McAfee has confirmed that a recent .dat file update to their software has paralyzed those using Windows XP with SP3. The company has stated that they are working to fix the error after it was discovered that the update identified a Windows file as being a problem. The update was pushed to customers on Wednesday, April 21, 2010, and the McAfee Twitter forum was flooded with calls for help.
A recent article also stated that:
Both users and McAfee said that the flawed update had crippled Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) machines, but not PCs running Vista or Windows 7 . “Our initial investigation indicates that the error can result in moderate to significant performance issues on systems running Windows XP Service Pack 3,” acknowledged Evers.
So if you are a McAfee user who is running Windows XP with SP3, the best advice right now is to not update your software until McAfee fixes the problem.