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doktorwhs1

Registry cleaner won't delete obsolete software key

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Running the registry cleaner and the same obsolete software key always comes up, even after selecting the option to delete it. It's called "HKLM/Software/McAfeeRiskScan". I see a suggestion to try Dial-a-fix, but I'm using Vista so I guess that's not an option.

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I suggest you use notepad to inspect the REG backup file you should have allowed.

That will show you the registry key involved.

 

I think it probable that at some time you had McAfee protecting your system and it is now absent,

but it left behind a registry key and that has still got in force the access restrictions that were protecting it from malware,

and those restrictions are maintained by Windows against all-comers including CCleaner,

and even RegEdit will not unless you strong arm it, and this is too dangerous for me to recommend.

 

Others may advise you here, or you could try McAfee support or user forums.

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You don't say which version of McAfee you had installed, but it doesn't appear to be the easiest thing to remove and also appears to maybe leave a lot of stuff behind.

 

https://kc.mcafee.com/corporate/index?page=content&id=kb50602

 

Try running CCleaner in "Safe Mode" (see my signature), or try removing that entry manually in Safe Mode using reg edit.

 

We can guide you through any of that if you need us to.

 

There's also a McAfee "Removal Tool" which although the software has already been removed, may still run and clear out any leftovers.

 

http://www.raymond.cc/blog/archives/2009/05/05/comprehensive-list-of-uninstallers-or-removal-tools-for-antivirus-software/ (Scroll down to section 9).

 

I would suggest trying Safe Mode first.

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Thanks guys. I looked at the reg back up file and the key in question is [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\McAfeeRiskScan]. I'm still using McAfee SecurityCenter version 11.0, but I did have to do a complete uninstall and reinstall a few weeks ago due to a faulty update. I did use the McAfee removal tool at the time, but I suppose this key got left behind? I'll try your suggestions and thanks again.

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I'm still using McAfee SecurityCenter version 11.0

If I had it installed I personally wouldn't be messing around with registry keys that read as McAfee, you never know exactly all of which is part of a security suite and could damage it or a portion of it messing with the registry keys.

 

Personally I'd exclude it in CCleaner's registry cleaner by right clicking it and selecting "Add to Exclude list", and then I'd completely forget about it until one day in the future if/when removing McAfee permanently for something else.

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Thanks Andavari. Just to be safe, I think I'll go with your suggestion. I use McAfee because it came pre-installed on my computer, but I'll probably go with something else once my current subscription expires. I'm thinking of going with a freebie like Avast. In your opinion, do the free programs compare to the premium ones? I'm not sure if the $50 or whatever per year is worth it any longer.

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Avast Free is probably one of the most feature rich freebies, although I can't use it on my system since it causes problems, wish I could use it though. AVG Free is another feature rich one, although it's very bloated nowadays and gives some systems havoc.

 

There's other freebies too like Microsoft Security Essentials (the only free one that won't show you ad's during the operation of the program or try to sell you an upgrade via an ad), Panda Cloud Antivirus Free (which I'm testing at the moment), etc. I wouldn't use AntiVir Free though, see here why.

 

Edit:

Forgot to make a statement about free vs paid premium; I haven't used a paid/premium antivirus in almost 10 years now myself and have no need to really. Although I also don't need all the extra features a paid/premium version offers.

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I would guess that your system was pre-installed from an image that started life with something earlier than McAfee version 11.0, e.g. 10.0.

Your system no longer has the executable on the path stipulated by that registry key so CCleaner was correct in saying it is obsolete.

Theoretically it may be safe to zap that key, but there is a terrible risk of collateral damage to McAfee version 11.0.

 

N.B. The upgrade/change to 11.0 might have been done a few weeks ago,

but there is also a chance that the P.C. supplier was churning out pre-installations from an image taken from a "Golden Master",

and when McAfee released an upgraded they updated the "Golden Master" and left behind old registry keys, and this created a new master.

 

I fully agree with Andavari's solution.

A redundant key never did anyone any harm.

A crippled Security Center is a disaster you will never forget.

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You'll probably realise I based my suggestions on the fact that McAfee was no longer on your system ... "Obsolete software key".

 

No worries, but I agree with the other guys and would play safe and exclude that entry within CCleaner for now which will stop it appearing, and wait until you decide to remove McAfee completely.

 

Excluding files, folders, and Registry entries:

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