I hate shitty software – webroot spysweeper v5

Having invested in a couple of security companies, I am pretty adamant about security when it comes to my personal computers.  Until now, I have been using Norton Antivirus, ZoneLabs ZoneAlarm Security Suite, and Webroot’s SpySweeper.  Things were going great until a few days ago when I upgraded my Webroot Spysweeper from v4.5.9 to v5 and then all hell broke loose.  My computer kept freezing on the simplest task such as opening a browser and after several diagnostics I realized it was Spysweeper.  After uninstalling it, I still had problems so I am now in the process of rebuilding my machine.  After doing a Google search, I recognize that I am not the only one with a problem as you can see here.

For the life of me, I don’t understand how a great product went to shit with just one release.  Maybe it was the fact that they raised $100mm or so of venture capital and feel the heat to grow and expand quickly.  As you might notice, every security player that locks down the home PC has evolved into a suite-based approach.  In addition, I see that Webroot also expanded to the enterprise as well.  All I can say, is that any company looking to expand and grow should not forget what got them there – in Webroot’s case it is great antispyware software for the individual consumer. Webroot may also want to do a better job of QA before releasing its product to the market.  Given all of these issues, I am done with Webroot and moving on to another anti-spyware program.

Published by Ed Sim

founder boldstart ventures, over 20 years experience seeding and leading first rounds in enterprise startups, @boldstartvc, googlization of IT, SaaS 3.0, security, smart data; cherish family time + enjoy lacrosse + hockey

111 comments on “I hate shitty software – webroot spysweeper v5”

  1. The problem with this app is that they can’t do better without doing more. They are doing all sorts of low-level OS stuff to catch every single possible bit of whatever, so that the machine can’t do anything else.

    I don’t have that problem. I just let the ZA anti-spyware utility do its work, and scan periodically with a good rootkit detector light FSecure Blacklight.

    Anyway, what do those guys need $100 million for? You could give the 100 to a buyout firm or a hedge fund, fire the developers, and come out way ahead for years.

  2. I could not agree with you more. I’ve been a loyal Spy Sweeper user/subscriber for a few years now and until now have been very happy with its performance. Recently, I upgraded to the new v5 and it was as if my PC was possessed. Not only was the thing running EXTREMELY slowly, the startup registry files were not executing properly. I worked on the problem for three days straight – not knowing it was SS v5 causing the problems. Unintalled the program a few days ago and decided to switch to a competing product.

  3. I too am extremely disappointed with Webroot…I really like (d) SpySweeper, and was very satisfied with its performance, until upgrading to version 5. After several (unanswered) emails to them, they sent a remedy, which I have not yet tried. But the point is, after reading all the complaints on the internet, I’m not sure I trust them..I would have liked to have heard from Webroot the FIRST TIME I emailed them about the problem. I have not yet tried the remedy…if anyone else has, please let me know.

  4. Hello Everyone,

    I just wanted to comment here. I had the same problem as all of you. I heard that the upgrade was almost twice the size of the original which isn’t a problem for me as far as space on my computer, but for some people it could be a problem and slow down computers. Even though, I had all the problems described here.

    After MANY emails to tech support, I finally got a response and I did try it. DON’T! It was the same problem.; (

    They gave me a number to call too, but I haven’t bothered.

    It’s just unnerving because I paid for a two-year subscription AND my husband did as well. I’ve advised many people to buy and they are all screwed.

    I would hope they fix it and alert people when the bugs are worked out.

    Bottom line? Don’t follow their directions.

    Good luck all!

    P.S. Additinally, my AV program was blocking a “DANGEROUS ACTION/Suspicious Operation” and wouldn’t let me access SS. I use Panda Titanium 2006

  5. If you are currently using version 4, DO NOT UPGRADE TO VERSION 5. It will slow down your computer like crazy. I just upgraded yesterday to version 5 without expecting that problem and I am so disappointed with Webroot Spy Sweeper now. I still have the former version Setup Executable but I’m not sure if it will screw up my computer even more if I try to re-install it.

  6. same problem, had a fake antispyware invasion by Antispywarebox (and again with antispywarenetwork today). I fixed this with hijackthis & smitfraudfix THEN I got webroot’s spy sweeper. Version 4 was fine, Version 5 forever locks up the PC and I am forced to reboot! It’s a complete disaster and is ruining Webroot’s reputation

  7. Hello Everyone,

    I heard of this blog and wanted to post immediately. We quickly learned of some concerns customers were experiencing, and as of Monday Aug 7th we have released a patch to Spy Sweeper 5.0 (version 5.0.7 – build 1608). It took us a little longer to release the patch than expected so we could get it right. To obtain the patch please click on the “check for updates” link. This patch fixes a number of items, but it would be wrong of me to tell you it’s without any issues. We will continue to work with customers to identify potential issues and quickly aim to rectify them. Please contact us at Customer Support if you have any concerns.

    Thanks for your help and support.

    Webroot Customer Support

  8. After experiencing similar problems with slowdowns and near lockups the word I got from Webroot support is that version 5 requires 250MB of memory! Can’t imagine a machine that can run outlook, SQL server, multiple Visual Studio IDE’s and a half dozen browsers concurrently can’t run a spy sweeper service?!?! And they won’t give you your money back either!

  9. Another thumbs down for SS. I was sent a utility by Webroot to uninstall v 5.05 and then was instructed to install v 5.07. Same exact issues; I have to disable the Spyware Install Shield to have my machine operate normally. XP Pro SP2, Athlon X2 4400+, 4GB RAM.

    I may be more fortunate than most. All SS seems to do is bog down the opening of HDs from My Computer (4-5 seconds after double-clicking for files to appear in Explorer). Once the drive is open in Explorer, all files *except* graphics files seem to open quickly. Graphics files take ~5-6 seconds to open.

  10. My fix was to reinstall version… I will wait until users are reporting no problems before trying it again, if ever.

    BTW, Rootkit Revealer identifies elements of Spy Sweeper 5 as a Rootkit. FYI.

  11. “Don’t do it” this new version 5.07 of spysweeper is no better than the previous heap of xxxp!!! after loading this patch, as soon as i tried to use internet explorer my system blue screened!!!!!!

  12. I couldn’t agree with you more. Ever since I installed the 5.0 upgrade I have had problems. Even the 5.0.7 update, which supposedly fixed some of the bugs, did not make a difference for me. Whenever I have Spy Sweeper running, the size of my programs are growing. I suspect a memory leak. I have submitted a report to Webroots, but did not even receive an acknowledgement. These guys have some of the worst tech support in the industry.

    Hubert Heller

  13. I tried to install the new 5.? Spysweep and now my Spyware page is frozen. What do I do now. I am paid up until 10/28/2007

    John Slaughter

  14. After struggling with these problems for a week now I finally isolated the problem to the Spysweeper upgrade. Comforting in a way to know I’m not alone, but it is depressing how Webroot turned a great product into an unusable one in one fell swoop. I might try to reinstall the old version (4. ??) but I’m reluctant to run spysweeper at all now to be honest.

    Glad I found this blog though – thanks for the info all.

  15. Howdy folks:

    At least I’m not the Lone Ranger on this one! SS version 5 dragged my system into the dirt. I got around the problem by restoring my computer using the Windows XP function, however, after doing the restore my previous version of SS (version 4.5) did not work, I had to reinstall it. But it was worth doing; I’d rather run the older version of SS than have nothing in its place.

    I used to sing praises to Spy Sweeper, but this stinker has caused me to lose faith in them. I have no interest in installing their patched version, I just get the feeling that they don’t have a handle on this.

    Tony, thanks for posting your warning about version 5.07, I just noticed it!

  16. Version 5 (even patch 5.07) does not function properly with Norton Antivirus 6.0 which incidentally provides great real-time firewall and spyware protection. Like others, a simple uninstall request provide futile. Installing version five creates conflicts with dwwin.exe (Dr Watson) which is a component of XP. Bravo to the MS – system restore brought my system back to life.

  17. Version 5 (even patch 5.07) does not function properly with Norton Antivirus 6.0 which incidentally provides great real-time firewall and spyware protection. Like others, a simple uninstall request proved futile. Installing version five creates conflicts with dwwin.exe (Dr Watson) which is a component of XP. The conflict demonstrates repeatable shutdown failures which Webroot should be able to diagnose. Bravo to the MS – system restore brought my system back to life.
    PC Mag awards don’t mean shit plus these clowns are in Boulder Colorado where high altitude brain damage prevails…
    For more interesting reading go here:

  18. I wish that I had read all of this before I upgraded the #*%&x thing! Going to extremes to resolve the perceived problem, I had blown out all of my backups (thinking them corrupted), deleted some programs, but another program just to check start up issues, and to top it all off, I thought my drive was going bad so I just purchased a new drive for imaging!

