One of my clients has had a recurring server issue caused, it seems, by McAfee Anti-Virus. So we're switching to Symantec.
The problem has been that, for quite some time, the naPrdMgr.exe process (which handles product updates) has gone into a death-spiral, consuming 100% of CPU cycles and making the server totally unresponsive to anyone else. I've finally gotten in touch with McAfee, and they said the client's license has expired.
OK, so how does an expired license crash a server? When McAfee Anti-Virus doesn't have a current license, and it attempts to get an update from home, it crashes. Yes. It crashes. This behavior is a known defect, but they won't fix it for us unless we renew the license. So until we pay them we can't fix our server, and every day, like poor Mr. Bix, I have to fix it.
Now, let me explain how Symantec does this, because I think it's instructive, and I've just updated my own virus protection in this fashion:
- Forty-five days before the license expires, the server itself sends an email to the administrator, right there on site, and pops up a helpful box when you log into the server for any purpose.
- To update the license, you pay your fee, then they email you a license certificate.
- You go online and enter the certificate number, then they email the license to you. This two-step process seems cumbersome, but it helps ensure the right person gets both files, and the files aren't misplaced.
- You go to the server, log into the virus console, and slurp up the license. Boom: done.
So instead of giving McAfee more money, we're switching to Symantec.
 I refer, of course, to the following passage from Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are? by Dr. Seuss:
And poor Mr. Bix!
Every morning at six,
poor Mr. Bix has his Borfin to fix!
It doesn't seem fair.
It just doesn't seem right,
but his Borfin just seems
to go shlump every night.
It shlumps in a heap,
sadly needing repair.
Bix figures it's due
to the local night air.
It takes him all day to un-shlump it.
The night air comes back
And it shlumps once again!
So don't you feel blue.
Don't get down in the dumps.
You're lucky you don't
Have a Borfin that shlumps.