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  • Dell patches SupportAssist, but other PC-Doctor software still vulnerable

    Home Forums AskWoody blog Dell patches SupportAssist, but other PC-Doctor software still vulnerable

    This topic contains 21 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by  Morty 5 months, 2 weeks ago.

    • Author
      Posts
    • #1855277 Reply

      woody
      Da Boss

      Dell announced on June 21 that it has issued an emergency patch for the Dell SupportAssist software – which you’re probably running if you have a Dell
      [See the full post at: Dell patches SupportAssist, but other PC-Doctor software still vulnerable]

      9 users thanked author for this post.
    • #1855294 Reply

      douglas9x
      AskWoody Lounger

      Disbabled it long ago….any reason why i can’t just uninstall it?. TIA

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      bjm
      • #1855579 Reply

        anonymous

        Unless you’re under warranty and may need it. If not, Nuke it !

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #1855295 Reply

      anonymous

      Dell XPS-8700 here. As soon as you gave us the heads up a while back and since it’s no longer under warranty, there was no need for SupportAssist. I uninstalled it that same day. Thanks for the heads up back then.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      bjm
    • #1855352 Reply

      John
      AskWoody Lounger

      Typically when I buy a PC these days I immediately do a clean install using Microsoft’s Media Creation tool and start with a fresh install of Windows 10 void of all the crapware. I just do not know why anyone really needs this stuff on their PC anymore. If you don’t know how to update a driver yourself, or simply allow Windows update to do it. You should learn how to download and install them. This is the second time Dell has had issues with their support software.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      bjm
      • #1855414 Reply

        anonymous

        I just do not know why anyone really needs this stuff on their PC anymore.

        Because there are folks out there who, for a great myriad of reasons, either want their hand held or need their hand held by software such as the Dell SupportAssist software when things go awry on their computer(s).

        Dell and the other mass-market PC makers out there don’t know exactly which one of their millions of PC’s will wind up in the hands of someone who either needs or wants the assistance provided by their software, so it’s installed by default on all of their machines in the factory.

         

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        bjm
        • #1856089 Reply

          GoneToPlaid
          AskWoody Plus

          One could go to the support page for their computer and download yet not install the program. That way, one has the program if they need to temporarily install it for support assistance. Once one has downloaded the program’s installer, one could then uninstall the program, and later install it if it is really needed for support.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #1855611 Reply

      NetDef
      AskWoody_MVP

      Couple notes:

       

      1. Removing SupportAssist and it’s alternate flavors based on PC_Doctor will not invalidate anyone’s warranty.  If you do have a support ticket under warranty in the future, you can always get a newer (and presumably patched) edition from your OEM’s support site and run it on demand for the support tech if asked.
      2. If you are having trouble removing it (not at all uncommon for it to toss up infuriating errors when trying to zap it) and don’t want to do a clean install (on some OEM systems clean installs are still insanely difficult due to weird driver issues etc.) you can download the free bcuninstaller.com and kill it (as well as other crapware) pretty easily.

      .

      ~ Group "Weekend" ~

      4 users thanked author for this post.
      • #1856811 Reply

        Cesar
        AskWoody Lounger

        you can download the free bcuninstaller.com and kill it

        Thanks for the suggestion. I’ll have it in mind next time I need an uninstaller. I’m currently using Revo Uninstaller for that matter, which also has a free portable version, and it works quite well for me. I just mention it here just in case someone else could find it handy, too. 🙂

        Official site: https://www.revouninstaller.com/

        Revo Uninstaller Free: https://www.revouninstaller.com/products/revo-uninstaller-free/
        (You can also download the free portable version from this page, which I prefer.)

        César

    • #1855894 Reply

      anonymous

      I have no idea what PC Doctor is. That sounds like sort of spyware. But I guess it’s legit, merely nothing more than prepackaged crapware. I really hate it when manufacturers of computers, phones, tablets, etc include all this junk that can be really hard to remove if you don’t know what you’re doing.

      On a PC, in most cases I would just want to wipe the hard drive, and reinstall Windows, although I don’t know if doing that would invalidate the PC’s warranty or not. But just the amount of junk is insane, and most of it you never need. Like do I really need an eBay or Amazon application? I can just open up my web browser and go to those sites. Do I really need need an manufacturer branded video player? VLC can play just about anything I need. But I have seen some “legitimate” programs pre-installed that were really hard to remove. Some didn’t even have a regular uninstall. It’s why I wipe the hard drive and do a clean install.

      • #1856794 Reply

        mn–
        AskWoody Lounger

        Some didn’t even have a regular uninstall.

        And then there are those where the uninstaller isn’t compatible with recent versions of Windows. As in if you didn’t remove it before…

        These were more common with Windows 7 or 8 to 10 upgrades but also possible with 10 feature updates.

    • #1856049 Reply

      cmptrgy
      AskWoody Plus

      Typically when I buy a PC these days I immediately do a clean install using Microsoft’s Media Creation tool and start with a fresh install of Windows 10 void of all the crapware. I just do not know why anyone really needs this stuff on their PC anymore. If you don’t know how to update a driver yourself, or simply allow Windows update to do it. You should learn how to download and install them. This is the second time Dell has had issues with their support software.

