locked
Windows Live OneCare stops playing nice RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • In the past few weeks, customers with Windows Live OneCare have told me that their system tray icon is turning red (error state) for Windows Live OneCare.  Clicking it brings them to an item that says that there are conflicting programs installed.  So far, the programs include:
    • Lavasoft Ad-Aware
    • AVG Free
    • SpywareBlaster
    • Norton SystemWorks
    • MicAfee Site Advisor
    What is significant, to me, is that none of these programs should have been targeted, as all of them were installed in "non-conflicting" mode.  Norton SystemWorks did not have its antivirus or firewall components installed, Lawasoft Ad-Aware was the free version (and thus, did not have its resident component installed), and AVG Free did not have its Resident component enabled.  As for SpywareBlaster and McAfee Site Advisor, I can see no "conflicting" reason for targeting those two programs.
     
    The only way for these customer to regain their "green" status is by uninstalling the "conflcting" programs.
     
    Inasmuch as Windows Live OneCare is still not getting high marks by various independent testing companies, I am advising my clients that the better (and quicker) choice is to uninstall Windows Live OneCare.  Microsoft may want customers to think that OneCare is all they need, but results to date prove otherwise.
    --
    Greg Kirkpatrick
    Microsoft Small Business Specialist
    MCP, MCTS-Vista, MCITP-Vista
     

     

    Monday, February 11, 2008 2:50 PM

All replies

  • Hello, Greg.

    Have you seen these thread?

    http://forums.microsoft.com/WindowsOneCare/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=2745079&SiteID=2

     

    http://forums.microsoft.com/WindowsOneCare/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=2779592&SiteID=2

     

    We are awaiting official word from the OneCare team at Microsoft to explain the specific reasons for the warnings of a conflict. I believe that if the warning is simply for a performance concern, OneCare needs to have an option to ignore the warning. If the warning is due to potential system issues with a true conflict, OneCare needs to provide the details of this conflict.

    I find Spyware Blaster to be an unusual conflict, except that it does modify the Hosts file. There is nothing active when running Spyware Blaster. I do believe that AVG, Norton System Works and AdAware have the potential for creating a conflict due to running services and processes. McAfee Site Advisor is, in my opinion, likely to be a performance concern since the phishing filter in IE is required by OneCare. Having two services checking each URL you go to seems like it would cause a performance issue.

     

    Thanks for your post.

    -steve

    Monday, February 11, 2008 3:53 PM
    Moderator
  • While I failed to read the topics about Ad-Aware and McAfee Site Advisor prior to my post [mea culpa], I think it is appropriate to have a thread which tries to list all the "conflicting programs" being reported by Windows LOC -- especially since Microsoft failed to provide a list or an explanation as to why these seemingly non-conflicting programs are suddenly listed as such.  I intend to add to this list as I discover more programs which are targeted, and I encourage others to add them as well.  So far, this is the list I have confirmed as reported conflicts:

    • AVG Free 7.5
    • Lavasoft Ad-Aware 2007
    • McAfee Site Advisor
    • Norton SystemWorks
    • Norton Personal Firewall
    • Norton Antivirus
    • Norton Internet Security
    • SpywareBlaster 3.5.1

    So far, this is a list of programs that I would have expected to be on the list, but are not yet:

    • Spybot Search & Destroy 1.5.2 beta

    I also thought it important for Microsoft to know that, as a registered Microsoft Partner supporting over 500 companies and homes, I am in disagreement over this new policy to the point that I am reversing my support of Windows Live OneCare.  I am now recommending its removal until this policy is changed.  So far, I have received over 20 calls regarding this issue, and I expect to get many more.

     

    I agree with a post in one of the earlier threads, who said that it would be a mistake to recommend ignoring the RED status -- this would have even more potential harm, if the user would thus overlook a complete failure leaving the system exposed to infection.

     

    Actually, it is Spybot Search & Destroy (among other anti-spyware programs) that modifies the Hosts file.  So far, SS&D is not being mentioned (but I'll bet that changes soon).

     

    SpywareBlaster adds 9500+ websites into the Restricted Zone area of the Security settings inside Internet Options.  Thus, these websites cannot run ActiveX or other malicious code in Internet Explorer -- that is, unless someone was foolish enough to override the default settings for the Restricted Zone sites.

     

    The fact that Windows LOC lists SpywareBlaster as a conflict is particularly troubling.  It implies that having that many Restricted Zone sites in the Internet Options could, itself, cause a performance issue.  If so, that needs to be fixed, pronto.  In addition to those added by SpywareBlaster, I have supplemented that list with those from several other sources, and I refuse to reduce my list by even one website.  If that's a problem for Internet Explorer, then it's time for me to consider using a Linux or Apple machine for Internet and email use.

     

    Like others on the McAfee Site Advisor thread, I have yet to notice a performance issue using the IE Phishing Filter as well as McAfee Site Advisor.  Then again, I have a power machine, with two processors and 4GB RAM, so I'm not a good choice for marginal testing.  I suspect that someone trying to run Vista or XP with minimal specs would have more problems.

