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Thread: ZoneAlarm Extreme software conflicts=> Upgrade to XP SP3 & Remove all 3rd party Secur

  1. #1
    derekl Guest

    Default ZoneAlarm Extreme software conflicts=> Upgrade to XP SP3 & Remove all 3rd party Secur

    I have the latest version of Zone Alarm Extreme suite and I am preparing to reload my malware tools after finding conflicts between ZA and other programs.

    In addition to ZA Extreme, I intend to use the following:

    SystemSuite 11 (anti-spyware and disc tools only)
    Spybot Search and Destroy
    Ad-aware

    The last two conflict with ZA Extreme and wondered if there was a workaround for using the scanning capabilities manually or if there are alternatives which would compliment ZA?

    Anyone using SystemSuite and ZA together?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: ZoneAlarm Extreme software conflicts

    Hi!

    any active anti-malware components (e.g. drivers loaded at boot) present in most security tools will conflict with ZA Extreme. You need to select software that are designed to complement security tools. Based on the above the selected tools seems not suitable apart from been generally (IMO) weak against modern malware (adware and spybotS&D).

    These are for example, malwarebyte free (the paid version has an active component) and superantispyware free (the paid version has an active component). Another tool designed to work with other security tools that complements well ZA is PREVX.

    Hope this helps

    Fax
    Last edited by fax; May 4th, 2011 at 10:02 AM.

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  3. #3
    derekl Guest

    Default Re: ZoneAlarm Extreme software conflicts

    Thank you for the ideas. Regarding "SuperSpyware", did you the free package SuperAntiSpyware?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: ZoneAlarm Extreme software conflicts

    superantispyware free, sorry for the mistake...
    You find the link to these software in the malware discussion section (guidance on cleaning).

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  5. #5
    derekl Guest

    Default Re: ZoneAlarm Extreme software conflicts

    Back again with more questions on software conflicts. Following the installation guide, I did a clean install of ZoneAlarm Extreme, followed by Malwarebytes and SuperAntiSpyware (paid versions). I removed all other malware tools prior to the installs.

    I used the beta test guide to stress test the system between installs and so everything appeared to be stable.

    I am still encountering system freezes if I leave the system running without user input for more than a few minutes.

    I have disabled Malwarebytes and AntiSuperSpyware via changing their startup options though the problem still occurs.

    If I boot to safe mode and start ZoneAlarm, there are no problems so the conflict occurs when something is loaded.

    The first question I have are how to configure these tools to work together.

    The second question I have are what evidence should I look for to find the source of the conflict?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: ZoneAlarm Extreme software conflicts

    Paid version may conflict with ZA Extreme, use free versions. You can use MSCONFIG to isolate the culprit.
    If you post the exact version of ZA Extreme used and exact version and SP of your OS I could more specific.

    Thanks,
    Fax
    Last edited by fax; May 17th, 2011 at 12:24 AM.

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  7. #7
    derekl Guest

    Default Re: ZoneAlarm Extreme software conflicts

    OS: Windows XP SP2
    ZoneAlarm Extreme Security 9.3.037
    SuperAntispyware 4.52.1000
    Malwarebytes Anti-Malware 1.50.1.1100

    SystemSuite 11 disc tools and system monitor only. Currently disabled.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: ZoneAlarm Extreme software conflicts

    First recommendation:

    Fully remove system suite, malwarebytes and superantispyware (NOT just disable them). Only once you have found no issue install them back one by one. ONLY the free versions and not the "paid" one.

    Windows XP SP2 is not anymore officially supported by Microsoft and ZA although officially still support it works best with a fully patched system.

    From a security point of view, no matter which security tool you will install into the system you will always be vulnerable because you are installing it on an untrusted platform. For SP2 there are more than 200 security fixes been developed by MS in SP3 and all follow-up patches.

    In other words, and sorry to be so explicit, if this is your final setup then its a waste of time (security wise).

    Having said that, if after fully removing all those security tools and updated the system you still have problems then boot your system selectively, this way:

    1.) Click Start -> Run
    2.) Type MSConfig in the run box and click OK
    3.) Once in MSConfig, click the Startup Tab
    4.) Remove the checks from everything except ZLClient
    5.) Click the Services Tab
    6.) Place a check in "Hide All Microsoft Services"
    7.) Now remove checks from everything other than TrueVector Internet
    Monitor and ForceField (if present), and click OK.
    8.) Restart your computer

    Now keep testing, then if no problem occurs start enabling back those UNchecked items by group of three or four starting from the services and the moving to the startup section up to when you find the culprit.

    NOTE: You can place your computer back into a normal startup process by
    going back into msconfig and choosing the Normal Startup option on the
    General tab.


    Hope this helps.

    Cheers,
    Fax

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  9. #9
    derekl Guest

    Default Re: ZoneAlarm Extreme software conflicts

    During the install and test of ZoneAlarm and the other security tools I added after, I followed a similar procedure to what you described.

    I made an attempt at stress testing by performing basic operations my internet browsing, email and running the separate scanning tools with all services operating to look for stability problems and everything seemed fine initially.

    I should note that the system is stable in Safe Mode with Zone Alarm running, so the services being loaded are conflicting. Some of the processes I can identify, though not all of them.

    I never bothered with SP3 given that I installed all patches before and after; my understanding was that SP3 essentially wrapped all those patches together in one bundle.

    I backed up my system and I am ready to install SP3. How would you recommend upgrading? (After uninstalling ZoneAlarm, MBAM, ect) Booting into Safe Mode first or shutdown unnecessary services first?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: ZoneAlarm Extreme software conflicts

    For installing SP3 you don't need to remove anything. Since you have a backup you can always go back in case something goes wrong.

    Some security patches will not install on SP2 so, what released for SP2 has limited security coverage. Moreover now that is not supported no fixes will be issues by MS on SP2.

    For the rest, the same recommendation of my previous post applies. You need to remove (not just disable) all security applications (except ZA) to diagnose conflicts.

    Good luck!

    Cheers,
    Fax

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