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McAfee to pay for PC repairs after patch fiasco


By Stuart Turton

Posted on 26 Apr 2010 at 13:25

McAfee has offered to pay for the PC repairs of consumers affected by last week's faulty antivirus update.

The problematic patch falsely identified the SVCHOST.EXE Windows file as a virus, causing PCs running Windows XP SP3 to crash or enter endless reboot cycles. Among those affected were US police forces and Intel.

If you have already incurred costs to repair your PC as a result of this issue, we're committed to reimbursing reasonable expenses

In a blog post addressed to "Home or Home Office Consumers", the company offered to reimburse PC repair expenses, though there was a notable caveat.

"If you have already incurred costs to repair your PC as a result of this issue, we're committed to reimbursing reasonable expenses," the company said.

We've contacted McAfee to clarify what it means by "reasonable expenses" and whether a similar programme will be extended to business customers. We were awaiting a response at the time of writing.

In a canny bid to stop customers deserting the software en masse after the problems McAfee's also offering "a two year extension of your existing McAfee subscription free of charge."

There's still no word from the company on how such a serious fault managed to slip through its quality control process.

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User comments

Oh goody

2 more years of crashes, can't wait.
It's like when you have a bad meal at a restaurant and they offer you a free meal because of it.

By Steve_Adey on 26 Apr 2010

The 800 pound guerilla

Doesn't surprise me in the least. They are an 80% company. Meaning their stuff works really well about 80% of the time. You spend the other 20% fighting to get the support you pay for. The sad part is they have one of the better enterprise solutions on the block. Constantly having to deal with substandard QA on their products gets really old.

By NoRed4Me on 27 Apr 2010

I repaired my computer with

By John_Lakersky on 27 Apr 2010

McAfee virus

In my experience, McAfee causes nothing but problems for home users. Whenever I find it I uninstall it (with the owners permission of course).

The very fact that you usually have to download a special program from their site in order to get it to uninstall properly, says it all really.

By Grunthos on 27 Apr 2010

Now, if only they'd reimburse PC buyers for the cost of having the unwanted preinstall taken off..

By Anteaus on 29 Apr 2010

Try Kaspersky instead

Try Kaspersky, the support is top notch, the software is top notch. The user interface is a bit fiddly but you soon get used to it. I've recommended it to about 8 colleagues and all of us are full of praise for it.

By deedub93 on 29 Apr 2010

Patch fiasco nothing new

One company releasing a faulty update is unfortunate but the bigger picture is that last last month, Bit Defender (and Bull Guard, which, apparently uses the Bit Defender AV engine)was involved in a similar incident. See my post:

I find it hard to believe that two separate companies could suffer from near identical QA issues in one month. That this could happen at all is deeply disturbing but the overall effect on consumer confidence must not be underestimated. The REAL fallout will come when some of these subscriptions come up for renewal.

By Maybach_MD655 on 29 Apr 2010

2 Years Free?

So... how do I claim for the repairs I needed? Can I claim for the many hours spent trying to figure out what had gone wrong? Can I claim for lost business? Can I claim for the distress this caused? Good of McAfee to make the offer...just hope they honour ALL the consequences of their ineptitude!

By KIrvy on 29 Apr 2010



I couldn't agree with you more, I routinely uninstall this junk off every customers PC and replace it with one of the many other superior alternatives.

Having to use the special uninstall tool proves to me that Mcafee clearly aim to make this usually OEM / Vendor preinstalled junk hard to remove.

The only software of this type harder to remove is OEM / Preinstall Norton, which not only needs a sperate uninstaller, but doing so often results in Blue Screening of PC's following the first reboot, due to damage inflicted on the NT Boot loader.

Compunding this are the software's poor results at actually stopping infection.

I wouldnt give it away free, as I value my reputation for sending out functional PC's!!!

By Gindylow on 29 Apr 2010

McAffee - No Way, we use AVG

At Broadland Computers AVG is the only product we see that does not cause problems. We always get rid of the pre-installed McAffee's and Nortons of this world, AVG reigns supreme in our opinion

By ukdarren1 on 29 Apr 2010

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