Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
On install, some anti-malware programs may warn you if issues might result. Occasionally, one of those issues is the presence of a competing product.
I get this message every time I start Spybot which follows: "Spybot-Search&Destroy has detected that you have the following product installed. This may cause incompatibilities; for more information click Yes to visit our website", etc. And then lists: LavaSoft AdAware which I do have installed on my computer. Should I remove one the these two programs or keep them both and live with the message?
I've never seen this message, but its presence doesn't surprise me.
Spybot and AdAware are two programs that do the same thing: they're anti-spyware scanners.
And while it might be easy to think that this is simply one program calling out its competitor, it's much more likely that there's an honest technical reason for the message.
In general it's a bad idea to run two real-time anti-virus or anti-spyware products at the same time. To clarify that a little:
You should run both an anti-virus program and an anti-spyware program.
Both of those may have "real time" scanning components, and that's ok.
You should not have two anti-virus programs running real-time components simultaneously; they are likely to conflict.
You should not have two anti-spyware programs running real-time components simultaneously; they are likely to conflict.
You certainly can run as many different non-real time scans as you like, as long as they're not run at the same time.
So what do I mean by "real time"?
Real time scanning is software that runs in the background and scans for malware while you go about your daily tasks. It might examine your downloads as you're downloading them, or scan your email as it comes in. It happens as you do it, in real time.
The alternative is a stand-alone or "static" scan. You initiate a scan, it scans your system, reports anything it finds, and it exits. Nothing is installed, nothing remains, it simply looks for problems and then goes away.
The problem is that real time scanners need to "hook into" the system to perform their scans. And if more than one scanner attempts to hook in for real time scans, they can conflict with each other.
My guess is that Spybot is noticing that AdAware is hooked in, and warning you of the potential conflict.
There are a few approaches you can take.
You can, of course, simply choose one or the other. In all honesty, this is my suggestion. Both are good products, and there's rarely a case where you really need both.
The alternative is to turn off any real time components in one of the two. Exactly how that's done depends on the product, but look for terms like "resident", "real time" and the like. If I'm not mistaken, I think Spybot has the oddly named "tea timer" as a real time component as well.
That way, only one product will protect you while you use your computer, and you then can use the other periodically "on demand" to perform static scans of your system.
But good for you for using anti-spyware software. You're ahead of many people in this regard.
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