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Why pay for OneCare RRS feed

  • Question

  • I'm using Vista Home Premium and Windows Live Mail beta v.14.0.5027.0908 (altho I'm considering returning to the 2008 release version because of some bugs in the beta). My question here is this: I'm wondering just why I should bother to pay for a WL OneCare subscription renewal when mine runs out in 8 days?  I would like a rationale please? 

    I really like the virus updates and scans which run quite seamlessly in the background. I'm glad for the firewall. However:

    1.The Windows Update function drives me wild. The inability to install Microsoft Windows updates at a time of my choosing is just not acceptable. I'm fed up with having my computer shut down while I'm working b/c an update has been installed w/o my explicit permission re timing--even tho I have set the MS Windows Update to download but ask b/f installing. That makes no difference to WLOC apparently which flags that setting as red--dangerous. 

    2.The same thing happens for backup--even tho I do the Microsoft backup (from Control Panel), WLOC doesn't recognize that so I get another red. 

    3. The defrag is never complete even tho I have a WLOC automatic tune-up every week. For Pete's sake, I can run the Windows defrag myself! 

    Since Comcast, my email server, offers McAfee protection at no charge, I'm wondering why I should continue to pay for WLOC with all these annoyances built into it?

    Saturday, November 15, 2008 6:00 PM

Answers

    1. Go into Control Panel, Automatic Updates icon, select what day of week and time you'd like updates installed.
    2. From OneCare Help:

      To turn off the backup feature in OneCare

      1. Open OneCare.
      2. Under Quick links, click Change settings.
      3. On the Backup tab, click Configure backup.
      4. If you haven't configured your backup settings yet, click Next.

        –or–

        If you have configured your backup settings, click Change settings, and then click the computer that you want to turn off the backup function for.

      5. Clear the Turn on backup on this PC check box, and then click Next.
      6. Click Save.
    3. Just ignore the message, defrag only runs for 15 minutes and then skips to the next step.

    These don't appear to be reasons to stop using a program that's otherwise working to protect you. Your decision is a personal one that you must make based on personal preference and what the protection is worth to you. Most other packages don't work well with children (too many prompts) and are generally more difficult to configure.

     

    In the end it's your decision though, just be sure to use something.

     

    OneCareBear

    Sunday, November 16, 2008 5:17 PM
    Moderator
  • Since the US cost of $50 for an annual subscription includes up to three PCs, it's not likely the price will come down. If you compare this to other products you will find it's quite reasonable as a list price, especially since it includes the program updates as well as malware definitions. It would also be worth your time to investigate what type of support is provided with the 'free' products, because in my experience there is none other than online forums or knowledgebases.

     

    However, if you prefer and have the time, you may purchase a 'boxed copy' of OneCare either at a store or online at a cheaper price. For example, Newegg has it for $24.99 w/free 3 day shipping in the continental US. Then use the PIN contained in the box to activate OneCare for another year. You must, however, do this before your previous subscription expires to avoid the auto-renewal via your credit card, assuming that one is registered in your Live ID billing account.

     

    As with most, your real issue isn't with Automatic Updates, it's actually the reboot after the update, so this should help. The following sections discuss setting the NoAutoRebootWithLoggedOnUsers flag in various versions of Windows. This will avoid the reboot that occurs after Automatic updates if the PC is logged on, which is usually the real complaint.

     

    For Windows XP Professional, Windows Vista Business, or Windows Vista Ultimate

    Windows Update and Automatic Reboots

     

    For Windows XP Home or Vista Home/Premium

    There are also registry entries that can be changed to avoid a reboot, though this is primarily for advanced users.