      I know many members know what you mean but with millions of computers around the world I suspect there is a higher percentage of casual (“average”) users than there are advanced users. Using words like “simply” doesn’t encourage an average user especially if they are technically challenged. I’m not an expert by any means but I have learned a lot by paying attention to computer forums like Windows Secrets was and now Ask Woody. When I fix a problem or train someone for an issue at hand I follow up by taking 10-15 minutes to cover what has been addressed and then I let them follow a set of instructions (sometimes written instructions) and there have been times someone responded with “that was easy”. In other words it wasn’t me who said it, it was them.

      On Dell’s Support Assistant, I’ve seen many users who benefited from continuing to use the annual paid for version. I don’t need it but when something went wrong, they used Dell support to address their situation. It doesn’t mean Dell support is perfect but at least it provides the support the average user can reach out to.
      — It’s true that many users need to be taken by the hand when it comes to managing how their computers run but I’m sure most of them have “careers” they excel at.

      On bloatware, I have to admit I don’t set up new computers very often as I work mostly on used computers from Windows 7 & up at this point in time. Anyway last week I set a new Lenovo IdeaPad S340-15IWL and all I remember is an option for McAfee.

      HP EliteBook 8540w laptop Windows 10 Pro (x64)

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #1856744 Reply

        krzemien
        AskWoody Lounger

        Indeed. As per my post elsewhere:

        But you do know that there are millions of people out there who just expect that their device is being managed / kept updated in the background? Which – fairly speaking – is not a bad idea either?

        Otherwise how on earth your grandfather or aunt will know where to download updated BIOS from, or correct graphics driver?

        Also, I must say that as a more advanced user it’s quite useful for me to be notified about the updates rather than keep checking for them on various forums / support web pages etc. – as a rule I really do not have time for that.

        Hence me still using VAIO Update for my SONY laptop (despite SONY’s selling business good few years ago this little snippet still works and actually got itself updated last week – also on our second, 11 year old laptop as well!) and HP Support Assistant for my PC (which has a history of hit and miss approach but I digress).

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #1858351 Reply

          mn–
          AskWoody Lounger

          Otherwise how on earth your grandfather or aunt will know where to download updated BIOS from, or correct graphics driver?

          Doesn’t help much.

          So far, to this day, I’ve found that other than during the system initial install/update phase the automated tools have about a 50% chance of either installing the correct driver if left to run on automatic… or making an even worse mess.

          So the user has to be able to verify that the tool is in fact installing the correct driver or whatever, bringing us… not very far from where we started actually.

          And that’s not counting any “special” hardware that may be attached. (Expensive “docking” display… random cheap USB webcam… fancy ergonomic mouse with long warranty… ) Those may well do things like cause BSODs with the “correct” driver, so you’d have to install different version driver manually.

          That said, not all of the support tools are all bad. HP has the SoftPaq Download Manager which…
          isn’t end-user friendly at all (far from it – it’s, well, *excessively* technical), but it at least tells you what versions are available, even for *other* HP models. And lets you download them too.

          • This reply was modified 5 months, 2 weeks ago by  mn--.
    • #1856990 Reply

      Morty
      AskWoody Plus

      I have a refurbished Dell Win 7 machine. When I tried to install the May Security Rollup update and it zapped my network, I (naively) tried using SupportAssist to find the missing driver. But it turned out I don’t have SupportAssist. Sometimes Murphy’s Law works for you!

      I don’t want to get off topic, but I would like to know an alternative way to find the missing driver.

      Thanks.

      • #1857007 Reply

        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        See if this post helps.

        Where we stand with the February patches

        cheers, Paul

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #1857017 Reply

          Morty
          AskWoody Plus

          Wow! That looks like the same issue I have. Will try it. Thank you!

          • #1857763 Reply

            Bob99

            @morty

            Great to see you back!

            Please be sure to read the brown quote box in that post (#335959) carefully in order to try to “recover” your “missing” driver.

            Although I wasn’t ever affected by the snafu, I nevertheless made a copy of my networking drivers in a safe place on my hard drive just in case the aforementioned mess does strike me. That way I’ll be ready to point Windows to the correct driver files and it will take it from there! 🙂

            If following the instructions there in the brown quote box seems befuddling, or you follow them and get nowhere quickly, please drop me a DM (direct message) using the link at the top of every page here on AskWoody, and I’ll help you set up a new topic so you can get the help you need without going off-topic in another post.

            R/

            Bob99

            1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #1857897 Reply

              Morty
              AskWoody Plus

              Great to see you back!

              Thanks for rolling out the red carpet!

              I couldn’t take a break from work yet to don my armor and sally forth. But with your encouragement, I’ll run another backup later tonight and try in the morning.

              Stay tuned….

            • #1858211 Reply

              Paul T
              AskWoody MVP

              please drop me a DM (direct message)

              Please don’t use DM. We prefer everything to be public as we all need to learn.

              cheers, Paul

              1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #1859012 Reply

              Morty
              AskWoody Plus

              Thank you again.

              But the whole thing seems to have become irrelevant now. The May update that was trashing my network isn’t available anymore. So I guess I’ll watch the DEFCON notices and see what June brings.

    • #1858535 Reply

      bjm
      AskWoody Lounger

      DELL Community Moderator ‎on 06-25-2019 says
      https://www.dell.com/community/Inspiron/Severe-vulnerability-in-Dell-SupportAssist-second-time-this-year/m-p/7322054/highlight/true#M56421

      • This reply was modified 5 months, 2 weeks ago by  bjm.

    Please follow the -Lounge Rules- no personal attacks, no swearing, and politics/religion are relegated to the Rants forum.

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