This is not so much a personal problem, as a general question I would like to put up for discussion. I want to make it quite clear that this is NOT a complaint about Zone Labs software. Searches for 'scan times' and 'large drive' did not yield the information I am looking for.
My question is this: Computer hard drives are getting bigger and bigger, and the price per Gb is falling too. When I assembled my PC it had a 160Gb hard drive. I recently added a second hard drive - 1Tb. As time goes by it will fill with data - data that will require scanning for malware. Obviously the more data to be scanned, the longer the scan is likely to take. I would start a scan on my 160 Gb drive in the evening, let it run all night, and by morning or so it would be done (that's a FULL, in-depth scan - ALL files). This suited me fine - while I slept, my PC scanned. I would do this once per week. However, when my 1Tb drive gets full it will likely take a day (or even longer) to scan it all - a day during which my PC will be painfully slow at doing anything else while the scan is in progress.
What can be done to make the scans take less time?
1) Not do a 'full' scan - select only certain file-types. I'm not sure I want to limit the scans in this way. What we thought was completely safe yesterday, proves to be risky today. New types of infections are being designed every day. I don't think there is any guarantee that a certain type of file will ALWAYS be safe - that it is REALLY un-infectable / impossible to be made malicious. Heck, even a .jpeg can apparently be hazardous! Also one can select to only scan files of less than a certain size. I don't think the average virus is too fussy about the size of the file it infects, so again, I'm not completely happy with this suggestion.
2) Increase the scan priority. This should help, but even if my entire PC is 100% occupied with the scan, it's still going to take a VERY long time. And drives will get even bigger in the future.
3) Decrease the scan priority. While this will make the scan take even longer, it may at least allow me to use the PC while it is busy scanning. But what happens when drives get so big that a scan at reduced priority takes so long, by the time it's finished, it's almost time to start the next scan?
4) Each scan, create and maintain an index of all files scanned. Subsequent scans should ONLY scan new files, or files that have been modified since the previous scan. I would have thought that ZAISS did this already, but my experience with ZAISS scan-times on my PC would indicate that this is not the case - scan times did not decrease significantly (actually, they didn't seem to decrease at all on my PC - YMMV).
5) Not bother with scanning at all, and hope for the best. I like my data too much to risk it in this way!
6) Burn all my data to DVD; if the files are not infected when they are written, they will remain uninfected on the DVD. I would need about 200 or more DVDs (I have a standard DVD writer, not a Blue-Ray or anything). But, besides the time required to do this, it's just not really economically as viable as it used to be - new hard drives are cheap! And 200 DVDs take up far more physical space than a hard drive. And there is the problem of finding the DVD that contains the data you happen to want at any particular time. To me, it's just easier (not to mention more convenient) to get another hard drive and use it to store data. Which brings us back to the scanning question....
So, what have I got wrong / missed? There must be something (actually, there are probably several things)! Those of you with large drives, how do you go about scanning your data? What can we as users do to reduce the time involved, while not sacrificing the security / integrity of our data? What is being done by Zone Labs?
I'm very interested in reading your responses!
Windows XP Pro
ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite
Message Edited by Bannor on 12-04-2008 09:27 PM