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SpySweeper -- System slow down


Purhonen
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My system began taking a VERY long time to boot up and was generally slow in all tasks whether Internet related or not (sometimes it seemed to take forever for Windows Explorer just to open). I purchased and installed Webroot's SpySweeper in February and early on it seemed to work fine. Then within the last couple of months the system slow down began. I first thought it might be the new remote (web-based) backup program, Mozy, so I uninstalled it. Nothing changed. Next I thought it might be a new free firewall I was trying (got rave reviews in PC Mag) called Comodo. So I uninstalled that (and re-installed Zone Alarm free edition) but again, nothing changed. So I now I thought it must be either SpySweeper or a new free anti-virus program I was trying, Avast!. I decided to uninstall SpySweeper (did it in Safe Mode so I could check boot up time on reboot), so I did it today, and, it looks like it was the "culprit." Bootup time was about 90 seconds whereas before, even though I didn't actually time it, it seemed to be five minutes plus! I selected SpySweeper because it seemed it was always the very last program to load on bootup. Anyway, everything is back to running snappily and smartly now so I'm thinking it was SpySweeper. Has anyone else encountered this? Regards, SteveP.S. My system: Windows XP SP2, Dell Inspiron 8600 laptop, 512mg RAM (I was actually contemplating upgrading to 1gb of RAM when I was in the depths of despair).P.P.S. I have re-installled the Mozy with no ill effects.

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Altho you don't state, there are a multitude of problems with the latest version of Spy Sweeper, v5.0. freeze ups are one of them. Adaware scan hangs is another.Some problems have been tracked to the Key logger shield, some to other Shields.This version is very buggy. Several threads of complaints at CastleCops Spy Sweeper forum and a couple at DSLR forums also.I have decided to uninstall my version until the next one is out. It's quite apparent to me, they didn't get it right.

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Same situation here. I was able to use Process Explorer to track down the culprit. It's especially frustrating to start a download and have to wait 5 minutes (literally at times) for SS to scan the file before the download can even begin. I've also had several freeze-ups.Currently I keep it off and only manually scan with it. I have WinPatrol Plus to guard against whatever NOD32 and Kerio firewall might miss. I also have Script Sentry enabled at all times.I, too, hope they get this fixed. I just renewed (at a decent savings, so I can't complain about that at least), but it annoys me that an application so highly rated seems to have come undone. Either they'll fix this, or people like me will cease recommending it and at some point their reputation will suffer. It really doesn't pay to screw up when the spotlight's on you (a truism in many situations).

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redmaledeer

In the February 21 PC Magazine there was a review and test results of antispywares. SpyCatcher (which I had never heard of) came out only slightly behind the two Editors' Choices, which were Spy Sweeper and Spyware Doctor. SpyCatcher has a free version (SpyCatcher Express, www.tenebril.com), which seems to differ from the paid version only in frills. It slows down my and other people's computers considerably. But it might be worth a trial while SpySweeper is out of the running anyway.

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I've heard from several people -- including our own Striker -- that Spy Sweeper 5.0 is problematic. But I have to tell you, I'm running 4.5, and I'm having no issues. I have to imagine that 5.0 is the culprit. Steve (it is my buddy Steve, right?), did you upgrade to 5.0? And if so, when. It sounds like you were having problems even before that though. I'm very interested, because I've been planning to write a bit about Spy Sweeper in my next issue.-- Scot

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They just offered version 5.05.xxx (file name 1977_.exe) to me today. I've installed it and am letting it run, and so far none of the issues I was seeing with the last version. Maybe someone read the complaints and was able to fix things. I sure hope so.

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They just offered version 5.05.xxx (file name 1977_.exe) to me today. I've installed it and am letting it run, and so far none of the issues I was seeing with the last version. Maybe someone read the complaints and was able to fix things. I sure hope so.
I'm curious as to what build number you have gotten with that DL?Build for original new DL was 1286, I wonder if the 1977 is a reference to a new build available?I'll have to go and check the DL link, see what it is.EDIT: Just checked, DL build from original 'trial' version link is still at 1286 Edited by TeMerc
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Irritatingly, I had to shut it down and restart it to find the build number, since it doesn't show in the GUI, only the splash screen. Yes, it's 1286.I kept getting "please reinstall, the installation is corrupt" messages earlier under the previous 1286 version. I think that download was not complete, and they've just reisssued it. Like I said, this one is not giving me the problems the last update did. The coming days will tell whether it is better behaving or not.

