Saturday, March 07, 2009

Western Digital hard drives are great, but don't install Memeo!

I recently had an adventure with a computer virus (Virtumonde/Vundo!). If I find the time, I'll blog about that separately (the bottom line is that Malwarebytes, run in safe mode, is what finally worked). This post is about the backup that I attempted once everything was working well again. I will discuss Lenovo's "Rescue and Recovery" which I used and Memeo Backup and AutoSync.

Lenovo's Rescue and Recovery program, which comes with the Thinkpad, has some useful features but can also be aggravating. This goes with the territory. Automating backups is appealing, but it ties up the CPU, RAM and hard disc space. There are some serious issues here about giving the user control and knowledge of the process. I ultimately decided that while Rescue and Recovery could be much more transparent, it is worthwhile, provided that it is never ever set for scheduled backups (at least not in the case of a laptop which is not likely to be on at times when it is not in use). It needs an external hard drive to backup onto, and it will want to make that drive bootable.

So, I bought a Western Digital hard drive. It was a 1 Tb. drive, from Amazon, and cost $118. This is mind-boggling to me because I remember when 20 Mb. was the standard size for an external drive; that is 1/50,000 the size! The hard drive came with Memeo software (Autobackup and Autosync). I was prompted to install it, and I did, since it appeared to be free with the drive. Only after installation did I realize that it was a 30 day free trial. I used the Lenovo softare to back up my hard drive overnight. The next morning (today), after I removed the external drive and restarted my laptop, Memeo started up and prompted me to create a backup plan. I didn't. I closed Memeo and saw a message that it would be running in the background. There is no reason for it to be running at all when the backup drive is not connected! I selected quit, but it started again. Why? If users cannot turn software off, then that software is malware. This behavior certainly fits the definition (from wikipedia) in that it is "software designed to infiltrate a computer system without the owner's informed consent. The expression is a general term used by computer professionals to mean a variety of forms of hostile, intrusive, or annoying software or program code."

There was no uninstall option in the start menu, so I went online and found that uninstalling Memeo is a big concern of many people. I used the Windows "Add and Remove" (under Start/Settings) and it seems to be gone. Compared to others, I feel lucky (Yahoo Answers ultimately suggests reinstalling Windows). It strikes me that Memeo may be useful, and the free trial may be a good way to market it, but putting aggressive features into a backup program was really dumb. The name Memeo will forever be associated with malware.

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11 Comments:

Blogger Ashley said...

I’m sorry for your recent experience with Memeo, Steve. Millions of people use Memeo Backup and AutoSync everyday to safely backup and sync their most important documents. Memeo was developed to run in the background of your system tray to monitor files for changes, ensuring your Backup and Sync plans are as up-to-date as possible. Once the backup drive is reconnected your plans will update automatically, which is the reason Memeo needs to run in the background. If you have not yet created a backup plan, the software is designed to remind you to set one up in order to make sure your files are protected, which is why you received a prompt at reboot. If you do not want to see the setup wizard at reboot, you can check the box to not display the configuration wizard at startup on that screen. We are also currently in the process of re-evaluating this popup window in general.
Memeo can be uninstalled in the add/remove programs on your computer just like every other software. Microsoft Office and iTunes have the exact same installation process. Memeo Support is available to help at cs@memeo.com should you choose to give us another try.

Many thanks,

Ashley@memeo.com

10/3/09 20:37  
Blogger Steve said...

Thanks for the comment. Like many Windows users, I have many dozens of programs installed. If they all loaded automatically and displayed wizards, the system would be completely unusable. Feel free to comment again when Memeo has been revised to be less obtrusive.

10/6/09 21:37  
Blogger Arty said...

Wow - I'm glad I found this page fairly soon after installation. I just want to add that it was also pretty lame that the installation disk that comes with the WD hard drive looks like somehting I need to install in order to have the drive work best. I was pretty confused and shocked to see that I was now going to have to open an account in order to use the software that came 'free' with the hard drive. Nowhere during installation or on the disk did it ever tell me it was a 'free trial.' That approach to sales had me concerned instantly. Thankfully I found this page and will remove Memeo. It was interesting to see Ashley's reply, but still, the initial sneaky product vibe is bad. Steve's use of the word 'obtrusive' - spot on.

