The Realm of the Verbal Processor

Jarvis's Ramblings

Panda Antivirus Rant

I’ve made no secret that I dislike our corporate anti-virus software. Had a really good conversation with our guy who manages the system yesterday (Jeff), and he isn’t completely happy with it either…he just ran out of time to evaluate other options before the contract was going to expire and needed to be renewed.

Anyway, I just found out from Jeff that Panda removed the silent install switch from the installer. They did WHAT? For IT guys installing software on lots of machines…the silent install switch is a must. We use it to be able to install software in the background with no user interaction. This makes it easy for us to scale a deployment…to automate it so that we can push the installer to a large number of computers at once without having to be concerned about whether a user sees what is going on or not.

And Panda removed that option. Lovely. Let me add it to my growing list of reasons I dislike Panda Anti-virus.

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March 21, 2008 Posted by | tech | , , | Leave a comment

Vista Reliability Monitor Stopped Working

One nice feature that I have enjoyed in Vista is the Reliability Monitor. (Press the Windows key and start typing “reliability” in the “start search” area on the Start Menu. Then click on Reliability Monitor.) This feature will give you a history of how stable/unstable your computer has been. It will list success and failures per day for each of the following categories:

  • Software Installs and Uninstalls
  • Application Failures
  • Hardware Failures
  • Windows Failures
  • Miscellaneous Failures

This is great for troubleshooting what is going right/wrong with a computer. In particular…have you ever asked a user whose computer is going nuts the question, “Have you installed anything recently?” Of course their answer is always, “No.” Well…open up Reliability Monitor to find out the real answer. Hmmm…it looks like right about the time you started having problems that you installed WeatherBug. “Oh yeah…I forgot about that one.”

I have been using Reliability Monitor to watch a couple of troublesome apps that I have running on my computer. I’ve watched my reliability index drop from 9+ down to a low of 2.92. I’m having issues with our corporate antivirus (Panda…stay away from it in my opinion.) as well as Covenant Eyes. CE worked great up until an update that they pushed out in mid-January. It’s been crashing a lot since then…frequent instances of nmSvc.exe stopping working. They had an incremental upgrade today…hopefully that will resolve the issues.

Anyway…I’ve been monitoring that, but when I checked the chart this morning, I noted that there had been no updates in the last seven days. Hmm…that’s odd…so I started digging. One of my first stops was to look at the System Event Log to see if there were any errors related to Reliability Monitor. Instead what I got was a message that it couldn’t read the data in the event log. For all appearances, it appeared that the event log is corrupt.

After choosing to clear the event log (without saving changes…it wouldn’t let me because of invalid data), I kicked off the RACAgent task (Task Scheduler, Task Scheduler Library, Microsoft, Windows, RAC…change view to show hidden tasks). When I went back into the Reliability Monitor I could now see the data for the last week.

That is a bit odd/frustrating…instead of reporting that in the monitor as an error, it gacked and hung the monitor.

March 21, 2008 Posted by | tech | , , | 10 Comments