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Here's what Webroot's external PR agency got for me from Webroot about the Spy Sweeper 5 issues:"As you'd expect, Webroot is aware of the performance degradation/system slow down reports and is devoting massive resources to understanding the problem and resolving it ASAP. They've already posted a short-term solution in the Knowledge Base section of their support site (http://support.webroot.com/ics/support/default.asp?deptID=776). "Here, you'll see that the issue may stem from the fact that when we uppgraded Spy Sweeper to version 5.0, we increased the minimum system requirements from 128 mb of RAM to 256 mb, and as such, some users that have limited resources of RAM, might see the performance of their machine slow after upgrading. The initial remedy is for users to remove unwanted and unused programs/processes from the start up and those steps are given in the link above."Of course, that's not a perfect solution, but like I said, it's just an initial remedy and hopefully shows our users that we've already dug in on it and are now working on a long term solution."Doesn't sound like they're copping to a quick fix in the latest release.-- Scot

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Except that in both of my machines I run 1GB of RAM with minimal startup programs already...and still got slowdowns and freezes.

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Yeah, I wrote back to Webroot that point seconds after I got their email (reprinted above). I know a lot of people who are having this problem with much more than even 512MB of RAM. I notice there's even a slightly newer version of Spy Sweeper now:5.0.5 (build 1286)I'm still running 4.5.9 (build 709), and happily so. I wonder if you can go back? I still have the installer for a 4.5x version ...-- Scot

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Scot, yes it's "me" your old Navy pilot buddy; thanks for remembering. I'm traveling (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada for the CHAMP Car Grand Prix) so just today have read all the posts including yours -- thanks for your active, quick help. You may be on to something about the 4.5 versus 5.0 version, I didn't think of that (actually couldn't remember . . . the age thing you know) when I considered the reasons behind my systems slowdown. As I recall I DID upgrade to 5.0 when I was first notified and I think that pretty well coincides with when the degradation began. Regardless, I'm now gun shy. The system slowdown in performance was so dramatic that I now have a phobia about SpySweeper. I may try some of the other SpySweeper-like programs if I feel vulnerable. Tell me if I'm wrong but I think I can be just about as safe running AdAware and SpyBot Search & Destroy as scan only programs as as I can with a real-time monitoring malware program such as SpySweepeer. True? Regards, Steve

I've heard from several people -- including our own Striker -- that Spy Sweeper 5.0 is problematic. But I have to tell you, I'm running 4.5, and I'm having no issues. I have to imagine that 5.0 is the culprit. Steve (it is my buddy Steve, right?), did you upgrade to 5.0? And if so, when. It sounds like you were having problems even before that though. I'm very interested, because I've been planning to write a bit about Spy Sweeper in my next issue.-- Scot
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Steve, there was a time when Ad-aware and Spy-Bot were just fine. But that time has passed. At the least, I suggest Windows Defender. But if you have a Spy Sweeper 4.5 installer, I still think it's the best anti-spyware product around. I'd be willing to bet many people in this forum would agree with that statement, or at least name it in the top three. And you do need this kind of protection. Everyone does. I understand your concern about going back to something that caused a problem. But this program really has been very trouble free for a number of years before the 5.0 release. Any company can make a mistake. If you do try it -- we want to know how it goes! If not, we understand.-- ScotSteve, there was a time when Ad-aware and Spy-Bot were just fine. But that time has passed. At the least, I suggest Windows Defender. But if you have a Spy Sweeper 4.5 installer, I still think it's the best anti-spyware product around. I'd be willing to bet many people in this forum would agree with that statement, or at least name it in the top three. And you do need this kind of protection. Everyone does. I understand your concern about going back to something that caused a problem. But this program really has been very trouble free for a number of years before the 5.0 release. Any company can make a mistake. If you do try it -- we want to know how it goes! If not, we understand.-- Scot

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please reinstall, the installation is corrupt
This has been happening since late builds of version 4.5, been to long for me to recall really.I had it happen to me on a couple of differently configured boxes and same kind of thing, never really predictable at all either.And the process of uninstalling and reinstalling, that some users (myself included) was, DL new exe, reboot to safe mode, uninstall, reinstall new exe, reboot, and good luck.So someone has just not been on the ball, as this massage has occurred in a few users still yet, with v5.They need to fix this and fast or users will begin to doubt.
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Hmmm. That's the first I've heard of any problem with 4.5. I don't like the sounds of it either. Why did you have to uninstall in Safe Mode?-- Scot

