What to do.........?

I’m very much a “NEWBIE” and I’m not sure if I’m in the right place for this posting… if not, please forgive me and send my dumb ■■■■ to the correct place! (:NRD)

I’ve read a few posts and replies about anti-virus, firewalls, anti-spam, etc. and I’m now more confused than ever! (:SAD)

I just purchased a new machine (still in the box!) and I’m trying to decide what “FREE” security protection to use. The machine is a 64 bit HP Pavilion Media center m8300f Dual core processor… w/Windows Vista Home Premium :-TD and I’m not sure if this limits me to what “free” stuff I can use.

Until Comodo comes out with a free Anti-Virus for Vista, (if they already have and I’m missing something, please let me know) I would like to know where I can find Avira (since I see so many people praising it) so I can find out more about it.

Here are the items I’m currently considering installing (if all are compatible w/Vista 64 bit);
Comodo BOClean 4.25
Comodo Anti-Spam
AVG (free) 7.5.518… or AVIRA
Ad-Aware (free) 2007 as an On Demand scan

I’m sure that some out there will take exception to some of these choices, but given that that’s what they are, would these provide me with a good level of protection?

The machine comes with Windows Defender and a trial version of Norton 2008 :-TD… neither of which I want and I would like to now if they can be removed without having to use them?

Any help will be greatly appreciated - Grayghost :-\

It’s the invasion of the GRAYS (:LGH)

I would put on the latest version of Spybot. Some here ridicule it, but I find it quickly finds some malware where other “heavyweights” fail. Get Avira at www.avira.com. I would add Comodo’s VEngine. A handy little add on that helps automatically identify the Good, Bad, and Ugly out there on the internet.

See the Gray, feel the Gray, be the Gray, Grayghost. (:KWL)

EDIT: Make very sure that Norton anti-virus, firewall (or Norton anything) is not currently installed on this computer BEFORE you start putting on Comodo firewall and Avira anti-virus. Also, make sure the Windows Firewall is OFF before installing CFP 3. Once you make sure Norton is not installed put a wooden stake in its heart and get it off your fancy new machine.

Okay “grayhair”… let the invasion begin, but I wish I had “any” hair! Here’s to wishful thinking though… O0 !!!

I just checked the Comodo VEngine download and the requirements don’t say anything about Windows Vista - am I missing something?

Thank you for the Avira address.

At one time, long ago, I used Spybot and I can’t remember why I got rid of it (to keep up with the “invasion of the Grays”) …it must be a “Gray Matter” issue! (:SAD)

Thank you for the Windows firewall being turned off info. and trust me, if I can remove the trial version of Norton, IT WILL BE GONE!

Thanks for the “fancy new machine” reference, but I’m not so sure it’s a “fancy” machine. I just wanted something with a faster processor and more RAM and I found this machine at a good price. I currently have a Dell w/XP Pro, but only 512 Mb of RAM and a 2.4 GHz processor and I recently ran out of memory while creating a slideshow w/ Adobe Premier Elemnts 4. I do (try) a lot with photos, video, slideshows, etc. and found out the hard way (X-Mas gift that never got completed) that I needed the higher memory and speed, hence, the new machine, but I’m finding that trying to protect it isn’t as straight forward as my current machine. Some of the “free” stuff I use now can’t be used with Vista or 64 bit, so I’m having to research instead of setting up and enjoying my 'wonderful new Vista toy’. (:AGY)

Thanks… Gray ‘whatever’… ‘forever’!!! :■■■■

VEngine works just fine on my Visata 32 bit. Yeah, you’re right about Vista not being listed in the system requirements. But, check this link. https://forums.comodo.com/verification_engine_allows_you_to_verify_what_you_see_on_the_internet/vengine_2504_released_vista_support-t9535.0.html

Try uninstalling the Norton through Control Panel and Add/Remove (which I believe Vista calls “Programs and Features”). If you cannot find it in Control Panel make sure the “Classic Look” for Control Panel is checked. There will probably be several Norton items in the list. Get rid of the Anti-Virus first, then attack the rest. Be persistant–it is my belief that Norton has made their products hard to remove so that you surrender, and then send them money. IMHO it is not worth the money.

