ZoneAlarm 5.1.011 and Windows SP2

Discussion in 'other firewalls' started by Blackspear, Aug 10, 2004.

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  1. Blackspear

    Blackspear Global Moderator

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    Just installed Windows SP2, everything went very smoothly, except after a 2nd reboot (1st one was for SP2), ZoneAlarm FREE will not start and locks solid my system.

    Went into Safe Mode, uninstalled ZA, system starts back up and works great.

    Reinstalled ZA, locks up after reboot, goes to desktop, able to click on a window or program, after that it locks solid, have to hard power off.

    Back into Safe Mode, uninstall ZA, reboot and everything back to normal.

    Any suggestions?

    Cheers :D
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2004
  2. Alec

    Alec Registered Member

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    I have installed WinXP SP2 on a few computers running ZA 5.1.011 without any apparent incident. One thing I think I read in another thread, perhaps on the NOD32 boards, was that you disabled ZA before installing SP2. Contrary to what others may say, DON'T do that. I find that it is actually best to just leave ZA, NOD32, etc. on and running when you install SP2. Why? Because "turning off" or "disabling" items like ZA and NOD32 can mean different things to different people and may leave the program in a somewhat indeterminate state versus just leaving it in the full "on" mode. With popular code like ZA, Microsoft and/or Zone Labs have almost certainly discovered any compatibility issues prior to release. In fact, with ZA installed and running, when you do install SP2 it will note the fact that an alternative firewall is running and will automatically ensure that the built-in firewall is disabled upon first reboot.
     
  3. Blackspear

    Blackspear Global Moderator

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    Thanks for your reply Alec, I still can't get ZA onto my system without it locking it solid, so I have been trying to register on the ZA forum without success so far, they are yet to send confirm email, requested 3 times now, so I can post...

    Cheers :D
     
  4. Alec

    Alec Registered Member

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    Interesting...

    After a few days with SP2 (and ZA 5.1.011) without any problems. I suddenly ran smack dab into a wall during a reboot. I made it through the Graphical Identification and Authentication (GINA) logon sequence, started loading up the user profile/explorer desktop/client tasks/etc. Apparently when it came time to load the zaclient piece (taskbar tray component) the machine just froze. No blue screen, no app error, just a lockup.

    After booting into safe mode and turning off the TrueVector Internet Monitor service plus editing out the zaclient from the auto run location in the registry, I rebooted my machine and it was working again. Hmm... I thought. What's up with that. It was just working. So on a hunch I loaded up Control Panel | Security Center and -- lo and behold! -- the Windows Firewall had somehow been activated when I know that I had never turned it on! I turned it off, re-enabled ZA (TrueVector and zaclient), rebooted, and -- bingo! --everthing was working again.

    The other odd thing was that I use the SysInternal's "Autoruns" utility to quickly move things in and out of HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run as well as other locations. Anyway, the normal AutorunsDisabled subkey had disappeared somehow during the same reboot as triggered the lockup. Apparently, and I'm only guessing, something must have triggered a registry repair process or registry rollback or something like that. I can't explain the Windows Firewall spontaneously activating and the AutorunsDisabled disappearing any other way. I'm a little nervous that a few other unbeknownst registry modications have occurred. I will not be happy about that. But I haven't noticed any other significant problem, YET. I don't think it was virus or malware activity. I have run a couple of AV programs with a clean bill of health. I may disable the Security Center service, I'm a little nervous that it triggered the whole problem somehow by thinking that a firewall wasn't on (when ZA was in fact on) and perhaps it auto activated the internal Windows Firewall. Just speculation, but something suspicious happened.

    Anyway, maybe some of the above can help you or others, Blackspear. ;)
     
  5. Blackspear

    Blackspear Global Moderator

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    Good to see it just wasn't happening with me ;)

    I have 4.5 running at the moment, a few niggly problems, not remembering programs that are allowed access to the internet. I have 5.1011 running on another System, so far so good, but we will see.

    Cheers :D
     
  6. tazdevl

    tazdevl Registered Member

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    Best thing to is stick to 4.5 for the time being. My bet is that ZA will continue to have issues until they get to 5.5, which is supposedly in alpha at the moment.

    I do hope ZA fired the product manager that handled ZA 5 development, testing and release. This has been a pretty bad, buggy release.

