Friday, June 18, 2010

Backup and antivirus companies require a little savvy from customers to report problems

Well, I suppose in one’s post retirement career, tracking down software issues with security companies can be an avocation. In my case, I’ve had an issue with Webroot Backup, which in March persistently told me that I had selected more data than the backup limit.

So the project then is to set up a log file to send to the company, and that’s interesting. First, you enable bootlogging. You can do that by pressing F8 during a reboot (before Windows appears) and navigating down to the “Enable Boot Logging” option [web url] (reference here) .

Or you can go to Run (from Search on Vista, or add it to your menu) enter MSCONFIG, and go to the boot.ini tab, and check.

Afterwards you bring up the Home screen for Webroot, and then put it in debug logging mode by pressing shift-ctrl-Alt simultaneously (shift is not the same as space), and then “d” once. Then you try the backup and let the computer log the process.

My experiments produced a 30 Meg log file, even after Win-zip. What I found is that I could not upload it through the Webroot support site (it would give an “initiation error”). So I tried to attach it as a file to both gmail and aol and ran into 25 meg limits for attached files.

But there is a site called “Yousendit”  (link) which, after free registration, allows you to send a file of up to 100 meg to youself, with a URL to email to the software company.

I suspect that the process is similar with most antivirus and most backup storage companies.

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