Good Luck

Thanks for the Norton unistall info.

I checked the link you added, but I don’t see anything there that indicates VEngine will run with Vista 64 bit… am I wrong in thinking there is a difference between 32 bit and 64 bit… will the 32 bit work?

I’m now having the same problem finding an Anti-Spam program. I just posted something about that in another area of the Forum. I downloaded and installed the Comodo Anti-Spam desktop 2005 several days ago on this machine, (R) but I see nothing about Vista and 64 bit for this program. (:SAD) Any ideas?

Thanks - Grayghost

Hi Grayghost :slight_smile:

If you have to deinstall any Norton product, use the Norton Removal Tool afterwards to clean up any leftovers :


Some remarks about your setup :

  • Don’t use Treatfire if you use Defence+ from CFP 3.

  • I would prefer Avira over AVG.

  • I would choose AVG-AS instead of Ad-Aware as an on-demand scanner :


  • And add SpywareBlaster :

Btw, welcome to the club :slight_smile:

Greetz, Red.

Hey Rednose,

Thanks for the advice… I was just on CNet checking out the Avira Free and the Editors review says it’s a good product, however, the updater runs slow and the complete scan is “numbingly slow”, plus if it detects anything in mid scan, it stops and you must “baby-sit” it, something I’m not into… I’m a “set and forget” person! (:CLP)

I’ll have to check into the AVG-AS you mentioned… I haven’t heard of that.

Spywareblaster is something I’ve heard about but never investigated, but at this point, anything is worth a look.

I do have a question and I’m not sure it should be posted here, but what the heck… This new machine I bought is a 64 bit machine (knew it when I bought it but not computer ‘geek’ enough to know exactly what that meant) and already I’m finding that it might not have been a good choice (I can still return it). I’m finding that almost all of the “Free” security programs I now run can’t be used because they’re 32 bit. The question I now pose is… will this same (32/64 bit) problem carry over into what software programs I must now buy and will the software programs I now have work? I could return the machine, get a 32 bit model and be ‘hassle free’, but I wouldn’t know how to handle that! :THNK :■■■■

Thanks again, Grayghost

Only one av out there. NOD32. Its the best hands down.

Hey Grayghost,
You are going to run into compatibility issues with some of the software out there. Also you are NOT going to see a big difference in speed comparing your old machine (if you want to call it old) to the new one. If RAM is an issue which in most cases it always is, it would be cheeper to upgrade the memory. I’m sure you have additional memory slots for upgrading. I’m running a HP 820 with intel D Processor 2.8 Ghz. Out of the box came with 1 GB of memory. I recently purchased ($35.00 over the internet) and installed another 1 GB and see a big improvement in performance.
For security I’m running: CFP V3 with defence +, PcTools AV V4 real time protection turned on, Threatfire V3, and PcTools Spyware Doctor V5.5. I was running the latest release of BoClean but there is a known problem where it goes into a loop after an update or when waking the system up. (eats about 50% of CPU and have to terminate it through task manager). All the protection software I’m running lives well together, and I Do NOT have any performance issues. I’m extreamly happy with this setup and have not encounter any problems so far. :■■■■

Hi Grayhost.

I see you pretty much care about protection so I will tell you my opinion.

  1. If you decide to use 64 bit vista oprerating system, you will definitely come accross compatibility problems with a lot of problem. Vista 64 was made to be faster than 32 bit, but in practise it is said it is not much faster if at all.
  2. The thing is that no matter how many security programs you install, you will never be 100% safe from malware. I suggest 2 layers of security programs, maybe 3 the most. A good anti virus (nod, norton, avira…) protects you from let say 92 % of all the malware. If you add another security layer such antispyware program you increase your percentage to 95%. And another antispyware layer like s&b search and destroy gives you in conjunction with the latter two 1 or 2 percent more so you are now safe from 97 % of malware.
    So one security layer over the other gives you just a few more percent of malware detection but twice the ram and cpu overload. If you decide to have 4, 5 or 6 layers of security programs with real-time, I am pretty sure your computer will feel slow especially with vista home premium. I have that same system.