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Hmmm. That's the first I've heard of any problem with 4.5. I don't like the sounds of it either. Why did you have to uninstall in Safe Mode?-- Scot
They didn't say and I didn't ask for the technical aspects. It did take more than one try tho. I have been using SS since before it became popular and have been following along as users and myself had different problems. They really began to have more troubles once they added the shields. Complaints about excessive CPU consumption began there too. I'll have to go back and look in my forum to see sure.The most annoying to me was the hosts file, an obvious misstep AFAIC. I mean, what hosts file is smaller than 600 entries? None that I have ever seen.
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I was successful in uninstalling it in normal mode and reinstalling it. I didn't have to go into safe mode.I've observed a clue to when the installation isn't valid. If, after installation, you are not told to reboot the system, it's going to be corrupt.I let WinPatrol Plus (highly recommended by me) monitor the Host files and have disabled that function in SS.

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Scot, thanks for the understanding and support. I would like to get one thing straight in my mind: regardless of which anti-spyware program I choose, if I run it in its real-time scanning mode will there be some amount of system performance degradation? (I assume there will be.) If this is in fact the case, I guess it's simply a matter of choosing the program which results in the least degradation. True? Regards, Steve

Steve, there was a time when Ad-aware and Spy-Bot were just fine. But that time has passed. At the least, I suggest Windows Defender. But if you have a Spy Sweeper 4.5 installer, I still think it's the best anti-spyware product around. I'd be willing to bet many people in this forum would agree with that statement, or at least name it in the top three. And you do need this kind of protection. Everyone does. I understand your concern about going back to something that caused a problem. But this program really has been very trouble free for a number of years before the 5.0 release. Any company can make a mistake. If you do try it -- we want to know how it goes! If not, we understand.-- Scot
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There's always going to be some overhead expended to run a full-time application running in the background. But you're right that it's a matter of finding the least obtrusive program that still does what you need. You can disable indexing on your hard disks which will free up some resources (and unless you do a lot of searching within your system is useless anyway IMHO).

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For the least amount of system degradation, I have to recommend Windows Defender. It not only doesn't have much system overhead, it's been engineered not to bother you with pop-ups unless it really has to. But what I can't vouch for is Windows Defenders level of defense. My sense is that it isn't high though. I don't trust only Windows Defender. It's also beta 2, and I personally have found beta 2 (out for more than four months) to be a little on the buggy side. There are problems with the scheduled scanning.For me, Spy Sweeper is the best compromise between excellent scanning and low-overhead real-time system monitoring. I just haven't had any problems with it. But it's clear that other people have.I have no experience with Win Patrol. The last time I looked at it I honestly felt like it was more a toy than a real utility. But that was a long time ago. Jeber and Corrine, what do you like about it?A lot of people also use SpyBlaster. Should we turn this thread into anti-spyware recommendations? What do you use? Or should we start a new thread that does that? I'm certainly interested in tha topic.-- Scot

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Scot WinPatrol has really come a long way. I began using it many years ago, when it was suggested by many to be an essential start up manager. Since then, the PLUS version has become a pretty powerful tool, IMHO.With version 9.8 Bill gave Scotty some great tools to prevent and monitor some key malware target points in the registry. He's also given PLUS users great into about files, at the click of a button. For the one time fee, one of the best investments you can make. I have the last few version details in a sticky at my forum hereThis page compares what you get when you upgrade.SpywareBlaster while a great tool no doubt but with something along the lines of IE-SPYADs, it has restricted zone coverage probably 3 times that of SB, so I recommend users disable SBs restricted zone protection as well as Spybot, again, for the same reasons.But the ActiveX killbits set are second to none, especially for free. the tool is frequently updated too, usually at least once per month.And if you're interested, you can read an interview I did with Bill, when I visited him in New York.It turned out he lived literally about a mile and a half from some of my wifes family. He is a super guy and real fun to chat with. I spent a couple of hours discussing all sorts of things.

