I recently went through approximately 2 weeks of intermittent system freezes on a new (12/2009) system. I was finally able to determine that it was the ZoneAlarm Free Firewall software causing the issue, as everything cleared up when I uninstalled it.
I have done a clean re-install of ZA Free but, while there have been no system freezes as yet, an old symptom has re-emerged. The symptom is the "squelching" of audio when any intense network activity (especially related to Skype) occurs, as well as occasional small pops in audio.
I am concerned about leaving ZA Free installed, as I really do not want to deal with another round of system freezes. All prior versions of ZoneAlarm Free Firewall worked fine - it's only the most recent version (most likely the upgrade to the 9.2.x series) that is causing these problems.
I plan to re-uninstall ZA Free for now, but wanted to post here and find out if there are there any known issues related to this or suggestions for remedying the situation.
Operating System: Windows XP SP3
ZoneAlarm Free Version: 9.2.044.000
TrueVector security engine version: 9.2.044.000
Driver Version: 9.2.035.000