If you want to turn off windows defender go to it’s control panal-advanced option and turn off scheduled scans. I see others told you how to remove norton.

I personally suggest what was already said : free avg antispyware(which is based on ewido engine-very good), comodo firewall v3, comodo memory firewall. You can even leave out avg because you will hardly get infected with any malware if using comodo firewall. Inbout or outbound cpf will notify you that a malware is trying to penetrate your computer or get out and you will simply not allow. That simple and that effective.
So do not be confused. I real world it is just essential to have a good firewall and an antivirus/antispyware program, no matter what. They are all good. It is not important if it is nod32 or avira, or norton, because they are all VERY GOOD. So do not bother yourself with these choices. And by the way. I also had that same problem and doubts, so do not warry.


Check out also the new Avast! 4.8 in beta with scanning antispyware and anti-rootkit added. Easily the most unintrusive updates and best forum of the bunch. But both Antivir and AVG are very good products also. CCleaner is a good thing to have, along with SuperAntiSpyware as an on-demand scanner until Avast! is finalized. BO Clean and Threatfire are rather redundant with D+, and Comodo Anti-Virus v2 is just plain not a very good product. All of these are free, BTW. And avoid suites and use “best of breed” instead, but with minimal redundancy. Unless you want to take up IT security as a hobby and spend your time worrying about conflicts. Avoid Norton and McAfee like the plague-even getting them off of new computers is a widely reported PITA. :wink:

Answering three at once… sded, donnyd and asker.

For sded:
The name “NORTON” is nowhere to be found on my machine and never will be. The machine originally came with Norton and I had many problems (since I was very computer ‘new’, I had no idea of what I was doing and got rid of it when it expired) I turned to Computer Associates (offered ‘free’ by my ISP) and had many problems with that - the biggest being the firewall permissions, they wouldn’t hold. I could change them and right before my eyes, they would change back and those that didn’t would, when the machine was restarted. I got rid of that after countless hours on the phone. I then went to McAfee and did have some success with that, but still had problems. By this time I was starting to understand security programs and since I was hearing that Norton was the ‘best’, I decided that maybe all of my earlier problems were “user” problems and now that I knew more, I should give it another try - DUMB MOVE! That’s when I started learning about ‘freebies’ and that there was some very good stuff to be had. I was doing fine until I bought the (64 bit) machine (didn’t realize there was a potential problem over 32 bit) w/Vista and started searching for ‘freebies’, which is what prompted me to start this thread… Thanks for your suggestions!

For donnyd;
I found out quickly (w/o ever taking the new machine out of the box) from family, etc. that I would have many software problems with the 64 bit computer.

I just had to uninstall my newly installed BOClean… it was working fine and then for whatever reason, I couldn’t open it from either my desktop shortcut icon or from the ‘all programs’ menu, however, I could open it from the icon in the system tray. Later this evening I’ll try reinstalling it and see what happens. You mentioned a ‘known problem’ with it after an update and it running in a loop… I haven’t had that. Has anyone heard of my “can’t open it” problem? If not, then I may have something else going on and I don’t want to think about that!

