Virus & Spyware

Last reply by 06-07-2013 Unsolved
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McAfee Stinger AV Reviewed

Stinger is a free standalone on-demand utility that both detects and can remove specific viruses, trojans and variants (currently over 6200 in its list). It works on Windows XP, Vista, and Win7 operating systems, both 32 and 64 bit. By default, Stinger will repair all infected files detected. However, it can be configured to "Report" or to "Remove" instead. It provides no real-time AV protection, and is not a replacement for your regular resident AV. On my XP and Win7 systems, it did not conflict with either avast! Free or MSE  resident AVs.

 It claims to update its virus list several times per week,  but there is no way to update this via the GUI. If you wish it stay current, you will need to download the latest version frequently.

Download:
- from http://www.mcafee.com/ca/downloads/free-tools/stinger.aspx
- a 10.7 MB download.
- No bundled software, toolbars, or ads.

Installation:
- not required. Just double-click on the executable (currently "stinger32.exe") in your download folder. It should load promptly.

Usage:
- Instructions are here: http://www.mcafee.com/ca/downloads/free-tools/how-to-use-stinger.aspx
- Note that it is recommended to disable "System Restore" prior to running a scan, to avoid a restore point from backing up an infected file. However, disabling System Restore will erase all your restore points, and I advise you not to follow this advice. An infected Restore Point is better than no Restore point at all, when things don't go well.
- A "Quick Scan" took about 6 minutes on my old XP, and just under one minute on my latest Win 7 system.
- Scan results are logged. Useful when seeking help from Malware Removal forums.
- Portable.

My Impressions:
- This is a simple and easy tool to download and use. I have run it intermittently over the years, and it has never found anything (including false positives), nor given me any grief. YMMV.
- For those that wish to use it on a casual or regular basis for reassurance, I strongly suggest you configure it (Settings tab) to "Report", not to "Remove" or "Repair" anything detected. This allows for further investigation of the detected file, and avoids messing with false positive detections of legit files.
- As always, I have no idea of the efficacy of this tool in removing or repairing anything. At the same time I can't think of any other reason not to have it in your toolchest.
- Its biggest drawback is the need to re-download it frequently to keep its "virus list" current.  In practice, however, this takes little time- maybe one minute.

Summary:
- Might be of help if you get infected with the malware it targets. Not recommended for routine scans without frequent re-downloading to stay current.
- Probably best to download/run when you suspect infection.

_________________________________________


Dell Forum Member since 2,000


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