You’ve heard Windows OneCare is Microsoft’s attempt to wipe out the anti-virus and firewall vendors. You agree that it oughta be free, since Microsoft Windows vulnerabilities trigger the need for Windows Onecare. And you’re worrying that Microsoft has once again put the gun to its own head, triggering anti-trust suits that will cause it to spend another five years contemplating its bellybutton.
Those are the least of your worries. Windows OneCare may cause irreparable harm to your system.
First, the pre-release beta software only works on non-64 bit Windows XP (Home Edition, Professional, Media Center Edition, or Tablet PC Edition) patched to Service Pack 2. And only someone with Administrative priviledges… presumably you… can install it.
In addition, Windows OneCare is not supported in Virtual PC environments or Windows Vista. Microsoft reports that “intermittent VPC crashes have been reported.” As for Windows Vista upgrades… all bets are off. Windows OneCare simply won’t run, and your computer will be 100% naked to the world.
Still excited? Consider this: You absolutely must uninstall your mature, working anti-virus and firewall programs. If you don’t, you risk locking up your system and/or converting it to a Very Slow Computing Vehicle. Products certain to clash with OneCare include:
- Symantec Norton Internet Security 2005
- Symantec Norton Antivirus 2005
- Symantec Norton SystemWorks 2005
- McAfee Internet Security Suite 2005
- McAfee VirusScan 8.0/2004
- Trend Micro PC-cillin Internet Security 2005
And don’t try uninstalling Windows Firewall. You can’t. It’s part of Windows. Besides, WF is the only thing protecting you while you’re killing off that mature, worn-in firewalling, anti-virus and anti-spyware software you already paid for and trained.
Then brace yourself. Some users report that Windows OneCare has identified key backup files as viruses and summarily removed them.
Finally, at such time you decide OneCare has morphed into DontCare, here’s how Microsoft says you can disinfect your system:
- Click [Start],[Settings],[Control Panel];
- Click [Add or Remove Programs];
- Select [Windows OneCare], then click [Remove].
If the uninstall leaves your system acting hinky, try installing and configuring a mature, easily configurable firewall like, say, the one you replaced with Windows OneCare.