ESET Smart Security + Windows Vista = BSOD

On a friend’s advice, I downloaded and installed ESET Smart Security to replace Norton Internet Security 2006, which had been giving me fits (slow, bloated memory use, etc.). It looked fantastic, right up until the first time I tried to bring the computer out of standby mode. I got a blue screen of death (BSOD). Again. And again. And again.

The only way I could get my computer to boot ended up being using msconfig to start in selective startup mode, manually enabling and starting the Windows Installer service, uninstalling ESET ESS, rebooting (being careful to disable those ESET services and programs still listed and checked in msconfig), reenabling normal startup in msconfig, and rebooting again.

Because ESET gets such great reviews, I even tried reinstalling, but with the same result (and complicated, time-consuming uninstall procedure).

After all of that, what I ended up with was a computer with no antivirus software, not to mention more stress.

The ultimate solution? A free copy of McAfee Antivirus from the Law School.





2 responses to “ESET Smart Security + Windows Vista = BSOD”

  1. Anders Avatar

    Could possibly be some conflicts if Symantec still has some remains left on the computer. Google for “symnrt” and download the removal tool from, then restart the computer, and try reinstalling ESS.

  2. Ed Avatar

    Thanks for the tip. I downloaded the removal tool, but will probably stick with McAfee until graduation. As much as I dislike McAfee, it is free.

    Interestingly, McAfee is also catching a huge number of infected files (all of them very old, archived spam used in my spam filter development) that Norton apparently missed dozens of times, despite the fact that Norton was always kept up to date. That is disturbing.

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