FW. Except for its compatibility issues...
     
  9. whitedragon551

    whitedragon551 Registered Member

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    Are you trying to use it on XP x64 by chance?
     
  10. Jose_Lisbon

    Jose_Lisbon Registered Member

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    Vista sp2, 32-bit (check my first post)


    This is a common situation with PCtools FW. And that annoys me a bit (a lot).
    Online Armor has issues as well; Windows sometimes doesn't recognise its digital signatures (and that's OA's fault. The manufacturer has to adapt to the OS and not the opposite). But I couldn't care less about OA. I'd rather stay with Comodo.

    What I want is to install PCtools.. but I can't.

    Thanks for the answer,
    Jose.
     
  11. whitedragon551

    whitedragon551 Registered Member

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    I know someone recently was having issues with PCTools FW. Turns out they were on XP x64 and its only XP x86 compatible.

    Have you checked event viewer at all in the admin tools or tried to update PCTools FW with the built in update option?

    Also you dont have any AV suites with firewalls enabled? Maybe windows firewall is still enabled?
     
  12. Jose_Lisbon

    Jose_Lisbon Registered Member

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    The download was the right one (Vista X86) and I turned Windows FW off before installing.

    The issue is with PCtools.


    Thanks again for the attention.
    Jose.
     
  13. 0strodamus

    0strodamus Registered Member

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    A memory test is not snake oil. It is a hardware diagnostic. Hardware does fail sometimes and running a diagnostic test can only help confirm or deny that. MemTest86+ is a bootable CD that simply writes / reads various data to / from your memory. You really should read up on what it does if you're still suspicious. Don't be afraid to venture into new territory. If I was misleading you, another attentive member here would jump all over this and let you know.

    This is almost correct. If on a clean system, software doesn't install cleanly, it is time to start looking at your hardware. How do you know that your hardware is clean? The only way to be certain is to run a hardware diagnostic test. This is a good practice to get into, especially with RAM. That includes brand new RAM whether purchased separately or preinstalled. Better to know you have a bad DIMM when it's still returnable, then to find out after the RMA period expires.

    I hope your problems with PCTools are indeed a software incompatibility. It would be shame if you have a flakey DIMM and it prevents you from using what is a very nice firewall.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2010
  14. Woody777

    Woody777 Registered Member

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    It is probably not a hardware problem. I have used this firewall in the past. Yes indeed sometimes PCTFW slows down the computer or may lock up windows & it has for a long time as I recall. The strange thing is sometimes it installs properly & it works great. This has occurred for the past few builds. Even stranger is the fact that sometimes it just plain will not install or if it does its not visible on the desktop. I don't know if it works or not. The last build sported new drivers ostensibly to prevent the kind of problems you are having. I have had success by simply running every registry cleaner I have on hand deleting empty folders of security apps that I used in the past. Removing the Fw & reinstalling a few times till it starts working. My thoughts are that if this FW is locking up Windows I personally would not run it. I would stick iwth the one that is working. Its not as good as Comodo anyway in my opinion.
     
  15. Jose_Lisbon

    Jose_Lisbon Registered Member

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    I run the memory test and nothing was wrong. Thanks for the tip Derelict.

    I tried once more to install this bloody thing. It froze again. But, quite by chance, the mouse arrow was on top of the FW tray icon and... it was working. The only comand on the whole system that responded!!!

    I right clicked it, disabled the FW and... My PC was back.
    I rebooted and things went smoothly. PCtools was working, Task Manager showed the usual stuf, Security center reported the FW as enabled.

    This was about 8 hours ago. Things are still OK. But the question is: can I trust, to protect me, on a software that was such a nightmare just to install? The answer is NO!

    I'll go back to Comodo and hope that V4, when it cames, will not be the bloat that I'm affraid it will be.


    To all that posted in this thread my most grateful thanks.

    Jose.
     
  16. Woody777

    Woody777 Registered Member

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    That is exactly the kind of thing I was Describing. If it seemed to start to work it probably is working. The reason I gave up on this light firewall is that I did not have great confidence that it would protect me. More to the point does it pick up the Loopback 127.0.0.1. Online Armor does, Comodo does. If Pctfw does not you are depending on your Antivirus to protect you & not necessarily your firewall.
     
  17. Zeena

    Zeena Registered Member

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    Hi :)


    In PC Tools Firewall Plus settings.. Turn OFF - Enhanced Security Verification ;)

    Many people have problems with - ESV :rolleyes:

    Zeena
     
  18. whitedragon551

    whitedragon551 Registered Member

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    Good thing your opinion doesnt matter. According to Matousecs HIPs testing with this firewall it scored a perfect 100% as well as did Comodo, but OA scored under both of them.
     
  19. Woody777

    Woody777 Registered Member

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    There is more to Firewalls than HIPS. Mostly I gave up on this FW for other reasons than HIPS. Yes it has Great HIPS but it has to work also. Locking up computers no GUI Freezing. By the way does it pick up the LOOPBACK I'm not sure it does one way or the other. From what I can see using TCP view connections go right through the LoopBACK.
     
  20. Pedro

    Pedro Registered Member

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    Last time i tried it, you had to configure it to intercept loopback.
     
  21. Jose_Lisbon

    Jose_Lisbon Registered Member

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    We can discuss ad nauseum the particularities of this or that FW. And it is an interesting and enlightening argument.

    But if a particular product proves itself effective enough one needs to ask for the basics; and those are: does it install and works properly on most machines?

    And here is the problem with PC Tools FW. It is a buggy piece of software. Not even the GUI is polished.
    You simply can not trust a software that shows so unreliable in its installation and use.
     
  22. Pedro

    Pedro Registered Member

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    I just tried it, and either i remembered wrong, confused it with some other firewall, or they removed it. Or it's buried. Or you have to enable it per application. Or whatever, VM is gone.
     
  23. smage

    smage Registered Member

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    Hi

    Just disable ESV and all problems will be solved. This firewall has always been buggy for me.
     
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