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McAfee to Reimburse Users Who Had Computers Serviced Due to Faulty Update

May 18th, 2010 · No Comments

It took a while for me to confirm this, McAfee claims it will reimburse users whose computers had to be serviced due to a faulty update it issued last week that caused people’s computers to act all wacky. We had a few show up at our shop and it took some major surgery to get them going again.

The alert, which was issued in error, caused computers running Windows XP Service Pack 3 to go into a continuous reboot cycle. Other users were met with blue screens, loss of network connectivity, and inability to use USB devices.

The company says it will reimburse “reasonable expenses” for service repairs. Users who have already incurred costs to repair their PC are also covered.

In the rare case a computer was rendered inoperable or severely impaired due to the faulty file release, McAfee (News – Alert) is offering the user a free, two-year extension of their existing McAfee subscription. The company said only a “small percentage” of its customers had permanent damage to their computers

Meanwhile the company urges users who are experiencing problems to contact its call center to see if technicians can resolve those issues remotely — before taking the computer to a repair center. If a technician is unable to solve the problem, McAfee said it will provide the necessary software, either via a download or express delivery.

As per a report on PC World, the problem began last Wednesday (April 21st) when a faulty signature update DAT file disrupted the svchost.exe file on “a subset of systems” using McAfee VirusScan Enterprise on Windows XP service pack 3. Users with VirusScan Enterprise 8.7 experienced more severe problems than those running version 8.5, McAfee said, “because of the different implementation of memory scanning within the products.”

McAfee said the problem occurred when a faulty DAT file got through the testing process. Apparently the DAT file recognized one of the Windows .exe files as a virus and continuously tried to remove it.

It appears McAfee will be offering reimbursement both to organizations whose IT departments had the resolve the issue on a computer-by-computer basis as well as individual users who brought their computers in for service. This could get expensive for McAfee: As one user wrote in the comments section of one article: “I’m a PC Tech at a major corporation. Not only is the direct costs very expensive, but the impact this has caused in the delay to address other IT issues is huge.”

Although the company has a special page posted to its website telling affected users what to do, and offering self-serve fixes, it has not yet posted any information posted concerning the process for getting reimbursed, saying that it will be posted “within a few days.”

Here is a link to their web site http://us.mcafee.com/en-us/landingpages/np5959.asp

Tags: Security · Virus

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