Thanks very much for letting us know that your situation has
resolved, and for accepting my recommendation of a better
antivirus. Norton's antivirus program has something of a
reputation for not playing nicely with Windows and other
In addition to recommending AntiVir, which not only plays
nicely with Windows, but is one of the few with a Guard
component that catches hidden, 'drive-by' virus downloads on
malicious websites, let me point you and your wife to a
question I answered previously which will help you maintain
bulletproof Windows security overall, in addition to naming
other options to consider for antivirus protection.
Coincidentally, this was another question which went in
a different direction. The original question sought a way
to track the source of virus attacks occurring on the
customer's computer. Instead, I suggested improving the
overall security of the computer so that it simply would
not happen again.
'How to track the source of virus attacks' thus became,
'How to establish and maintain bulletproof Windows security':
Therein, I provide a multi-pronged approach to utilizing
predominantly free software in a workable combination that
has kept my own computer free of viruses and other malware
for close to 3 years of 24/7 operation.
In the antivirus section, I note:
Many of the commercial AV programs are notorious for failing
to detect bugs in a timely manner, and for causing conflicts
with other software (Norton is one of these). As a result,
users started looking for better solutions. I've tried any
number of the freeware solutions and finally settled on
Here's a good list of possible programs:
Free online or downloadable virus scans:
I like AntiVir for several reasons:
- It tends to find viruses missed by other AV programs.
- Detection files are updated frequently - often several
times a day. You can set the update component to update
as often as you like. I update once a day.
- It has a component called AntiVir Guard which monitors
file activity on your hard drive and scans on-the-fly.
This is especially valuable in the case of hidden
"drive-by" downloads from malicious sites - a common
source of trojans. The Guard component sees these
hidden downloads and scans the files, immediately
alerting you of malicious content, and offering you
the option of deleting, moving or renaming the file
or placing it in quarantine. Priceless.
To that, I would add Grisoft's AVG, not for its regular
antivirus program, but for its email scanning component
which can be installed independently. In a comment I
added to that question to keep it up-to-date, I cited
a comment by my colleague byrd-ga, who provided valuable
feedback in this regard:
I'd like to add this input from my colleague byrd-ga, with
regard to email antivirus protection, which AntiVir does
not provide, reproducing her comment on a related question:
"Although I concur with my colleague sublime1-ga on the programs he
recommended and in fact use them myself in addition to a hard router,
I would like to add one recommendation to the list.
I recently discovered that neither AntiVir, AdAware nor SpyBot S&D
provide email protection, and I discovered it when a virus rode into
my system on an email. The troublemaker activated when I viewed the
email in the preview pane in Outlook Express. It took me nearly two
weeks and a lot of grief to isolate and rid my system of that virus,
which infected my display, randomly turning it multicolored dark or
pastel colors, and unreadable, necessitating a hard reboot to clear.
However, I have gotten rid of it, and since then discovered that I can
run Grisoft's AVG, mentioned in the comment above, email protection
together with my AntiVir. It is possible to activate that segment of
the program alone, without running the full antivirus program. Many
times it's said not to run two antivirus programs together, but there
appears to be no conflict whatsoever with this, with AVG seamlessly
integrating itself with both AntiVir and Outlook Express. Another
option, of course, might have been a different email client, but I had
too much invested in my organization of this one to make it an easy
switch. Fortunately, AVG's flexibility made it unnecessary.
So I'm just offering this extra bit to you and anyone else who wants
to use both AntiVir and MS Outlook Express.
Grisoft's AVG is here:
Please make a point to install ONLY the email protection component.
If you install the regular antivirus program as well, it will have
a conflict with AntiVir or any other antivirus program you might
And to be clear, yes, at one time I had installed the full version
of Grisoft's AVG, and used it as my primary antivirus program. As
it failed to detect a virus, on more than one occasion, that was
subsequently detected by an online scan at, say, the BitDefender
website, I moved on, and eventually settled on AntiVir, which has
never failed me.
Happy Thanksgiving and safe computing to you and yours!...