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#1
lenore2

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I don't know if this is the right place to post this...

I recently installed Zone alarm firewall after yet another bout of spyware etc, it was recommended by you good people :)
that I get a firewall. After installing Zone Alarm and having it running my pc is incredibly slow upon starting up, when I sign into my account on my pc it's then taking so long for it to do anything.

I'm not sure if there is anything wrong or if it's just because we have a running firewall.

Can anyone advise?
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#2
The Skeptic

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ZoneAlarm free firewall is quite a consumer of computer resources. If your computer is quite old the slowdown can be significant. Contrary to other opinions I don't think you, or the vast majority of computer users, need anything better then microsoft firewall. In the past I used ZoneAlarm for quite a long time and removed it when it made it difficult to set the wireless network in my house. As an extra benefit I got a faster computer.

I suggest that you uninstall ZoneAlarm from your computer. The moment you do that microsoft's firewall will start automatically.
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#3
Major Payne

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My zlclient.exe is only using a little over 3.5 megs of memory. I have 1 GB of RAM. Unless you have an excessive amount of programs running, ZA should not slow your PC down. Use Task Manager to check the memory usage yourself.

If you are using IE and especially Firefox, check the memory usage for those two. I don't use IE, but I do know that if FF has been open for a long time, especially with lots of extensions installed, memory usage really gets to be very high. Just closing the browser restores memory to its normal value. I have monitored this myself.

If there are any other programs that may be using a lot of memory and you do not need them, do not shut them down from Task Manager, but use Start>Run and type in msconfig, click OK and go to Startup tab and uncheck the programs you do not need. Reboot as requested. Check box in lower-left corner on window that pops up after reboot and click OK.

Make sure ZA, when it installed, has turned your Windows Firewall off. You don't want both on. Zone Alarm is a lot better at Windows' firewall and you can run several security tests at GRC.com to verify that.

I hope you do not have any anti-virus program like Norton/McAfee installed and running. These are the REAL resource hogs. verified on my sister's PC that only has 512MB of RAM. She has a PC that runs at the speed of a snail. Will not let me change it. :)

Ron
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#4
The Skeptic

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Memory requirement is just one factor when judging resources use. The way the system work in the background is far more important. In this respect zonealarm is considerably heavier then microsoft's firewall.

The obvious thing to do at this stage is to remove ZoneAlarm, like we would do with any piece of hardware or software whose installation had an adverse effect. If the computer speeds up then the problem is with ZA. If it doesn't, we have to look for a different source for the slow down.
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#5
lenore2

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My zlclient.exe is only using a little over 3.5 megs of memory. I have 1 GB of RAM. Unless you have an excessive amount of programs running, ZA should not slow your PC down. Use Task Manager to check the memory usage yourself.

If you are using IE and especially Firefox, check the memory usage for those two. I don't use IE, but I do know that if FF has been open for a long time, especially with lots of extensions installed, memory usage really gets to be very high. Just closing the browser restores memory to its normal value. I have monitored this myself.

If there are any other programs that may be using a lot of memory and you do not need them, do not shut them down from Task Manager, but use Start>Run and type in msconfig, click OK and go to Startup tab and uncheck the programs you do not need. Reboot as requested. Check box in lower-left corner on window that pops up after reboot and click OK.

Make sure ZA, when it installed, has turned your Windows Firewall off. You don't want both on. Zone Alarm is a lot better at Windows' firewall and you can run several security tests at GRC.com to verify that.

I hope you do not have any anti-virus program like Norton/McAfee installed and running. These are the REAL resource hogs. verified on my sister's PC that only has 512MB of RAM. She has a PC that runs at the speed of a snail. Will not let me change it. :)

Ron


My FF does not have lots of add ons on it, I just keep it up to date. I don't use IE, my windows firewall is off. It's slow when starting up before you get the chance to click on FF and get stuff running. It's slow when I log into my account and loading up my account it does seem to be since I installed ZA. I don't have anything like norton running. I have my avg free and ZA, do I need to remove one of those?
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#6
The Skeptic

