Yes, it’s official. I hate it. Until now, I was a free software zealot because free software is inherently, ethically, morally… all that jazz, cooler. So long, I’ve not really loved winxp, but found it good to do most things. Not any more.
And so my day begins.. trallallalllaaa.. I get this email which I read on evolution in my GNU/Linux box about how a McAfee 7 or some such is out. Woohoo! I go. 7 is so much cooler than 4.5, OBVIOUSLY. Reboot to XP, download 7, get off the network, remove 4.x, and install 7. All is fine and dandy (if you count the forced 2.5 hour system scan on install as dandy) until the reboot. Then BAM!, NOTHING works, except for some strange reason, fire and thunderbird.
Anyway, rush to control panel to try to uninstall it. No control panel, obviously. Rush to cntrl-alt-del’s task manager, no use. Keeps respawning the McAffee processes on being killed. All this nonsense goes on for a while. Any thing that comes close to killing the McAfee process gets killed and the machine locks up.
Many reboots later, I finally decide to try the safe mode. Yes, WinXP has a safe mode too. Same F8 and all that. Rush there, and like a linux console window, it only likes 640×480 as its resolution, and a box within my large screen is where all the action is taking place. Fine I say, at least now I can see the control panel and reach add remove programs. I hurriedly click uninstall, and snicker. Soon enough I realize, as it tells me, the uninstall routine needs some dumb windows installer service which doesn’t get started in safe mode.
Then, a few reboots later, after tons of general screwing around, I find the service manager in safe mode and remove any trace of anything to do with Network Associates or McAfee, so it doesn’t auto-start and take over the poor system.
Cool, on reboot, FINALLY the little V on the bottom is crossed out. Woohoo! Run to control panel and it finally uninstalls. In previous reboots, I had got a copy of the real (not UMified) scanner V4.x. Install that, service pack and super dat it. 20 Reboots later, I can use my machine again.
Productivity. what productivity? Share your windows horror stories right here.