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Thread: Problem with Mirror Imaging Software - how to get tech support when Zone Alarm does the wrong thing

  1. #1
    tuberb Guest

    Default Problem with Mirror Imaging Software - how to get tech support when Zone Alarm does the wrong thing

    We just upgraded to Zone Alarm Security Suite 70_473 on two of the PC's in my client's medical office and a critical (to us) application (Mirror Imaging Software from Canfield Scientific - http://www.canfieldsci.com/) will not run on the machines that are running the latest Zone Alarm. One other PC that is running 70_470 will run Mirror (after making some configuration tweaks to open ports, modifying the definition of the trusted network, and adding some dll's to the programs in "program control" ) but we were unable to replicate that when we downgraded one of the other machines from 70_473 to 70_470. If we uninstall Zone Alarm the application runs just fine.

    I spent some money on a call to premium support to try and get a solution. The tech didn't have anything immediate to try, but promised to email me some things to follow up on (but he has not so far). I have spent 4 hours on this today (not sure I can bill it since the client switched to Zone Alarm from Norton at my suggestion) and we racked up what could have been several hundred dollars in tech support time from the Canfield people, not to mention down time on the PC's in the office that were affected. And Zone Alarm does not seem to offer any online support options any more. So am I supposed to pay $3 a minute to call back premium support to find out why they have not followed up from my first paid call?

    Any specific suggestions on getting Mirror to work with ZASS, or general suggestions on how to get a response from tech support, would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Barry

    Operating System:Windows XP Pro
    Software Version:7.0
    Product Name:ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    9,057

    Default Problem with Mirror Imaging Software - how to get tech support when Zone Alarm does the wrong thing

    First of all, there is free email support to the Technical Support:

    https://www.zonelabs.com/store/conte...ch_support.jsp

    This may not be fast, but is absolutely free.

    Second of all, adding .dlls is not for the Zone Alarm software, but for the medical software. Correct?

    We can do some general suggestions and advisements to solve the problem, but it is very helpful to give needed information.
    Do all the PCs use the ZA?
    Is the software networking over the internet or just over the local area network of the medical center (?) or this business?
    Are there networked devices involved or just the windows computers used?


    Usual suggestions:
    First and foremost enter the IPs of all used devices and PC as Trusted in each of the ZA's Zones of each computer. This will include the PCs, gateway/router, hardware firewall, scanners and photo devices and whatever else there is. Add all to each of the computer's ZA as Trusted.
    Also make sure the loopback (127.0.0.1) and the dns servers are entered as trusted in the Zones as well.
    Secondly, set the Trusted Security slider to medium, not high.
    Third, all related applications of the imaging software must have trusted and internet access and trusted server in the ZA program control list. Right click each of the imaging software listed in the program list and check the first two items and apply and ok.
    Any and all window components needed or used with the imaging software must be set the same - do the check of the first two items and apply and ok, and give trusted and internet access and trusted server.
    Set the Program Control slider to either Medium or Low, not the highest setting.

    Fourth, set the alerts and the logging to the highest.
    Firewall are great at lgging everything and those logs are invaluable for tracing issues and finding blocked connections!
    All source and destination ports, all the protocols, all the IP involved are logged.
    It requires to make one adjustment at a time for correction and then retry and then see what next was blocked or failed. Fix that blocked or failed event and then re-try it once again. Slow but effective if you just read the logs and make the needeed adjustment - all it takes is a little patience and common sense.

    Now close the ZA and re-open the ZA and attempt this imaging software once again.

    Oldsod.
    Best regards.
    oldsod

  3. #3
    tuberb Guest

    Default Re: Problem with Mirror Imaging Software

    Thanks for the link to email support, although why that is a hidden link (i.e., not findable on the Support page of the web site) I am not sure.

    You are correct; the dll's are for Mirror, although on some of the PCs with some of the versions of Zone Alarm, ZA let me add the dlls as programs, and in some cases it would not let me (complaining that the dll's are not valid executables, or some error like that). The dlls in question manage the software's communication to its licensing server (which has a HASP key). The reason we tried to add those is that the software's own errors/messages indicated that it was failing when trying to connect to its database after attempting to validate through the hasp.

    The software does not use the internet (I don't think; if it does it may just go out for to communicate for licensing validation). The setup is there is a dedicated PC that runs SQL server to host the application's database, and also functions as the licensing server (with the hasp key plugged in to the USB port). The server PC does not run ZA. The workstation PCs are all windows XP and do run zone alarm, and when the application starts up it tries to validate the license and connect to the database; somewhere in that communication with the server PC things are failing and the application crashes.

    As far as your suggestions are concerned:

    I added the IP range for the router and the local network to the trusted zone. I did not explicitly add the loopback or DNS as trusted, although on at least one of the PCs those were already there (ZA added them itself?).

    Trusted Security we had at medium. At one point I tried turning Trusted Security off, but things continued to fail. Things also continued to fail with ZA turned off. Only uninstalling ZA got things working again.

