Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Zonealarm and Vista BSOD

I was playing around with the installation of Vista on my Macbook a little yesterday and decided to try installing some anti-virus and firewall software. For the anti-virus I installed AVGFree, primarily because its free :) and also because Ive been using it for years now without any issues. Thankfully it held true to its reputation and is working quite happily under vista.

Zonealarm unfortunately didnt...

I downloaded and installed the latest free version from their site, which states that it supports Vista. I had no problems downloading it but halfway through the install it froze and then after a couple of minutes the whole computer locked up and became totally unresponsive. I left it alone for around 20 minutes to see if it would sort itself out but unfortunately no joy, so I performed a hard reset by holding down the power button.

After rebooting, Vista obviously complained and grumbled about being shutdown so rudely and went through a disk check, got to the logon screen and then before I could enter the password, boom there was a nice BSOD. First one in a long time I have to admit. I rebooted and got to the logon screen a second time and the same thing happened. Starting to see a pattern here? :)

Luckily having worked in IT for the past few years I have lots of patience for these types of problems so I booted up again, this time in safe mode and managed to log in. Oh happy day :) I then removed zonealarm, rebooted once more and since then everything has been fine and dandy. I think I will give it a couple more weeks and then try again, as like AVG, Ive used Zonealarm a lot in the past and never had problems with it. Admittedly Im not so worried about it as I only tend to game or "mess around" in windows, most of the time Im working in OS X but even so, you tend to feel naked without a firewall these days.

Has anyone else had much luck with firewalls under Vista? Any recommendations?


roj said...

Interested to read your comments re Zonealarm and bsod. I also have had no trouble with either AVG or Zonealarm over the years until Vista. The thought of ZA causing it is a line I will now pursue!

Laurent said...

I had the exact same problem a few days ago. The only difference is that the installation was successful, but a few seconds after it was complete, I got a BSOD. Same BSOD when I restarted the computer and I also had to boot in safe mode and uninstall Zone Alarm. It's surprising that such a critical bug went through. It must be quite upsetting for users who don't know about Safe mode!

Andrew Proudlove said...

I couldnt agree more - Im really surprised that this made it through test and quality control.

As I mentioned in one of my posts today though, Im about to install a new HDD into my new MBP and I will use the opportunity to reinstall Windows XP again, Ive gave Vista enough time I think and I really do prefer XP. Besides as I tend to use it mainly as a glorified games platform (time allowing), XP seems to be the better choice for this.

It should also mean though that I can put zonealarm back on without having any issues...

Fingers crossed anyway.