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Performance Problem with PC's running McAfee 4.5.1

I've still got several Win98 machines on my network.  I'd say, on average, most of these machines are around 533MHz with 128MB RAM.  I've noticed a considerable performance drop on these machines, and I've been racking my brain trying to figure out what is going on.  I've noticed that when I disable McAfee 4.5.1, the performance improves dramatically.  These machines do not have Internet access or email, so most of the extra options in McAfee (like email scanning, download scanning, Internet filtering, etc...) are disabled.  Does anyone have any idea why McAfee would be killing the performance on these machines?  (Besides the fact that McAfee is a resource hog to begin with)  Any thing I can do to improve performance?
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woodas26
Asked:
woodas26
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2 Solutions
 
Will SzymkowskiSenior Solution ArchitectCommented:
Hello there,

Does McAfee load up on the computer when booting up? What you might want to do is open the Resource monitor Utility with McAfee running and see how much sys resources its actually using. Also what you might want to do is type msconfig in the run dialog box and go to the startup tab and disable any unnessasary programs that are running when windows starts.

Also if that doesn't work I would suggest putting more RAM in the machine. This will definitly work for you.

Hope this helps
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ian_chardCommented:
Hi,

Not too familiar with 4.5.1 but I've had quite a bit of experience with VirusScan 7, 8 and Epo. I've just had a look at the service pack 1 release notes for 4.5.1 and there are a couple of features that have been added. So I guess first thing to check is that you've got SP1 installed on these, if not you'll need to download it using your grant number, your AV supplier should be able to sort this for you.

Anyways a scan down the release notes, I found this *this is for SP1 only*

9.  Issue:
    When an on-demand scanning activity ran, it
    consumed all available CPU capacity not
    already in use by another process. This
    preempted other processes that required
    additional CPU capacity to start or
    continue.

    Resolution:
    Now you can create a registry value that
    specifies the maximum average CPU capacity
    that the on-demand scanner can consume.

    To create the registry value, follow these
    steps:

      a.  Start the Windows registry editor.

      b.  b. Locate this registry key:

           HKLM
             SOFTWARE
                Network Associates
                  TVD
                    VirusScan

      c.  Create a new REG_DWORD variable with
          the name ODSAverageCPUUse. Assign a
          value between 10 and 90. This value
          represents the average percentage of
          CPU capacity that the on-demand
          scanner can consume. Values below 10
          or above 90 are ignored.

          IMPORTANT:
          When using the DWORD EDITOR to assign
          the numeric value, be certain to
          select the DECIMAL option so that the
          value is read as a percentage.

      d.  Close the registry editor.

This should help you out a fair bit.

Cheers
Ian
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purfusCommented:
Do you really need real time virus monitoring on a system not even on the internet?  I would have it all disabled and do occasional manual scans to check the drive for any infections.  I would definitly not have any real time scanning taking place.  I dont even do that on my home system which is online.  I just dont run into that many viruses, I scan suspicious items and let the rest go and my computer performance is better for it.  I think there is way too much parania out there over virus protection and most of it is unwarrented and most of what is warrented would be easily solved through a bit of consciousness about what you do on the web.
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woodas26Author Commented:
Thanks for all the input.

Spec01:  Yes, McAfee loads at startup.

ian:  We are not running SP1, and I'm in the process of getting that installed now.  Even if this is not the source of the problem, it would be nice to have a way to control how much resorces McAfee is allowed to use.  Most of my PC's run version 8, and you can actually set this value in the console.  You can't run version 8 on Win98, correct?

The machine I'm working on now to try and correct this problem has just had Windows reloaded on it.  After formatting and installing Win98, everything runs fine.  I install McAfee, and the system still runs fine.  (No performance drop)  I run the update to get updated virus defs. and performance drops big time.  I'm starting to suspect that maybe one of the update files was corrupted, and the corrupt file was installed on all my machines.  Is this possible?  I have a mirror site set up to go and get updates twice a week and download them to my server.  The PC's grab the updates off of my local server.  Could one of these files become corrupted, and then installed when the PC's get the updates?

purfus:  I see what you're saying, and for experienced computer uses that may be alright, but most of my users are not experienced.  Even though these PC's don't have Internet access, they are still on our network.  I would not want to take the chance of someone bringing an infected disk, jump drive, etc... from home and slapping it in on of these PC's.  It may never happen, but I'm not willing to bet my job on it.
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ian_chardCommented:
That's right, it's only for Windows NT, 2000, XP and 2003, but the reg fix for 4.5.1 will do the same. I've set our servers to run at around 30% CPU after a few trial and errors. The other boxes seemed to be running OK at around 50% CPU, but the SQL server performances dipped quite a bit (this was with VCAN 8)

Cheers
Ian
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purfusCommented:
Wouldn't the world be a better place if average users actually used their brains along with their computers...
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purfusCommented:
BTW, if your concerned about viruses propegating through your network from those pc's your best bet is a good firewall.  Actually a properly setup firewall would be even better protection than a virus scanner.
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nobusCommented:
i had exact the same situation. i uninstalled McAfee, and installed AVG free, and all problems were gone :

http://free.grisoft.com/doc/1
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woodas26Author Commented:
I installed SP1 and added the dword entry.  The performance improved some, but it is still much slower with McAfee enabled vs. disabled.  I'm going to do some more testing tomorrow, and I'll let you all know how it goes.  If any of you have any more suggestions, I'd be glad to hear them.

Nobus:  Can you use AVG Free in a business environment?  I was under the impression that you couldn't...

[Wouldn't the world be a better place if average users actually used their brains along with their computers...]
Amen, purfus
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nobusCommented:
you're right - only for personal use . . but try the full version on one to see the effects . .
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woodas26Author Commented:
SP1 installation has improved performance enough for now.  I'm looking into buying AVG Network Edition.  (It's half the cost of what we are currently paying for McAfee)  I run AVG Free at home, and love it.  I'm sure the business versions are even better.  Thanks for all the help!
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