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Secunia PSI, CSI, and Windows 8.1

In the ongoing battle to increase system stability on my production PC, I’ve found a new point of interest and attack in the Reliability Monitor log for my primary production PC — namely, Secunia PSI. In this case, PSI stands for “Personal Software Inspector:” basically, it monitors the applications installed on an individual PC, and checks their version numbers, patches and updates applied, and so forth, against its database of what’s most current (or what needs to be applied to protect against known vulnerabilities). Now that I’ve eliminated an earlier problem as reported in my 8/22 blog entitled “Chronic OneDrive/SkyDrive Problems Widespread” which had my PC experience daily Appcrash events for OneDrive, PSI has jumped to the top of my “what’s causing problems now?” queue. This recent weekly Reliability Monitor log shows that OneDrive is no longer crashing, but that PSI is happily taking its place:

reli-psi

For what turns out to be API compatibility reasons, PSI stops working when it’s asked to run a scan on a Windows 8.1 PC

A little research on the PSI forums at secunia.com showed me that changing the application’s compatibility settings to Windows 7 (and also selecting the “Run this program as an administrator” checkbox) would do away with these issues. And sure enough, the foregoing monitor log shows that since making those changes on Wednesday, the problem has not recurred, despite numerous subsequent invocations of the program to try to provoke the error again. Here’s a screen cap of what’s required (and what’s apparently working):

psi-compat-settings

Two quick tweaks on the Compatibility tab called up by right-clicking the psi.exe exe file, then selecting Properties, does the trick.

This is just another daily step in the relentless pursuit of supreme system stability on a modern Windows PC. Don’t we all wish such manueverings were unnecessary? But then, this is simply business as usual in my world, and the worlds of those charged with taking care of user machines.

One final note: though the license terms mean that enterprise admins are unlikely to use PSI, and will probably use the Corporate Software Inspector (CSI) version instead, they should take cheer from the lack of such stability complaints against that product. Concerted search/research and an examination of the CSI user forms at Secunia indicate that the corporate version of the program is not subject to these stability problems, nor are any contortions therefore necessary to repair or mitigate them, either.

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