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PhpED and other applications with anti-virus
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Joined: 24 Jul 2009
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I just wanted to share an experience with anti-virus and PhpED, plus in this particular case UltraEdit. This is not a criticism of PhpED, because this is not a PhpED issue, rather something that has an impact on PhpED.

The most noticeable issue I had was with UltraEdit. In the past I was used to 2-4 second startups but at some point it got really slow and was now consistently taking 12 seconds. I thought that maybe PhpED was starting a bit slower than I remembered.

From past experience I was very aware that anti-virus can have an impact on these things and also very aware that turning off anti-virus can sometimes still leave 'hooks' that can impact performance, or even cause issues. Turning off my ESET NOD32 anti-virus did not change the slow startup. Monitoring the processes (sysinternals) did not show anything useful and disk/CPU/memory were all good. The delays were not readily explainable.

Today I decided to investigate further so I turned off the ESET HIPS mode, which is their Host Intrusion Protection System. It is sort of configured like a firewall, but it is not firewall. It checks certain activities by applications and can allow/disallow those activities. Writing to the registry, creating processes, that sort of thing. HIPS was in the default automatic mode.

Turning off ESET HIPS requires a computer restart, which is why I hadn't tried it before. I turned off HIPS, restarted and UltraEdit was back to a less than 4 second startup, plus PhpED was starting up faster; the Initialising environment message was disappearing much faster, rather than hanging for a moment.

ESET HIPS also supports interactive and self learning modes, but I can't be bothered with that, so I left it as automatic, created a couple of rules using the ESET GUI, and told ESET that PhpED and UltraEdit are allowed to do various actions. I then re-enabled HIPS, restarted the computer, and ... now both UltraEdit and PhpED are running the same as if HIPS was still turned off. So I've still got HIPS protection for other applications, but have performance back again.

If I turn those rules on/off then I can immediately see the impact. It also turns out that you can effectively create a rule that turns off HIPS without restarting the computer (allow all applications to do all activities).

Despite this issue, I really like ESET NOD32, in fact I now like it even more because it allowed me to easily control this issue. Out of all the anti-virus that I've used over the years plus the virus infection issues that I've looked at on client computers, ESET is the only one that has never let a virus through plus overall has given the best performance with least interference.

Other anti-virus and firewall products have their own equivalents of HIPS and will also use various 'hooks' that will potentially interfere with some activities, so it really is worth checking. Please don't assume that 'turning off' your anti-virus has really turned off everything.
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Joined: 13 Jul 2003
Posts: 7875
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Thank you. May be it makes sense to investigate it further what particular activities become slower after switching ESET.HIPS on without any special rules.

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PhpED and other applications with anti-virus
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