I’ve bought an Dell Inspiron 9300 last week. I’ll mainly use the machine for Linux and Java development but I’ve kept a small Windows XP partition. More on Linux installation later, here’s a short rant about broken Windows applications:
I didn’t want to use the Symantec tools that came bundled with the system due to previous experiences, so I had to look for another antivirus & firewall solution. After reading a few reviews I decided to try G-Data AntiVirusKit InternetSecurity 2005 first. Installation went smooth but after the next reboot the taskbar didn’t repaint anymore and Explorer was unresponsive. The system was in pretty unusable state.
After booting into Safe Mode, I’ve changed the Data Execution Prevention (DEP) settings to only cover core Windows programs. Another reboot and G-Data started working! Well that’s quite disappointing, x86 processor with No-Execute (NX) and Execute Disable (XD) bits are available for more than two years now and XP SP2 isn’t exactly new either — still G-Data hasn’t managed to fix its code!
Lesson learned: If you have a processor that supports NX or XD (same thing, just different marketing names from AMD and Intel) and you plan to actually take advantage of that feature, you better should check twice which software you’re going to use — especially when using closed-source software. (Linux users should be on the safe side, I haven’t see an application having problems with NX for a long time.)
I’ve removed G-Data AntiVirusKit InternetSecurity 2005 and installed F-Secure Internet Security 2005 which seems to work fine with DEP enabled globally.