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What is the current best answer for Windows XP antivirus?

In the last two weeks I have gone through antivirus hell.  I used to be able to clean somebody's computer, but now I have to pay Norton or McAfee to walk me through their procedures as they have changed everything so I can't get the problem solved.  I have run into two viruses that block Norton from updating their files, so if it gets infected, you have to have help to clean the registry by hand.  The customer of course will not spend the time online with Norton, but doesn't want to pay me as they say, well why do I pay you and Norton both.  I do not understand why NAVDX no longer works either.  Norton swears it does but we spent 3 hours on the phone today, and it would not find the virusdef files with the cfg switch.  Is this a common problem now?  I have just bought a new Norton 2005 and McAffee VirusScan and both of them are unable to do a clean install.  On both installs something went wrong and the software would not work.  After hours of crap from the vendors, they finally get it right, but this is insanity.  These clowns want to sell me everything they can think of, Firewall and spyware blocking, etc, etc but they can't even get an install right.

Is there any antivirus software for Windows XP that can be trusted?  I saw something about Shield Pro 2005, but I have never heard of it before.  Are there any others that WORK?  

Norton and McAfee work, but the wasted hours on their damn help lines is simply intolerable.  Especially with NAVDX no longer working.  That used to be the way you got the computer clean so you could do a simple install after it was clean.

Please help.
3 Solutions
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
McAfee has a command line scanner that, as far as I know, requires you to have an Enterprise licensing version. (Min. 5 copies for a 2 year license).  That works quite well.  Otherwise, you might want to try some of the antivirus packages listed here:

No software is going to catch everything.  My personal choice is McAffee, but regardless, McAfee, Norton, ClamAV, AVG, whatever, if you get a new enough virus, NONE of them will catch it.

Hi dean_stephens,

So far I've not experienced any problem helping my clients getting Norton licenses and install their computers (Be in Norton AV  2005 or Norton corp. V9) . One thing to take note though, is these 2 cannot co-exist together, they've done it such a way that if you use mcafee in the past u can't load norton properly in future. They deny it of course, but it's happening.

Maybe you can try trendmicro PC-cillin. Their anti-virus solutions have vastly improved these years and according to my personal experience, I think PC-Cillin is a stable and reliable program now. Trendmicro provide a seperate scanning engine (download online) and some malware fixes just in case you met annoying virus which prevent you  to update anti-virus.

I've seen people use avast also... however I'm not too sure it's entirely reliable.

dean_stephensAuthor Commented:
I was actually installing Norton and McAfee on two different computers.  Until the recent problems, I had nothing but Norton AntiVirus 2003 that I owned, which has stood me in good stead for a couple of years, but is no longer supported.  After the two disasters for clients that had AntiVirus 2004, I though I would get the latest. The install of 2005 was a mess and took two days to get working, with hours of support, which Norton charged me $60 for.  

Have you ever used NAVDX, the command line version of Norton?  It has alwasy worked for me before, and if I could have gotten that to work, I think I could have cleaned the machine myself, but the /cfg: swithc WOULD NOT FIND the vdefs files, even though they were there.  That is when I went and bought McAfee and tried to install it on a new Dell Laptop that had no antivirus on it.

That install also failed.  It said after the install that it was "missing components",  whatever that meant.  No matter how many times I uninstalled and reinstalled, it would not install clean.  After much extensive changing, it suddenly started working, and once again, McAfee charged me for the call.  

I am now disgusted with both companies.  I have heard of TrendMicro PC-Cillin, but have never used it. Do they have a way to do a command line clean using the latest virus definitions (something like NAVDX)?  When you are in the field, carrying the latest stuff around can save a lot of grief.  At least it used to back when Norton worked.

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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
If those are your only two instances - one with each company - you can cite, then you are making a mistake.  Did you ask to speak to a manager?  Did you ask them how you were supposed to do things without calling them?  I'd love to stop doing business with any company that charges for support, but if I did that, I wouldn't have ANY software I could install.
dean_stephensAuthor Commented:
I know I am being impatient, but it was not really only two instances.  It was 4 different instances with 4 different machines using Norton, and then when I went to McAfee, it seemed to be starting all over.  Norton says that the cleaning process I have always used for NAVDX should work, but then we spent 3 hours  with them trying, they could not get it to work and they STILL CHARGED ME!  If McAfee has the same service, and I can get it to work I am fine with that.  I build systems and do not want to spend all my time on this minor stuff.   That is why I am looking for an answer that works.  I am perfectly willing to try anything you can recommend, but I am not willing to spend several hours on a phone, get charged, and still not have the problem fixed.  Norton is insane if they think that my clients, or I, will stand for that.
One vendor which is always overlooked yet rated the best solution (by several magazines/forums) is Kapersky.

Have a look at www.kapersky.com.

Also a good anti virus solution to look at which is free is AVG.  http://www.grisoft.com/doc/1

dean_stephensAuthor Commented:
Cool.  You ought to get some points for a unique view!  You definitely caught my mood.
dean_stephensAuthor Commented:
I bought PC-Cillin.  I don't know if it is any better than Norton or McAfee, but at least I now have another option to get customers working.
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