    All this with a two year paid up membership! They have some nerve. This program (although once highly rated), should now be on all major recall lists! I wonder what Kim Komando has to say about it now?

  19. I have exactly the same problem, particularly when I have a lot of tabs open in my browser. Everything slows down and the fans on my laptop cut in and it is always Spy Sweeper hogging the CPU. A quick check in Task Manager usually shows it using 90% or more of the CPU.

    The other thing is that it has never found a single piece of spyware. AdAware free has flagged quite a few tracking cookies which Spy Sweeper just ignores.

    I regret installing the piece of rubbish.

  20. I installed spy sweeper on all 4 machines I have that run windows 2000 professional. Two of them ran o.k. but the inspiron 500e laptop had lots of trouble shutting down at odd times and when re-booting would come up with a white screen instead of blue, etc.

    My Dell Optiplex GX260 hangs up mid-way in re-start or shutdown mode. I have been in touch with the tech folks at Microsoft for about a week now and they have found ways to lessen the problem but have not yet found a way to eliminate it. Even tho I have un-installed spy sweeper.

    I un-installed it on the Inspiron 5000e and now everything works fine on that machine.

    I haven’t been able to figure out what version I installed. I right-clicked on properties but find no listing of the version.

    If anyone has found a way to lick this hang-up while shutting down or re-starting problem I would appreciate your letting me know at import@midwest.net. It is rather random but has a lot to do with how long the computer has been operating. If I re-boot repeatedly it probably will work fine but when I try to re-boot or shut down after a couple hours or more, it is a toss-up as to whether it will shut down properly.

  21. Hi Folks

    I experienced the same problem with Ver 5 of Spy Sweeper as all of you. After upgrading from Version 4.5, Spy Sweeper caused the hard drive to run frequently with a significant increase in CPU usage. Even with a fast computer and copious ram, just opening various Office applications became a lengthy process.

    I am not sure why, but while Spy Sweeper was consuming resources, Norton AV (an older version that hasn’t been updated in some time) also appeared to wake up and consume additional resources. Disabling Norton increased performance only marginally and did not correct the problem.

    To get around this problem, I disabled Spy Sweeper’s ‘Windows System – Keylogger Shield’. My computer then settled down with the hard drive CPU usage returning to normal with no significant slowdown in opening applications. Webroot considers this to be one of their “Critical Shields” and does not recommend disabling it, however, until this problem is resolved, I expect there are few alternatives. Anybody that is not experiencing performance problems may have already disabled this Shield.

    I suggest this is a bandaid fix until Webroot resolves the problem with their Keylogger Shield. This temporary solution worked for me since Webroot’s keylogger detection supplied with version 4.5 didn’t work anyway as it reported several false positives. Webroot customer service was aware of this issue with Ver 4.5 and advised me in March 2006 that the problem would be corrected with the upcoming Version, which we now know as Ver 5 with far worse performance issues.

    Spy Sweeper is still a very good program, however we need to convince them to correct their problem before they become blacklisted in SpywareWarrier’s Rogue list.

    Northern Eagle
    (The Canadian Connection)

  22. Spysweeter has slowed down my computer tremendously. I have had the program for less than a year and from day one I get the same results every time I sweep: 29 items found, 25 traces (or slight variations thereof). I tried to download the 5.0 version, but it didn’t take and now that I read about the experiences of other users I count myself fortunate that it didn’t. Spysweeper seems to have taken over my computer. When I open or shut down (and many times in between) that darned SS window opens up and admonishes me to do all sorts of things I don’t want to do. Does anyone have any idea whether SS interferes with Norton’s antivirus program or AOL’s zapper?

  23. Hello Erika

    I found SpySweeper to be one of the better anti-spyware programs. I have it installed on 5 machines:

    2 – XP Professional, 1 – XP Home, 1 – Win ME and 1 – Win 98.

    SpySweeper has been effective in capturing, removing and preventing most spyware missed by other programs. However there is not a single anti-spyware program on the market capable of eliminating or preventing all threats.

    The only problems that I experienced with SpySweeper are as follows:

    Win 98 – After boot up, the computer will not open any application until SpySweeper has done it’s initialization thing, whatever that is. This may require 3 – 5 minutes. Once initialized, all is normal with opening applications and there are no slow downs or interruptions from SpySweeper.

    Win ME – Similar to the Win 98 box but to a much lesser extent on boot up.

    Win XP Home and Professional – No start up problems but Ver 5 caused hard drive and CPU congestion with the new Keylogger Shield enabled.

    Depending on your configuration, SpySweeper will pop-up prompts and warnings if you are installing new software or sometimes when changing the configuration of current software. If deactivating some of the real time shields is an acceptable alternative, these pops up can be minimized. Ver 5 provides additional options to reduce unnecessary pop-ups.

    In addition to SpySweeper, I am using a combination of anti-spyware programs including Microsoft Defender on the XP machines, Spybot S&D, Ad-Aware SE and NoAdware. As a proactive measure, I have also installed SpywareBlaster. Periodically I also perform an on line scan using Panda, however if they report spyware you will either have to purchase their software to remove the threat or try to do it manually.

    I also clean up all unnecessary files using CCleaner (Crap Cleaner) on a weekly basis. In addition, to keep the registry in top performance I periodically use CCleaner and RegSeeker.

    In addition to the anti-spyware programs, I have anti-virus software installed on the machines.

    Most of these programs are well publicized, freeware software packages.

    Using this combination of protection, all my PC’s, except the ME box, are very fast, even with SpySweeper running in the backgound (however with the Keylogger Shield disabled).

    A couple of suggestions:

    1) If cleaning threats reported by anti-spyware programs, Google them first to determine whether or not it is actually a threat. Sometimes a program recognizes the name of the threat in the registry but does not look at the Restricted Sites Zone value 004. If this is the case, it has likely been placed there purposely by another program, such as SpywareBlaster, as a restricted site, blocking the computer from accessing this site. Should this be the case you should not allow the anti-spyware program to clean the restricted site from the registry.

    2) If cleaning the registry using RegSeeker or CCleaner, always backup the changes. Both programs provide an option to backup changes before cleanup. Should the cleanup cause problems, you can always restore the backup to return the registry to the condition prior to cleanup. Also, it is always a good idea to do a full system backup, including the registry, prior to making changes.

    Northern Eagle

  24. Per Webroot Customer Support:

    “When Webroot upgraded Spy Sweeper to version 5.0, we increased the minimum system requirements from 128 mb of RAM to 256 mb.”

    I think 256 mb is inadequate. I have 512 mb and experienced the same problem.

    Until a fix becomes available, along with the KeyLogger Shield posted earlier, you can also try disabling the Spy Installation Shield and Memory Shield as needed.

  25. Hello Everyone,

    If you have the time out of your busy day, we would really like to talk with any of you experiencing continuing issues with Spy Sweeper 5.0.7 (build 1608). As I mentioned on my posting of Aug 9th, we are continuing to work with customers to isolate problems and fix them quickly. We would truly appreciate it. Our number to reach us is 866-612-4227 and tell the tech support rep that “Arthur” sent you (btw, I lead the customer support org). They can help you out directly or get you to our Customer Advocacy Group (CAG).

    Thanks for your postings and continued input.

    Webroot Customer Support

  26. Same for me; I have a 3.2GZDel XPS that was running fine using Spysweeper before version 5. After installing it I’d get freezes where I could no longer get into my machine (without pull the plug and restarting it) and up to that point frequent (about 15 seconds apart) mouse pointer “flutters” where Windows task manager show a spike up to 35-45% of my machine. Oddly enough, after uninstalling Spysweeper 5, all is fine now.

    WEBROOT SUITES: Stop playing Count De Monet (MOney) and get your QA/developers back from the Bahamas to fix this; SS is now has joined the ranks of so many other pieces of crap software; I suspect you’ve lost me as a customer and may have lost many more judging by the quick Goodle searches I’ve done.

  27. I have been using computers since the early 70s and so have some experience of computers!
    Webroot SpySweeper v5 and its patch locked up my system too.
    I phoned Webroot and was told the new version conflicts with other software. As the other software works, I have now completely removed the Webroot product.
    Companies should sell products that work! Ever heard of testing?

