CIS 4.1.150349.? (x32) All programs invalid Win32 apps or access denied

Running CIS 4.1.150349.? when suddenly all programs became unexecutable with a message to the effect that it was not a valid Win32 application. After several hours of PD, I narrowed it down to CIS being the problem. Fortunately, I had system restore points to back out to which facilitated this. Ultimately, I had to uninstall and reinstall CIS 4.1.150349.920 and now all seems to be well again.

During my PD, I sometimes got “access is denied” messages instead of “invalid Wind32 application” messages but to the same end. In either case, my system became so hosed upon booting that it was unusable.

This is on a 32 bit Thinkpad T60p running Windows XP + SP3. CIS is my only actively running security application.

I had been running CIS for a while and had tweaked a few things from time to time. These problems may have begun when I activated Internet Security configuration. I do not know what the active configuration was before that. My Defense+, Firewall+ modes were by then “custom” and I do not remember what all I tweaked.

Sorry I can’t be much more detailed than this. I appreciate the power and flexibility of the product but I’m reporting this as a bug because it shouldn’t cost anyone the kind of time it cost me to get it resolved and I’m not sure I would’ve been able to fix this at all if it wasn’t for having system restore points. Perhaps uninstalling CIS in safe mode would work.

I’m also not sure what can be done to fix this, other than making it a “known issue” in terms of possible outcomes of configuration changes or what have you: Something to the effect that if this happens, the first course of action may be to uninstall CIS.

I did notice that an issue similar to this has been reported on a previous version of CIS back in 2007/8 but felt it would be useful to raise awareness on this again, if only to save some other shmuck a few hours of their time.

You probably blocked explorer.exe.