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McAfee screwup causes internet connectivity problems
Old 04-22-2010, 09:46 AM   #1
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McAfee screwup causes internet connectivity problems

I just spent a few hours getting my work laptop back online. It turns out that McAfee pushed out a bad update (DAT 5958) which thinks that svchost.exe is a virus to be removed. This causes you to be unable to connect to the internet, loses your taskbar at the bottom, and other problems.

The fix is to go to http://vil.nai.com/vil/5958_false.htm (you can navigate there from the macafee.com homepage if you don't trust the URL). I used solution 1, which involves downloading an exe file from another laptop not affected onto a USB thumb drive, and run it in safe mode on the affected laptop.

If you've only got a single laptop and it's affected, you're probably screwed because you can't get online to see this, but if you got on via another laptop or know of someone with the problem, this is the fix.

McAfee really screwed up on this one. Looks like they rushed out an update to detect a worm without good testing. I'm in very much the same line of work (different type of software, but the principles very much apply) and this is inexcusable.
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Old 04-22-2010, 10:05 AM   #2
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I believe what happened with McAffee yesterday was the biggest goof by an A/V company ever. It effected millions of users. Loss of business, potential class action suit etc. will threaten their viability as a company. If you want some interesting reading go to the McAffee web page, read their rather lame news release/blog about what happened and then read the responses to it. Heads are probably rolling at McAffee today and their doors may close in the end.

Where I work P/T 16 out of 24 computers were taken down for at least half a day, tremendous loss of productivity.
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Old 04-22-2010, 10:39 AM   #3
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I had McAfee AV crapware on a machine once - I'll never make that mistake again.

Reading the comments to the lame excuse on their website is shocking - a lot of machines completely trashed.

Quote:
Imagine hiring a personal bodyguard, when suddenly and without explanation, the bodyguard turns and shoots you in the face. That was the feeling I had for 7 hours and 15 minutes today, on a day that I had a LOT of work to get done.
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We have 850 users at our facility, and we are estimating over 400 users were affected. Your numbers aren’t adding up, but I suppose it’s necessary for you to make your claims so as not to further hurt your business.
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You need to make this right and issue me a credit for my lost productivity today and for the hours I will spend tomorrow fixing machines that don\’t work because of your slip up. We barely were able to process payroll today because of your mistake. Peter Walker
President
Attalus Communicaitons
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Liar Liar computers on fire! How pathetic to say businesses were impacted, what about the hundreds of thousands of home users too? MMMMM smell that….smells like class action for lying….
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I agree with all the other comments…they keep sending out fixes that need IE access which I no longer have…also can’t copy and load on damaged computer because USB ports are not recognized…we have crapped out PCs and McAfee needs to step up and make this right…
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Old 04-22-2010, 11:35 AM   #4
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Just went through this experience. Talk about ineptness! I thought I had gotten the mother of all viruses, and had paid for M's "Platium" removal service ($89), spent half an hour last night with their India call center who appeared to have no clue. They told me I had to first reestablish my Internet service with my ISP before they could help. WHAT A JOKE!
If I had not just paid for the newest version, I would be looking elsewhere. It would not be Norton however as their tools have routinely froze almost every puter it was installed.
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Old 04-22-2010, 11:45 AM   #5
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If you've only got a single laptop and it's affected, you're probably screwed because you can't get online to see this, but if you got on via another laptop or know of someone with the problem, this is the fix.
Quite a foo pas.

If you are a one-pc household and can't or don't want to get a friend or neighbor to help you can take your flash drive to the library to do research and download files.

Another good reason to make frequent backups to removable storage and use bootable restore software so you can restore if your OS gets hosed, or if your HD dies. They all will eventually die if you use them long enough.
My last backup completed . . . 8 minutes ago.
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Old 04-22-2010, 10:02 PM   #6
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For one day I wish I was back at megacorp to see how they handled to McAfee screwup as I know they used McAfee
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Old 04-22-2010, 10:11 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by shotgunner View Post
I believe what happened with McAffee yesterday was the biggest goof by an A/V company ever. It effected millions of users. Loss of business, potential class action suit etc. will threaten their viability as a company. If you want some interesting reading go to the McAffee web page, read their rather lame news release/blog about what happened and then read the responses to it. Heads are probably rolling at McAffee today and their doors may close in the end.
I can't tell you how many times (back in the day) that MS put out new releases that took down tems of thousands of machines. They screwed up on a regular basis, costing companies many mega-thousands. And they're not only still around, they are still huge. I'm not defending McAffee by any stretch, and I'm sure a head will be rolled for public attribution, but there's no way they'll end up closed down. I doubt they'll even end up paying anything. Maybe a settlement on a class action suit netting some lawyer a few million and hundreds of thousands of users $1.15 each.
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Old 04-22-2010, 10:56 PM   #8
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looks like only Win XP machines were impacted.

