>From time to time there have been some comments by several people in the
forum about problems encountered with certain anti-virus software.
As I remember, most of these comments were usually made as a side issue to
other discussions, such as system problems or memory problems or Protel
crashes, so it might not be too easy to get any consensus out of the PEDA
archive unless one did several very specific searches, and then culled thru
all of the results for the info on anti-virus issues.
So for that reason, and also the reason that I just had some major problems
which may be attributable to my anti-virus software, I will broach the issue
once again, and start by relating the problem I had attempting to upgrade
(expand) the memory in my system.
While I apologize in advance for the length of this post, I am taking the
time to write it and post it to the forum in the hope that it will prevent
someone else from going thru the same problems that I had to go thru, and
additionally, find out if there are other specific problems that others out
there may have had relating to anti-virus software, and how it relates to
their systems, and also to Protel.
I am running Protel 99 SE and DXP on Windows 2000 Pro, on an IBM Net Vista
6648, which is a Pentium 3 running at 866 MHz., and which originally had 128
MB of PC133 DIMM memory installed. I should also note that I also have an
external CD ROM which is connected to the Printer Port.
After the recent problems that I had with numerous crashes in Protel 99 SE
while doing a large board with several large polygon planes in it, several
people in this forum suggested that I needed more memory.
Well, I finally broke down and went to "Fry's", our local electronics
superstore, and found out that they were having a sale on 256 MB PC133 DIMM
memory at $19.95 a stick, so I decided to by 2.
Since I have already tried to expand my memory on this system once in the
past by plugging an additional 128 MB PC133 DIMM stick into the second slot
on the motherboard, only to have it not work, I asked the salesman whether
there was something special about the IBM machines that I needed to be
concerned about, and he told me that they were "very picky", and that the
cheap stuff might not work. Typical Salesman. Anyway, I bought 2 sticks of
the "better" stuff for $32.95 each, which he assured me would work.
Get home, plug in the new memory, and fire up the system, and the BIOS
complains because of the amount of memory, but that is a one time automatic
adjustment, and we are on our way again, and we reboot.
Things go well thru the diagnostics and the boot process until Windows 2000
takes over and starts its boot thing, and then it stops cold with the "Blue
Screen of Death", saying "STOP = 0x00000050" and "PAGE FAULT IN NONPAGED
AREA". It went on to say that I should boot in "safe mode" and remove any
defective hardware or recent changes, etc., etc., etc.. I tried to boot in
"Safe Mode", and was met with the same "Blue Screen". Finally I had to
reinstall the original 128 MB stick to get the machine back up and running.
It took a few days, but I went back to "Fry's" to return the memory, and
talk to their sales people again, who double checked their "list" and threw
up their hands in puzzlement when confronted with the "Blue Screen" message.
So off to their Technical Support area, where they do all of the installs
and upgrades, figuring that they may know a little more than the sales
people. Was it a problem with IBM? Was it a problem with Windows 2000? Well,
even their Manager was miffed by the problem, but looked at a different
"list", and said that the IBM "might" need "CL2" (Cache Latency 2) type
memory, and proceeded to sell me 2 sticks of the "CL2" 256 MB PC133 DIMMs,
at a slightly higher $38.99 each (notice a trend here?).
Thinking that we had the answer, I plugged in the "CL2" stuff, and the same
Well, I diddled around with the BIOS a bit, and tried a few other things,
all to no avail, but I did notice that the BIOS seemed to be OK with the
memory, even with the "long version" of the start up "diagnostics", and it
appeared that everything was OK until things got turned over to Windows 2000
where everything would go south. I am aware that the BIOS on most machines
does not do a comprehensive memory test, but just a couple of quick fills of
ones and zeroes and compares, and that because of such, the memory really
could still be bad even though the BIOS said it was OK.
I talked to a lot of different people about the problem, and no one seemed
to have any answers as to what the problem could be. With my 15 day
guarantee on the new memory sticks close to running out, I finally made a
diagnostic diskette from a download from the IBM support site, for my
machine. This way, I could install the new memory, and boot from the floppy
diagnostics disk and run the memory tests on the new memory.
