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PC Slowdown from Windows XP & AT&T McAfee updates

by randyisin / March 16, 2014 12:58 PM PDT

FYI - I have recently seen 4 PC's whose users complained of extremely slow performance. In EVERY case, the user was an AT&T U-verse or DSL customer running Windows XP and AT&T's McAfee download. All the users were up-to-date with service pack 3.
Each system ran as though there were two anti-virus packages running simultaneously on the desktops.
After checking temp internet files, fragmentation, error checking the hard drive, and doing system file checks, and seeing no improvement, I simply removed the installed McAfee product and reinstalled it to fix the problem.

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True.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 16, 2014 1:44 PM PDT

Here we switched to another antivirus. Some can't do that?
Bob

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It's McAfee
by Jimmy Greystone / March 16, 2014 11:30 PM PDT

It's McAfee. I have never before seen such a horrendously inefficient program. Seriously. I had a part-time job one time helping out a small college department where the campus had a site license for McAfee. We did some quick and dirty benchmarks and found we could get about a 33% throughput increase on network transfers just by disabling McAfee.

Put another way: When Intel said it was retiring the McAfee brand, John McAfee, the guy who created it and founded the company with his name on it, was quoted as saying he couldn't be happier that his name would no longer be associated with that steaming pile. That's a bit of a paraphrase, but the basic sentiment is very much true to what he said.

There are plenty of free after rebate scams for AV products, not to mention a couple of pretty respectable freeware AV programs. Do these people a favor and move them to one of those. Personally I'd avoid Norton since every few months, for like the past 11-12 years, they have a rash of false-positive issues that end up deleting some crucial system file. I'd actually do those people one better and if they won't buy a new computer to get off XP before support ends in less than a month, move them to Linux. It's going to be open season on anyone stupid enough to still be running XP after MS pulls the plug early next month.

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AT&T Uverse and DSL provide McAfee FREE to subscribers
by randyisin / March 17, 2014 3:35 AM PDT
In reply to: It's McAfee

The main reason AT&T users use McAfee is that it is a FREE download and FREE updates as long as you are a customer. Most are just using AT&T for email, MS Word, and MS Excel.
Unfortunately, the users I described are also senior citizens who are short of funds these days, especially given this crappy economy - and never-ending tax increases on property and services!

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And free beer is often not so tasty.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 17, 2014 3:50 AM PDT

There are other free antivirus systems so why not stop and pick out a better tasting beer today?
Bob

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Then consider Linux
by Jimmy Greystone / March 17, 2014 11:25 AM PDT

Then consider Linux. After which your primary concern would be phishing scams and the like. If they're just doing very basic things like web browsing and email, odds are it'd be a very simple matter to convert them over to Linux. You could start by migrating them to Firefox and Thunderbird or or Chrome if they're using some web based email system. Give them a little time to get acclimated to that, then you can swap out the OS and just keep them using the same web browser and email client, so as far as they're concerned, virtually nothing has changed aside from the splash screen at bootup and their computers run a bit faster.

Linux is free (libre and gratis) save the cost of downloading it and a blank DVD or USB flash drive to install it. On older XP machines I'd go the DVD route, since support for booting off USB might be pretty hit or miss on those systems. So assuming you have access to a DVD burner, it's one blank DVD, a couple hours of your time (probably less than you spent on the tasks you mentioned in your first post). Firefox, Thunderbird and Chrome are all also freely downloaded and probably come with any Linux distribution, so you just have to worry about updating to the latest version.

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