Adventures in security software: BlackICE

October 23rd, 2006 by Kat Kingsley-Hughes

I’m still on the search for security tools since my Bitdefender 10 problems.  For anti-virus I’m back on my old Norton AV subscription at least for the few weeks remaining while my search for the best AV continues. 

For firewall, I really don’t want to go back to Zone Alarm as my firewall because it’s too heavy on my system resources and won’t let me log on to Windows Live Messenger. I want a lightweight firewall with application control because I like to know what’s connecting. So, returning to my roots, I decided to go back to BlackICE which I used before I became a Zone Alarm fan a few years back. 

Sadly BlackICE seems to have taken a turn for the worst since I last used their product.  Within a few minutes of downloading and installing I experienced two of those – near-forgotten beasts – the BSOD (or ‘Blue Screen of Death’ for those of you who are lucky enough never to have used Windows before XP). It’s been a while since I saw one and here was two in quick succession.  This was while it was completing its installation by calculating the ‘baseline’ for my PC. [Causing it to flatline, more like!]

The fun continued.  Eventually, after rebooting I managed to kill the BlackICE process (blackd.exe) before it could resume its calculations and go BSOD again.  Apparently it doesn’t like Windows XP SP2 or DEP (Data Execution Prevention) which I really wish I’d know about before I downloaded the software!  So I then set about switching DEP off, not permanently of course, just long enough to uninstall.  [Stay calmgirl,  no need to panic, we can deal with this . It’s no biggie after all Norton Antivirus Live Update has to be excluded from DEP too, so BlackIce are not alone in this kind of shoddy programming.]

Next step to uninstall.  Trouble is the uninstaller doesn’t work giving me the error ‘Failed to get product version’ and the uninstaller stops. Dead!  


Cue frantic screams for Adrian!  OK so sometimes it’s handy being married to the PC Doctor despite the long hours and ceaseless blogging… 

A few minutes research later and he tells me it’s because of my CPU. Apparently BlackICE not only refuses to play nicely with both XP SP2 and DEP, I’m now hearing that  it doesn't work with 64-bit CPUs running in 32-bit mode[It doesn’t even wanna work with my processor?? Ah crap!]

Luckily, he found me an uninstall tool to get rid of BlackICE which worked, thankfully both very quickly and easily. Panic over! For a while there I thought I was going to be stuck seeing a lot of BSODs! 

Now I’m off to ceremonially burn my BlackICE license key…

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This entry was posted on Monday, October 23rd, 2006 at 10:15 pm and is filed under Flotsam, Software. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

One Response to “Adventures in security software: BlackICE”

  1. Another program that doesn’t play well with DEP - BlackICE » The PC Doctor Says:

    [...] Kathie's take on BlackICE .  She doesn't hold back. Technorati Tags: BlackICE, Internet Security Systems, XP, SP2Share and Enjoy:These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages. [...]

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