  28. Watch you boot times; very easy to time with a watch.
    Monitor your event logs; located in the control panel/perf/admin section – once you get familiar with the typical GOOD events that routinely show up in the Application and System logs you’ll learn to relate the errors that come to shiat you changed on your computer – like installing new software.
    Pay attention to response times; for me SS slowed down opening IE windows and browsing, slowed log off and shutdowns and pretty much made my machine response like a Pentium III 450 MHz slug.

  29. I love the comments from Webroot about version 5x taking more RAM than previously! This miserable change in performance has, nothing, but NOTHING TO DO WITH TOO MUCH RAM! I write low-level software and what I’d bet they’re doing is waking up a thread too often and scanning too much memory while interrupts are masked! (Ever hear of walking part of a list and then only dispatching the thread when the system is idle and then only walking a few entries at a time???!?! Hey, ComSci works when you employ it!

  30. I know squat about computers,so when my
    computer started crashing I took it to the
    local repair experts. I told them the only
    changes made recently was the Spysweeper upgrade.
    $40.00 later they said everything
    checked out fine and it was probably an external hardware problem like a printer.
    Problem continued so I took it to those
    famous “geek” guys. $200.00 later same
    problem – but they said everything was fine.
    Finally disabled Spysweeper ( left installed so far ‘cuz I’m afraid to uninstall or go back to a restore point with my limited computer knowledge) and
    computer runs perfectly. I will call Webroot and see what they can do for me,
    but I think in the end I will shit-can them.
    Damn,they use to be so great for idiots
    like me.

  31. I’m getting the run-around from SS. I sent tickets regarding extremely slow performance and not picking up any spyware since I installed the new version. They tell me to do this and that, but don’t admit the real problem. Now they tell me to submit a new ticket. These guys are a joke.

    Spy Sweeper brought my computer to it’s knees and fails to detect spyware. It’s worthless.

    I plan to tell what I have learned – and my job is communications.

  32. After using webroot’s latest fix, even with the program turned off, my computer continued to run slow. It was taking over 5 minutes to restart. This would occur on restart but not when I would shut down completely before booting up again. If SS 5 created this problem on your computer, downloading uphclean from Microsoft will fix it. Hope this helps.

    ps Don’t ever reclick the box that lets Spy Sweeper load at startup. Chaos will ensue.

  33. I have a Dell D800 in my home test lab, I run an internal domain so I
    log onto the domain, I also run Cisco Security Software and CSA agents.
    Normally I can create rules to allow certain programs or as in
    SpySweeper, I can not start it on startup, then allow it at will with my
    Cisco user acknowledgement. I am running McAfee 8 Enterprise.
    When I first installed software I got an error it needed reinstalled, seen
    the CSA stopped something, disabled it, removed SS, rebooted,
    disabled CSA and reinstalled, ran updates, installed. Rebooted, then
    blue screen. Uninstalled in safe mode, rebooted followed help on site
    with issues and downloading newest version running the bat file and
    custom install, upon reboot still get blue screen, have to go into safe
    mode uninstall.

    Had previous version 4.0 working fine with no issues other than
    up-dates ran out and finally bought new version.
    I am stumped here.

    At this point I have tried web site recommendations, I wish
    I would have googled this updated version, it is really junk software,
    I am totally surprised with the quality. As an IT veteran with years
    of experience I can only have sympathy for the young kids and grandparents who are buying this software. I have tried to install it
    on a similar equipped pc with out any additional csa or antivirus as
    above and still cause blue screens, even the downloaded version,
    installed correctly once, but you get an error when you click the
    icon that you have to reinstall it. Ever since then nothing but blue
    screens and safe mode to uninstall. I can only hope at this time I do
    not have other system issues because of the software. I will be
    shipping this back to Webroot for a refund, as BestBuy does not return
    opened software I have boughten not even 24 hours ago. This is
    ridiculous. I guess all the capital that was raised for webroot has
    been distributed to the Enterprise development and has left the
    home end user in the dark. I will not recommend this product again
    to anyone.
    This software has wasted over 4 hours of my time today, let alone my
    drive time to return the other unopened packages I bought for my
    other practice lab equipment. Webroot has dropped the ball
    on this one and has lost a customer, I’m sure it won’t be the last.

    Now it is odd when I try to login to a hotmail account my CSA is detecting some odd things, which I believe are issues from this Webroot mess.

  34. I have been a computer tech for more then 12 years now. I have customers that bring me their computers loaded with spyware and they could be running any number of different types of anti spyware software. Norton, McAffe, Spybot, Pest, and any other types that are out there. They have what should be good protection right? Well, in my experience the answer is Wrong. Not only do they have a ton of spyware, but the protection itself slows down, or is the reason they don’t have internet access anymore.

    The only program you need to have running is Spy Sweeper. The chances that you’ll get a virus that Spy Sweeper can’t find and remove is low. Getting a Real Virus is like winning the Lottery most the time. Todays Virus’s are Spyware, Adware, and Malware. Malware is just like having a virus, and is what most people end up with, and all those can be taken care of with Spy Sweeper.

    First thing I do is load up their computer and try to install Spy Sweeper, most of the time I don’t have a problem doing this. But, usually their own protection they are using has killed access to the internet, so I uninstall Norton, and McAfee and Spybot, whatever they might be running, and that usually allows me access to the internet again, so Spy Sweeper 5.0 can get access to the new updates. Then I set the shields and run a sweep. I usually find like 30 or more different types of spyware and thousands of traces files and Spy Sweeper removes it. Then I reboot and see what difference it made. Usually the computer is in good shape again.

    I have install Spy Sweeper 4.5 and 5.0 on tons of computers. I usaully don’t have a problem. Some computers don’t seem to be fast enough to run Spy Sweeper all the time. I usually just say that Spy Sweeper just doesn’t seem to like this computer, and I’ll turn it off in start up. It’s still one of the best at sweeping your computer.

    The only thing I use to protect my computer is Spy Sweeper, all of my computers. I go all over the net, I download all kinds of things, I install things all the time. Spy Sweeper keeps my computers safe.

    If you are running another AV program, or programs and plus running Spy Sweeper then your just asking for you computer to slow down. You have to many programs doing the same job.

    I have used Norton AV for years, this program is junk. It has done nothing for me, but cause me trouble. Everytime I have done a scan on someones computer with norton it will find like 6 items, it will remove 1 and say it couldn’t remove the rest. Always. You go to the live update, and you have to rerun it like 6 to 10 times before it stops telling you to run it again, because it’s not done updating, takes like 45mins to 1hour to update the program. I just love norton, and that’s with Broadband.

    I have many times on many computers have used Norton, and McAfee fully updated and have scanned to clean a computer. They will find a few things. But most the time the stuff they said they removes was still there. Then I would install Spy Sweeper and it would find thousands of things, and the stuff Norton and McAfee had found and remove it all. Very rarely does something Spy Sweeper says it removed come back, but when that happens, it’s usually a new type of spyware and the next update or so would take care of it. Or just go on the net and find a manual removal program.

    So, in my Opinion, from years of Experience using Spy Sweeper on computers. The only thing you need is Spy Sweeper, and Spy Sweeper 5.0 is much faster then 4.5. and does a great job.

    You should also learn how to use the internet more safely, and what sites you should avoid and what files and emails that are bad to open.

    You should stop using Internet Explorer, and use Opera, or, Firefox, or Avant. Or all of them. These browsers have build in protection against alot of stuff out there.

  35. I am having a problem with an upgrade I did to SpySweeper 5.0. When installing the product I lost my internet connection and now when I attempt to un-install the program I receive a screen telling me the uninstall file does not exist. Now I cannot open the program at all. Add or Remove programs will not uninstall the program. Does anyone have a process to manually uninstall this program so I can get rid of this pain in the butt.

  36. Do yourself a favor and ignore this Den guy.
    If you read his posting with a little critical thinking you can see throught the “so called” years of experience and claim to so many experiences. Spysweeper is not an antivirus program – period.

    This guys is a koo koo for coco puffs…

    Request a refund for Spysweeper, the exposure is clearly noted on various websites. If you choose to wait and see if they figure their shiat out – fine – but don’t hold your breath – it could take months. You can always buy the program at a later date once you start seeing positive findings.


