What’s going on with CA Antivirus?

I had the recent opportunity to restore my system, recently (it was trashed and I had to reinstall XP). Being smart, I immediately added CA Antivirus after installing XP. I updated the antivirus and moved on reinstalling my programs.

Everything worked fine until I went to install the software for my HP C6180. I kept receiving the error:

L:\setup\hpzopt01.exe -I ENU -f C:\windows\hpoinsll.dat -Validate No. -w

The setup program contacted HP which led me to a web page with instructions that did not help. Exasperated, I remember that the instructions indicated that I may have to disable my antivirus. My previous antivirus did not interfere with the HP setup program, so it did not occur to me right away.

At this point, I will warn you to unplug from the Internet prior to disabling your antivirus. You can do this by simply unplugging your DSL from your phone line or disabling your wireless connection.

I disabled the antivirus. In CA, you do this by right-clicking the icon in the tray and selecting CA Antivirus—>Snooze Antivirus Protection. XP and CA will complain, but if you are not connected to the Internet, you should be all right.

I ran the HP Set up, again, and received the same error. This time, I disabled the firewall, even though I did not recall that in the HP instructions. In CA, this is accomplished by right-clicking the icon and selecting CA Personal Firewall—>Disable Personal Firewall.

I ran the setup program and it went through fine.

I had another recent problem with CA antivirus that I document here.

When I went to install another program, I received the error:

unInstall Shield is in use. Please close UnInstall Shield and restart setup. Error 432.

After some research, I found that I had to go to the Windows directory, and delete a file, I believe, was called UnInstallShield.exe. When I ran the program again, I received the error:

Setup is unable to find a hard disk location to store temporary files. Make at least 958 KB free disk space. Error 101.

Again, I did some research. Apparently Error 101 is one of the popular Windows errors, but I never received it before. There were theories that it was linked to Administrator privilege issues and corrupt registries. I will note, also, that the whole reason I had to restore the system is that I took a hit. Wordperfect would not print and I could not access the hard drives with the Administrator tools because the system said that I did not have administrator privileges. That was not the fault of CA or Microsoft, by the way. And you will rarely here me say that about Microsoft. I accidentally exposed myself—Computer wise, that is.

Again, I returned to CA and disabled the antivirus. Sure enough, the setup ran fine.

Now, I am sure that Norton and some of the other antivirus give similar troubles. But I used CA a few years ago and it was a real good piece of software. I only quite because I could not get their computers to take my credit card information to renew the program. I returned to it recently hoping that it had improved.

The biggest problem I have with it is the same problem that I have with Firefox “improvements.” These software companies are trying to create dumbed-down, no-think software. They are removing controls that I found useful as if to say Don’t worry about it. Just trust us. That kind of software is fine for people who do not want to think. Since support for many pieces of software today consist of forums where you might have to dig for hours, that is not an option. I like to see what the software is doing so that I can resolve the problem myself or, at least, give an intelligent answer to those support systems that might actually employee human beings.

For example, with Firefox—as I pointed out in another article—I liked the Clear Privacy Data feature that I could click to clear the cache while surfing. I found that useful because I had to do that with some sites using Flashplayer. I liked, when I closed Firefox, for it to ask me if I wanted to clear the privacy data. It reminded me to do so and that gave me, perhaps falsely, a sense of security. It never failed me, however.

With CA, I keep getting a message on how good it is defending me and that it blocked however many incoming links. What incoming links? I cannot find a list of them. First of all, I like to be able to block all ports except those I use to connect to the Internet; Port 80, Port 25, and so on. There is no control for that, that I can find, in CA. I would like you to tell me exactly what ports are being utilized and, if possible, by whom. Give me the chance to shut them down.

Second, I set up to do a scan once a day at a specific time. The antivirus keeps popping up whenever it pleases. Though I will say, to CA’s credit, that it does not drag the rest of the system down terribly. While it runs, I generally can still continue to work. I did the same for updates, limiting it to once a day, but I still get an updating message about once an hour. Again, it does not drag the system down, but it is annoying.

By the way, the CA Toolbar does not work with Firefox 3.5.4.

Software companies should remember that this is my computer, not yours. I realize, according to the EUA, that I am merely licensing your software, but let me have a shot at using my computer, okay?

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