    The other thing to remember is that other than AV checking and a couple other minor enhancements, there doesn't seem to be any appreciable increase in security for version 5.xx.
     
  7. JRosenfeld

    JRosenfeld Registered Member

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    This is what the ZA forum gurus suggest:

    When you have successfully downloaded the updates by using Automatic Update or the standalone file and ready to install them, disconnect from the internet and close Zone Alarm (its advisable not to disable it from startup so that Win Xp can detect it and monitor it). You should also make a System Restore Checkpoint right now (one will also be created during the installation of SP2). Shut down any other programs you have on also(especially antivirus programs) and install the service pack.

    After you finish installing the service pack, disable Windows Firewall if its somehow not disabled yet (but allow them to monitor the presence of a 3rd-party firewall). You will probably recieve alerts about changed programs trying to access the internet. Check your program permissions to ensure that everything is correct. By allowing Windows to monitor ZA, it will monitor that ZA is working and will notify you if ZA does not work for some reason (much like the anti-virus monitoring found in ZA). Windows Firewall will also switch on automatically if ZA is switched off by the user or switch off for some other reason(due to viruses and bugs).

    Take note that any ZA that is below version 5.1 is offically not supported by ZL to work on Win XP SP2. If you want to continue to use any versions of ZA prior to 5.1, you do have to manually disable Windows Firewall and check "I have a firewall solution that I'll monitor myself" option because SP2 can't detect it. However if you should run into any other problems with SP2, post here in the forums and the guru and other contributers will try to help you out as best as we can. Take note that when Win XP is set to this option, it does not monitor ZA anymore. If ZA should shut down for some reason, Windows XP will not switch on its firewall automatically. This leaves you very vulnerable if you don't manually switch on Win XP Firewall.
     
  8. mercurie

    mercurie A Friendly Creature

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    I really am afraid to even ask this. I can hear the laughter before I even post.

    Tell me why I should not uninstall my expiring Zone Alarm 4.5 Pro and just use SP2 Firewall with BoClean and a good Anti-Virus like NOD32. I hear that even though NOD is no substitute for a Firewall it monitors traffic to a certain degree. Oh yea, I forgot one important detail I am behind a Wireless Router Firewall as well.

    Don't anybody laugh to hard, but I look forward to seeing your thoughts :doubt:
     
  9. Blackspear

    Blackspear Global Moderator

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    No laughter, it's a valid question, the XP firewall does not alert to outgoing access, with ZA it is visual, you are warned what is attempting to gain internet access from your computer.

    Hope this helps...

    Cheers :D
     
  10. tazdevl

    tazdevl Registered Member

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    and modified dlls
     
  11. Alec

    Alec Registered Member

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    This is the part that I think may have caused my problems. For whatever reason, the Security Center process must have thought ZA failed or closed out and automatically activated the internal Windows Firewall. On my system, as I suspect on most, if both ZA and Windows Firewall try to load... I get a hung system. So if Security Center, in its wisdom, decides to activate the Windows Firewall you can get screwed. At least that is my suspicion based upon my recent experiences.

    I have switched both the "Security Center" service and the "Windows Firewall / Internet Connection Sharing (ICS)" service to manual. I can do without the "nanny-ing" that Security Center provides. I have a stateful packet inspection hardware firewall in front of my system and accordingly I get very few, if any, real incoming threats on ZA. I really only have ZA to verify outbound attempted traffic. The internal Windows Firewall is pretty much next to useless to me in that regard. I would rather take the chance that ZA fails on the rare occassion, than to have the Windows Firewall activate on a reboot along with ZA and lock my system up.
     
  12. Peaches4U

    Peaches4U Registered Member

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    even if your year of updates is expiring - i noted that when updates occur, ZA includes all versions. i would not scrap it as it gives far more protection than any freebie will and u will still be able to update.
     
  13. Luke86

    Luke86 Registered Member

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    Is the SP2 really worth the trouble?
    would it be easier to disable your 3rd party firewall and install SP2? Because it has a built in firewall does it?
     
  14. Blackspear

    Blackspear Global Moderator

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    This was posted above:
    The XP Firewall is a bit pointless really, if you are not alerted to outgoing access...

    Cheers :D
     
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