Occasionally when I’m installing a new program, or updating an existing program, I run into a special issue. Yes, that’s probably the right term for it — when my security software does exactly what it’s supposed to do — and blocks the software installation or upgrade/update.
Such was the case this week with the surprise update from Microsoft called .NET Service Pack 1.
I tried to install it on my desktop computer and on my wife’s computer. In both cases, the installatiton failed and didn’t bother to tell me why it failed, just that it had. In both cases, I had started the update and left the room, so I didn’t get to see any warning messages that may have occurred.
Anyway, my anti-spyware/anti-adware program CounterSpy prevented the .NET service pack from changing all the files that it wanted to change. I had CounterSpy set for some aggresive control by setting its Active Protection function to Cautious (the choices are Paranoid, Cautious, Trusting and Custom) and putting checkmarks on all the options.
All I knew was that the update failed and kept showing up to be done. That gave me the hint that it was probably my security software. But, was it the anti-virus, antispyware/antiadware or even my firewall that was blocking the update?
You have probably read program installation intructions that said to turn off your antivirus, your firewall or your antispyware program. I seldom do that unless the installation fails with my security software running. Then, I question myself as to whether or not I really want to run that software and trust that vendor.
My last option would be to disable my anti-virus. I don’t mind disabling my firewall temporarily, since I’m running behind a cable/dsl router (as anyone should be doing, even with only one computer, if they connect to cable or DSL). Similarly, for a specific task, I’ll sometimes disable my anti-spyware/anti-adware program.
I got lucky and found it on the first try. I guessed that the firewall wasn’t the problem since the download was 20MB and I had downloaded it successfully. So, I right-clicked on the CounterSpy icon in the Windows status bar and selected the option to stop CounterSpy. Then, I tried the Microsoft Update again to do the .NET Service Pack. The update was succesful on both computers.
Does this mean that the security software has a problem? In my book, no, it means that it did its job exactly as it should have done.