McAfee antivirus update paralyses Windows XP machines - Techworld.com
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Old 04-23-2010, 06:08 AM   #9
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I can't tell you how many times (back in the day) that MS put out new releases that took down tems of thousands of machines. They screwed up on a regular basis, costing companies many mega-thousands. And they're not only still around, they are still huge. I'm not defending McAffee by any stretch, and I'm sure a head will be rolled for public attribution, but there's no way they'll end up closed down. I doubt they'll even end up paying anything. Maybe a settlement on a class action suit netting some lawyer a few million and hundreds of thousands of users $1.15 each.
Yeah, I'm pretty sure that buried in the user agreement is language that allows McAfee to do anything they want to the user, their family and their planet without liability.
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Old 04-23-2010, 08:47 AM   #10
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Yeah, I'm pretty sure that buried in the user agreement is language that allows McAfee to do anything they want to the user, their family and their planet without liability.
Usually not buried at all, but most people don't bother to read the licenses as you can't negotiate the terms and almost every license of computer software is filled with warranty disclaimers and limitations of liability. For example, an online version of McAfee's corporate end user license agreement has this limitation of liability:

UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES AND UNDER NO LEGAL THEORY, WHETHER IN TORT,
CONTRACT, OR OTHERWISE, SHALL MCAFEE OR ITS AUTHORIZED PARTNERS OR SUPPLIERS BE LIABLE TO
YOU OR TO ANY OTHER PERSON FOR LOSS OF PROFITS, LOSS OF GOODWILL OR ANY INDIRECT, SPECIAL,
INCIDENTAL, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OR DAMAGES FOR GROSS NEGLIGENCE OF ANY CHARACTER
INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, DAMAGES FOR LOSS OF GOODWILL, WORK STOPPAGE, COMPUTER
FAILURE OR MALFUNCTION, OR FOR ANY OTHER DAMAGE OR LOSS. IN NO EVENT SHALL MCAFEE OR ITS
AUTHORIZED PARTNERS OR SUPPLIERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY DAMAGE IN EXCESS OF THE PRICE PAID FOR
THE SOFTWARE, IF ANY, EVEN IF MCAFEE OR ITS AUTHORIZED PARTNERS OR SUPPLIERS SHALL HAVE BEEN
ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES. This limitation shall not apply to liability for death or personal
injury to the extent that applicable law prohibits such limitation. Furthermore, some jurisdictions do not allow the exclusion or
limitation of incidental or consequential damages, so this limitation and exclusion may not apply to you. Nothing contained in
this Agreement limits McAfee’s liability to you for McAfee’s negligence or for the tort of fraud. McAfee is acting on behalf of
its suppliers and Authorized Partners for the purpose of disclaiming, excluding and/or limiting obligations, warranties and
liability as provided in this Agreement, but in no other respects and for no other purpose. The foregoing provisions shall be
enforceable to the maximum extent permitted by applicable law.
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Old 04-23-2010, 12:32 PM   #11
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They may die a slower death as license renewals fall off dramatically.

In 10-12 years of running various windows versions, I can't remember an update causing anywhere near this kind of problem.
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Old 04-23-2010, 12:36 PM   #12
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Oh I can. It was some years ago, but an Outlook (IIRC) upgrade took down our entire world-wide email system for almost a week. Tens of thousands of engineers, managers, and salesfolk with no email. What a mess.
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Old 04-23-2010, 12:53 PM   #13
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Tens of thousands of engineers, managers, and salesfolk with no email. What a mess.
Back to typewriters and carbon paper ....
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Old 04-23-2010, 01:30 PM   #14
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Or just using a landline phone!
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Old 04-23-2010, 01:37 PM   #15
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In the early years of this century my agency was completely taken off the internet three times, for periods up to 8 months, due to a lawsuit (too complicated to get into here).

We could e-mail each other in the building, but nobody else. Work almost came to a standstill. We had to communicate via snail mail and telephone.

I'll never forget that whenever I wasn't sure of the exact meaning of a word, I had to go to the agency library to look it up in a paper unabridged dictionary, instead of just looking it up online. The difficulties beyond that were immense and nearly impossible to surmount.

It was a vivid illustration to all of us, of how much we depended on internet.
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Old 04-23-2010, 01:42 PM   #16
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Mac. No antivirus protection. Nuf said.
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Old 04-23-2010, 01:56 PM   #17
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Mac. No antivirus protection. Nuf said.
Uh oh. Wait for it...
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Old 04-23-2010, 01:57 PM   #18
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Uh oh. Wait for it...
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Old 04-23-2010, 02:00 PM   #19
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For one day I wish I was back at megacorp to see how they handled to McAfee screwup as I know they used McAfee
My Megacorp laptop has McAfee on it and I don't think anything happened to me. I don't know whether 5958 was ever pushed to me, but now it shows I have DAT 5960.
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Old 04-23-2010, 04:24 PM   #20
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My Megacorp laptop has McAfee on it and I don't think anything happened to me. I don't know whether 5958 was ever pushed to me, but now it shows I have DAT 5960.
I believe the release only impacted XP Service pack 3 machines.
I have one and it definitely impacted it worst than any virus/spyware I have ever encountered.
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