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I do NOT usually open unsolicited file attachments to emails-- because only those who know almost nothing about today's virus and spyware threats do that (so why on Earth would CA send messages that way? Do they consider their customers to be complete idiots?) The sender of such emails is easily faked these days. So you can't assume because it says CA sent it, that they did. So I just noted the message title. And hoped they'd send me a real email about it soon (if the message was truly from them).
As the message content didn't contain so much as a period (everything was in the suspect file attachment), and the title didn't say, I had no idea exactly when my anti-virus was truly due to expire.
So I checked the pop up menu from the app's icon at the bottom right of my screen, and it said it didn't expire until 2-24-07. So I didn't have to do anything about it for a few weeks (I thought). I did mark the date on my calendar, thereby adding it to my 'to-do' list.
But the date the software told me was wrong. Or else CA jumped the gun. For a full ten days before it was supposed to expire, I routinely booted up my PC, and checked my email. There turned out to be another suspect email from CA come in. But before I even had time to click on it, my PC went crazy with pop up menus and alerts. It was like the arrival of the email itself had bombed my system.
Yes. It was just like I'd suddenly been infected or invaded by a real virus or nasty piece of spyware.
In that instant the EZ software suddenly turned itself completely off, threw up in-my-face full-screen warnings in Microsoft Internet Explorer (the browser I do NOT use for lots of reasons), plus I had separate warnings start popping up all over from Windows XP's own security system too, informing me my anti-virus had upped and quit on me.
Needless to say, this got me riled.
I checked the pop up menu for EZ to switch it back on to get my final days before expiration out of it, but there was no such option.
I began to get pissed.
Over the past year I'd seen some mentions of decent free anti-virus and anti-spyware apps out there. And even installed an anti-spyware app. But not one of the free anti-virus apps. For one thing, you often need to uninstall the previous one before installing a new one. And I still had some paid time with EZ.
But as of today, that was no longer true. Or else CA had stiffed me for 10 days. I wasn't sure which.
So I did a quickie net search, and decided that Antivir Personal Edition Classic from free-av.com looked worth a try.
I downloaded it and its PDF user manual, no problem. Read the basic info regarding installation (recommending prior removal of any other anti-virus and similar apps-- plus not to abort its first disk scan).
I used EZ's own uninstall app to rid myself of it. I had to reboot after that.
I used SpySweeper's (my anti-spyware app) pop up menu from its icon in my lower right display corner to shut it down-- as it's probably something like an anti-virus app too. And so might interfere with the new installation if active.
I ran Antivir's install program. Then clicked OK to get an update from the mothership. After the update finished, it told me to restart, so I did.
Upon the next boot up, SpySweeper did indeed reawaken and stop the boot process, giving me an option to stop the new anti-virus app from completing its install. Of course I told it to leave Antivir alone.
Everything booted up, But Antivir did NOT perform an automatic initial scan as I expected. And I didn't manually force it to, either. As I'm pretty sure I'm not infected. And a virus scan can take hours.
If Antivir works out, that'll be at least $20 I save this year.
2-17-07 UPDATE: Well, so far I've noticed a couple freeware annoyances with Antivir. The first is that when it gets updates from the mothership (daily, I suppose), it throws up a display-filling advertisement, plus a smaller progress window. Something like what SpySweeper does (but SpySweeper's is considerably more annoying, due to having several different varieties and trigger points for such continuing alerts as to your unpaid status). The second Antivir annoyance is considerably worse than the first. Namely, it insists on excessive cranking of your PC's empty floppy drive at boot up, plus anytime you use something on the USB bus apparently, like a ZIP drive or USB memory drive. All that extra floppy drive growling gets badly annoying-- even to the point of worrisome. But hopefully it's not a sign of a serious problem with the software. END UPDATE.
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