Friday, June 26, 2009

Beware those last minute automatic updates from Microsoft and McAfee; and run RegCure frequently

Well, I really spoke early that Microsoft’s last push might have fixed the nVidia and possibly spyware problems on my old computer. Last night, after it had been off a whole day for a Digital Media conference, I had to try about four times to get it to work. It would go through everything until McAfee started, and then would come up with the gray box “Your computer is not fully protected.” And then, after maybe opening one site on Google Chrome, the mouse would either freeze, or the computer would stop responding. It wouldn’t even respond to ctl-alt-del.

Finally, I got RegCure going before doing anything else. Even it stalled once. But once it ran – it found about 12 HKEY errors and a number of blank entries – and it took longer than usual – the computer started working normally. It seems that with a Registry Repair program, you have to run it frequently, particularly before shutting it down (or before the next big thunderstorm if you’re in an exposed area).

Then, there was the laptop, a 2006 Inspiron with XP Pro. I took it to the Digital Media conference yesterday in northern VA, and I found that at the last minute Microsoft has the habit of pushing huge updates – this one to the .NET environment – and the cancel didn’t work. So I was half an hour late – missed breakfast. Then at the conference the laptop wouldn’t turn on without being plugged in to a hidden wall outlet – even though the battery says it has 80% less charge. I guess it takes more juice to turn it on than to keep it running. Sometimes it would want to apply the update when turning off, sometimes it wouldn’t. Finally, at home, it did apply the .NET install, which took almost half an hour to load. I wish Microsoft wouldn’t push things just as you walk out the door. Same with McAfee, which loves to replace its entire Security Center frequently.

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