The solution herein pertains to Windows users because that’s the operating system on the hand-me-down computer I’ve been stuck with for a while, not being able to use the computer labs or my Work Study job anymore due to having graduated. However, I like the idea of having built-in code compilers on a Mac or a Unix and anticipate buying one when I get a better-paying job.
You’re going about your business on a computer, when suddenly it freezes. You press “Ctrl+Alt+Delete” to open Task Manager and learn what processes have just begun — then a telltale “update in progress” popup window reveals the culprit: it’s that damned McAfee Antivirus again!
Because your random access memory (RAM) is a zero-sum situation of net change between available and occupied registers, existing processes lose their share of the RAM pie whenever McAfee barges in to gobble down a huge slice. How to outwit a program comprised of assorted system processes? What strategy will limit the size of McAfee’s RAM grab?
Roger Myerson defines “game theory” in his 1991 book Game Theory: Analysis of Conflict as, “the study of mathematical models of conflict and cooperation between intelligent, rational decision makers.” This means stupidity, irrationality, and an inability to decide are ways to invalidate even the best-planned game theory-based strategy — such as a complex computer program.
Thankfully, neither intelligence nor rationality is necessary to disable McAfee Antivirus. Merely decide to search for an existing solution (already done, because you are here) and have the resolve to read the following steps:
(For immediate help, read on! For fun-filled McAfee bashing, read on even further.)
1. Access the “Services” window by navigating through this menu sequence:
Start Menu >> Control Panel >> Administrative Tools >> Services
2. The Services window might take up to a minute to load. Once it does, you may right-click and choose “Stop” on the following services, even without administrative privileges (unless your administrator has disabled access to the Services window entirely, in which case all you can do is complain to him or her). For best results, end them in this order:
1) McAfee Proxy Service
2) McAfee Network Agent
3) McAfee Services
The big memory sucker, mcupinst.exe, did not end until I stopped McAfee Proxy Service. Hence, I advise ending that service first to kill the mcupinst.exe process to free up random access memory (RAM) and to potentially prevent a page fault (when your computer writes to a “paging” or RAM overrun file, further slowing your computer).
I also tried ending McAfee Validation Trust Protection Service and McAfee VirusScan Announcer, but access was denied. Although McAfee Firewall Core Service and McAfee McShield are services which I would not attempt to disable due to comprising the real-time firewall and on-demand scanner protection against viruses, I attempted to stop them but found access was denied anyway.
3. McAfee stops updating and releases the RAM it held ransom. Congratulations — you’ve defeated McAfee Antivirus! Pat yourself on the back, and then complete your work unimpeded by the irritating intrusions of the loathsome program.
Nonetheless, the necessary nuisance should be revived before you download additional content from the Internet — this fix is fine if you’re working on local files but potentially dangerous if you’re constantly streaming data. To protect your computer with the most current antivirus definitions, it is wise to restart those McAfee services when you have finished your computer activities for the time.
Simply go through the same menu sequence to reopen the Services window, except click “Restart” instead of “Stop” on the above three enumerated services. Some computers might require a reboot to resume McAfee as normal, but at least now you can put McAfee back in its place if it gets too boisterous.
Miscellaneous McAfee Bashing
Although the U.S. Department of Defense uses McAfee Antivirus, the program has automated behaviors which could jeopardize national security. Case in point: the president clicks the “big red button” in his “Defense Command System” app to launch a nuclear counter strike but then learns the apparent missiles on the radar screen have disappeared without exploding because they were actually glitches and not missiles at all.
But just when he tries to click the “cancel” button, McAfee Antivirus slows the computer to a standstill and blocks the button with a pop-up window showing the progress of the automatic check for updates. The launched nuke hence continues on its course, inspiring the national leaders of other countries to deploy their warheads as well. Thank you, McAfee Antivirus, for causing World War 3!
McAfee Antivirus has potentially one positive — though not redeeming — quality: it is ripe for parody fodder! Can you imagine Eminem belting out these lyrics?