  37. John just use system restore, and return back to a day before you installed Spy Sweeper. Then you can try to reinstall Spy Sweeper again. Make sure you have all other AntiSpyware/AntiVirus programs turned completely off. Also, even if you close the program down from the bottom right of your screen, the program could still be running in the background. Norton and McAfee are famous for doing that, and they will block you installing programs without telling you. So, you have no idea they are the cause of your problems. You can go under Task Mananger and under processes and manually end those programs, if you feel you are able too. Alot of times I will uninstall both Norton and McAfee to remove any chance of a problem. Usually does the trick.

    I have installed/uninstalled Spy Sweeper hundreds of times on all different brands of computers. I have never had the problem your described. I have seen it before, just not with Spy Sweeper. The only time you might have a problem installing/uninstalling Spy Sweeper is if you have spyware, adware, or malware already on the computer, and your OS is damaged. Some are designed to prevent you from installing Anti Spyware/Virus programs. You can try install from Safe Mode though. That could solve your problem.

    AntiVirus programs do very little most of the time. Even if you have them, and they are up to date. You can still get a virus, and most likely won’t be able to remove the virus you now have. You’ll have to go on line and hunt down a program that is designed just for that virus to remove it, or just manually remove it.

    Most of the really good AntiSpyware programs out there like Spy Sweeper/Spyware Doctor can find viruses on your computer, and remove them also. There really isn’t that much difference between a Antivirus program, and a good AntiSpyware program.

    Common Sense can protect you from most viruses that are out there. Like I said before, the chance of you getting a Real Virus that is dangerous is very low. Almost like winning the Lottery, you don’t do that much do you. Spy Sweeper and Spyware Doctor will see a good deal of the Dangerous Viruses out there.

    I haven’t ran a AntiVirus program for myself in years, and I live on the internet. I’m forever downloading programs off the net and installing them. As long as you use common sense. Your pretty safe. Spyware on the other hand, you can load any web page and get spyware, you don’t have to click or open anything at all. Just go to a webpage and bang they got you.

    Most people wouldn’t know what to do with a file they downloaded. Probably couldn’t find the file after they got it. You usually have to activate a virus. So, in my opinion, 95% of the time, a Good AntiSpyware program can protect your computer. Common Sense can protect you from most Viruses, so, that leaves your AntiVirus program trying to do the work of your AntiSpyware program too. So, you only need to have a good AntiSpyware running all the time, and you can scan your computer from Viruses just encase from time to time.

    If your going to click and download and install, and open any Email, and anything and everything else that’s out there without a thought. Then you better run a Very Good AntiVirus program also. But you better Back up your computer before you begin. Because in my experience, a good virus can’t be removed completely, or very easily, and you usually have to get a Virus Removal just for that Virus you have. Because the one you paid money for won’t do it for you, and still you may not be able to remove what you have. Doesn’t matter what protection you have. Your better off Formating and reinstalling a backup or your Computer.

    The good viruses damage your files, and alot of times removing the virus won’t fix your problem, and trying to replace or repair all the files that were damage is not possible, and your easiest option is to just reinstall your computer, or installing your backup if you took the time to make one.

    You will get Spyware, Adware, and Malware, lots and lots of it, but you may never get a virus. But good programs like Spy Sweeper and Spyware Doctor will help protect you from getting these, or remove them if you have them.

    If you install any antivirus or antispyware program together, they can conflict, cause problems, slow your computer down, lock, and crash your computer.

    If your running a older computer, you may have problems with Spy Sweeper, or any AV, or AS program, because it could put to much demand on the CPU and Ram. Running 2 different protection programs could be to much for your computer also, or they may be conflicting with one another. I can usually install Spy Sweeper, and run a Sweep, but the computer may not run very fast if I left it running for protection. But it is a great scanner, and cleaner, on the the newer computers, I don’t have a problem.

    This of course is my opinion, with 12 years of experience in computer repair and dealing with Spyware and Viruses, and the many Different programs out there that are suppose to remove it all.

  38. I had the same problem with Spy Sweeper 5.0. I have uninstalled it.

    If you think this is an isolated incident, check with people who upgraded from Webroot’s Windows Washer 5.0 to 6.0 about a year ago.

    With that upgrade, Windows Washer not only emptied the contents of my recycle bin, but it took the liberty of deleting every file, folder, and shortcut on my desktop. I lost over 25 GB worth of my data.

    Webroot does a terrible job testing, and has now turned Spy Sweeper into a terrible product just like they did with Windows Washer.

    It’s time to find a new company. Ten years from now we can all look back and say “Spy Sweeper could have been so successful, if they did a better job in QA. But they failed to test and eventually went bankrupt.”

  39. I don’t think Windows Washer is a good program. Short and Sweet there.

    Any program that goes through your Windows Registry to clean it up, will most likely cause you problems. Every time I have used one that is suppose to clean up my computer to make is run faster, or Fix Errors, or whatever, has caused me trouble. Personally, in my opinion, you should just leave it alone. You just take a chance of not being able to boot in to windows the next time you try after running one of those windows cleaning programs. Yeah, they clean alright, they do such a good job that you can’t run windows anymore.

    I’ve read people are saying they are upgrading to Spy Sweeper 5.0, does that mean that they are installing 5.0 over a older version, or are they uninstalling first and installing 5.0 after a reboot?

    Upgrading anything from anything is a bad idea. You can have all kinds of problems doing a upgrade. You should always uninstall, reboot, and then install a clean version when possible.

    Otherwise your just asking for trouble.

    I’m sorry that people are having trouble installing Spy Sweeper. The only thing I can say is that there is probably something running on your computer preventing you from installing it. The easy way… I bet, if you did a clean install of windows, and the first thing you installed after booting up was Spy Sweeper, and you didn’t install any other protection programs first, that you probably wouldn’t have a problem installing it.

    The other way. Uninstall Norton, McAfee, or any other protection you have running on your computer. That will completely running the chance that they are cause problems in the background.

    Most every type of protection program can stop a install of a program, without telling you, so you’ll have no idea why your having trouble installing, and think the program is just messed up. Those same great programs you love to much, can prevent you from having a internet connection also. Norton, and McAfee are prime like to do this. Remove them, and like magic your problems could be gone!

    I have install Spy Sweeper enough to know, there is a good chance that there is a outside source that could be causing you problems, remove the sources, and no more problems.

  40. Den,

    Sorry for the wrong reference.


    You must be a Boulderite; probably a Webroot employee.

    12 years of mumbo jumbo…

    Very unwise advice – for sure. Especially since SpySpweeper problems are well documented and acknowledged by the mother ship after the version roll. For all your years of experience it’s funny how you don’t mention anything about the event log entries that are created when SpySweeper crashes or the SS application failures that can be reported on shutdown.

    Your a NTAC. If in fact your are a Boulderite then the high altitude brain-damage is irrepairable.


  42. CounterSpy is a solid product; based upon the Microsoft absorbed Giant Software Anti-Spyware kernel. As a fool unaware of the impending acquisition, I purchase a license from Giant only to find our a few months later that bought it up. 6 months after that Microsoft released the anti-spyware beta which eventually became Defender (in a perverted kind of way). I had been using my original Giant version up until support completely disappeared this past summer. It was the only program that avoided any and all conflicts and if you look at it’s technical history, it kind of makes sense why there was lasting compatibility overall.
    I haven’t used it but I’m willing to bet it functions primarily the same way and inherently runs conflict free – question is – how good is the level of protection?
    Only time will tell, but if I were using a lesser AV then I would give ’em a try due to the historical development – plus nothing to-date compares to or is as widely blogged as the SpySweeper debacle that is currently at hand…

  43. CounterSpy is a solid product; based upon the Microsoft absorbed Giant Software Anti-Spyware kernel. As a fool unaware of the impending acquisition, I purchase a license from Giant only to find out a few months later that MS bought it up. 6 months after that Microsoft released the anti-spyware beta which eventually became Defender (in a perverted kind of way). I had been using my original Giant version up until support completely disappeared this past summer. It was the only program that avoided any and all conflicts and if you look at it’s technical history, it kind of makes sense why there was lasting compatibility overall.
    I haven’t used CounterSpy but I’m willing to bet it functions primarily the same way as GAS and inherently runs conflict free – question is – how good is the level of protection (i.e. updates and threat matrix)?
    Only time will tell, but if I were using a lesser AV then I would give ’em a try due to the historical development – plus nothing to-date compares to or is as widely blogged as the SpySweeper debacle that is currently at hand…

  44. To all those that land on this blog site –

    Take the time to go back and read the vast response history on this Spysweeper debacle.
    There’s a bunch of good information here if you take the time and filter out the meager opinion of the uninformed.