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One feature I really like about WinPatrol is that it is not obtrusive. "Scotty on Patrol" is a great description because that is exactly what WinPatrol does -- it patrols your computer based on the settings you select. Sure, I have SysInternal's "Process Explorer", but I find WinPatrol more "user friendly". It is very easy to configure and the instructions are clear and concise without a lot of mumble-jumble. Example: http://www.winpatrol.com/startup.htmlYou can see the features here: http://www.winpatrol.com/I think you'll also find the information here about BillP Studios very interesting: http://billp.com/partners/

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Corrine, Sunbelt sent me some licenses for Kerio too. I'll check out WinPatrol. Two testimonials goes a long way with me.You know it might be interesting to compare security protection suites. What does TeMerc use for AV, AS, etc. What does Corrine use? I think you've told us a good portion of this. But if folks reading this are willing to share the names of their favorite security tools -- it might be fun to compare.-- Scot

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I have been running Norton AV\FW since '02. No complaints from me. Nothing has ever gotten past Norton not even one time. The only times I have ever gotten an alert of any type, was when my lil bro was infected by Mytob and his box was sending me emails like for 3 days, til I called him up and told him he was infected. I was a n00b back then, took me that long to pin it down.Even before I was security minded, I have only had one minor infection, which was WildTangent\Viewpoint when AOL decided to sneak it in bundled with AIM. I removed it with Adaware, Spybot and Spy Sweeper and I don't consider that a 'real' infection either.Up until maybe the last year or so, I used to run AdAware w\Adwatch, Spybot w\Tea Timer active and SS. Also had WinPatrol and SpywareGuard & Blaster. Added hosts file and IE-SPYADs some time after those anti-spywares.Now, on my primary machine, all I run is hosts file, SPYADS, WinPatrol and SiteAdvisor. AV and FW of course.I don't scan for anti spyware much any more, not in the last 4 months maybe. Same goes with AV. I also have MailWasherPro, which also keeps me free of alot of spam\infections. Not that I would worry tho, Norton always kept me clean.I run SpywareBlaster without IE's restricted sites protection enabled because with SPYADs running the db is more than 4 times it's size, so makes no sense to overlap. Also have Spybot's Immunize feature off for the same reason.I think that about covers my security set up.

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Corrine, Sunbelt sent me some licenses for Kerio too. I'll check out WinPatrol. Two testimonials goes a long way with me.You know it might be interesting to compare security protection suites. What does TeMerc use for AV, AS, etc. What does Corrine use? I think you've told us a good portion of this. But if folks reading this are willing to share the names of their favorite security tools -- it might be fun to compare.-- Scot
OS: Windows XP, SP2 -- fully updates (except for WGA - Verification)Browser: FirefoxFirewall*: Kerio Personal Firewall 4A/V: McAfee Virus Scan Enterprise (Corporate License is available for home use.)Real-Time Protection:
  • Ad-Watch (set to prompt, not on automatic)
  • SpyBlocker (includes hosts file)
  • TaskCatcher
  • SpyWareBlaster
  • SpywareGuard
  • WinPatrol (no conflicts with Ad-Watch, just occasional responses to both)

Anti-Spyware/Malware Apps**

  • Ad-Aware SE Professional | Plus | Personal (all 3 for helping users)
  • ewido (hasn't been updated in ages)
  • Windows Defender (real-time protection turned off, updated regularly, only scanned a couple times -- takes too long)

*Beta tested Windows One-Care Live and hated the firewall so uninstalled**Beta Tested Sunbelt's Counterspy and had system conflicts. Also attempted beta test of a-squared's latest but was not able to update. I never received a response from Christian that the issue was solved and figured if he didn't care, I had better things to do. (Meow)Since switching to Firefox, there hasn't even been a tracking cookie on my machine. In fact, while beta testing Ad-Aware SE, I had to allow a tracking cookie on my system to test it. Each time there was a new Def File for testing, I'd release my pet cookie. I was also involved in the beta testing of Lavasoft's WhenU removal tool. So Nic gave me a copy of WhenU to download for testing. Fortunately, it worked.

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Interesting stuff you guys. Anyone else want to post what security software they're using?I'd offer the same but mine is always in a state of flux. At the moment its AVG 7.1, Spy Sweeper 4.5, and Windows Defender.Oh, TeMerc and Corrine, I swapped some email with BillP the other day, and I'll take a look at Win Patrol 10.x as soon as I get clear of all the other testing I've got lined up. Got a lot with the AV stuff and some Linux tests I plan on. And, oh, there's RC1 of Windows Vista coming up too.-- Scot

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I also had a problem with the new SS. When I upgraded it caused tmpfw.exe ( a Trendmicro process) to run at about 50% of cpu all the time and slowed everything way down. Went back to 4.5.9 build 709 and everything went back to normal.

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