    I tried Program Control at Maximum and set things so that it would prompt for everything. The reason I tried maximum is that even after we the set the components of the software that ZA was identifying to Super for all settings, the software was still being blocked. So, I reasoned that ZA was making blocking decisions for components that it was not showing on the programs list, and if I set things that way it might ask me more questions which I could answer to allow the modules to run. Unfortunately, while I did get a few more popups about permissions to run things, the software would still fail.

    I will try again tomorrow when I can get access to the PC's and look at the logs as you suggest.

    Thanks,

    Barry

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Problem with Mirror Imaging Software

    When adding the needed dlls for the Imaging software, it would have been adviseable to completely turn off the ZA. Just set the ZA not to start with windows (Open the Zone Alarm and disable the "Load Zone Alarm .. at startup" in the Preferences of the Overview ) and then reboot. Once the was ZA was completely off, then the adjustments ot the Imaging software goes unchallenged.<hr>

    "and when the application starts up it tries to validate the license and connect to the database; somewhere in that communication with the server PC things are failing and the application crashes."

    Please check to see if the license validation occurs only at the local lan server level or is conducted at the internet servers of the imaging software.
    More than likely it is using HTTPS to the licensing server, but we do not know this for sure, so check the ZA logs for the attempted/failed outgoing connections and the ports/protcols used or attempted.
    I suspect the licensing servers must be setup into the Zones of the Firewall of the ZA as Trusted - I would assume not only outgoing connections from your ZA computers to theirs, but these must maybe allow incoming connections from the licensing server as well.<hr>


    Setting the Program Control to High inattempts to follow it manually is not adviseable.
    Either Low for least control or Medium for learning is the best approach.<hr>

    OKAY. Next time, instead of uninstalling the ZA for "fixing" the ZA and then re-install it again, just do this:[*]Boot your computer into the Safe Mode[*]Navigate to the c:\windows\internet logs folder[*]Delete the backup.rdb, iamdb.rdb, *.ldb and the tvDebug files in the folder[*]Clean the Recycle Bin[*]Reboot into the normal mode[*]ZA will be just like new with no previous settings or data

    This is a faster and easier method to "reset" the ZA.

    Oldsod.
    Best regards.
    oldsod

  5. #5
    tuberb Guest

    Default Re: Problem with Mirror Imaging Software

    &quot;When adding the needed dlls for the Imaging software, it would have been adviseable to completely turn off the ZA. Just set the ZA not to start with windows...&quot;

    We were not adding the dlls to the system, we were adding the dlls to ZA's list of programs in &quot;Program Control&quot; and telling ZA to trust them. Not sure how to do that if ZA is turned off, since the Control Center would no longer be available.

    -------------------------

    &quot;OKAY. Next time, instead of uninstalling the ZA for &quot;fixing&quot; the ZA and then re-install it again, just do this:...&quot;

    We were not trying to &quot;fix&quot; Zone Alarm. We were trying to get the Mirror application to run. If Zone Alarm was running, Mirror would not run. If Zone Alarm was installed on the PC at all, even if it was shut down, Mirror would not run. If Zone Alarm was uninstalled, Mirror would run. I can't explain WHY that was happening, but those are the symptoms we saw during several hours of testing and tweaking.

    -------------------------

    &quot;More than likely it is using HTTPS to the licensing server,&quot;

    The Mirror application does the licensing check to the server PC on the LAN. The only reason I said it might be accessing the internet is that Zone Alarm was reporting that the main executable was trying to access the internet when it started up.


    -------------------------

    &quot;Setting the Program Control to High inattempts to follow it manually is not adviseable.&quot;

    Again, the only reason we did that was ZA was still blocking things even when program control was off. We thought that if we set Program Control to high and SmartDefense Advisor off, then Zone Alarm would prompt us for decisions about modules instead of making them itself, and we could see what choices it was making. Again, as you suggested earlier, we will look at the logs today and see what they show.

    Barry

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Problem with Mirror Imaging Software

    Adding .dlls to the ZA program list is easy- use the Add button, use All Files, find and make your selection, say Yes to the ZA warning window and it's done.
    Adding .dlls to the Component list is more difficult - it reguires making a backup, editing the backup and entering the hashsums and restoring the edited backup.

    Uninstalling and re-installing is your method of making the software run.
    Just disabling the ZA from starting with windows and immmediately rebooting would do the same.
    If you or the events have corrupted the ZA database, then the ZA database reset will set the ZA as when first installed with no previous configurations or listings.

    Until you have actually checked the logs for verification, you do not know if just the lan server is involved for licensing or if the lan server and the licensing servers of the web are involved.

    Yes check the Firewall and the Program Logs in the Log Viewer.
    Set the Logging and the Alerts to both the Highest setting and customize both for all possible options.
    Increase the number of events shown to the maximum for better reviewing.