    For those looking for general direction with regard to PC security – there are some really well thought out strategies posted further up this blog. Take the time and read.

    Here’s a link to another valuable site


    Also, for those of you so inclined, Webroot has provided contact information so you can provide cost free QA and technical/diagnostic feedback (BETA support in my estimation) back to a company that has already snatched up your money…

  45. Just updated my spy sweeper (v. definitions (Sept. 24, 06, v. 767). Now takes sweeper 1 hr 12 minutes to sweep my computer. Prior to these latest definitions, took 11 minutes. I’m not impressed. Sweep speed has not been changed, nor have I added any new programs or big files.

  46. Whenever you update your Definitions, Spy Sweeper does a Full Sweep of your computer. After that has been completed, it will switch to checking just where spyware usually is. That’s your 12min. Sweep your looking for.

    You guys are quick to slam one of the best AntiSpyware programs on the market.

    If you have AntiVirus running Realtime Protection and you try to install Spy Sweeper or a great deal of any other kind of software without shutting down your AntiVirus first, you can cause problems with the programs your trying to install, and just shutting down Norton or McAfee doesn’t mean it is completely shutdown, sometimes you need to uninstall the software completely to make sure it’s not the cause of your problems. I clean computers everyday, and Norton and McAfee are the cause of alot of different problems. After removing either, or both, then everything starts working properly again.

    Spy Sweeper, and Realtime AntiVirus programs don’t seem to get along right now. So, if your running Norton or McAfee or whatever, there is a chance that they will activate Spy Sweepers Shields and cause Spy Sweeper to get on Red Alert. This will cause your computer to come to a crawl. Your only choice’s is to shut down Spy Sweepers Shields, or Uninstall Spy Sweeper, or your AntiVirus Software.

    You will get Spyware, you may never get a Virus. Spyware is just as bad as Viruses, and you have a very high chance of getting spyware. So, if you have to get rid of a program. Keep Spy Sweeper, and Uninstall your Realtime Virus Protection. You can run a Virus Scanner once a week, or everyday if you like. If you are one of the very lucky few that do get a virus, most likely your AntiVirus Software wouldn’t have helped you anyway, and probably won’t remove it if it found it. So what was the point in using it.

  47. Its been 6 weeks since I read this thread, and the passage of time has just gotten us ‘customers’ absolutely nowhere! I did use a version 4.x of spy sweeper and it was fine. All attempts to get back there have failed miserably! Version 5 is a guaranteed lock-up unless running in Safemode – which is, quite frankly, absolutely USELESS! No way should webroot have released this on the unsuspecting public. I just never use it at all any more, I’m sure it has been poorly implemented and is clashing with something else, but so far as I’m concerned that is their problem, not mine – nearly every piece of software I have ever bought since the early 80s works with other software running! They should have thoroughly checked this out BEFORE release. I can’t afford to be taking time off work (in UK) to make an international phone call to webroot to help debug their crappy program!

  48. I wish I would have discovered this a few months ago.

    I have always used and recommended spysweeper but NOW. I am so frustrated.

    I set up a medical office with a network, sql express, and several client computers running XP Pro. Everything was running fine with version 4.5 no problems Medical software humming along. Well of course I always keep their systems up to date and so I upgraded to the latest spysweeper.

    I never even thought that all my problems were being created from 1 piece of software. I kept getting support calls that the Server would freeze thereby bringing down the entire network. After 10 minutes or so it would unfreeze.

    I checked everything from the Network to the Memory to the Motherboard to the Medical software to reinstalling SQL server. My last 6 weekends have been spent in an office trying to solve this problem.

    3 days ago I built another computer thinking it must be a hardware glitch and it is not worth my while to change the components, but rather replace the PC then take the old one and dissect it.

    Well I got a call 2 days ago that it was freezing every hour or so and I desperately decided to just try and run only SQL, NAV, and the Medical Software, figuring I can spysweep on the weekend as spyware is not as critical as Viruses. I can’t believe this I got a call telling me that the system has not frozen since I made the last changes.

    I then decided to search for a similar problem which brought me here. I can’t believe what I am reading here. How can this have happened after being such a stable reliable product. I try and protect a PC and end up with Technical support nightmares.

    Well I may not be installing a new PC afterall, but I certainly hope Webroot fixes this Serious Serious issue sooner rather than later.

    I too remember when Zone Labs made a mess of their Zone Alarm product. Many people never went back.

    Thanks for having such an informative site here, only wish I would have searched 6 weeks ago.

  49. I thought that I would check back here to see how things have faired since my last post. Why am I not surprised? Since my last visit I have also dumped virtually all of my Norton products (which somewhere along the line must have been impacted by SS 5). Zone Alarm (despite the bad history) is working perfectly fine.

    Seriously, has anyone entertained the thought of a class action on this matter? Certainly enough people out there, including me, have been impacted financially in some manner, besides the rediculous non-refundable 2 year cost. Despite my various messages to the Webroot folks, no response has been forthcoming. Talking with a “tech person” from that organization is absurd at this juncture.

    Perhaps someone out there knows how to get the process rolling because I will certainly join in the action. The cost of their software, replacement software, other software, new hard drive, my time, time taken away from my business, etc. Come on folks, let’s do the multiples.

  50. Can anyone tell me why SS has failed to detect spyware on my sytem since I installed it when 5 was released? Performance is terrible, but not finding any spyware concerns me greatly.

  51. First of all, you need at least 2GB of RAM avalable in your computer to run spy sweeper 5.0. If not, your other proggrams will not run, and your computer will freeze again and again. If you dont have this reqiorement, dont install this version of spy sweeper. I suggest using other programs, like spyware extermintor, ad aware SE, windows defender, or spy catcher.
    I used to be a big fan of spy sweeper, but now I hate it.!!!

  52. Spyware Doctor looks like a good candidate to replace Spy Sweeper. Spy Sweeper crippled my fairly powerful PC, a machine with a dual core processor and 4G of RAM—that’s just ludicrous. I just downloaded the demo so it will be a few days before I know for sure. It has the best rootkit detection of any spyware app that I could find (at least, according to reviews).

    Kerio Personal Firewall, now owned by Sunbelt Software, is my pick to replace Zone Alarm. ZA is another has been: too many issues for too little protection.

  53. It looks like they just released a new version. Can anyone confirm if it fixes the NAV freezing problem. I am too nervous to even try it anymore.

  54. Like everyone else here, I innocently installed v 5. I have not had all the issues others have had, probably due to my 2 gigs of ram. It is a resource hog, no doubt about it. I disabled it because it is irratating the daylights out of me with “reminders” to sweep. Daily reminders. I have had this program for a couple of years and also am paid up for a couple of years in advance. I used to love this program. Unlike many others I did find tech support to be very responsive,but it doesn’t matter really. This version is garbage. There is no way to disable the nag screen, so it has been removed from my machine. As per Tech supports suggestion, I reinstalled the old version, but was pestered to update to the latest. Why bother to license software if you are still going to be nagged to death? It will take a big step to restore my confidence in this product. Lesson here, no matter how good a product is, it can go in the toilet with a single update.

  55. Today I finally lost it with the way my computer had behaving. It was doing exactly the same as all the problems mentioned above. I had been trying for past few days and it had not occured to me that it was Spyweeper causing the problem. My computer had been getting slower and slower and just switching off completely more regularly each day since upgrading to version 5 and the subsequent update. Thankfully I stumbled on this page this morning. After reading these posts I immediately uninstalled spysweeper and downloaded SpywareDoctor. A quick scan with SpywareDoctor found 313 infections. I then did a full scan (took a couple of hours) found 2150!!? Spysweeper had not found anything since I upgraded it. I wonder if Webroot will refund me 250 dollars I lost due to me computer shutting down while playing a winning poker hand?

  56. Spyware Doctor is doing the job, although I won’t be able to fully endorse it until I’ve lived with it for awhile longer.

    Webroot just emailed me to remind me that my subscription expires in one week. I replied to remind them that their software has become an unworkable POS. A shame they damaged their product so badly.

  57. My disasters with SpySweeper 5.0 mostly disappeared when I changed from Panda Anti Virus to using the Anti Virus in Zone Alarm. Panda was workiing fine prior to SS ver 5.0 so I don’t think there is any problem with Panda. The problem is with Spy Sweeper.

