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ZoneAlarm Update Flaky for McAfee Users

Two Security Fix readers wrote in on Friday to call attention to a little software compatibility problem introduced by an update to the popular ZoneAlarm firewall program. Apparently, a new version of ZoneAlarm (6.5.714, released on Thursday) is causing problems for people who also have McAfee anti-virus software installed. When McAfee users try to upgrade the firewall, they are greeted with the following message:

"ZoneAlarm has detected that you have McAfee VirusScan installed. There are compatibility issues between ZoneAlarm and this Product. If you want to install ZoneAlarm, please uninstall McAfee VirusScan and restart the ZoneAlarm installer. The install cannot continue and will exit."

A discussion thread on this is growing over at the Zone Labs user forum. At any rate, there appears to be a workaround available for McAfee users that involves quite a bit of system tweaking, but I haven't seen any official word from CheckPoint Software Technologies, which owns the ZoneAlarm brand.

A user of ZoneAlarm Pro (the non-free version) wrote in wondering if "Check Point [is trying to] force users to upgrade to their virus scan product." I doubt there is anything nefarious going on here, but it has been a long time since I've seen this kind of compatibility problem with ZoneAlarm. Back when I used it, I recall receiving this exact message when an update complained about some security software I had on my machine. I believe it was the reason I stopped.

By Brian Krebs  |  June 19, 2006; 9:48 AM ET
Categories:  From the Bunker  
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So what did you move to instead of ZoneAlarm, if I may be curious?

Posted by: Some GUy | June 19, 2006 11:26 AM | Report abuse

homegrown solution ;)

Posted by: Bk | June 19, 2006 11:31 AM | Report abuse

A popular Eudora forum is talking about another problem; with the latest Eurdora 7 version and the referenced version of ZA.

Posted by: Bartolo | June 19, 2006 12:50 PM | Report abuse

There are several other problems caused by the new 6.5 versions of ZoneAlarm:

1) BSOD after Check Disk.
2) Interference with Eudora's fast search indexing, causing weird problems.
3) Date Modified for files are updated after the file is changed.
4) Other problems I'm not fully aware of.

Posted by: Bruce A. Johnson | June 19, 2006 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Correction to my comment:

3) Date Modified for files are NOT updated after the file is changed.

Posted by: Bruce A. Johnson | June 19, 2006 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Hi all,
Just wanted to let you know that updated versions of all ZoneAlarm products have been posted @ which remedy the conflict reported by Brian above.

So what happened? When our customers downloaded the recently-launched ZoneAlarm 6.5, installation was halted upon detection of McAfee antivirus products on the host system. We occasionally use this "gating" process to protect our customers when a known incompatibility exists between ZoneAlarm and another software program. In this case, the gating was an error.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused our users.

Posted by: Allison Wagda - ZoneAlarm | June 20, 2006 8:23 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: jhon | July 29, 2006 3:24 AM | Report abuse

Funny part is, McAfee just came out with an update that won't install because ZA is installed! The only thing selected was the anti-virus so go figure.

Any chance we can just get a one-note program anymore? These suites are increasingly incompatible, and I'm not happy about paying for two products, only to have one (or both) eventually become incompatible with one another. If I want a firewall, sell me a firewall. If I want an anti-virus, sell me an anti-virus. I'll buy the rest if I want it.

Posted by: KB | July 29, 2006 5:25 PM | Report abuse

I got the same message when I tried to install the latest Mcafee Viruscan. It said I would have to uninstall Zonealarm first.

Posted by: Seismo | August 3, 2006 8:50 PM | Report abuse

I'm losing faith with both of them, but to a much greater extent with McAfee. Their product is bloated as it is, but now they play these anti-competitive games. I've already provided my input to key government officials against the next renewal of their software contract. Next on my list: a few letters to Congressional representatives.

Posted by: John Simon | August 6, 2006 2:49 AM | Report abuse

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