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Failed installation of Tiny Firewall under Windows XP

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#1
Multibooter

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I have used Tiny Personal Firewall v2.0.14 of 5-Jun-2001 under WinXP SP2 on an old laptop without any problems for the past 2 years. I have now tried to install it on another computer, with a freshly installed WinXP SP2, but the installation failed.

The installation did not complete properly. When rebooting after clicking on "Finish" in the InstallShield v6.30.100.1255 installer:
- the BIOS POST came up (is Ok)
- then the Windows logo came up, for about 3 seconds (is Ok)
- then the computer crashed (the Windows screen "welcome" did not come up anymore)
- then the BIOS POST came up again
- then a B&W DOS-type screen came up: "We apologize for the inconvenience, but Windows did not start successfully. A recent hardware or software change might have caused this..." The screen displayed is the same as displayed in Figure 29-1

WinXP could be loaded Ok only by selecting "Last Known Good Configuration", but then Tiny did not work, even if it was listed in Add/Remove. By selecting any of the Safe Mode selections on the B&W DOS-type screen, the computer would just crash again and the same B&W DOS-type screen would come up again.

Here some possibly relevant characteristics of the 2 computers
1) Successful installation of Tiny under WinXP
- 10-year-old Inspiron 7500 laptop with last BIOS update of 28-Nov-2000
- single-core CPU: the installed ntoskrnl.exe is 2.180.992 byes, 19-Jan-2005. hal.dll is 81.820 byes, 19-Jan-2005
- WinXP SP2 was originally installed under Win98 to an NTFS partition, which was converted with PartitionMagic to FAT32 some time before installing Tiny

2) Failed installation of Tiny under WinXP:
- newer Asus P5PE-VM desktop motherboard with BIOS update of 4-Jul-2007
(the BIOS could be updated to a newer version of 25-Jan-2008, but probably useful only for newer CPUs)
- dual-core E2200 CPU: the installed ntoskrnl.exe is 2.148.352 bytes, 19-Jan-2005. hal.dll is 134.400 byes, 19-Jan-2005
- WinXP SP2 was installed, by booting from the installation CD, to an empty FAT32 partition on an empty 200GB pre-partitioned HDD
- Tiny installs fine on this newer motherboard under Win98 (but not under WinXP)

My fiddling around included the following, to no avail:
1) I added the parameter /bootlog in boot.ini, but no file ntbtlog.txt was created in the Windows directory H:\WINXPSP2\
2) I uninstalled the failed Tiny installation, then put the HDD into another perfectly working desktop computer which uses the same Asus motherboard model (but an E4500 dual-core CPU), removed all cards from the computer and installed Tiny again. The installation on that other computer also failed, so the possibility of a hardware malfunction causing the installation problem can be excluded.

I have fiddled around a lot, but have not found a way to install Tiny on the newer motherboard under WinXP. My suspicion is that Tiny installs Ok under WinXP with a single-core CPU, but not with a dual-core CPU.

Does Tiny install Ok under WinXP on other computers with a dual-core? Tiny can he downloaded here

Any other ideas about getting Tiny to install under WinXP?

Edited by Multibooter, 04 January 2010 - 04:46 PM.



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#2
GrofLuigi

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I think it was EnforceWriteProtection to stop Kerio 2.15 (same thing, more or less) from crashing under XP SP2/3.

GL

#3
Multibooter

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I think it was EnforceWriteProtection

Thanks GrofLuigi. I added
HKEY LOCAL MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\SessionManager\MemoryManagement\EnforceWriteProtection with a DWORD value of 0, then re-installed Tiny. Same startup problem.

I then changed the DWORD value to 1, to see what happens, uninstalled Tiny and then installed Tiny again. Same startup problem.

In between I also got upon reboot for the 1st time the msg "Reboot and select proper Boot device or Insert Boot Media in selected boot device and press a key". After disconnecting then reconnecting the HDD, the msg "Reboot and select proper Boot device..." didn't come up anymore.

Any other suggestions?

#4
Multibooter

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Any other suggestions?

I was able to install Kerio v2.1.5 of 30-Apr-2003 under WinXP on the dual-core motherboard, but not Tiny v2.0.15A of 22-Oct-2001 or Tiny v2.0.14.

I would still prefer to use Tiny v2.0.14 of 5-Jun-2001 under WinXP on the dual-core. Any other ideas about how to bring about a successful installation?

