McAfee update causes Windows reboot loop

The 5958 DAT anti-virus update issued on Wednesday 21st April 2010 has a false positive detection of the virus w32/wecorl.a. The significance of this being that it quarantines the svchost.exe file on any machine running Windows XP Professional Service Pack 3, a file critical for Windows to operate.

McAfee have issued a 5959 update that corrects the problem, however many users have already received the corrupt 5958 update. If you have received the 5958 update and your machine is rebooting itself in a constant loop, here are the instructions for fixing the problem :

  • Choose Start then Run and type ‘cmd’ and hit Enter
  • Then type ‘shutdown -a’
  • This should prevent the automatic rebooting and allow you to further troubleshoot
  • Next you need to disable both “Access Protection” and “On-Access Scanner” from the Start Menu – Programs – McAfee – VirusScan Console
  • Right-click both “Access Protection” and “On-Access Scanner”¬†and select Disable
  • You need to then download the file from McAfee either on the machine in question or another machine
  • Open the .zip file and extract the contents to a folder of your choice
  • Choose Start – Run
  • Type ‘services.msc’ and hit Enter
  • Right-click on the “McAfee McShield” service and select “Stop”
  • Copy the extra.dat file extracted earlier to the \Program Files\Common Files\McAfee\Engine folder on your machine
  • Right-click on the “McAfee McShield” service select “Start”
  • Return to the VirusScan Console (Start Menu – Programs – McAfee – VirusScan Console)
  • Right-click on “Access Protection” and select Enable
  • Now select the “Quarantine Manager” and restore the svchost file that you find there (right-click and choose Restore)
  • Finally you will need to re-enable the “On-Access Scanner”

Please contact us if you require any assistance with this or any other issues.


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