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Anti-virus software sucks
delirium pissed off
rho
Like many people, I have an anti-virus program (Norton Internet Security, in my case) which sits in my task bar. Also like many people, this never actually seems to do anything other than just sitting there. Today, however, I have discovered just how offensively naff it truly is.

The problem that I had is that it detected a virus, and wouldn't let me access the file. "But hold on", I can hear you saying, "isn't that one anti-virus software is meant to do?" Well, yes. Would that that were the whole story, however.

See, earlier tonight I finally got around to taking the hard drive from Spike (my old computer) and putting it into Darla (my current computer). After the standard fiddling about with wires, searching for appropriate cables and cutting my finger on some unknown part of the case, the transplant was a complete success. Drive installed and detected perfectly.

My plan here is to copy all the data from the old hard drive across onto the new one in one go, just saving the tedium of having to search through it for the few useful files that are actually on there, while also freeing up the old hard drive. This will then allow me to install ubuntu linux onto here as a dual boot system, without having to jibble with any of the black magic that is partitioning1.

So, into windows explorer, drive E:, select all, copy, create new folder on C:, paste, wait around for windows to catch up, 216 minutes remaining, 28 minutes remaining, 55 minutes remaining, virus detected! copying canceled!

This was unexpected since I was fairly sure I never had a virus at any point on Spike. That was, up until I noticed which virus it was. Badtrans. Suddenly everything made sense. See, several years back, when badtrans was being obnoxious in the wild, I got curious as to just how many copies of it I was being randomly emailed, so I decided that instead of deleting them, I'd shove them all into their own mail folder and keep count. This mail folder must then have got downloaded onto Spike when I moved my mail, and I must now be trying to copy it from one hard drive to the other. A little investigation later, and sure enough there it is at E:\Documents and Settings\rachel\My Documents\rachel on willow\mail\misc\badtrans. Well done Norton AntiVirus for spotting that.

And if it had ended there, I'd have been slightly annoyed at the copying being halted mid-way through, but everythign would have been rosy. But of course, it didn't end there. I figured that I really had very little use for some 30 odd copies of the badtrans virus, so I may as well just delete the file. The problem is, Norton wouldn't allow me to do that either. Apparently, to delete a file, you have to be able to access it, and Norton won't let you access any file that has a virus on it in any way. This was stupidity number one.

So, next up, I figure that I'll just disable the anti-virus part of Norton Internet Security. So, I go into its control panel type thingy, select Norton Antivirus and is there a "turn off" option for this, like there is is for all NIS's other components? Of course there isn't. This was stupidity number 2.

As such, I decided I'd just disable the whole of NIS. This I can do. Right click on its icon on the system tray, and select
"Disable Norton Internet Security". Wonderful. Now everything will copy over nicely. So, it's back to windows explorer, and back through the same process of wondering why windows even bothers trying to give time estimates for these things, and all of a sudden I get the virus warning pop-up again, and the copying is, once again, cancelled.

Apparently, disabling the whole damn suite doesn't disable automagic virus detection. This was stupidity number 3.

And this, dear reader, is how we observe that anti-virus software sucks.

(The epilogue to this tale, is to say that the right way to disable virus scanning is to go to the configuration settings for Norton AntiVirus, and disable "Auto-Protect" from there, which I managed to discover after the face-palming outlined above. The epi-epilogue is that this was useless anyway, since windows managed to find some other file that it couldn't copy, for some reason or other, so I'm going to have to copy everything across chunk at a time, rather than doing it all in one go anyway. Software sucks.)

[1] Yes, I'm aware that installing any sort of linux (in any sane way) involves creating separate partitions for boot and swap and what have you, but the magic involved is considerably less black when trying to do it to a whole drive with no exiting data needing to be retained.

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Norton also likes to make nice new fast machines into nice new half as fast computers! Evil piece of overpriced shite which doesn't go the fuck away when it should...

Ubuntu is ok so far, although it's definitely a Desktop version of linux, have been having fun trying to install stuff and having to download C compilers and the like. I promised kim we'd jibbler kernels tomorrow cos she's too tired to be sane at me in audio. We're on IRC if you get really stuck and you want some equally clueless types to moan at.

Virus stashes are always useful, we have had people saying to us "I don't suppose you have any viruses you could email me...." Suffice to say...

1] Yes, I'm aware that installing any sort of linux (in any sane way) involves creating separate partitions for boot and swap and what have you, but the magic involved is considerably less black when trying to do it to a whole drive with no exiting data needing to be retained.

Well, as the partitions Ubuntu created for me killed my Windows install and swapped the drive labels around last night, I suspect you're right. I'll trawl the forums.

On the antivur thing, I used grisoft's AVG for ages, these days all my mail goes to Gmail, which dumps all the virii into spam, so not a problem.

But, yeah, Norton was always doing silly things.

I'm pretty sure it's only Norton which sucks, cuts the speed of your PC in half and makes Word take bloody hours to open documents.

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