    The one remaining problem I have may explain many people’s complaints of moderate slow downs of their systems. After every SS sweep, Task Manager performance shows my (750 mhz “rocket”) CPU constantly locked at running about 39% attributed to the process Windows explorer.exe.

    I found that by shutting down SpySweeper, the CPU usage dropped immediately from 39%to the floor. I can then restart SpySweeper from the desktop icon and after about a minute or so of loading (max CPU use), the CPU usage drops back to the floor again, restoring somewhat faster performance with that extra 39% of CPU capacity released and made available again.
    Hope this helps someone. Any comments?

  58. P.S. to my post:
    I am running SpySweeper Ver I think I saw that there is a .2125 available now but haven’t tried it to see if it cures the problem. I’m not holding my breath.

  59. Used SS successfully over the past. Upgraded to ver 5 and the lastest builds over the last month, including the last week’s upgrade. PC freezeups, locking, and full resource usage, no desktop icons, white screen of death, etc. Disaster!! Couldn’t even use task mgr to stop anything. AMD x2 4200 with 2G ram, so it’s not an old pc issue. After spending the last 2 days attempting to correct the issues, reinstall, System Restore, XPPro repair install, etc., I had to do a full wipe and clean install of XPPro and all programs. I’ve lost confidence in SS and will not use SS again, and yes I am a paid subscriber – $down the drain. PC-Cillin 2006 and CounterSpy work well together.

  60. Just checking back in folks – it’s been some time…

    NAV 2007 is performing well since my upgrade and I’d like to inform all those you are interested that in side by side comparisons – NAV’s integrated spyware – adware – crimeware functionality is vastly improved and actually finds intrusions – equivalent to Trend Micro’s detection capabilities (also available for free as an online scan and clean utility) – which is recognized by large corporate IT organizations as an effective protection tool.

    Bottomline – don’t be running so many layers of divergent protection – get informed and keep it uncluttered – and stay away from software providers who lack skillful compatibility testing.

    Who would that be you ask? – if you’re reading this far down the blog you already know the answer to that question…

    I have no affiliations with Symantec BTW.

    Have a Coke and a Smile…

  61. I have been having many of the same performance problems others have expressed here (no blue screens yet). I just upgraded to v5.2.3.2125. My older Dell laptop has been running so slow since v5, but I couldn’t figure it out until now. When I closed the UI component, performance picked up dramatically. One of the posters here said the Key Logger shield was the culprit. When I disabled it, I noticed a significant performance improvement.

    Also, you don’t always have to totally uninstall some of these AV/AS software tools to find out if they are the culprit. Most of them have a client UI component AND a service component. Go into Administrative Tools/Services and disable the service as well. Stop the service and set it to manual so it won’t restart on boot up. The UI component can be disabled in msconfig, Startup tab. Then it won’t run.

  62. I wish I had found this site before I bought WB SS. I was fustrated with other Norton, Trend… Mcafee, etc… apps in this arena. The WB SS seemed to have good recc from mags etc.. It is clumsy, not fit for purpose period the end. The mags who recc this product so highly, perhaps should read something on ethics before they apply their mark of approval.

  63. Well ~ So the truth be told.
    And to all those who have been claiming Webroot was fine and it was all the other well established foundational programs causing the problems ~ I wish you a Happy New Year in your search for an New excuse…

    Thanks FUNFUNFUN for this inside track ~ it should help clear things up for those that were still on the fence…

    : )

  64. I wish I read this board. I bought the SS reading the pc world reviews. Now, I am out $30 and really pissed off. The software made my laptop to crawl and I had to uninstall it. No matter, it didn’t help my laptop. It got so bad I had to do a clean install of DAMN Windows XP (my explorer.exe wasn’t loading and my XP would boot). I don’t know what it did to the registry. I hate them. Arrgghh. The Spy Sweeper is piece of @#$#. Webroot should stuff it up their behind.

  65. I am running the older 4.5 version and it refuses to update the definitions. Error msg is “A problem was experienced when attempting to contact Webroot. If you are using a firewall, please be sure that it allows Spy Sweeper to access the Internet and try again. If the problem continues, contact Webroot support.”

    Contacted support but, no reply. Seems like Zone Alarm is the choice for the moment.

  66. I have a AMD Athlon 64 3700+ w/1.5GB RAM and up until I installed the WbRtSS.5 had a 200GBHD. I don’t know for sure what corrupted the HD, but it quit booting, so I was forced to install an 80GB drive as C:, reloading all the programs and drivers onto it so I could work. The original drive didn’t crash, it just wouldn’t boot, so I use it as a secondary drive since it has all my work files stored on it. It was working fine and super fast until I installed ss5 on it also and then it slowed way down and takes 5 to 10 minutes to start up. Sometimes it crashes and until now I didn’t have a clue what might be the problem. My subscription just ran out and like in another comment, I am being plagued by update and renewal popups. I have downloaded updates twice, but neither one would install. I don’t think I can afford to renew this program.

  67. I’ve been in IT for a long time and use a computer every day of my life … except on vacation! This software and anti-spyware software like it is USELESS! I have anti-virus running on my machine and do all my OS updates. That’s it! Never have any problems! The large retailers like BB and CC deal Webroot out like candy. Telling people that this software will “PROTECT” them from malicious activity. It’s a load of crap. This software is un-installed from ALL of machines I come in contact with. I couldn’t count on a few sets of hands how many times Webroot software has locked up a machine or blocked someone from doing a BASIC task. The thing is this … I have my own busniess and I TEACH my customers the right way to surf the NET and work on their computers.

  68. I’ve been using 5.07 and haven’t had any problems with all shields on. It appears I lucked out. Unfortunately, my subscription is running out and it looks like renewal forces me to accept an update. After the update, they provide a 15 Mb download, which looks like an update. Does anyone know if that’s true? Is there a way to renew the subscription without updating the version?

  69. I am running SS 5.2.3 2132 and my computer locks up only when my Trend PC-Cillin is activated during XP startup. If I disable Trend SS works fine. The lockup by SS definately seems to be related to the KEYLOGGER sheild option, so with that turned off Trend and SS work fine together. I think turning off Keylogger in SS has been mentioned before so try it. SS works fine for me now and alongside Trend AV as well, just as long as SS Keylogger sheild is turned off.

  70. This software is just the worst security product I have used in a long time.

    All it did is lock up my computer.

    I hope the stupid VC that gave them funding will realize that they are crap and let them die a slow financial death.

  71. The Webroot Sweeper program is absolutely awful. Not only did it slow my machine down it has locked up my computer so tight that it’s unusable right now. I decided to rid myself of the program & it is supposed to be uninstalled…. WRONG. It doesn’t show in the Add/Remove program anymore; however, it is somewhere because it ties up the whole machine & shuts down the programs & tells me I have serious errors in the registry. DON’T USE.

  72. Another thumbs down for SS. Same problems as everyone above… can’t believe this software went to release with as many issues as it seems to have.

    … at least Webroot refunded my money without any hassle.

  73. Interesting to see all these comments. I installed the trial of SS Enterprise on a test lab of 10 machines just over a week ago, and since then a number of system pauses and errors has increased markedly. In particular on the master server I’m getting “Insufficient system resources exist to complete the requested service” errors after about a day since reboot, and every 15 seconds or so an event log entry of “An I/O operation initiated by the Registry failed unrecoverably. The Registry could not read in or write out or flush one of the files that contain the system’s image of the Registry” (Event 333). On the clients I’m noticing random and frequent CPU spikes on machines that do nothing except pass scripted e-mail around.

    On top of all that, the Handle count for the SpySweeper.exe process is through the roof – 13,000 minimum and up to 35,0000! Maximum for any other process I’ve seen has been about 2,000. Whether this is a bug or is the way the program works, it may certainly help point to the cause of the issue.

    Such a pity…

  74. It looks like we all agree that ss is junk. Ok then could someone help a nub uninstall it? I have tried and failed several times. Support HA! When I try to get rid of it, I get a spysweeper is still running and it will not let me finish the install. “HELP

  75. I too ran into this issue months ago and decided to just uninstall it and rely on S&D and defender. I don’t know the best way to uninstall it however if you run the uninstaller and then run “msconfig.exe” from the start menu to can clean up the rest of it.

    Webroot sent me instructions on removing the persistent stuff their uninstaller leaves behind that runs at startup, however, I’ve reinstalled Windows since then so I didn’t need it.

