Zombie processes after ZA scheduled updates
Hi, I'm a long-time user of paid-for ZA and am now trying out ZA free.
I did a total removal of my previous ZA with the ZA uninstaller then ZA clean.exe tool and finally used other tools to further clean the registry and filesystem to make sure ZA Free went into a clean system.
I downloaded and installed from an offline package, zaSetup_102_047_000, MD5 183bdc736bf00280ce72e8f145f745c7 rather than the online installer. My system is 32-bit, XP-Pro and the ZA package spec is:
ZoneAlarm Free Antivirus + Firewall version: 10.2.047.000
vsmon version: 10.2.047.000
Driver version: 10.2.047.000
Antivirus engine version: 220.127.116.11
Antivirus signature DAT file version: 1083919136
Web Identity Protections version: 1.5.388.0
There was the usual glitch with tool-bars and browsers when you don't want the ZA tool-bar (it gets installed even if you say you don't want it, so you just go and remove it manually from the browser afterwards).
What is very different though is that after a scheduled update occurs (every 24 hours in the free version) an EXE called 'Updater' and its child 'Notepad.exe' are then left in the process table for ever, usually disassociated from their originating parent (ZA Free). Notepad is editing a file called "C:\WINDOWS\Temp\24.tmp\updater.bat" which seems to be setting up a job to copy a ZA "install.exe" file onto itself for either 32-bit or 64-bit installs. On some occasions ZA-Tray doesn't disassociate itself from Updater.exe and then the system tray icon remains in its permanently updating graphic (a stylised '+') instead of just showing a 'Z'.
None of this seems to get in the way of ZA doing its job and it is free software after all so you can't expect perfection.
Re: Zombie processes after ZA scheduled updates
Sorry, as you know all users here. Please note that you should be able to simply remove the toolbar from the XP add/remove programs as it is separate from ZA.
What you describe is normally caused by the OS, not allowing the process to teminate correctly. This can also be caused by third party software conflicting with ZA. What you can try is to run your system selectively (only ZA and core OS files/services) and see if the system this time will let the process go away.
1.) Click Start -> Run
2.) Type MSConfig in the run box and click OK
3.) Once in MSConfig, click the Startup Tab
4.) Remove the checks from everything except zatray and forcefield
5.) Click the Services Tab
6.) Place a check in "Hide All Microsoft Services"
7.) Now remove checks from everything other than TrueVector Internet
Monitor and ForceField, and click OK.
8.) Restart your computer
How does it work? Still problems?
NOTE: You can place your computer back into a normal startup process by
going back into msconfig and choosing the Normal Startup option on the
Also try next time to use the online installer, since it the recommended way to install ZA also because it will install only the required components depending on the system used. Also avoid using third party cleaning tools, they can have an effect on successful ZA installations. If you do not see problems, just limit to XP add/remove.
EDIT: also that process does not sound to be from ZA. May be flash/itunes/java updater?