I have learned to hate McAfee. Consumers desperately need some aggressive attorneys to mount a class action suit against McAfee, the Federal Trade Commission to take action against McAfee, and some federal legislation to ensure that all computer software companies provide consumers a direct, easy way to uninstall their products. Let me explain.
At some point a computer jock recommended an Internet security software product. For some years I had been using McAfee products, but not with complete satisfaction. So I purchased the new software and attempted to install it. At some early point I was informed that the installation process could not continue because McAfee files were on my computer. I checked the option for automatic removal of the McAfee files. Then I attempted again to install the new product. Again, however, I was informed that McAfee was still on my computer.
Though no computer expect, I took the next logical step. I went to the add/remove programs screen in my Windows XP system. To my surprise there was no McAfee program to remove, even though my new software was telling me McAfee was still on my computer. What to do?
I sought help from my new software provider. I learned that there was a McAfee removal tool, and after some trouble I found it on a McAfee site. I happily downloaded and ran the program and watched with glee as a screen showed what seemed like hundreds of McAfee files being removed from my computer. Wow – I felt relieved. So back I went to install my new software.
Guess what? Once again that familiar screen informed me that McAfee was still on my computer, blocking the installation. How could this be? I used McAfee’s own removal tool. And by the way, should you want to find that removal tool, I recommend using a search engine and looking for something like “McAfee removal.” You will quickly find some nice websites offering a download of the McAfee tool as a free public service. Obviously, lots of people have been trying to free themselves of McAfee.
Back to my problem. I asked several computer jocks for help, but the consensus was that McAfee was known to bury their files deep within computer systems, so that what I was now terribly upset about was a common problem. The only thing to try was to go back to the McAfeehelp.com site and try to find something to help me free myself from McAfee tyranny. It is not easy to find a no-cost form of technical help, of course. McAfee’s sole focus is on selling you more stuff, even help. I used the answer center; it told me to do what I already found useless – namely trying the add/remove programs option. Then I selected the option that I needed further support options. Only then did I discover a no-cost chat room option; don’t waste time on the forums. Their Internet chat room tries to make you think that a real person is responding to your question. Of course it is merely a computer program. But eventually after seeking help to uninstall all McAfee files I received some detailed instructions. There were many actions to take that no ordinary computer user is familiar with. Most of what was recommended involved going into my computer’s registry and carefully looking for McAfee files. Here’s where I discovered why another earlier action I had tried failed.
Earlier I had run the search program found by clicking the Windows start icon and searched for McAfee files that I could delete. Indeed, I had found some, but deleting them also did not work to let my new software install itself. What I later discovered by obtaining the details on finding McAfee files in various registry locations was that McAfee not only buries their files in deep, hidden places in your computer. It also buries many files that do NOT have McAfee in their names. The new detailed instructions included information on finding many other types of unnamed or deviously named McAfee files. Indeed, eventually, I found many McAfee files in various registry locations that had to be deleted.
And so, after an incredible amount of stress, aggravation, time and cursing, I finally was able to install my new security software.
So ask yourself: Why does McAfee go to extreme lengths to bury and hide many of its files on consumers’ home computers? There is only one rational answer. It is their devious business strategy to make consumers give up trying to free their computers of McAfee, stop trying to install competing software, and return to using McAfee. This is a scandalous business practice that clearly costs huge numbers of consumers much time, aggravation and money.
Now you know why I hate McAfee and want some sharp attorneys to file a class action suit that would make McAfee pay for all the trouble they have caused consumers. And I certainly would like the Federal Trade Commission to nail McAfee for using such a contemptible business strategy. Remember, even McAfee’s own removal program is insufficient to free your computer of McAfee tyranny. I was so angry and stubborn that eventually I prevailed. But many people would surrender to McAfee tyranny.
Lastly, it seems a good idea to have some federal law that clearly establishes a requirement for all computer software companies to provide consumers an easy and effective way to uninstall their products completely, or face some stiff penalties if they do not.