Friday, October 9, 2009

Comodo Antivirus Locking up Windows Systems

The latest update to Comodo appears to be locking up Windows computers. If you use Comodo and are having this problem, feel free to skip to the bottom section entitled "Removing Comodo when your D*** Computer Wont Listen to You" for instructions on removing it and possible replacement products. If you feel like reading the novelized version, read on.

A couple of days ago my Windows 7 box started freezing up, stuttering, moaning and just being a general pain in the neck.

Within 5 minutes of boot, the computer would become completely unusable. Suspecting a bad Microsoft update, I restored to a couple days before and rebooted. Windows was fine for about 10 mins, then locked up again tight as a drum. "That's RC's for ya" I said to myself,as I formatted and installed a fresh image of XP. I did not have time to debug a beta operating system at work, so I restored XP and got on with the work of the day thankful that I keep an Ubuntu laptop around for occasions when Windows is being grumpy.

After work I drove home and prepared to relax with a cold beer in the hot tub.

It was not to be.....

My son greeted me at the door with that look of sadness that only the most tortured, wronged and neglected children can produce. "Daddy, my laptop is froze up".

Me: "Reboot"

Neglected Son: "I already did twice. I can't play my game."

Me: "aargh"

Needless to say the thing was locked up tight as a drum. Multiple reboots and I still could not even get it up long enough to see what process was causing all the trouble. So... time to do the Safe Mode Shuffle. Interesting. The laptop came up just fine in safe mode..... Just like my Windows 7 box at work.... and after restoring, his laptop was still as frozen as an Eskimo eating freeze pops in a blizzard. The light bulb had lit (dimly). What was the same between my 7 box at work, and my Son's XP laptop? Both were Dell... I also did fresh installations on both to avoid the Circusware Dell puts on their laptops... They were both silver... I had touched both (can't rule out karma)...There was 1 other thing. Comodo Antivirus. I use Comodo's free product at home and for prototypes and non-domain test computers at work... Could it be?

I navigated my way to add/remove programs and uninstalled Comodo... Reboot, and... Bingo!
The Boy's laptop was chugging along at full speed again (well as fast as a 9yr old's laptop chock full of kidware can go).

After reboot I substituted Avira free AV to keep my reckless internet surfer safe.
Yay - hero geek Dad!

Next day at work the helpdesk received a handful of support calls about frozen computers. Each one with Comodo installed. I had them routed to me for removal and substitution.

Removing Comodo When Your D*** Computer Won't Listen to You.

1) If your computer is frozen up, Choke it to death by pressing and HOLDING the power button down until the computer shuts off. Otherwise shut down normally (unlikely).

2) Start the computer back up and press the F8 key just before the Windows logo appears. You will see the "Windows Advanced Options Menu".

3) Use your up and down arrows on the keyboard to select "Safe Mode With Networking"(preferred) or "Safe Mode" and press the Enter key.

4) The next screen may say "Select operating system to start:". In most cases there is only one entry so press the Enter key. If there is more than one entry, select the OS you are using. If you are not sure try the first one. If you get some type of error, reboot and try the second.

5) The screen will fill with text messages referring to the Windows boot process. Ignore them. Eventually either the Safe Mode desktop or your logon screen will appear. Logon if needed. If you are on a Domain, the computer may or may not be able to contact it. If not, logon as local administrator. most folks can ignore those last couple sentences. Everyone should get a warning that "Windows is running in Safe Mode". Click YES to continue.

6) Click on the Start menu and select Control Panel.

7) From the Control Panel click "Add or Remove Programs". Locate Comodo Internet Security or Comodo Antivirus

8) Click Remove.

9) Go though the removal process (varies, but generally involves some next and OK's).

10) Reboot.

11) Find new antivirus software.

A Couple Suggestions For Free AV :

Although I use enterprise grade antivirus at work, I have ahealthy respect for the free stuff. A couple of good choices are:

Good, decent antivirus solution that does not nag the heck out of you. It does require free registration.

Feature rich, reliable, but annoyingly nags you to purchase an upgraded version.

Another good, lightweight AV product that unfortunately nags you to purchase an upgrade.

Great antivirus with a high detection rate. Unfortunately it does NOT have an active scanning capability. Great for file servers or computers with very limited resources. Absolutely, no-nagging.

A good comparison of antivirus products is available on Wikipedia.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That's what happened to me recently too.
After installing "Comodo" "anti" VIRUS program it locked up my laptop and after having to force it to shut down by pressing the OFF buttom, it couldn't startup again.
It was even unable to read from CD drive...
The only way to revive the computer was by disconnecting (removing) the battery and the power cable.
Obviously "Comodo" was sent down the drain.
This was a terrible experience, I will never install any "Comodo" application again!