16/8/09 20:50  
Blogger X said...

Something similar happened to me, I installed WD Anywhere Backup by Memeo version 3.50 and in the Add/Remove programs there is no option to uninstall this. What can I do?

20/9/09 00:09  
Blogger Steve said...

Make sure that you are in the "Add and Remove Programs" section. In my system (XP) you go: Start Menu -> Settings -> Control Panel -> Add or Remove Programs -> Change or Remove Programs. It sounds like you might be looking in the Programs folder (where some programs do have an uninstall option).

20/9/09 10:20  
Blogger jesse said...

Ya,

We were backing up Tiecoon.com's files with memeo and had terrible problems also. I would not recommend it to anyone. It just pesters you every time to buy their software(which makes your computer bluescreen). Ya, No thanks. Horrible software.

4/5/10 12:22  
OpenID tadaimacompdork said...

Thanks for this description. Memeo made my computer run so slowly that I nearly trashed the whole computer, thinking it was done for. Nice backup software, that makes your computer die and forces you to rely on it!

13/8/10 17:06  
Blogger mik said...

Same issue,unable to remove Memeo that came with my laptop. I tried everything, memeo backup does not go away. Help

5/3/11 19:42  
Blogger Steve said...

mik, as I said in the earlier comment, "in the "Add and Remove Programs" section. In my system (XP) you go: Start Menu -> Settings -> Control Panel -> Add or Remove Programs -> Change or Remove Programs." I am sure that there is something similar in 7.0 and Vista.

21/3/11 23:50  
Blogger Ian said...

A backup program that works with no effort from the user, automatically catches any changed files, backs them up right away (without waiting til the end of the day or even a week!), and never gets forgotten, Memeo, that we got 'free' with our WD drive is unbeatable! Name something else that does all those things that is free and we'll go for it.

24/1/13 01:56  
Blogger D.R. Doc Young said...

Always have Anti-Mal, Ad, Virus protection up to date and scan those to be backed up files before backing up.

Memeo is annoying with the Upgrade Pop-ups, The only options are "Yes" and "Remind me Later." and if you do not click on either and click the X to close it still opens your default browser to memeo.com/seagate-goflex-update.html Interesting the path shows Update not Upgrade as the page does.

I use Maxtor OneTouch 4 Plus 1T which was my primary back-up drive and I now have the Seagate 2TB GoFlex Desk USB 3.0 connected to my Acer running Win7, 6GB RAM, with internal 1TB drive.

I power on the Maxtor every so often, mainly to drag and drop what I want backed up.

The Maxtor Software will not back up My Web Page folder, nor Thunderbird, as I have 10 accounts. So I do both manually, drag & drop.

After installing the Seagate 2TB, the Maxtor software runs and backs up to the Seagate what was configured & scheduled to back-up to the Maxtor. If I power up the Maxtor, it too receives the back-ups as configured.

Basically I have two different back-ups going to the same drive the Seagate. And only one to the Maxtor.

What I really want permanently to keep, I put on the Maxtor and then shut it down.

For Window Users, I run MSERT - microsoft.com/security/scanner/‎ it will do a deep scan for Malware I also run AdBlock Plus on all 3 of my browsers. And I have installed Norton Symantec as well.

Obtrusive is that of Advertisements, a Drop Virus, and the Flooder:Java/Loic which is an open-source network attack tool designed to perform denial of service (DoS) attacks.

I have yet to purchase and try the AdTrap device, that is to stop all ads. And I use multiple computers, wifi devices and it blocks the ads before reaching your PC's, Phone's, Laptop/Tablets, music and video streams, mobile apps...and no Software or configuring.

This Doc's 2 Cents

12/10/13 08:44  

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