Diagnostics worked fine, and even the extended "Full" test which took
several hours, all stated that the 512 MB DIMM memory was OK, and yet the
machine still stopped with the "Blue Screen of Death" once Windows 2000
tried to boot.
I had wondered all along whether or not this may be a problem with something
in Windows 2000, or possibly a problem with some specific software that I
had installed, or possibly with the CD DOM drive installed on the Printer
Port, which I thought might be somehow hardware specific, and I also
wondered if something "software wise" was somehow being installed in a
specific location relevant to the old 128 MB memory that was getting trashed
with the new 512 MB memory (or even only 256 MB (I tried both ways)).
The big question that I had, was whether or not reinstalling Windows 2000
from scratch, along with reinstalling everything else, might resolve the
problem, or whether it would just be a gigantic waste of time and energy.
Well, I went to the Microsoft site, and spent quite a bit of time wandering
thru all of their different "support" and "troubleshooting" areas, all to no
avail, since while I found numerous articles which dealt with the issue,
virtually all of them pointed the finger at either a bad motherboard or
faulty memory. My system worked perfectly with only the original 128 MB
installed, and the BIOS and The IBM Diagnostics all said that the 512 MB of
memory was good.
I was about ready to give up, when I stumbled onto the following link on the
Microsoft site . . .
. . . which, in addition to saying that it could be hardware problems
(motherboard, processor, memory etc.) it also stated that it could be
"Anti-virus software that is running on your computer.", or drivers
installed by something such as my external CD ROM.
Anti-virus Software. OK. Well, I was running Norton Anti-Virus. This
specific flavor of Norton Anti-Virus had actually come bundled with the IBM
system, from IBM, so it was presumably compatible with my system.
Well, I "uninstalled" the Norton Anti-Virus, and I also "uninstalled" and
disconnected the CD ROM drive, all to no avail, the "Blue Screen" was
becoming a permanent fixture and I was wondering if I would ever be able to
upgrade the memory on this machine, which Protel so desperately seems to
Well, I finally thru in the towel, and rebooted and hit "F11" to "restore"
the original software, and answered "yes" to have it reformat the drive and
I was holding my breath, waiting for it to stop again, but it didn't, and it
successfully reinstalled Windows 2000, with the 512 MB of memory, and I was
additionally able to reinstall everything else, including the external CD
ROM on the Printer Port, with it's software.
Everything is now back up and running OK, with the exception of Norton
Anti-Virus, which I have not yet reinstalled.
It may well be that I can simply reinstall Norton, and there will be no
problems at all, and everything will be OK. On the other hand, I may
encounter the "Blue Screen of Death" once again, and Murphy's Law would
require me to go thru the whole Windows 2000 reinstall just to fix the
My gut feeling is that Windows 2000 simply has a problem with the way it
installs certain things and that once certain things like an anti-virus
program or possibly my external CD ROM, is installed, you can't expand the
memory without reinstalling Windows 2000. Period. I may be wrong, but it
looks that way from here.
As a side note, I am wondering just how well the "CL2" memory is running in
my system, and whether I am gaining or loosing anything by using it in my
system, as it appears now that it probably would have run on anything, even
the original "cheap stuff" at $19.95 a stick.
Anyway, the real question now is do I want to install anti-virus software on
that machine, and if so, which anti-virus software should I install?
I am inclined to say that even with the drawbacks posed by anti-virus
software, that since the machine is hooked up to a "small network" of sorts
(a D-Link DI-804 Router/Hub hooked to a DSL Modem), and I do occasionally
"download" files to that machine from the Internet (although I do not
receive email on that machine), that that machine does in fact probably need
some kind of protection.
With that, I will pose 3 questions to the forum.
1. Should I install an anti-virus program?
2. If so, which anti-virus software should I use?
3. Has anyone experienced any problems with any specific anti-virus software
causing problems with Protel (99SE or DXP)?
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