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Can't turn on McAfee antivirus and malware protection


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#1 saluqi

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Posted 06 September 2015 - 02:21 PM

Brand new Dell XPS 8700, just set up yesterday.  Came with 1 year subscription to McAfee Internet Security.  Now I get message that McAfee is temporarily snoozed, and am having no success turning it on.  That means the computer has been sitting online since yesterday evening with no protection.  Thoughts unprintable, what in the world are these folks thinking?



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#2 MoxieMomma

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Posted 06 September 2015 - 02:46 PM

Hi:

 

Cleanly uninstalling McAfee (with the removal tool) and replacing it with a different security product is one of the first things I do with a new Dell system (after I get all the necessary Windows updates/patches).

 

But until someone smarter comes along:

  • Check system date and time?
  • Reboot?
  • Does McAfee need to be ACTIVATED somehow?
  • Check the documentation that came with the system?
  • Call Dell (since it is a brand new system and under warranty)?

Hope this helps.

 

MM



#3 saluqi

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Posted 06 September 2015 - 03:06 PM

Removing McAfee and installing Avast Internet Security is what I have done with the 3 previous Dell computers I've handled recently.  Guess I will have to do that here too.  I've tried to open/activate McAfee all possible ways - if I take it from the "all programs" menu item I get as far as being asked do I want to let McAfee change things on the computer, but then poof! nothing.  When I open the security page it says McAfee is "temporarily snoozing" and nothing I can do will change that.  I will have one more try to activate the McAfee (have to do that before removal anyway . . .



#4 saluqi

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Posted 06 September 2015 - 03:38 PM

It gets worse.  I downloaded the MCPR tool, and the install for Avast Free Antivirus (emergency measure, I already have an Avast account on another machine and want to upgrade it to 3 machines, Avast already owes me money for their inept sales contractor's double and triple billing).  Tried to uninstall McAfee using Programs and Features.  It won't let me do that, says "Navigation to that page has been canceled.".  Stone wall.

 

I think this computer may have been so long on the shelf at COSTCO that the McAfee license expired.  When I try to open the McAfee program, nothing happens.  Now when I try to remove McAfee, I can't.  

 

EDIT

The date on the McAfee folders is 8/20/2014 so I presume the installation has expired.  I bought this computer maybe a month ago but did not have time to set it up until yesterday.  I tried running mcupdate.exe directly, but that doesn't work either (it won't run).


Edited by saluqi, 06 September 2015 - 03:55 PM.


#5 MoxieMomma

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Posted 06 September 2015 - 03:58 PM

If it is under warranty, my first thought would be to contact Dell.

I have been pleasantly surprised by my last Tech Support contact with them a few weeks ago (first time in a long time and much better than previous contacts).

Having said that, I have always purchased my Dell boxes directly from them, not from a retailer (though I'm not sure that would matter).

 

Second thought would be the McAfee forum HERE.

As a McAfee survivor myself, I can say that their software can be a PITB to cleanly uninstall, sometimes requiring use of the MCPR tool more than once (and sometimes even running it in Windows Safe Mode to get all the leftovers).

 

ALSO, IMPORTANT:

 

Announcement:MCPR (McAfee Consumer Product Removal Tool) Has Changed
  • by Ex_Brit (March 2, 2015)

The web address for MCPR has changed so any direct download links in old posts lead to the old one.   McAfee is endeavouring to amend the old download link to point to the new application.  The regular FAQ on this has just been updated as of 5 February, 2015.  http://service.mcafee.com/faqdocument.aspx?id=TS101331&lang=en-US  Here is the direct download link for the newest MCPR tool.  http://us.mcafee.com/apps/supporttools/mcpr/mcpr.asp    BETA software users: please refer to links in the private Beta Group for your version.  https://community.mcafee.com/groups/mcafee-total-protection-beta    Expired products such as Anti-Theft may require the help of Technical Support .   http://service.mcafee.com/

 

I definitely would NOT try to install Avast or any other AV until McAfee has been completely removed, though.

 

Hope this helps,



#6 saluqi

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Posted 06 September 2015 - 05:23 PM

The direct download link for the MCPR tool gave me a DNS error.  I think however I already have the current one.

 

My previous experience with Dell support was farcical (and recorded on one of the forums here, I no longer remember which one).  They referred me to a third party support company which installed a "support tool" that found hundreds of "serious problems" on my computer (i checked them out, all fake or irrelevant).  They wanted to take control of my computer and "fix everything".  I kept a record of those conversations, they are good for laughs (but they wasted nearly two days of my time . . .)

 

Nevertheless I will give them a try.

 

The difficulties of cleanly uninstalling McAfee (and Norton) are legendary.  Too many years ago I worked in a systems house when Norton was practically the only game in town.  How things have changed!

 

I do know about not installing any AV system until all traces of any previous one have been removed.



#7 MoxieMomma

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Posted 06 September 2015 - 05:38 PM

Hi:

 

That's odd -- the links work OK for me.

 

I'm not sure why it would be so hard to uninstall the OEM McAfee software on a new Dell box.

Have you tried running the removal tool in Windows Safe Mode.

 

Perhaps this has something to do with it?

 

 

Expired products such as Anti-Theft may require the help of Technical Support .   http://service.mcafee.com/

 

Yes, Dell support quality has waxed and waned over the years.

The story you relate sounds more like some sort of scam, as I've never been shunted to a 3rd-party support provider, let alone one that found many unrelated issues on the computer. That seems pretty suspicious.

