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Thread: ZASS breaks down frequently; hours spent to recover

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    46

    Default ZASS breaks down frequently; hours spent to recover

    From some time ago, ZASS is being very slow and problematic here. It's losing or messing up its configuration, and consequently breaking my Windows installation (because these events make things like not letting me to use Internet, or even not to boot up Windows at all) quite frequently lately. Sometimes, uninstalling and reinstalling it, is possible, sometimes it's not.
    The latter are the kind of events that would force many people to reinstall Windows from scratch, although I have a remedy for them: Drive Image v7. It's a disk partition backup/restore program. In theory, it lets the hard disk or the requested partition exactly as it was before, in terms of concrete data stored in each physical sector. This means that you lose any changes or files made (to avoid these loses, I use a different partition from C: and D: to store important files; but I do not install any program nor store working configuration files etc out of C: and D: ; in E:, F: and G: there're only "passive" files, nothing that Windows or any program needs for working properly and with its configuration).
    I know that Drive Image v7 is not able to restore the ZASS configuration from years ago, when I started to use them. But this only used to complicate the partitions backup and restore a little bit, nothing serious. Instead of just backing up C: and D: and restoring them in case of problems, I have to backup a ZASS xml configuration file, what takes seconds, and make ZASS to load it after any partition restore, what has always taken two or three minutes at most (usually a fraction of a minute).
    But now this can take about 6 hours or
    more to complete. Operations that may take hours, or they take that long nearly for sure, with or without having restored a partition previously, since
    two months or so ago, are the following:
    - Uninstalling ZASS because of a problem with it.
    - Installing it again.
    - Booting up Windows after a partition restore or ZASS reinstall.
    - Loading ZASS on boot up after a partition restore or ZASS reinstall.
    - Loading a ZASS xml configuration file.
    As for the latter, I have tried loading the last file saved, not loading any nor manually configuring any program's grants, and configuring manually every one of my programs' grants (noted down manually in advance). I have also tried other obvious things like scanning my drives for viruses and spyware.
    I have noticed that during these intervals, the process vsmon.exe loads the processor at 50%, what is typical from CPU bound programs that can use only one of the cores of my Athlon 64 X2 5000+.
    So in short, my questions are:
    - Why should be ZASS losing its configuration so frequently?
    - Why does it take several hours, with one x86 processor at full load during all this time, to complete the aforementioned operations, when they have been taking some few minutes, if not seconds, for years?
    - Can I speed them up?
    - Just in case, is there a FAST way to wipe ZASS completely an absolutely from my system under any cincumstance? (for instance, just now that it's been loading a configuration file since 4 hours ago, but I know that simply rebooting, or restoring a C: backup and rebooting, could take some hours too)
    This is a domestic computer used by only one person. Windows XP SP2 has only one user account here, with administrator rights.
    I've been able to write and post this while ZASS is loading a ZASS xml configuration file. It's doing so since 5:00PM. Now it's 9:15PM here, but the file hasn't been loaded yet. This time I haven't restored any partition, I've just uninstalled ZASS (less than one minute), rebooted (one or two minutes as always), installed ZASS (less than one minute), rebooted (about 20 minutes), loaded ZASS (about 1 hour), and launched the configuration load (4 hours and not finished yet). I have uninstalled and reinstalled ZASS this time because it started to cut Internet access, turning its systray icon into a big yellow "X", after some little browsing since boot up, without apparent reason. I had rebooted twice or three times before, hoping that it could fix the problem.
    Previous frequent problems have been essentially the same.

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

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    46

    Default Re: ZASS breaks down frequently; hours spent to recover

    I finally rebooted at 12:30AM, 7 hours 30 minutes after launching the configuration loading, without it finished yet. I did it using the Windows option for that (I did not press the reset button), and there weren't difficulties for that (such as Windows complaining about apps running still, nothing of this happened, it was just a clean reboot). Booting up has been fast but ZASS isn't configured at all like it was when I saved the configuration file.
    Maybe this file was corrupt, but in such case ZASS isn't being able to save configuration files properly, and this wouldn't explain why some files are eventually loaded okay... after some hours loading, what isn't logical. Does anyboby know a fix for these long intervals, and for the frequent ZASS break downs, please?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    localhost
    Posts
    17,287

    Default Re: ZASS breaks down frequently; hours spent to recover

    Hi!from what you describe it sounds like your configuration file is corrupted and it will just break ZASS.Can't you just start clean of any configuration files and let autolearn doing its job?ZA settings get corrupted usually due to:- Crash/hang of the system during operation- Cold shutdown (improper shutdown)- Infection from malware and- Incompatibilities with installed software (often other overlapping security tools - e.g. antipsyware, antivirus, registry protection, etc..)You can find CLEAN uninstall procedure via the search function in the forum... find it enclosed.First remove ZASS from add/remove then:01.) Restart your computer
    02.) When you see the screen go black and it starts booting back up keep
    tapping the "F8" key (at the top of your keyboard)
    03.) This should bring up a menu. Choose Safe Mode off the menu by
    using the arrow keys on the keyboard to highlight Safe Mode and press
    Enter
    04.) If you get a message asking to go to Safe Mode, choose Yes. If you
    get a help and support window, close this.
    05.) Once you are at the desktop, Click Start, My Computer
    06.) Click Tools, Folder Options, View Tab
    07.) Place a dot next to "Show Hidden Files and Folders"
    08.) Remove the check from "Hide Protected Operating System Files
    (Recommended)"
    09.) Choose Yes to the warning
    10.) Click OK
    11.) Double click C:

    Note: In the future steps if you do not see any files or folders, please click
    the "Show Files" link to view them.