    Disabling Windows Update Auto Reboot

     

    OneCareBear

    Monday, November 17, 2008 7:25 AM
    Moderator
  • Jorie,

    1. Though I haven't used this modification myself, I've read about it in many different postings and it has worked for most who've tried it. The reason this isn't advertised by Microsoft is they quite simply don't want people to do it, since never performing updates is one of the most common causes of malware infection that occurs. It also may leave the installed updates in an indeterminate state until the PC is rebooted, though usually it's not a big issue and ends as soon as you do reboot. They (and I) don't consider it a 'fix', it's really a 'workaround'.
    2. I won't personally get into performing direct support, I only post here because I know it will help many others too. I don't have time now, but I'll plan to create an additional post later tonight that you can cut and paste to make the file. It's no doubt being blocked by OneCare since .REG (registry editor) files could be dangerous.
    3. If you purchase from a reputable organization it will be a sealed current copy, which you can check visibly if you buy locally. I'd personally avoid places like eBay, but someone recently posted that they bought several copies that way and at least some worked. I saw several major names in a Google Shopping results, but went to Newegg on my own since I've personally bought other items from them and know their policies and reputation.
    4. I promise I'll help you create the file to change your registry to avoid auto-reboot, even if other adjustments are needed. I will only do that here though, in hopes that others can be helped as well. The rest is up to you.

    OneCareBear

     

    Monday, November 17, 2008 4:11 PM
    Moderator
  • Busy week, here's how to make the required registry change.

     

    • Open Notepad which is found in the Accessories menu.
    • Copy and paste the following text (between the "---- Include lines..." into the empty Notepad document.

    ---- Include lines below - do not include this line ----

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU]
    "NoAutoRebootWithLoggedOnUsers"=dword:00000001

     

    ----Include lines above - do not include this line ----

    • Make certain there is at least one extra blank (empty) line after the "NoAutoRebootWithLoggedOnUsers' line.
    • Save the Notepad document with the name: DisableUpdateReboot.reg after changing the "Save as type" pull-down to 'All Files'. The file must have a .Reg extension, not a .Txt or the next step won't work.
    • Browse to where you saved the file, right-click the file and click 'Merge'.
    • When prompted whether you wish to add the information in the file to the Registry, click 'Yes'

    At this point, the NoAutoRebootWithLoggedOnUsers registry entry should be set to 1, avoiding an automatic reboot when a user is logged on, though it may still initially display an optional reboot dialog box without the 5 minute timer. Exactly how it operates depends on whether the logged on user is an Administrator or not and also whether other users are logged on using 'Fast User Switching'.

     

    WLOC has no relationship to any specific version of other Windows Live applications. It doesn't matter what order you do this in, though any Windows Updates might cause a reboot dialog with a 5 minute countdown to display until you complete the above. Once this is changed the reboot dialog may still display, but it shouldn't contain a timer and will simply wait for you to click either reboot or cancel.

     

    Though the above instructions are a bit involved, as long as you only copy the three lines followed by a blank line, the worst that should happen is an error when you Merge the file. Please note any error messages if they do happen to occur so we can determine what's causing the issue.

     

    OneCareBear

    Friday, November 21, 2008 5:57 AM
    Moderator
  • Jorie,

     

    Glad to hear the registry change went OK, I tested it on Windows XP as I wrote it, so I'd hoped it made sense.

     

    Since the next probable Windows Automatic Updates should occur the second Tuesday, which is December 9th, you're not likely to see anything before then. If your account is an Administrator, which is common, it should display the reboot warning dialog without any timer, simply waiting for you to click it to reboot or close the dialog.

     

    This may not stop absolutely every reboot, but it should avoid the monthly ones and allow you to determine when they occur. Let us know if this works well or not, as there are other options, but it seems the most functional while still helping to keep your PC secure.

     

    OneCareBear

     

    Saturday, November 22, 2008 4:49 AM
    Moderator

All replies

    1. Go into Control Panel, Automatic Updates icon, select what day of week and time you'd like updates installed.
    2. From OneCare Help:

      To turn off the backup feature in OneCare

      1. Open OneCare.
      2. Under Quick links, click Change settings.
      3. On the Backup tab, click Configure backup.
      4. If you haven't configured your backup settings yet, click Next.

        –or–

        If you have configured your backup settings, click Change settings, and then click the computer that you want to turn off the backup function for.

      5. Clear the Turn on backup on this PC check box, and then click Next.
      6. Click Save.
    3. Just ignore the message, defrag only runs for 15 minutes and then skips to the next step.

    These don't appear to be reasons to stop using a program that's otherwise working to protect you. Your decision is a personal one that you must make based on personal preference and what the protection is worth to you. Most other packages don't work well with children (too many prompts) and are generally more difficult to configure.

     

    In the end it's your decision though, just be sure to use something.