    I’ve never seen software plummet this much in terms of stability after an upgrade and I’m certain I’ll never purchase SS ever again. Lucky for me my subscription expires in a month so I’m loosing subscription time but gaining a properly working system

  76. Wow… I can’t believe all the bad reviews on such a good product. I suspect a lot of these complaints/problems are caused by:
    (1) User Error
    (2) Old outdated machines, with little or no resources to spare.
    (3) Installing SpySweeper on an already infected machine, rather than preemptively protecting their machine BEFORE getting infected. (which is like putting on a condom AFTER having unprotected sex)


  77. Not everyone feels it should be necessary to spare so much vital resources to operate certain programs, poorly written code perhaps “I ask myself”? I can clearly see how software manufactures continue to write software that requires more and more computing horsepower to run properly.

  78. Ron wrote,
    “Wow… I can’t believe all the bad reviews on such a good product. I suspect a lot of these complaints/problems are caused by:
    (1) User Error
    (2) Old outdated machines, with little or no resources to spare.
    (3) Installing SpySweeper on an already infected machine, rather than preemptively protecting their machine BEFORE getting infected. (which is like putting on a condom AFTER having unprotected sex)”

    1. No
    2. No
    3. No

    If SS works for you, bravo. Maybe they’ve fixed it by now, but I’ll never know. I’m done with it and they can rot in hell for all I care.

  79. I do corporate security work for a living & retired from law enforcement. Obviously the two do not make me an “expect” simply based on a title. But, my extensive training in IT, Network Security, etc. does put me above most of the novices.

    Saying that, I am shocked at what crap WebRoot has pumped out since the 4.5 version. I have attempted to install version 5 up to & including the most recent release candidate. All of them CRAP, causing memory leakage, consuming mass amounts of CPU resources, slowing the systems down…..I could go on & on, but why repeat what has been posted above and on other forums.

    And, before the nay-sayers advised that it must be “my” computer, they are work. I also BUILD computers for others. This has almost become an obsession with me, almost looking for a holy grail of computer set up/combination that will run the WebRoot crap software without an issue.

    You name it, I have tried it: 4 gigs RAM? Nope. Overclocked PC? Nope, Internal/External graphics cards? Nope. The ORIGINAL drivers that were present when version 4.5 was out? Nope. Clean installs on a CLEAN system without ANYTHING (i.e. anti virus, firewall)…NOPE. Different anti-virus programs? Nope…..

    I even have a “test” computer that I try EACH latest release of the WebRoot program to see if they finally got it “right”. And, as you can see, each an every install makes it that much more clear that this is the worst CRAP I have ever used.

    And, finally, no, my systems are not “pre-infected”. In fact, they are pristine clean and even sit behind a hardware firewall. And, again, no, I do not have a kid or spouse that is “using my systems unknowingly, thereby infecting them without my knowledge.”

    The CRAP that WebRoot put out (the first “5.0” version and on….) way back when has wasted my time and money. Money wise, it is because I had renewed for two years just a few days before their horrible abortion of software (5.0) was released on the public.

    But….I will have my revenge. I have painstakenly documented all of my steps and findings. Once I am up for “renewal” again, I am going to ask for my money back. They will say “no”. And, for the FIRST TIME in my life, I will enter the system that I so dearly dispise: Civil Litigation. The great thing about the state I live in, is that for the “small claims”, as long as I am under $4999.99, there is NO jury. Just a judge. You can’t even get a jury trial. So, even if I lose, which I probably will, it will cost them much more than the return of my “renewal fee” that they refused to return.

    Can you tell I am angry & annoyed? I am even more annoyed at the so called Computer Magazines (PC World, PC Mag, etc) for coninually giving this CRAP high marks or it’s “Editor’s Choice” awards. What are they doing or seeing to get this software to work so well………

  80. Hello,

    Could you please when you stoped using spy sweeper what software did you switch too.


  81. I am using Spy Sweeper Enterprise 3.1.0 (build 1844) that was recently upgraded. After the upgrade, my system is hosted up each time when the SS is running. I ran the sweep during lunch hour (starting at 12:00p) and I have to kill it if I don’t want to wait till 1:40p or so. If I don’t kill it, the system is virtually not useable. Called the IT dept and the support guy has the same problem. Guess they do not have a solution either. 🙁

  82. Currently, if Spy Sweeper Enterprise version 3.x and Cisco Security Agent version 4.5.x or higher are installed on the same machine, a blue screen can occur after reboot. The Cisco defect ID for this is CSCse92343 and the Cisco team has posted a hotfix that corrects this issue.

    Cisco customers can download the hotfix from the following location:


    Now Say Sorry to Webroot… & Kick Cisco in the butt.

  83. Until yesterday I was running SpySweeper 5.4 rather happily on this newly built machine. I upgraded to 5.5 and the machine effectively stopped dead.

    The CPU isn’t being hammered at all but I do notice is that inter process communication is dead.

    Click on a URL in a Skype or an eMail and nothing happens. My VB app which talks to Word does nothing.

    I close down Spy Sweeper and everything runs again as if I have unblocked something.

    I now have it installed on my machine and it doesn’t run at start time. It may get removed for good.

  84. thanks for all this info.
    SS 5.5 freezes my XP Pro machine too.
    Every time.
    Crap. Wish I didn’t have the 2 year subscription.
    Without this page I would have been stuck. Thanks again.


  85. I wish I’d stumbled on this Web site six months ago! That’s when my 10-month old computer started slowing down and generally freaking out. I’d been running spysweeper on it from Day 1 (along with Norton and then MacAfee). All antivirus and antispyware scans were clean, but the system kept locking up. I’ve dragged it back to the geek squad guys twice, thinking it was hardware issues, but they couldn’t find anything wrong. Still, they wiped the system both times (costing me more than $250).
    The latest visit to BB was last week. This time the tech and I actually talked about the problems and he said they’d noticed my system memory use was very high even when no programs were actively running. On his recommendation I switched to TrendMicro for antivirus and saw performance improve marginally. Thanks to this site, I’m going to try another antispyware program — that’s got to be cheaper than the money I was getting ready to shell out for a new computer. Thanks for the warnings.

  86. I have had the same problems and more. spysweeper causes several of my cad based programs to not run at all and others as well. This software was a total bust for me. Terrible product and HORRIBLE support. I tried their support and got no response at first and when I finally did after bugging them several times the response was useless.

  87. I have been a Webroot customer for the past 2 years and loyal to the SpySweeper product. Prior to the 5.5 release, it had worked like a charm. All of a sudden, after I upgraded to the latest version, my PC began to FREEZE upon startup. On the average, I had to reboot my PC at least 7 times before I achieved some normalcy. I just couldn’t figure out the cause. Coincidentally, a friend of mine complained about the same symptoms on his PC and advised me to remove SpySweeper from my startup list (MSCONFIG.EXE). I took his advise and the PC seems to be working fine.

    P.S. Judging by the hold time when calling the Webroot TECHNICAL SUPPORT, one is left to agree that they have a MAJOR problem with their latest release. I have contacted them on 3 occasions and was on hold between 20 minutes and 45 minutes. The engineer asked me to send my sysinfo file as well as a couple of event logs for troubleshooting. It has been well over 24 hours and I am yet to receive an UPDATE …

  88. I use Webroot Spysweeper & Norton System Works on a Windows XP SP2, and have always had auto updates on everything. Last year, my computer wouldn’t respond to the extent that I reformatted the hard drive to try to fix it. On reinstalling the software, everything was going fine until I installed the Spysweeper and then it started acting very erratically. I put up with it until last week, all along trying to make whatever adjustments I could find to my system to improve it, when I got a blank screen and couldn’t even go into safe mode. . . so I have just reformatted my hard drive again. I’m not in the mood to go through this again, so I haven’t reinstalled either Webroot Spysweeper or Norton System Works. What is the recommended alternative to those two products? Isn’t there one product that will do the job, so we don’t have the conflict problems? Thanks.

  89. Well, add me to the SpySweeper victims. I have used spysweeper almost since the first release but no more! On June 28th I downloaded the latest update and immediately began having problems with my computer freezing upon startup. I spent the last 2 weeks trying to find out what was wrong until the same exact thing happened to my wifes laptop. The damn program somehow totally destroyed the registry. I had to do a windows reinstall and lost everything on both computers. Webroot closed my ticket without responding when I told them what happened. Hundreds of hours wasted when they could have posted something on their website about a problem and stopped their newest release. They are a worthless company and I have zero respect for them.