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Yes, remove ZA and let's see what happens. That's a basic step that we take whenever we have problems immediately after the installation of any program or hardware. If the situation will improve then the problem is clearly related to ZA. If it doesn't, we'll have to keep looking for other solutions.
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#7
lenore2

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Windows firewall was not enough on it's own though, hence I am hesitant to remove ZA. I was here nearly every other week infected with various malware/spyware when I was just running windows firewall and nothing else.
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#8
Major Payne

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Are you saying you had both Windows' Firewall and ZA on? ZA is suppose to turn Windows' Firewall off and my post #3 mentioned that you should have just the one running. ZA is much better and you only need one to run. Your infection by malware is because of other causes. You should read the Malware Removal Guides and Tutorials for how to fight malware and what programs are recommended.

A lot of good programs are available free, but no one program can catch all the malware that may get on your computer. A regular schedule by different programs would go a long way in helping you keep the malware problems down.

Ron

Edited by Major Payne, 28 January 2008 - 02:37 AM.

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#9
The Skeptic

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I repeat what I suggested: remove ZA and let's see what happens. We do that every time we have a problem after the installation of a new piece of hardware or software. You will not be left without a firewall because the removal of ZA automatically bring micrososft's firewall into operation.

It is very possible that the cause for the computer's slowdown is entirely different. You mentioned a bout of malware, which immediately brings to mind placing your post in the malware forum (you can use the link in my signature). But even then, the removal of a new program, after which problem started, is the abc of the trade.

As a side note: after the computer is fixed you should take measures to avoid future infections. That takes some good protective programs (antivirus, antispywares) and change of the way you run your computer: Frequent antimalware scans, avoid openning spam mail, watch what internet sites you go into etc.
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#10
lenore2

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Are you saying you had both Windows' Firewall and ZA on? ZA is suppose to turn Windows' Firewall off and my post #3 mentioned that you should have just the one running. ZA is much better and you only need one to run. Your infection by malware is because of other causes. You should read the Malware Removal Guides and Tutorials for how to fight malware and what programs are recommended.

A lot of good programs are available free, but no one program can catch all the malware that may get on your computer. A regular schedule by different programs would go a long way in helping you keep the malware problems down.

Ron



No sorry for the confusion Ron, I used to run just windows firewall, but I seem to be constantly getting viruses and malware issues etc. After my last clean up another user recommended ZA| or some others I opted for ZA and since then that's all I've had running.

Do you agree I should get rid of ZA or what should I do? I'm getting different advice lol!
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#11
The Skeptic

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Hi, lenore2, I do not suggest that you "get rid" of ZA. I just suggest that you remove it temporarilly to check if the source of the problem is with this program. If, after removing it and rebooting once or twice the computer is still slow, then you can reinstall it and we'll continue to help you with the problem in the malware forum. It's as simple as that.

Edited by The Skeptic, 28 January 2008 - 02:23 PM.

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#12
Major Payne

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Sorry to confuse you. Yes, do un-install it as The Skeptic suggested as the problems did show up after you installed ZA. Follow his advice and he'll get "you home safely".

Ron
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#13
lenore2

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Thanks for the advice guys, hopefully the confusion is cleared up. I 'removed' ZA and yes the comp appears to be quicker when starting up.

Wondering if this normal behaviour though? as surely ZA must do something before can get the machine going...run checks or something?
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#14
Major Payne

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Should have asked if you were using the 19-day trial of ZA's Security Suite? That makes a difference as it does do a lot more checking including incoming/outgoing email. If you had already switched to the basic free ZA without the frills and were having the problem, then removing ZA was the right thing to do, but ZA provides more security than Windows' Firewall.

I still think it has some relationship to other processes you have running along with ZA and may be tied to both physical and virual memory you have to use. Without a lot of specs it's hard to tell.

Just don't use ZA if you don't like the slight decrease in load/page times

Ron
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#15
lenore2

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It's just the free edition, not the other trial thing I clicked no to that. I don't really run anything else, log in crack open firefox, music and windows media player and that is the limit of the things I have running. I have AVG anti virus but that doesn't scan every day of the week.

I don't really want to lose the protection it offers, windows firewall doesn't seem very good at all.
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