     

    OneCareBear

    Sunday, November 16, 2008 5:17 PM
    Moderator
  • Thank you for your helpful response. Following your instructions I have turned off the backup feature which changes that "status" from red to OK.

     

    In actuality, though, I wasn't quite as troubled by the backup feature as I am by the automatic updates feature.  I am a heavy home user but don't leave my computer on all the time.  Therefore, it's rather difficult to set a particular day and time for installation and it is extremely annoying to be in the middle of something and to have the program terminated and the computer shut down b/c WLOC is installing updates.  I've set the Windows updater to download critical/important updates and to notify me so I can choose the time to install them. This is the method that has worked very well for me in the past (with XP and Outlook Express) but WLOC doesn't seem to allow for that and apparently the Windows updater can't work past WLOC.

     

    I am torn about this decision which I must make in the next seven days. Initially, even tho my server, Comcast, offered the McAfee Suite for no extra charge, it didn't work well with Vista.  So, for antivirus and firewall, I started with WLOC when it was a free trial and I was using WLM beta.  I signed up for a reduced rate as a beta user and have appreciated much about the WLOC which integrates so well w/ WLM (as I indicated in my initial communication).  However, now that WLOC costs almost $50.00 I'm having second thoughts especially since I do the updates and backups regularly on my own (tho, to be very honest, the constant reminder in the WLOC program is a great help with remembering to do that!). The present economic situation is partly responsible for my indecision but I'm also wondering why I should pay for virus and firewall protection when I can get it free (assuming that McAfee has finally worked out its bugs w/ Vista--and this I am not yet certain of.

     

    I realize that software developers and the people working in customer care need to be paid and perhaps $50/year seems reasonable to you.  However, it seems a bit pricey to me.

     

    Any chance that the price might come down?

     

    Sunday, November 16, 2008 8:52 PM
  • Since the US cost of $50 for an annual subscription includes up to three PCs, it's not likely the price will come down. If you compare this to other products you will find it's quite reasonable as a list price, especially since it includes the program updates as well as malware definitions. It would also be worth your time to investigate what type of support is provided with the 'free' products, because in my experience there is none other than online forums or knowledgebases.

     

    However, if you prefer and have the time, you may purchase a 'boxed copy' of OneCare either at a store or online at a cheaper price. For example, Newegg has it for $24.99 w/free 3 day shipping in the continental US. Then use the PIN contained in the box to activate OneCare for another year. You must, however, do this before your previous subscription expires to avoid the auto-renewal via your credit card, assuming that one is registered in your Live ID billing account.

     

    As with most, your real issue isn't with Automatic Updates, it's actually the reboot after the update, so this should help. The following sections discuss setting the NoAutoRebootWithLoggedOnUsers flag in various versions of Windows. This will avoid the reboot that occurs after Automatic updates if the PC is logged on, which is usually the real complaint.

     

    For Windows XP Professional, Windows Vista Business, or Windows Vista Ultimate

    Windows Update and Automatic Reboots

     

    For Windows XP Home or Vista Home/Premium

    There are also registry entries that can be changed to avoid a reboot, though this is primarily for advanced users.

    Disabling Windows Update Auto Reboot

     

    OneCareBear

    Monday, November 17, 2008 7:25 AM
    Moderator
  • I'm really grateful for your help!  Thank you OCB

     

    1. Disable Auto Reboot

    Went to the site you suggested. [You are correct--that's the biggest problem of course].

    Not sure I'm comfortable with editing the registry. And something that that makes me wonder about the main site is that it offers a download that will do all the regedit steps automatically, which sounded great-- but when I followed the link-- it no longer exists. 

    This makes me question whether there is a problem with this process.

    I assume that YOU know it works?  Is that correct? Have people been successful?

    In the WLOC forums there seem to be a lot of people complaining about this auto reboot nuisance in WLOC so I'm wondering--if there is a "fix" why doesn't MS make the fix widely known? Makes me cautious.

     

    2. Remote assistance

    I think you are a MSMVP?

    Are you permitted to offer remote assistance to do the registry edit on my computer?

     

    3. Boxed software

    Thanks for this tip. I'd been leery (guess I'm nervous about computer stuff--result of past hassles) to follow these offers when I've noticed them onlne. Tho't they might be pirated copies?

