On my Pentium 4 PC (OS=Windows XP Home SP3, with 1GB RAM + 2GB virtual memory), enabling ZA Extreme Security's ForceField virtualization cripples Internet Explorer 8 and some essential functions of Windows Explorer. With virtualization, the Windows Taskbar and Start Menu do not function at all (i.e. when I hover my mouse over them, I get the hourglass cursor, which rotates endlessly) and Internet Explorer will not launch, however I try to start it.
As soon as I disable virtualization, the problems are over and everything functions perfectly. I took the advice of ZA Support and temporarily disabled all other non-Microsoft start-ups to see whether one of them was the source of evil. But no, the original issue remains and would therefore seem to be a major bug involving ForceField virtualization. I had no problems at all with the previous version (before updating to v. 90.083.000).
If this is a bug in ZAES itself, in my view the software is not ready for public consumption and should never have been released. After all, isn't virtualization supposed to be the core protection offered by ForceField?
What should I do? Return to a previous stable version or continue running this 'buggy' version with virtualization disabled? Does this represent a major security risk? Please advise!
By the way, today (3 Oct 2009) I updated to the very latest version hoping the problem might have been solved by ZA itself, but the crippling behaviour remains identical to that described above. I now have the following versions:
ZoneAlarm Extreme Security version:9.0.114.000
Anti-virus engine version:188.8.131.52
Anti-virus signature DAT file version:994271392
ZoneAlarm ForceField 184.108.40.206
ZoneAlarm ForceField Spyware Scanner 220.127.116.11
ZoneAlarm ForceField Anti-Phishing Database 18.104.22.168
ZoneAlarm ForceField Spyware Sites Database 03.895
Any help would be greatly appreciated.