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McAfee not working--might be virus, or just hosed?

by joncwriter / May 4, 2009 10:26 AM PDT

First, a few specs: I have an eMachine T3418, running XP, which I've had since mid-2006. I'm updated on all the drivers/add-ons/service pacakges, etc, as far as I know.

This is by far the strangest issue I've had on my PC...especially since this happened AFTER I did my weekly run of McAfee/RegCure/CCleaner/Ad-Aware, et al. The only websites I went to after running them are Amazon, Yahoo, Live Journal, and Facebook. I ran them on Saturday without any issues, but turning on the PC on Sunday, I came into this issue.

McAfee is not running, I can't update it, and I can't reach their website (I keep getting 501 or a 504 error). I can, however, reach other sites such as Norton/Symantec, Ad-Aware, and so on, without any issue. I've run all sorts of virus checking software without any issues and they're not finding anything. I've run CCleaner, RegCure, and I'm currently running Ad-Aware as we speak. I've also run a few programs I downloaded via a different computer to check for Conficker, but they're not finding anything.

I should also add that I have no problems going to any other websites (not to worry, I'm going to ones I know are safe), though both my browsers (IE8 and Firefox) can be a bit slow, and my system has been having a few hung app issues lately as well--not many, but enough to be annoying.

Any ideas/suggestions? Would doing a system restore or even reinstalling the OS help? And are there any downloads/threads here that I might have missed that I can try?

Thanks ahead of time!!

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Just In Case It's Malware
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / May 5, 2009 12:05 AM PDT

PLease download, install, update, then run a full system scan with the free Malwarebytes tool below. Delete anything it finds.

Malwarebytes Antimalware

When that's done, please recognize that running the Regcure program can occasionally cause such problems and if you've got an "undo" option in the program, it might be worth trying..

If nothing else fixes the issue with McAfee, their general instructions are to perform a complete uninstall from Add/Remove Programs, then run their MCPR.exe tool from the link below to completely remove all of McAfee's retail products, then reinstall McAfee. (Since you haven't told us the specific version of McAfee you're using, I'll guess you have a "retail" version of McAfee and NOT their corporate Enterprise version.)

Please note: Clicking on the link below will immediately open the download dialogue window.

Hope this helps.


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by joncwriter / May 5, 2009 3:26 AM PDT

I'll give that a try later this afternoon...

You know, I had a feeling that RegCure may have borked one of the registry keys, so I'll see what I can do.

Thanks again!

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by joncwriter / May 5, 2009 1:14 PM PDT

...MalWare didn't catch anything.

Also, undoing the last RegCure run didn't do anything...and unfortunately it looks like I wouldn't be able to redownload McAfee, since I can't make it to that site. (I got it via the site the first time out, and I don't have any software on disk.)

Any other ideas? At this point I'm thinking of doing a hard drive wipe and reinstalling Windows, I can't think of what else to do... Sad

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While waiting for Grif..
by Carol~ Moderator / May 5, 2009 4:10 PM PDT
In reply to: Unfortunately...


While you're waiting for Grif's return, try scanning with ESET's Online Scanner. There's an 8-page thread at the McAfee Support Forum, titled "Unprotected and can not access any McAfee sites" where some (not all) McAfee user's are reporting a similar problem as yours. In some cases, ESET'S Online Scanner picked up a certain virus, which MBAM was unable to detect. "Secured2k" who works with Grif at the forum, explains his finding here. On the outside chance you're experiencing the same, it wouldn't hurt to scan with it.

ESET Online Scanner - Requires the use of Internet Explorer.
Any further questions can be found reading "ESET Online Scanner-FAQ"

I would highly suggest not trying the various fixes in the thread, without getting input from Grif first!

Best of luck..

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Yep, Carol's Steps Are Good Idea
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / May 6, 2009 10:09 AM PDT
In reply to: Unfortunately...

Generally, if you can't reach the website of an antivirus company, it's and issue with malware..

In addition to the ESET scan mentioned by Carol, there is another good free malware tool that would be worth downloading, installing, updating and running.. See the link below:

SUPERAntispyware Removal Tool

In addition, please check the HOSTS file on your computer as certain malware will place the blocked website there.. The file should be located in the C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\ETC folder.. Open the file named HOSTS (no file extension) by using Notepad.. Check for the McAfee site or other antivirus sites.

Hope this helps.


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