    If I were to buy the software separately would I get all the auto virus updates, scans, all the really great stuff of WLOC?

    HOWEVER, would that software also have the auto reboot feature enabled? 

     

    4. I have to leave home this afternoon to drive to another state for a funeral and won't be home until Tuesday night. My subscription expires on Sunday so time is short to decide.  I will check my computer again before I leave to see if you've had time to respond.

     

    Thanks again!

     

     

     

    Monday, November 17, 2008 2:33 PM
  • Jorie,

    1. Though I haven't used this modification myself, I've read about it in many different postings and it has worked for most who've tried it. The reason this isn't advertised by Microsoft is they quite simply don't want people to do it, since never performing updates is one of the most common causes of malware infection that occurs. It also may leave the installed updates in an indeterminate state until the PC is rebooted, though usually it's not a big issue and ends as soon as you do reboot. They (and I) don't consider it a 'fix', it's really a 'workaround'.
    2. I won't personally get into performing direct support, I only post here because I know it will help many others too. I don't have time now, but I'll plan to create an additional post later tonight that you can cut and paste to make the file. It's no doubt being blocked by OneCare since .REG (registry editor) files could be dangerous.
    3. If you purchase from a reputable organization it will be a sealed current copy, which you can check visibly if you buy locally. I'd personally avoid places like eBay, but someone recently posted that they bought several copies that way and at least some worked. I saw several major names in a Google Shopping results, but went to Newegg on my own since I've personally bought other items from them and know their policies and reputation.
    4. I promise I'll help you create the file to change your registry to avoid auto-reboot, even if other adjustments are needed. I will only do that here though, in hopes that others can be helped as well. The rest is up to you.

    OneCareBear

     

    Monday, November 17, 2008 4:11 PM
    Moderator
  • Terrific help!  Thanks so much.

     

    Unfortunately, we need to leave home before long to attend a funeral in another state so the earliest I'll be able to do this will be Wednesday morning.  I will look for your post at that time and follow your instructions.  Since you have been so clear so far in everything you have posted I don't anticipate having any trouble.

     

    If I can modify (thanks for the correct term) the auto reboot "feature" of WLOC I will probably re-up with the MS subscription to WLOC in spite of the cost because it does work so very well with WLM.

     

    [This comment is not exactly on topic: I am also going to roll back from WLM beta build 14...  to the WLM release 2008 12....1606.  I haven't had time to do it b/c I ran into difficulty in the process and need to sort that out too.

     

    But I'm wondering: is WLOC tied to a particular WLM version?  I doubt it but decided to ask to be sure. ]

     

    Your help is greatly appreciated.  Thanks again. 

     

    Monday, November 17, 2008 6:29 PM
  • In your last post in this thread you wrote:

     

    "I promise I'll help you create the file to change your registry to avoid auto-reboot, even if other adjustments are needed. I will only do that here though, in hopes that others can be helped as well. The rest is up to you."

     

    I'm wondering if you've had time to do this since i don't see it within the thread.  Is there another place I should  look?

     

    Also, because I'm planning to jump thru the hoops to revert back to the released version of WLM, I need to know:

    1. Is WLOC tied to a particular version of WLM?

    2. If so, does the "version" of WLOC change automatically w/ a change in the version of WLM?

    3. Should I do the "reversion" before, or after following the intructions you promised to send?

     

    Thanks again, OCB for all your help with my problems.  I am sincerely grateful. I can only guess how much time this must require!

     

    [BTW, the reason I am determined to get rid of the WLM beta is because of the very annoying slowness when sending a message to a group of people.  It takes a full minute of sitting here, unable to do anything else on the computer, while WLM beta makes up its mind about the group of eddresses in the BCC box.  Since I regularly send messages to several groups in an email list, this annoyance is becoming a real hassle.  I can't imagine why it doesn't work in the beta when it worked well in the previous beta which bcame the release version]

    Friday, November 21, 2008 3:53 AM
  • Busy week, here's how to make the required registry change.

     

    • Open Notepad which is found in the Accessories menu.
    • Copy and paste the following text (between the "---- Include lines..." into the empty Notepad document.

