Monday, May 10, 2010

Internet Security Programs

Last fall, I requested two internet security programs from Amazon for reviewing from the program I'm a part of.  I thought, "Hey!  They're free.  I'll try them."  I discovered that what's free is not always free in the end--it may come with a price.

I discovered this:  IF you switch internet security programs, make sure you completely uninstall the other program.

I discovered that if you use Norton--there are always little pieces left behind.  If you don't find these pieces, they will stay and your new program will think that they are viruses--problems to be attacked.  This can and often does freeze up your computer.  I discovered all of this the hard way.  I broke the new laptop we had bought 45 days earlier from Costco.  Thankfully, I was able to return it since they had a 90 day return window.  I did do a restore and erase the hard drive, but that's a several hour long process.  And by the time I was done with that, I no longer trusted the computer.  Broken computers for me are like broken used cars.  If it's a little break that gets fixed quickly, my trust is restored quickly.  If it's a big break, I will forever feel insecure about the car--and in this place the computer.

I wrote a review about this on Amazon and someone commented to the effect that I was a dodo bird for not knowing I had to completely uninstall the program and know about these little pieces left behind.  I don't think I was a dodo bird.  I've talked to several friends who didn't know about this glitch either.  It is comforting to know that I'm not alone.  But, that's also why I wanted to post this story this morning.  It's one of those random pieces of information that might help someone someday avert the disaster that crashing their hard drive might be for them someday in the future. =)

Last note, if this has happened to you, or if your computer isn't booting up, call the tech support for your computer manufacturer.  They should be able to walk you through doing a restore on your computer which will bring the computer back to the state it was in at a point in the past.  You'll lose the information that was saved after that date, but you'll get your computer back--and that's a good thing =)

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