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Once Great, Now a Catastrophe
on 2 October 2010
I've used an older version of Spyware Doctor for 2 years, running it alongside Norton 360 with its antivirus function deactivated (to prevent interference with Norton's antivirus, which I've left fully functional). In my earliest experience with Spyware Doctor, I found it could detect and remove certain infections Norton either overlooked or else found but couldn't get rid of. All was bliss - until my subscription came up for renewal September 30, 2010 and I downloaded the latest release of Spyware Doctor.
Spyware Doctor 2011 is nothing short of a disaster.
I first installed it under Windows Vista on a 64-bit Hewlett Packard desktop that has had a history of sporadic malfunctions of Explorer (the directory tree examiner, not to be confused with Internet Explorer). The Spyware Doctor 2011 installation hijacked my Internet Explorer dummy start page (about:blank) in an attempt to sign me up for "Browser Defender", another PC Tools product. Since that's a minor, fixable irritation, I didn't attribute the woes that ensued to Spyware Doctor's actions, but following the installation, both Explorer and Internet Explorer quit working. I assumed the notoriously unstable Vista was at fault and decided this was a good time to upgrade to Windows 7.
Now, 30 Euros poorer, I've learned to my chagrin that Spyware Doctor 2011 corrupts the normally stable Windows 7, too! It renders both Explorer and Internet Explorer useless and causes a pandemic of breakdowns in all sorts of basic operations. Fortunately, software removal via Control Panel was left intact, and using it to exorcise the blighted Spyware Doctor 2011 and its inner demons magically brought the many frozen functions back to life again.
A grizzled software veteran, I'm left to speculate over what sort of mess the now uninstalled critter left in its wake. This being a freshly-hatched system, I'm going to play it safe and reinstall Windows 7 from scratch.
The last I heard, PC Tools had earned a kind of badge of respectability through being acquired by Symantec, a PC security name most of us take seriously. But now I'm reading that I'm not the only one who's found Spyware Doctor's recent releases to be dangerous garbage.
If you don't think your PC would be fun on hallucinogenic drugs, don't install Spyware Doctor on it!