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Thread: Microsoft & IBM/Lenovo Tech Support - Are They Right?

  1. #1
    btreloar Guest

    Default Microsoft & IBM/Lenovo Tech Support - Are They Right?

    I am recovering from some corruption in my Windows XP OS on a Lenovo laptop. This required reverting the laptop to factory settings (after MUCH tech support fiddling with my computer) and am reinstalling all of my apps. There are many apps to reinstall, and I've been working for 4 days straight, and am almost done - finally. This is an experience I do NOT want to repeat.

    Both Microsoft and Lenovo T/S told me that ZoneAlarm is often involved in such issues and that I shouldn't run it. In fact, one of the first tings both support groups did was to completely uninstall my ZoneAlarm. (I had reinstalled it after Microsoft did their thing, and then Lenovo made me uninstall it again.)

    They recommended the following:
    1) Rely on my router firewall
    2) If I really insist on having a software firewall, use the built-in Windows XP firewall
    3) Use AVG free antivirus
    4) Use Spybot Search & Destroy for spyware detection.

    Can they be right in blaming ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite for interfering too much in the OS?

    I've been using ZoneAlarm for about 2 years now and have been very happy with it. I have a 20year subscription that's just started, but I'm a little worried about reinstalling it after the warnings from those tech support guys.

    Are they full of it? Or are they right?

    Thanks, Bill

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

  2. #2
    zaswing Guest

    Default Re: Microsoft & IBM/Lenovo Tech Support - Are They Right?

    It can interfere.
    But their recomendations are preposterous.
    Router is a great thing but it'll allow outgoing trafic once some trojan requests it.
    Windows Firewall is inadequate. Doesn't watch outgoing at all.
    ZA and other firewalls worth their beans are better than the Windows firewall.
    So you're getting an easy-out-for-us, support-call-status-done hogwash.

    That said, something went wrong on the Windows side.
    Their suggestions 1,2 are bad IMO
    Their suggestion 3 is fine, though you might try another AV such as AntiVir Avira - is free.
    Their suggestion 4 is fine, so long as you do NOT enable the Teatimer because it does interfere with ZA's HIPS-type built in protection. S&D used to be a favorite, but at this point in the history of malware, SuperAntiSpyware is very worth looking at.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Microsoft & IBM/Lenovo Tech Support - Are They Right?

    It's a standard sort of line as the helpdesk support people for laptops aren't good with any other support of any kind.They also could be covering up the fact on of the pre-installed utilities does weird things to Windows.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005

    Default Re: Microsoft & IBM/Lenovo Tech Support - Are They Right?

    You have a laptop and you will be often in hotsposts or in public wifi access points. None of these open wireless access points will allow you to connect with your home router.

    Both windows and lenovo softwares will phone home. Neither will be stopped by the Windows XP Firewall. Only with a third party software can their phone home be stopped.

    TS from either MS or IBM like easy ways outs for things beyond their comprehension or anything that causes them extra effort - using windows firewall and a free av is an easy way out for them.
    By the way, the latest avg version 8 freeware is causing quite a few problems for many users and so is the spybot s&d (which is so outdated and so ineffective it is almost laughable).

    The usual method is first install windows, install the drivers, install the updates or the latest services packs, install the applications and the security applications and finally restore the saved files.
    It would be safe to say the restoration to the factory partition or using the restoration disk will be loaded with bloat ware and security trials from both MS and IBM and other parties. All of which often cause issues with drivers, the windows and any other security applications.

    Once you bought anything from a commercial manufacture such as a laptop loaded with XP, you also just bought all the unwanted bloatware and third party junk ever conceiveable.
    I fixed my laptop with the boatware and krappeware - wiped the disk, formatted the drive into two partitions, installed windows from a genuine windows disk (no bloat), installed the needed drivers (from the laptops manufactures web sites and the hardware's web sites), changed the key of windows to the key found underneath the laptop and got thw windows licensed by MS, installed the updated. Then cloned the windows partition to the second partition for safe keeping. Then installed the wanted applications and moved back the wanted files. Then installed the security applications. All performed behind a router.
    End result - a nice clean and lean no-bloat no-junkware laptop that runs perfectly. With an restore partition of the perfect basic system.