 

My recent contact was to an offshore support center, but it was Dell Premium Warranty Support.  The agent spoke perfect English, let me drive on the remote session, had a logical approach to the hardware issue, and resolved the hardware problem efficiently and correctly.  YMMV, of course.

 

But, again, if it is a new system, under warranty, with OEM McAfee software installed at the factory by Dell, then it would seem logical to contact either Dell or McAfee, if standard troubleshooting isn't working?

 

I am just a home user.  So perhaps the more expert folks here will have some other ideas.

 

Sorry I couldn't help.

 

Please do let us know how it goes.

 

Thanks,



#8 quietman7

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Posted 06 September 2015 - 06:45 PM

McAfee recommends you uninstall using the Windows Control Panel before running the MCPR (McAfee Consumer Products Removal tool)...see the IMPORTANT note in How to uninstall or reinstall McAfee products using the Consumer Products Removal tool (MCPR)Note: Sometimes the uninstall works more effectively if you first stop and disable the program's service (and associated processes in Task Manager) or perform the removal in safe mode so there are less processes which can interfere with the uninstallation.

If the problem continues, then it would be a good idea to check with McAfee Technical Support or ask at McAfee Communities.
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#9 saluqi

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Posted 06 September 2015 - 06:47 PM

I phoned Dell support.  They passed me on to "McAfee for Dell", and they to McAfee technical support, from them I downloaded a repair tool and that eventually solved the problem.  I ran the repair tool myself, so the computer was never remotely controlled.  I now have a 12 month active subscription to McAfee Internet Security.  First order of business is, I suppose, to do a complete scan and find out what nasties got installed during the time the computer was not protected (about 18 hours . . .).  Maybe my router firewall kept them out.  I don't SEE any signs of anything wrong, but . . .

 

I have to say, all the steps along that way were very professional and efficient.

 

I am sure my earlier experience was indeed a scam.  It took quite a while to get rid of the crapware they put on my computer (it was the office laptop, not this one and not my laptop at home).  I wrote the whole thing up on a BC forum, but so long ago I have forgotten which one.  I have no idea how the scammers got to hijack my Dell support connection.  I did nearly all of it by online chat, rather than by voice phone, so I have actual copies of all the dialogues.  In hindsight they make amusing reading - but not so funny at the time.  Fortunately I smelled a rat and broke off the connection before they actually did anything to my computer, other than downloading a so-called diagnostics-and-repair program.  That was harmless so long as you didn't allow it to make any changes - and I didn't.  I did use it to examine each of the so-called "problems" they wanted to "fix" on my computer, and found they were not problems at all, just normal stuff, temporary Internet files, cookies and the like.



#10 saluqi

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Posted 06 September 2015 - 06:53 PM

Re; Quietman7's post, I'm aware of that.  I've replaced McAfee on the last 3 Dells that fell into my hands (not all of them mine . . .) <G>.



#11 MoxieMomma

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Posted 07 September 2015 - 09:24 AM

@QM7:

 

Thanks very much for that additional, important detail about the McAfee removal procedures.

I had provided the link to the TS article about MCPR in my initial reply here, but I had neglected to parse out those "best practices".

Much obliged.

 

 

@saluqi:

 

I'm glad that Dell and McAfee were able to resolve your issue for you.

Thanks for taking the time to post the status update.

 

 

 

Cheers,

 

MM



#12 saluqi

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Posted 07 September 2015 - 11:01 AM

I ran a full scan with McAfee, another with MBAM, and finally the ESET online scanner.  McAfee quarantined one PUP (PWCrack-SnadBoy, where did THAT come from?), the other two scans found nothing.  Is there anything else I should do to make sure this computer didn't catch something nasty during that scary period when it was online with no protection except the router?



#13 quietman7

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Posted 07 September 2015 - 03:38 PM

I... McAfee quarantined one PUP (PWCrack-SnadBoy, where did THAT come from?)

Read this topic....About those Toolbars and Add-ons - Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs)
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#14 saluqi

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Posted 07 September 2015 - 09:14 PM

I am still puzzled.  I am pretty careful about bundles (always look for checkboxes to uncheck).  File extensions, etc., were already enabled by default on this machine (I always check).  Always try to download from mfr's site if possible.

 

The only things I have yet installed on this machine are Google Chrome (yes, had to uncheck Google Toolbar), MBAM, WinPatrol, the MVPS hosts file, CCleaner, Speccy and the McAfee repair tool (not a remote-control app, just a repair tool, and I used it myself).  ONE of those downloads, don't remember which one, sent me to CNN, maybe that 's where it came from?  

 

Well, I installed a HP 6520-series printer, using the disk provided (printer was already on my network, just a matter of getting this computer to talk to it).  The installation disk downloads software from the Internet, and you don't have a lot of control over the details of that . . .

 

I gather that PWCrack-SnadBoy is a hacker's tool.  Not actually malware, but certainly something I have no need for.



#15 quietman7

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Posted 08 September 2015 - 08:58 AM


PWCrack-SnadBoy

McAfee Labs&trade recognizes that this program may have legitimate uses in contexts where an authorized administrator has knowingly installed this application...This software is not a virus or a Trojan. It is detected as a "potentially unwanted program" (PUP).


SnadBoy Software

The application Revelation.EXE has been detected as a potentially unwanted program by 25 anti-malware scanners. This file is typically installed with the program SnadBoy's Revelation v2 by SnadBoy Software.


SnadBoy's Revelation

Password revealing software focuses on the recovery of lost passwords stored into certain masked fields of various applications or to check whether your password is secured and safe from any type of related application.


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