Saturday, October 01, 2005

Zone Alarm Pro

I've read a lot of complaints about the Zone Alarm upgrade from last month. So many complaints that when the program notified me of the update, I chose to be reminded in 60 days. After reading 2 reports in a Windows oriented newsletter stating that the most recent update was stable and that there was a worm out that could penetrate a vulnerability in the free and older version of the software, I decided to give it a go. Keep in mind that I use the Pro version of the software, so your mileage may vary.

One of the common problems that I read about with the initial upgrade release was that the "upgrade" path was a bad one. Many people wrote in with complaints to Zone Alarm's user forums. The pros there finally began telling people that the best way to upgrade was to uninstall their older version, then install the newer one. I decided that this would be my path for this version (6.0.667) even if it was more stable than the initial upgrade (version 6.0.557).

The first thing I did was go to download the new version I was upgrading to. Next, I opened Zone Alarm Pro and went to the overview panel, then click the Preferences tab. I clicked the "Backup" button and it created an XML file containing all of my preferences which I stored on another drive. Next, I went to Start>Programs>Zone Alarm>Uninstall Zone Alarm and then right clicked the shortcut to bring up the properties. I added to the uninstall path a space and "/clean" (without the quotes). I saved the properties then went back to Start>programs.Zone Alarm>Uninstall Zone Alarm and began the uninstall procedure, clicking "Yes" along the way on several dialogue boxes. Once the uninstall clean procedure worked, I re-booted the PC.

After the reboot, I opened the programs folder and deleted the Zone Alarm folder that was still there due to me once storing an older version of the program there. I navigated to where the new version of the product was and double clicked it. The install was fairly typical of this product. There was a new set of dialogue screens towards the end in order to set up preferences. Then the product loaded up it's "True Vector" protection service and asked to re-boot. After this re-boot, the product asked me if I wanted to watch the tutorial video, which I skipped. Finally, I went back to the overview section and to the Preferences tab, clicked restore, and then pointed to my back-up XML file. This took several minutes to complete and sent my cooling fan into over drive, but it worked. My license key and everything were set to how I left them.

A new section has been added to Zone Alarm: The Anti-Spyware scanner. You can set the spyware scanner to run periodically and to update it's definitions. I ran a scan and it found PC Police keylogger on my machine (surprisingly and slightly alarmingly). I deleted that. In the program control section rather than simply a check mark in the trusted section, we now have levels of trust (one through three).

I'm sure that I'll find more as I poke around. It asked about a lot of processes when it was first installed and I expected that. But, despite my fears, this seems to be working for me.


swissred said...

I just read this adware related post and would like to add it to my adware aurora website. Have a look, thanks.

B.D. said...

You're free to link to it and quote it at will.

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