Sophos glitch leaves PCs hanging

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A recent security update from Microsoft is tripping up users of Sophos's flagship anti-virus scanning software. Some enterprise users of Sophos Anti-Virus (SAV) for Windows version 5 found their machines were taking up to 15 minutes to log on to the network after applying Microsoft's Update Rollup 1 for Win 2000 SP 4. Sophos has issued a workaround (removing C:\winnt\system32\mswsock.dll from on access scanning) pending the release of a more comprehensive fix.

David Mitchell, senior product manager at Sophos, said that because of the need to conduct comprehensive testing a patch for this and a similar "more intermittent" and less widespread glitch with SAV 5 may take a "few weeks". A second "slow startup issue" can leave Windows PCs running SAV 5 hanging for up to 30 minutes because of occasional conflicts with Windows 2000, XP and 2003. Sophos has issued a temporary workaround (details here).

Reg reader Chris is less than impressed with the latter fix. "They [Sophos] admit that the only way to make their [software] work is by excluding a number of critical system drivers from their "on access" scan. We use their product and since the upgrade to version 5 in April have had nothing but problems," he said.

Sophos's Mitchell conceded the workaround was less than ideal but argued more general criticism was unwarranted because Sophos has a good software reliability record. He said its developers were working hard to resolve the glitches. In the meantime details of suggested workarounds had been posted on the Sophos web site and emailed to 20,000 supported users. ®

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