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Help your neighbour

Read: 523 Comments: 9 Rating: 14

Unfortunately, some aspects of our existence may prove to be unknowable. We already mentioned that Linux distributions are so many in that no company can hope to test its products against all of them. No one can run software compatibility tests under all the operating systems in existence, not even after a fresh install. There are just too many of them. That's why software developers have to choose those that are commonly used by their prospective customers.

Furthermore, various installation options exist for any OS: use different drivers, software packages, kernel versions, etc.

In addition, users can install any software they want. However, if user-installed applications were always updated to the latest version, it wouldn't be too bed after all. Alas, a diverse variety of versions are being used ranging from obsolete ones to experimental builds that haven't been released or tested.

Putting together all possible combinations of installed applications to test their compatibility with Dr.Web or other similar solutions is impossible. The only option is to copy the most common software configurations prone to compatibility issues.

As a result, users experience compatibility problems. And because many of them lack sufficient IT knowledge, they can't provide the system information that developers need to resolve the issues. So our support engineers ask users to launch the Dr.Web utility to gather the information and collect anti-virus log files. That's the only way for the support team to find useful clues and determine what causes the problem.

If your system wouldn't boot up after an error, we need to collect information immediately after the system has recovered or right after the application has been removed. If Windows has been reinstalled, all important information is deleted.

If it is still possible to gather the data. i.e. Windows hasn't been reinstalled and Windows and Dr.Web logs may still be found on the hard drive, please, start the diagnostics utility and attach the generated archive file to your reply in this ticket.

A Doctor Web support engineer's response to a user request

And most people do their best to help engineers analyse the situation. They install test builds of the anti-virus to isolate the problem. Meanwhile, all kinds of issues can occur and sometimes the anti-virus has nothing to do with them. Hard disks fail, systems run out of free disk space, dubious updates get installed…

But sometimes people think otherwise:

So you suggest that I do these things all over again and help you correct the errors you've made in your anti-virus? And I have to make my computer available to you at my own expense, so that you can find an error in your application?

I AM AN ORDINARY USER. If you get your car to an auto service center under the warranty because the engine is making a weird noise, you will not run a diagnostic test, print out the ECU (electronic control unit) test results and disassemble the engine? That's right, you will merely hand over the keys and say that something's wrong!

What can we say… Some Doctor Web partners run computer service centers. Users can bring their computer to their place of business where engineers can examine the system and determine what has happened. If for some reason you are unwilling or unable to get to a service centre, well, we are no magicians and don't have a crystal ball at our disposal. We can only write guidelines telling you what and how you can do and await results.

#Linux #security #responsibility #support

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Indeed, users are not bound legally or otherwise to wait while we are trying to resolve an issue. Neither they are obliged to help us. Their computers belong to them and it's up to the users to decide what they should do. But by helping us identify a problem, they also help the users who haven't requested our assistance yet.

So when users work on a problem with Doctor Web, our joint effort also helps other people who try to protect their computers from malware. The sooner we isolate the problem, the less time hackers will have to take advantage of it.

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