My “old” computer (this one) is a Dell demension 4550 (2002) and I just upgraded the memory to 1Gig. from 512Mb. The reason I’m looking for new and faster machine is… I’m told that the motherboard(?) won’t handle anything more than 1 Gig of Ram. Since I like creating slideshows and want to mess with video/audio editing, photos, etc. I want more memory (3 gig.) and with that I should have a faster processor (3.0). I did notice a difference in speed (not a drastic one) after I installed the new RAM, but I’m still slower than what I’d like to be and what I’ve seen. With the right machine (32 bit w/XP Pro- not 64 bit w/Vista ), I can continue using my Zone Alarm (or the Comodo CPF 3), my AVG anti-virus, Comodo Anti-spam, and either Windows Defender, or Threatfire… with Ad-Aware 2007 as my On-Demand scanner. I have no problems with this setup on this computer. I know that nobody can be 100% Malware/Spyware free (unless you never hook up to the internet!), but getting as close to it as you can (from sded - without becoming a security IT) has to be a priority. Thank you for your info. and taking the time to respond, it’s appreciated.

For Asker;
Until recently (about a month ago) I just stumbled along trying to keep some sort of security in place, but wasn’t overly concerned (obsessed) about it. The I got a bug (keystroke logger) and something else and things changed, which now has me VERY concerned about protection. I’ve taken a ‘self crash course’ in security and don’t want to have another problem like I just had.

I had a bunch of things running (about 7) and then started finding out through various sources that anything more than one of each (firewall, AV, Anti-Spam, and spyware) is almost as bad as having nothing. I just started using Comodo Anti-Spam because I got rid of Norton and didn’t have that protection. I just started using the Comodo BOClean (see above). I use Zone Alarm (free) firewall, AVG (Free) anti-virus, Threatfire and as an On-Demand scanner - Ad-Aware 2007. I occasionally run the free AVG Rootkit and CCleaner.

I have SOLVED my problem… I returned the (64 bit) machine and I’m now looking for a (32 bit) which I can use everything I now use and run all of my software program. I wasn’t going to go out an buy all of those again… that would have cost more that a new computer! However, I’m now getting caught up in the @*%# Windows Vista dilema… can’t find anything without it - ■■■■ you Microsoft! I’m HOPING that the rumor I’m hearing has truth to it and that Vista could be going by the wayside… too many issues and lack of interest. I’m also hearing that XP is coming out with a new service pack and I’m hoping that is true. I asked (in a computer store) how much it would cost to convert a Vista machine (if I had to buy one) to XP Pro and was told that they wouldn’t do it. They had tried once and that machine failed to run run right. It had something to do with the drivers and XP not having several of the drivers neede to run some of the hardware within the machine. I don’t know if that’s correct, but the bottom line is that they wouldn’t do it and said that anyone who I might find that would, I should be wary of and expect major problems. My only other alternative is to have a machine custom built and I’ve checked a few sites and constructed several different configs. and they always come out more than what I could find on sale. (:SAD)

I’ll find a solution somehow… I want to say thanks to everyuone who has taken their time to respond to this thread and try to help… I’m sure I’ll have other questions in the future so I’ll be around. I don’t know enough to jump in and try to help but maybe that will change over time.

Thanks again everyone! :■■■■

Grayhost :slight_smile:

It is not so complicated as you think :wink: What you need is a 32 bit Vista installation on a 64 bit machine. That is what asker was trying to explain to you :slight_smile:

Greetz, Red.

I’ve read a few posts and replies about anti-virus, anti-spam, etc. and I’m now more

confused than ever!
My computer, on a quick scan with AVAST, it’s showing full of mallware and viruses and with all

the program I gues I have to make a new clean install. I wounder were it’s fit all that software solution? Or how I should proceed next time? Tks. (:HUG)

yea, Ad-Aware is ■■■■. SpywareBlaster and SAS are pretty good.

I plan to download Comodo Internet Security 3.13.126709.581. I am running XP Pro with Zone Alarm’s Security Suite. Do I need to remove the Zone Alarm Suite? They say huge computer slowdowns can occur and other incompatibility issues may arise due to conflicts especially when both try to run at the same time.

Is this a valid concern of mine? What is your advice?

Joe College

Yes. You should remove ZA.

To remove all traces of ZA use this clean up tool: PC and Mobile Security Software | ZoneAlarm .