    Message Edited by Oldsod on 06-12-2008 01:15 AM
    Best regards.

  5. #5
    riceorony Guest

    Default Re: Microsoft & IBM/Lenovo Tech Support - Are They Right?

    They are utterly incorrect in their statements!
    I own a Lenovo Thinkpad T61 since last July 07 and ZA internet security 7.1.248 has been working great since it's install.
    I've had some mysterious corruptions in my windows OS (ex. I was unable to uninstall any programs using the Control Panel --> Add/Remove programs after I uninstalled the Norton ISS 2007 that came with the laptop; basically all the registry files for uninstalling the programs were whiped clean!)
    Sometimes you just have to say it's just **bleep** bad luck that something went wrong, and I apologize for any inconvienance you had to endure by reformatting the comp. (I do it usually 2x a year to keep the speeds going fast).
    It does take awhile to do, but at least you can walk away from the computer while it's working.
    As with other responses to this:1.) You should always have a router-firewall or an external firewall of some sort between the cable/dsl modem and your computer (this reduces a lot of internet "noise" from hitting your software firewall)2.) Windows XP firewall is
    very mediocre
    at best (I only use it when I freshly format my computer before I install a 3rd party firewall)3.) AVG free antivirus has the WORST detection of 84%, while Kaspersky that comes with ZoneAlarm's Internet Security Suite has around 98-99% detection.4.) Spybot Search & Destroy used to be good about 5 years ago, there are much better free applications out there (superantispyware, a-squared by emsisoft, avg antispyware 7.5, spyware terminator).
    I have 3 of the 4 mentioned on my computer for on-demand scanning once a week.

  6. #6
    btreloar Guest

    Default Re: Microsoft & IBM/Lenovo Tech Support - Are They Right?

    Thanks, everyone. I'm very relieved. I HATE the AVG stuff I installed, so I'm happily off to uninstall that stuff and come back to ZA.

    I kinda thought I was getting a line of bull, and it's good to have that confirmed.

    Oldsod -- if my Windows ever crashes again, I'll follow your lead and buy a standalone copy of Windows XP and install clean. That is, if I can still buy a copy.

    Actually I have a copy around the house, and I've been told by a former MS employee that Windows Activation only keeps records for about 6 months, so I may well be able to install and activate that copy on a second machine.

    Thanks for all of your helpful thoughts. :-)


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005

    Default Re: Microsoft & IBM/Lenovo Tech Support - Are They Right?

    You do not need to buy another copy of XP.
    Just "borrow" the XP (pure XP) media disk you already own and use it for the partitioning, format of c drive and the installation of windows.
    Once windows is installed, then change the license of windows to the correct license as seen underneath of the latptop on the windows sticker (or the back of the desktop).

    Use this tool (below) to enter the correct windows XP license and once the correct licnense key for windows in inserted, then authenticate and register windows. Then get your updates and new service packs.

    Just be sure to use the correct XP media disk for that computer's original license (XP Pro sp2 or XP HE sp2 or XP media or XP HE sp1 or XP Pro sp1,etc) and do not use the wrong windows disk.

    Plus if the c drive is imaged/and saved onto the spare partition (or an external usb hdd), there is no further need to re-install windows. Just re-image the corrupted windows on c drvie from the backup and it is done in a few minutes.
    But the entire c drive will be replaced by the back up image (including all files).

    Best regards.

  8. #8
    btreloar Guest

    Default Re: Microsoft & IBM/Lenovo Tech Support - Are They Right?

    Thanks! Great for future reference. For now, the native factory settings have been reinstalled. But if the need should ever arise again, your elegant approach is certainly what I'll want to do.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2005

    Default Re: Microsoft & IBM/Lenovo Tech Support - Are They Right?

    You are welcome, btreloar.
    Best regards.

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