Oops: McAfee antivirus update gives NT 4.0 the flu

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An upgrade to Network Associates' McAfee VirusScan product was found recently to damage the master boot record on computers using Windows NT 4.0, forcing customers to reinstall their operating systems.

The conflict occurred with VirusScan/NetShield 4.0.2 and the 4120/4110 SuperDATutility and affected only between 20 and 50 users, said Vincent Gullotto, senior director of Avert, Network Associates' virus research center, in Beaverton, Ore. The utility automatically upgrades the virus protection with the latest edition of the DAT file, containing current virus profiles. The 4110 upgrade was incompatible with the 2-year-old version of VirusScan/NetShield, Gullotto said.

"The product was designed to begin working with a specific product version. An update was created for SuperDAT that a 2-year-old product didn't understand," he said. "Anything newer than 4.0.2 on your computer and it wouldn't have been a problem. Ninety-five percent of the users would have updated their version by now."

Network Associates has pulled the edition causing the problem and new packages are now available which address the incompatibility issue regarding both the VirusScan 4.0.2 for Windows NT & NetShield 4.0.2 for Windows NT with the 4.1.00 series engine. The new version is available for download here.

Network Associates, in Santa Clara, can be reached at 408-988-3832 or at http://www.nai.com/

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