    Oldsod.
    Best regards.
    oldsod

  7. #7
    tuberb Guest

    Default Re: Problem with Mirror Imaging Software

    Not to be combative, but...

    Adding dll's - the mechanics of how to add it are easy. The problem is that zone alarm is still blocking the software when we have added all the dll's we can think of, and ZA is inconsistent between PCs; on one of the PC's ZA accepted a particular dll to add, on another PC it rejected the same dll with an error saying something like &quot;it is not a valid executable&quot;.

    Not sure about the component list, I have looked at several PCs all running ZASS, and the component list is empty on all of them; is that supposed to be the case?

    I am pretty sure about the licensing server, since I spent 3 hours on the phone yesterday with a tech from Mirror who is pretty familiar with how their software functions, working this issue.

    As far as disabling from Windows startup is concerned, why would ZA leave something running if I select &quot;Shutdown Zone Alarm Security Suite&quot; once the machine has booted with ZA starting up. Is there something ambiguous about &quot;shutdown&quot; that would make Zone Alarm think it should still leave something running that would interfere with other programs? And again, my objective is not to disable ZA, it is to get ZA to let our software run.

    Barry

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Problem with Mirror Imaging Software

    Actually adding .dlls to the ZA Program listing is completely irrevelant - this has no value or increases any compatibility or would even begin to solve your problems. The program list is stricitly for the executible files (maybe the odd scr file) and is not for files such as dll or com or bat or others.

    "Enabling Component Control
    In addition to controlling permissions for all programs on a computer, advanced users may also want to monitor and, if desired, restrict individual components that these programs load (such as DLL files or ActiveX controls). ZoneAlarm security software keeps a list of components (used by allowed programs) that have tried to access the Internet or the local network. Depending on your program control and component control settings, ZoneAlarm security software can simply monitor components or it can alert you each time a new component attempts access. This section explains how to enable component control. For details about viewing the Components List and modifying component permissions manually, see Managing program components .

    By default, component control is turned off, though ZoneAlarm security software does add components to the Components List. If you enable component control and set program control to Medium, component control tracks components but does not restrict their activity. If you then reset program control to High, component control grants access to all previously known components but prompts you to allow or deny any components discovered subsequently. For advanced users concerned about component activity, the best practice is to install ZoneAlarm security software on a freshly set up computer, enable component control and set the program control level to Medium, and, after ZoneAlarm security software has had a chance to detect all normal components that require access, reset program control to High. (For information about the program control setting, see Setting the program control level .)

    To enable component control:

    Select Program Control|Main.
    In the Program Control area, click Custom.
    The Custom Program Control Settings dialog appears.

    On the Program Control tab, select Enable component control.
    Click OK."

    quote from the ZA users manual.

    Open the ZA from the icon in the tray, and press F1.
    Take a look - instead of making these mistaken assumptions and not really knowing about things, why not get familiar and read the .chm It only take an hour or so to get familiar with it.

    You spent three hours ??? on the phone with the imaging software support?
    Must be nice to have rich clients.

    Oldsod.
    Best regards.
    oldsod

  9. #9
    tuberb Guest

    Default Re: Problem with Mirror Imaging Software

    I'm going to try and restrain myself, since your last post really ticked me off..

    &quot;Take a look - instead of making these mistaken assumptions and not really knowing about things, why not get familiar and read the .chm It only take an hour or so to get familiar with it.&quot;

    I've be using Zone Alarm since 2000, and recommended it for numerous clients over the years. The reason I preferred it to the alternatives is that is tended to be more transparent; it made fewer decisions itself and let the user decide what programs should and should not do, which meant that fewer things happened that were unexpected. That is no longer the case. The current software is configured by default to make more decisions itself, and with each new version things continue to change in the direction of complexity and less control. Am I supposed to spend an hour reading the chm for each update to anticipate what things the new version will break that worked before (as happened to us in this case)?

    &quot;You spent three hours ??? on the phone with the imaging software support?
    Must be nice to have rich clients.&quot;

    Believe it or not, people rely on their computers to do things for them, and when software breaks things, they need to get fixed. I'm in the position of providing support, and have the use my time to troubleshoot issues (sometimes even without getting paid for all of it, when a product is purchased on my recommendation and the vendor does not provide useful support). So making a wise-**bleep** remark about rich clients when all I am trying to do is get the software we just bought to improve things, to stop breaking other software that is needed in the running of the medical practice, is not helpful at all. If that's all you have to offer, then please don't.

    I am trying this morning to connect remotely to see the ZA logs to try and identify what it is blocking, and of course ZA won't let me control its own settings when connected via VNC. And the workaround for that, which was posted in another forum thread previously, is now no longer available.

    Suggestions from anyone?

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Problem with Mirror Imaging Software

    If you have that many years of experience with the ZA and with everything else related to the subject, then you obviously know a lot more than myself.


    As such I will leave this thread.
    Oldsod.
    Best regards.
    oldsod

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