     

    Like you, Stephen, I think that OneCare needs an option to ignore the warning.  As a warning, it should not be RED, but merely YELLOW, and the status should go back to GREEN if the user unchecks one of the "potentially conflicting" progams under Change Options (in a manner similar to unchecking the backup option).

     

    AVG and Norton System Works do have the potential to be conflicting, but only if they are installed in a manner that would cause a resident process to be installed.  As I mentioned, AVG was installed with its Resident option disabled, and Norton System Works was installed without the AntiVirus or Firewall components.  Neither of those two programs should then be in conflict. 

     

    I do know about the resident part of Ad-Aware 2007 free version (AAWSERVICE.EXE), but I did not think that had potential for conflict, having not experienced any myself.  Even if so, it too should be able to be ignored.

     

    As it says on http://www.javacoolware.info (home of SpywareBlaster):

     

    Users and experts agree - it's best to have layered security.

     

    Microsoft cannot now claim that Windows Live OneCare is all anyone needs.  Given the exponential increase in malware each year, it seems unlikely that will ever be a true statement.

     

    --
    Greg Kirkpatrick
    Microsoft Small Business Specialist
    MCP, MCTS-Vista, MCITP-Vista
    Tuesday, February 12, 2008 1:30 AM
  • No need for the mea culpa, Greg. This is a *hot* topic and it doesn't hurt to have a consolidated thread. I am anxiously awaiting an official posting someplace from Microsoft on this issue.

    -steve

     

    Tuesday, February 12, 2008 2:25 AM
    Moderator
  • As of 6 pm EST today, 15 Feb 2008, over 30 of my clients who have contacted me have been advised to uninstall Windows Live OneCare, until such time as Microsoft provides an option to ignore the "reported conflicts".

     

    So far, I have no additional programs to add to the list of "reported conflicts".

    --
    Greg Kirkpatrick
    Microsoft Small Business Specialist
    MCP, MCTS-Vista, MCITP-Vista

     

    Friday, February 15, 2008 11:47 PM
  • Thanks, Greg. I expect that we'll hear something in the next week or so about this issue. ( a little late, in my opinion)

    -steve

     

    Saturday, February 16, 2008 3:52 AM
    Moderator
  • As of yesterday, I have removed WLOC from all my computers.  It was due for renewal on 01 Feb 2008, and I deliberately turned off the auto-renewal long ago.  I wanted the reminders so I would reevaluate the antivirus choices I have made. 

     

    Based on Microsoft's lack of response to these issues (it has been over 3 weeks), I will no longer endorse the WLOC product.  Inasmuch as this is the frontpiece for the Windows Live products, it puts the entire line in jeopardy, in my opinion.  I do not endorse products that won't play nice with others.  If Microsoft Word ever starts complaining about WordPerfect being installed on my computer, Word will be removed also.


    --
    Greg Kirkpatrick
    Microsoft Small Business Specialist
    MCP, MCTS-Vista, MCITP-Vista

     

    Saturday, February 23, 2008 6:55 PM
  • Tonight, I had a Windows XP Home machine to rebuild.  I installed all the relevant Windows Updates.  Then I installed, in this order: Internet Explorer 7, Javacool SpywareBlaster 4.0, Spybot Search & Destroy 1.5.2, McAfee Site Advisor (free), Lavasoft Ad-Aware 2007 (1/25/08, free), and finally Windows Live OneCare (90-day trial). 

     

    During installation, OneCare reported Ad-Aware, and only Ad-Aware, as a conflicting program, and insisted that I click to allow OneCare to remove it, or click Cancel (which I knew from past experience would result in OneCare reversing its own installation).  I did neither, clicking Start / Turn Off Computer / Restart (actually, I used the keyboard equivalents: CTRL-ESC U R).

     

    When the computer restarted, Windows Live OneCare was installed and opened, and it showed up green for a few seconds, before finding Ad-Aware again and putting up the red beacon with the View List button to remove it.  McAfee Site Advisor, Javacool SpywareBlaster 4.0, and Spybot Search & Destroy 1.5.2 were not on the list.

     

    I don't like the way Microsoft went about it, but I'm not running things (nor am I likely to in the future).  I'm satisfied that two of the three programs I saw "in conflict" a month ago are no longer on the conflict list. 

     

    I don't see the need for Lavasoft to have something running "as a service" constantly, if it is not used until the GUI program is manually run (in the free version), and Lavasoft could rewrite Ad-Aware so that the service started and stopped with the (free) GUI program if that's needed.   I'm OK with the red beacon for now, as it pertains to Ad-Aware, antivirus programs, and firewalls.  However,...

     

    ...there still isn't any reason (that I can see) to list Norton SystemWorks as a conflict if the Antivirus and Firewall components are not installed.

    --
    Greg Kirkpatrick
    Microsoft Small Business Specialist
    MCP, MCTS-Vista, MCITP-Vista

     

    Monday, March 3, 2008 6:12 AM