Re: ZoneAlarm Plus Problems - New Release Of ZA

From:
Date: 06/22/02


Date: Sat, 22 Jun 2002 16:33:34 -0400

I have a copy of ZoneAlarm Pro sitting here. I switched to Tiny Personal
Firewall and I've been happy since. I was terribly disappointed with ZA.
Look for a Rules based firewall like Tiny.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I wrote this in another post, but this is part of it - just some thoughts:

Which is OK if you start things up after Windoz has loaded. Remember:

There is no doubt that ZA causes problems with certain applications and
system services which load during startup. I think it boils down to what
programmers call a "race-condition" -- and as long as ZA loads first, things
are fine, but if it doesn't then ZA doesn't handle it very gracefully.
Especially true of Windows 9x/ME.

You *can* control the startup order of certain things, basically groups of
items -- but you can't control the startup order of items within a group.
For example, on Windows 9x/ME the programs are started in the following
order:

HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunServicesOnce
HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunServices
<Logon Prompt>
HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
StartUp Folder
HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce

And on Windows NT/2000/XP, programs are started in the following order:

HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\ServiceGroupOrder
<Logon Prompt>
HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
StartUp Folder
HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce

The problem is that many things (such as ZoneAlarm & Apache for instance)
are typically included in the same startup grouping, and since there is no
way to control the order within a group, you get a race-condition. Windows
basically fires up everything in a group all at the same time, and which
ever programs load & initialize the fastest will (generally speaking) get
loaded first before the others.

On 6/22/02 3:01 PM in article af2hi5$c50$1@slb2.atl.mindspring.net,
MyndPhlyp at nobody@home.com wrote :

> JGL:
>
> It might have to do with which applications are loaded (or preloaded) in
> which order. For example, if I run Microsoft Outlook 2000 prior to running
> anything else and grant it access to the network, and then fire up IE or
> anything else that would normally have access to the network, no additional
> services request access to the network. However, if I load up IE, it wants
> to load a separate COM module which requests access to the network. Running
> Outlook after running IE causes additional (and different) COM modules to
> access the network.
>
> Perhaps you have MS Office Quick Start in the StartUp folder on two of the
> three machines.
>
> Just a thought.
>
> "JGL" <jgl26ukNO@SPAMyahoo.co.uk> wrote in message
> news:Xns9235C5D40A86jgl26ukNOSPAMyahooco@62.253.162.106...
>> Running 3 win98se boxes behind SMC barricade with cablemodem connection.
>> SPF5 on each machine. Two fine, 3rd machine asks permission for windows
>> explorer to connect to internet when launching internet explorer (IE6),
> and
>> not IE. Any ideas why and a fix?
>>
>> thnx
>>
>> JGL

On 6/21/02 10:51 PM in article 3d13e596.2787576@news.earthlink.net, Fred
Tate at fwtate@earthlink.net wrote :

> I'm sure glad I checked this news group. I also just received the
> e-mail offering the new version of ZA for $24.95 (download version).
> It specifically states that you should not uninstall your present
> version as the new one needs it to pick up your present settings. Not
> sure if I want to go thru that mess or not now. Thanks for your post.
>
> Fred
>
>
> On Sat, 22 Jun 2002 00:20:57 GMT, "BDK" <bdk@prod.net> wrote:
>
>> I recently had a need for some of the features in ZoneAlarm Pro after having
>> used the free version for quite a while. I downloaded the trial version of
>> Pro and everything worked as expected (no blue screens, all connections
>> functioned, all program controls worked as they did with the free version or
>> worked as expected after tweaking the settings with features unavailable in
>> the free version). However, I ultimately uninstalled it because I wanted
>> something that didn't have the "extras" included with Pro (ad blocking,
>> etc.). I used GoBack to completely remove any traces of Pro and restored my
>> computer to its previous state ... the free version of ZoneAlarm was
>> restored and again functioned normally. I continued my search for a more
>> feature rich firewall without the gimmicks. After looking for a couple of
>> days, I ran across a link in one of the Gibson Research Corp. (GRC) forums
>> which led to ... lo and behold... Zone Alarm Plus...a new version of
>> ZoneAlarm that is essentially the Pro version but without cookie blocking
>> and ad blocking. Because its just out, Zonelabs is offering the program for
>> $15 off reg. price which makes it about half the price of the Pro version.
>> I, at first, had some concerns that the Plus version was not officially
>> released to the public because the link was so obscure (no link from their
>> home page...its buried in the website), but Zonelabs had it available from
>> their store for sale. I figured for $25, what the heck.
>>
>> However, the file that I paid for and downloaded is essentially trash, at
>> least on my computer. Nothing worked: connections could frequently not be
>> obtained, and if they were, ZA Plus did not indicate that any programs were
>> accessing the internet though they were; furthermore, I received no prompts
>> for those programs that I had set for "ask permission"; Internet Explorer
>> would start but no pages would load while ZA Plus was loaded; AOL Instant
>> Messenger would show as a running process but the GUI did not appear on the
>> desktop, etc. etc. etc. When I tried to shutdown ZA Plus through various
>> means ...normal, forced, etc... ZA Plus would freeze, ultimately causing a
>> power-off re-boot. So, after uninstalling and re-installing several times
>> trying the upgrade install and clean install acouple times each, I finally
>> gave up. I restored my computer with GoBack,and I'm now fully functional
>> again with the free version of Zone Alarm. I figure if what I downloaded is
>> a beta (even though I was "allowed" to pay for it), I'll eventually be able
>> to use my registration key with the final release. I just wish the ZA
>> website had posted the file as beta instead of for sale (I assume pay =
>> final). In the meantime, I'm just curious about what I've got here.
>>
>> I cannot find much info about ZA Plus outside of GRC and no one there seemed
>> to have used it yet, they were just talking about its recent release.
>>
>> By the way, I'm still running Win 98 but that seems irrelevant in light of
>> the fact that the free version works, the Pro trial worked, and the Plus
>> version is supposed to work with that OS.
>>
>> Anybody have any information. I'll likely send this to ZoneLabs soon, but I
>> wanted some feedback from users first.
>>
>>
>> Thanks.
>>
>>
>>
>