From time to time I try out new software on a virtual Windows installation and this time it was PC Tools Firewall Plus. Despite the name it’s a free firewall and what they mostly try to do is offering an easy to use solution.
I honestly don’t believe in easy firewalls for people who have no experience in firewall because those people are usually unaware about what they can and cannot allow through the firewall.
Anyway, I tried it out and I didn’t really like it. It was fairly slow (tough that might be caused by the fact that it was in a virtualized environment) and unless you ticked the ‘remember my answer’ checkbox, it kept asking, over and over again if an application was allowed to access the internet (without closing the application btw).
But that wasn’t the worst part, uninstalling this firewall is a nightmare. On the first attempt, Windows completely crashed. After the second attempt I had no internet connection because the uninstaller failed to remove the “PC Tools driver” which are linked to the network adapter which caused the network card to fail.
I actually wanted to show you a screenshot of the details of the failing drivers when this happend (the same thing that happend after the first attempt of uninstalling PC Tools firewall)
One reboot later I can show you the details:
Fixing this problem is fairly easy (but of course, you do it at your own risk and blah blah blah wink ).
Right-click on “My Computer” > Manage, this will open the “Computer Management”. Here you click on “Device Manager” in the left column, normally you will get something like this:
Now, you can’t remove the “xxxx – PC Tools Driver”, instead you’ll have to remove the network card itself, in my case it’s the “AMD PCNET Family Ethernet Adapter (PCI)”. A simple right click on this network card and “Uninstall” is enough to remove the card and the failing “PC Tools Firewall Driver”.
You will have to repeat this step for every network card in the list untill you see no more PC Tools Drivers.
After a reboot you’ll see that Windows is re-installing the network cards and normally everything should be up and running again.
I must say I’m a bit disappointed by this firewall. For an easy-to-use firewall, uninstalling it caused problems which would probably require noobs to bring their pc’s back to the store or call the ISP provider to intervene 😡
This post was originally posted on my My.Opera blog on Sunday, May 15, 2011 11:27:23 AM. This post has been copied to my WordPress blog since the My.Opera blogging service will be discontinued.