    12.) Double Click the Program Files Folder
    13.) Right Click the Zone Labs Folder, click Delete, and choose Yes

    NOTE: If you cannot delete the entire folder, please open the Zone Labs -
    > ZoneAlarm folder and delete out as many of the files listed here as
    possible.

    14.) Close this window
    15.) Click Start, My Computer
    16.) Double Click the C:
    17.) Double Click the Windows Folder (It may also be WinNT)
    18.) Right Click the Internet Logs Folder, click Delete, and choose Yes
    19.) Double Click the System32 Folder
    20.) Right Click the Zone Labs Folder, click Delete, and choose Yes

    NOTE: If you cannot delete the entire folder, please open the Zone Labs
    folder and delete out as many of the files listed here as possible.

    21.) Locate and delete the following files in the System32 folder if they are
    present:

    - vsconfig.xml
    - vsxml.dll
    - vsregexp.dll
    - vsdata.dll
    - vsdata95.vxd
    - vsdatant.sys
    - vsmonapi.dll
    - vspubapi.dll
    - vsinit.dll
    - vsutil.dll
    - vswmi.dll
    - zlcommdb.dll
    - zlcomm.dll
    - z llictbl.dat
    - zpeng24.dll

    22.) Clear your Temp Directory per the instructions below.

    - Go to Start -> Run
    - Type %temp% and click OK
    - Select all of these files and delete them

    23.) Clear the Prefetch folder per the instructions below.

    - Go to Start -> Run
    - Type Prefetch and click OK
    - Select all of these files and delete them

    24.) Remove the following registry entries by going to Start -> Run and
    typing in regedit. Use the folders on the left side of the window to navigate
    to the specified directories.

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Zone Labs
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Servic es\vsmon
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Servic es\vsdatant

    *Important Advisory: Deleting registry entries incorrectly may cause
    serious problems to your operating system, which may necessitate the
    need to reinstall it. Please make sure you are able to perform these
    deletions correctly before you decide to edit the entries. If you are not
    sure, you should seek help from someone who is familiar with editing the
    registry.

    For information about how to edit the registry in Windows, from your
    desktop, click Start >> Run >> and type regedit. Click on Help >> Help
    Topics. Under the Contents tab, click Change Keys and Values (this may
    be found under the How to... section).

    Also, you should always make a backup of the registry before editing it.
    You can find this in the same section of the Help files.

    25.) Close this window, then empty your recycle bin.
    26.) Restart the computer.
    Cheers,Fax

    Message Edited by fax on 05-24-2008 11:38 AM

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    46

    Default Re: ZASS breaks down frequently; hours spent to recover

    Thanks! I'll do all of it in case ZASS breaks down again. I have backed up and printed the instructions.----------------------------------As for possibly incompatible apps, I don't use other antiviruses or antimalware tools, nor any automatic registry cleaning etc. But I use Norton WinDoctor from time to time, a tool that can detect registry inconsistencies. I don't let it make any automatic fix, but I fix things sometimes, specially when it finds references to files out of place or non-existing, what is quite typical from uninstalled programs or updated versions.
    I've launched it just now and it has detected three inconsistencies related to ZoneAlarm. I remember having fixed them in the past (but I won't touch anything for the moment):
    - The key "SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Sh aredDLLs refers to a missing file, "C:\WINDOWS\system32\ZoneLabs\isafeif.dll&quo t;.
    - The key "SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Sh aredDLLs refers to a missing file, "C:\WINDOWS\system32\ZoneLabs\vetredir.dll&qu ot;.
    No files with such names are in any drive or folder, so the proposed solutions are to delete the references or to launch regedit to correct them manually.
    - The key "ZAMailSafe\DefaultIcon" refers to a missing icon, "C:\Comunicaciones y Hw\ZoneAlarm Security Suite\UpdClient.exe,-279".
    ( "C:\Comunicaciones y Hw\ZoneAlarm Security Suite" is the path where I use to install ZASS).
    In this case, Norton WinDoctor proposes a third solution (because there's a file with that name in other location):
    - Correcting the registry entry with "C:\WINDOWS\system32\ZoneLabs\updclient.exe&q uot;:7.0.470.000.
    I suppose that these wrong keys themselves aren't harmful but, does their existence mean that I could have a corrupt install file?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    localhost
    Posts
    17,287

    Default Re: ZASS breaks down frequently; hours spent to recover

    You're welcome!windoctor is quite old application... and registry cleaners unfortunately are usually doing more damage than helping.If you really want to use a registry cleaner try ccleaner (www.ccleaner.com). Its is a free utility and it gets often updated.For the rest, don't touch ZA related registry entries. Or you if you want to clean your registry do it when ZA is not installed, so you are sure than any ZA registry removed will not do any damage to ZA itself.Cheers,Fax

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