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Info: 3rd-Party Anti-Virus Desktop Scanners


Product: All

Version & Build: All


There have been a number of situations where ModusMail/Gate has suffered performance issues because of 3rd-party programs, particularly desktop anti-virus scanners and specifically McAfee.
To ensure that you do not experience the same problems, we ask that you check for the following server and network configurations:
1. Make sure the following file directories are excluded from any desktop virus scan
  • The modus root directory (e.g. ...\vircom\modusmail or modusgate)1 
  • The spool directory1
  • The Mailboxes\ @Quarantine directory (or just the @Quarantine directory if it is installed in a separate location from the main Mailboxes directory)2
2. Beware of mapped drives or administrative shares on the Modus server
Why? We have seen situations where workstations configured with McAfee or other desktop AV programs have connected to the Modus server via the share.  The result was that McAfee then actively scanned the Modus server itself, causing interference with the MODUSCAN service and preventing it from scanning messages properly.
3. Beware of "on access scanning" options
We have seen problems with McAfee specifically where a) the on-access scan overrode the specific file exclusions on the Modus server (listed in #1) and b) it actually disconnected servers from the network if it considered those machines to be infected.  This has resulted in Modus being disconnected from the database server, for example, which breaks the communication and causes Modus to fail.
4. Check your McAfee settings to verify whether scan for macros is enabled 
This option overrides the file exclusions in point #1 and interferes with mail flow.  This situation has been reported to McAfee but, in the meantime, please disable macro scanning.

5. Error E0020101

If you have McAfee Enterprise 8.0 desktop version installed on the Modus server, there is a default setting that blocks mass mailing on port 25 which interferes with mail flow.  You may see Error E0020101 in your logs.  This option must be disabled.  Go to VirusScan Console > Access Protection settings > Port Blocking and uncheck "Prevent mass mailing worms from sending mail".

6. Known issues when trying to use a desktop version of McAfee on a Modus server that has the McAfee AV engine built in

Because both versions of the program access the same registry keys and use the same .dll files for virus definition updates, you must disable the automatic update process in the desktop version.  This will enable the Modus server to update its definition files and provide proper email scanning.

1. These directories must be excluded on all versions of ModusMail & Gate, including those that do not have built-in virus scanning
2. It is OK to scan the contents of the Mailboxes directory, where the end-users' messages are stored.  However, the @Quarantine folder stores all the message files that have been blocked by the scanner, including any that contain viruses if the program is configured to block rather than delete them.  This folder must, therefore, be excluded from additional virus scanning to prevent interference with Modus' functionality.
Modified 7/8/2008
Keywords: desktop anti-virus, McAfee, Error E0020101
Article ID: 1258