    ---- Include lines below - do not include this line ----

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU]
    "NoAutoRebootWithLoggedOnUsers"=dword:00000001

     

    ----Include lines above - do not include this line ----

    • Make certain there is at least one extra blank (empty) line after the "NoAutoRebootWithLoggedOnUsers' line.
    • Save the Notepad document with the name: DisableUpdateReboot.reg after changing the "Save as type" pull-down to 'All Files'. The file must have a .Reg extension, not a .Txt or the next step won't work.
    • Browse to where you saved the file, right-click the file and click 'Merge'.
    • When prompted whether you wish to add the information in the file to the Registry, click 'Yes'

    At this point, the NoAutoRebootWithLoggedOnUsers registry entry should be set to 1, avoiding an automatic reboot when a user is logged on, though it may still initially display an optional reboot dialog box without the 5 minute timer. Exactly how it operates depends on whether the logged on user is an Administrator or not and also whether other users are logged on using 'Fast User Switching'.

     

    WLOC has no relationship to any specific version of other Windows Live applications. It doesn't matter what order you do this in, though any Windows Updates might cause a reboot dialog with a 5 minute countdown to display until you complete the above. Once this is changed the reboot dialog may still display, but it shouldn't contain a timer and will simply wait for you to click either reboot or cancel.

     

    Though the above instructions are a bit involved, as long as you only copy the three lines followed by a blank line, the worst that should happen is an error when you Merge the file. Please note any error messages if they do happen to occur so we can determine what's causing the issue.

     

    OneCareBear

    Friday, November 21, 2008 5:57 AM
    Moderator
  • Dear OCB

    Well--with great trepidation but also with great trust in your knowledge of how this works, I followed your instructions and no error messages have popped up.  Of course I don't know yet if this will work b/c I haven't had any updates to contend with (I had turned off the update function in WLOC altho I have it turned on in Windows--to download but specifying that I am to be allowed to choose, and when to install).

    After changing the registry values I went into WLOC and clicked on the "allow updates" so that now I'm good to go and green again. I assume that's what I was meant to do after following your instructions?

    So--thanks very much. I certainly appreciate your kind attention to my problem and I hope it might help some others (so I have marked your post an "answer).

     

    I have one remaining BIG issue (to me) with the WLM beta 0908. If I could solve this issue I wouldn't try to revert to the released version. I want to ask for your help b/c you give great, clear, succint instructions.  However, I'm not sure if this is the thread to deal with this. My issue is with the slowness in sending mail to more than one addressee (and the huge issue of slowness when sending to groups, which I need to do regularly).  I won't detail it more than that unless I get your OK. If this isn't the right place, could you instruct on the best place to go?  Hoping you'll say yes.

     

    PS My husband has switched to the free McAfee offered by Comcast and isn't very happy w/ that.

    Friday, November 21, 2008 8:43 PM
  • You'll find some very knowledgeable people in this newsgroup: Windows Live Mail Desktop for your Windows Live Mail issue.

    -steve

    Saturday, November 22, 2008 3:26 AM
    Moderator
  • Thanks.  Going there...

    Saturday, November 22, 2008 4:05 AM
  • Jorie,

     

    Glad to hear the registry change went OK, I tested it on Windows XP as I wrote it, so I'd hoped it made sense.

     

    Since the next probable Windows Automatic Updates should occur the second Tuesday, which is December 9th, you're not likely to see anything before then. If your account is an Administrator, which is common, it should display the reboot warning dialog without any timer, simply waiting for you to click it to reboot or close the dialog.

     

    This may not stop absolutely every reboot, but it should avoid the monthly ones and allow you to determine when they occur. Let us know if this works well or not, as there are other options, but it seems the most functional while still helping to keep your PC secure.

     

    OneCareBear

     

    Saturday, November 22, 2008 4:49 AM
    Moderator
  • Thanks for the suggestion, I wish it had worked.

    Monday, June 29, 2009 12:46 AM
  • Thanks for the suggestion, I wish it had worked.

    Eh? -steve
    Microsoft MVP Windows Live / Windows Live OneCare, Live Mesh, & MS Security Essentials Forums Moderator
    Monday, June 29, 2009 1:04 AM
    Moderator