  90. If it makes any difference, Version 5 and whatever preceeded it have both been pure shit on my W2K machine. Worst Part: it won’t uninstall! I tried to do away with it and my computer was POSESSED until i reinstalled it. Now it won’t run, it slows everything to a crawl, and I’m afraid to uninstall again. Worst piece of shit software I’ve EVER encountered. Thank God I never recommeded it to anyone! They’d want to kill me and I wouldn’t blame them a bit!

  91. I HATE Webroot Spysweeper 5.0! It has made my computer so slow that I dread having to use it. When I try to uninstall the program in the Control Panel’s add/remove, it will not uninstall. Apparently I am missing the unins000.dat file. I can’t even shut it off! The files cannot be moved as they are always running. When I have tried to end the operation in task manager the task has been denied. Web Defender permits this program to run at all times.

  92. just installed the new version,-7.horrible. on my dell lap with XP,when I shut down all I get is “closing network connections,program not responding” I had to do system restore several days prior to fix computer. I tried the spy update with the same problem.any help? thanks

  93. I upgraded from 4.5 to 5.5.3 – what a disaster. Immediately started getting problems with installing/uninstalling programs because the Program Files and Windows directories were locked. Moreover, I couldn’t unlock them. FInally tracked it to whatever Spy Sweeper is doing – uninstalling it fixed the problem. Oh, and version 5 somehow seemed to manage to use both cores of my dual core machine. I mean, how much resources does it need ? It’s getting to the point where the solution is as bad as the problem.

  94. I got a false alert that my Spyware subscription was expired, and then restarted my computer and everything was fine; my subscription doesn’t end until April 2008. Is anybody else having this problem and what is going on with this false alert?

  95. I have the same problem here. I’m using Windows XP PRO. When I installed SS 5.5 and restarted it. My computer kept freezing and crawling. I have rebooted my computer for several times, but the problem still exists. I tried to uninstall it, but it kept freezing. I can’t open IE, Firefox and others. What should I do?

  96. I have Spy Sweeper v. 5.5.7 (Build 48) with Symantec AntiVirus There does not seem to be interference between the two, but over the past few days when the computer is turned on, strage pop-ups appear. One is that my subscription has expired (it hasn’t); another says that I can only use the program by agreeing the to EULA. When you click on the site for the EULA (probably the wrong thing to do) the browser says “Can’t find C:/Program.” Strange all around. — Now Webroot is also asking, via email, for renewals for Window Washer ($14.95), which they had never done before. There is no indication in Window Washer that I have a subscription, or when it expires. What gives?

  97. To any interested parties – a downloaded copy of WEBROOT SPY SWEEPER has caused constant problems with my machine.
    I am kept running with outside business interests and don’t have time to stay up to date on the latest computer issues. On Jul 22 07 I downloaded Spy Sweeper and within a few weeks began experiencing occasional lock-ups when starting my computer. These gradually increased in frequency and severity until it was necessary to restart my machine 3 or 4 times before it would run. After trying everything I could think of, I uninstalled Webroot Spy Sweeper on Sunday 9/23/07 and BINGO, no further problems.

    Today I called Webroot customer service to cancel my subscription and ask for a refund and was told very curtly that no refund would be given.

    (running WindowsXP; 1G ram

  98. I had a fun jiggedy with the antivirus company. First off I’m running a Vista. Boo hiss, I’m hearing. Actually installing Webroot fixed just about every bug I ever had involving hardware mismatching and whatnot. I was rather proud of my SS, aside from it blocking blizzard downloader every 5 mb’s but I got over it.
    Then about 6 days ago I got some error when I tried to load it. First off I kept getting a pop up saying I had an alert. When I clicked alerts…… nothing happened. Then I noticed…… sweep is grayed out. Can’t sweep. Now windows defender can’t update its definitions and all of SS’s definitions hae vanished! I decided to move up to the newest build…. I had build 48.
    Oh my gawd. Fuk me in the eye. My cmp lags now, its catching nothing, taking everything else down with it, and the two coders and a progrrammer that happen to be friends I had come look at it started saying something about its mapping having visited hell on a seatless bicycle with no pants on during a ride down a gravel road.
    And for once…. they dunno what to do…. since SS won’t give me my code anymore so im stuck in liido not knowing what to do.

    Oh… and I’m blacklisted on tech support for a call i just amde…… used a woman’s sex, race, and speech impedement as a means to get results.

    That doesn’t work.

    Anyone hear of an answer email me:

  99. Had to laugh coming across this on the web. Not that I found people’s experiences funny just unsurprising. I had serious delay problems using SS and I could tell By the Task Manager that SS was draining me dry. I shut down the centre which did help a little. The scan I ran lasted 6 hours for some reason best known to itself. It will be booted ASAP…welcome back Spyware Doctor.

  100. Spysweeper 5.5x latest as of 1/30/07, has been giving me explorer crashes in vista that trace directly back to the webroot spysweeper “service” dll that starts with windows even if spysweeper is disabled. Had to uninstall it finally and gave up on it.

  101. I am a long time SS customer, currently running 5.5. I have it on all my computers and wife’s as well, and have gotten it installed on many of our computers at work. When googling to find the answer to a problem I was having, I found the fix that involved running Superantispyware, a freebie, as the final step in removing the spyware. It worked, and my first thought was, “Why didn’t my SS find this problem?” I started making it a policy to run Superantispyware after running SS, and was amazed to discover that it almost always found additional spyware and/or viruses. I was so inpressed by Superantispyware, that I upgraded my computers to the professional version. I have contacted SS support twice now on this, even sending them log files. I am disappointed to tell you that they did nothing to address this issue, only asking me for additional data. If they were serious, they would perform this same test and see the results for themselves. To anyone reading this, give it a try. Run SS first followed by Superantispyware and take note of all the spyware/viruses that SS missed. If Webroot does not correct this situation soon, I’m going to be an X-customer.

  102. Webroot is a company that has changed it views and goals. SS was a very good program until they started to add AV. I’ll let everyone in on a secret that is only know internally at webroot. The way Webroot combined the AV portion from Sophos (a British AV company) with the Anti-Spyware portion of Spy Sweeper was completely incorrect. And this is an issue that is causing more then half of your problems. They other half is because Webroot does a poor job at QA release testing and issue prioritizing (meaning they’ll fix stuff that makes money first). They are currently rewriting the program, but this is not a sure fix… in fact it might make things worse. So learn a lesson and wait before you upgrade. I no longer work at The Root but I still know what goes on there.

    Now before you go off and start saying that SS and webroot suck… which they do… understand that not all Security programs work the same. And they fined things that aren’t always harmful, some programs find files that aren’t harmful in anyway AT ALL! Like… EVERY AV PROGRAM OUT THERE. And don’t call people acting like you know more because if you did… you wouldn’t have a virus/infection on your computer

    For good sakes people, if you have to call their support line… be nice to tech on the phone. It’s not there fault the program they support was written poorly. And if you have to wait two hours on hold because you don’t know how to do something on a computer, not give an attitude just be nice that someone is helping you for free.

    To be completely honest… if your on a Mac you’re golden you pretty much have nothing to worry about. If your on a Windows PC learn how to use a PC and the internet. It’s because of your inability to learn the proper way to use a simple thing like a computer that got you infected… not because your Anti-virus isn’t working. And if you think it’s hard to learn about computers, then you’re just slow and shouldn’t be using one… go back to pen and paper.

  103. Spysweeper hogs RAM and fights with Avast and Outlook 2007. It also blue screened a few laptops till we figured out that it does not let go of registry entries when the laptop enters standby/sleep/hibernate mode. Guess what happens when you try to use the computer? Yup corrupt registry hives and a BSOD.

  104. Spysweeper hogs RAM and fights with Avast and Outlook 2007. It also blue screened a few laptops till we figured out that it does not let go of registry entries when the laptop enters standby/sleep/hibernate mode. Guess what happens when you try to use the computer? Yup corrupt registry hives and a BSOD.

  105. Hi to all of the eyes that reads this: stay away from webroot, or spysweeper, its my belief they hijacked my pc, i have been trying to resolve an issue with them for about eight months, and every time i get the same automated response that does not do what it says it will. The problem is spysweeper is in every document on my pc but i did not download it nor had i ever heard of them until this began happening. So beware you’ve been warned. and if any of you have gotten a response on how to uninstall this crap i’d sure like to know, they have yet to contact me.

  106. the problems continue and the company continues to be as unresponsive
    oh dont ask for a supervisor it only gets worse

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