Edited by Multibooter, 04 January 2010 - 09:24 PM.


#5
dencorso

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It's a lot of trouble, but may be worth to try: move the disk to a single-core machine. Install XP. Do not activate. Install Tiny. Verify it works as intended. Move the disk to the dual-core: windows will detect it and update the hal and ntoskernel automagically (if the machines are either both intel or both amd... with one of each it's still possible but much more painful to do, because it's not really automagic anymore). A reboot is required. If you're very luck, it may work ok after that. If so, then you can activate. Good luck and Happy New Year!

#6
cluberti

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Agreed - I remember when a friend of mine got a new dual-core machine years ago, and we worked on moving his retail XP install over to it. Until I removed Tiny, it wouldn't boot and would bugcheck unless we removed it from safe mode after disabling the driver in HKLM\System\CCS. It appears that versions of the Tiny firewall up through 2.0.15a, until Kerio took over and redid some of the code at some point for their later 2.x versions, have issues on most dual and multi-processor machines (OS notwithstanding) and newer Intel CPUs with hyperthreading (read: CPUs after the P4 line), which means there are timing issues and thread protection issues with that codebase, and it is indeed NOT threadsafe (even though it was claimed to support multi processor systems, it's definitely not good safe thread-protected code).

Also, Tiny 2.0.15 and older were suspect to a SYN flood attack bug and a DDoS issue that would consume 100% of the CPU time in the system. There was a security bypass issue in Kerio 2.x versions of the replacement firewall based on the same code, and although Tiny has no secunia advisories at all it stands to reason the issue is likely to have existed in TPF 2.x, given Kerio's use of that codebase (and same developers, basically) for future Kerio firewall product versions.

You have to remember that the product dates it's lineage to WinRoute Pro, which was released for 9x and NT back in 1998 - when Sunbelt took on Kerio and their products (and thus the WinRoute > Tiny > Kerio FW code), they decided NOT to re-release or to fix/backport anything to the 2.1 codebase for Kerio, because the code was old and it would have taken them too much time and effort to make it work properly on newer systems (heck, WinRoute and older TPF versions still used drivers compatible with DOS-based systems running Win9x). Couple that with the fact that Tiny's been dead for a long time (and Kerio too), unless there's absolutely no other alternatives for you, I'd look into a newer, updated, and more secure firewall product, otherwise you're going to be running with one processor disabled if you absolutely must run TPF. There are lots of good alternatives out there (free or otherwise), so it's worth considering at this point.
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#7
Multibooter

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Hi dencorso,
I have installed Kerio Personal Firewall v2.1.5 on the dual-core machine under WinXP, instead of Tiny v2.0.14, for the time being. I don't have a single-core desktop with a similar motherboard at hand, so my experimentation with Tiny has temporarily come to a halt.

Also my best wishes to you for the new year!

It appears that versions of the Tiny firewall up through 2.0.15a ... have issues on most dual and multi-processor machines ... and it is indeed NOT threadsafe

Thanks cluberti, you provided the decisive argment for not using Tiny under WinXP on a dual-core.

Since Win98 apparently works only with one core, Win98 may have another special use on a dual-core machine: To run software which is not threadsafe, i.e. software with serious problems on a dual-core under WinXP.

I'd look into a newer, updated, and more secure firewall product

Any recommendations for a simple firewall NOT made in the US, besides Kaspersky?

Edited by Multibooter, 05 January 2010 - 10:23 PM.


#8
cluberti

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Hard to say - ZoneAlarm is pretty good, and it's made by CheckPoint software out of Tel Aviv.
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GrofLuigi

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Any recommendations for a simple firewall NOT made in the US, besides Kaspersky?

Look'N'Stop, France (not that I care :rolleyes: ), hierarchical rule-based (now that's my thing :ph34r: ), a little more complicated than the ones mentioned in this thread (not sure if that's a good thing or not :unsure: ), very stable (from my experience :thumbup ), recommended to me by someone on this board (thanks; I'm passing on the good word :) )!

GL

#10
Multibooter

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Look'N'Stop, France... a little more complicated than the ones mentioned in this thread (not sure if that's a good thing or not :unsure: ), very stable (from my experience :thumbup ), recommended to me by someone on this board (thanks; I'm passing on the good word :) )!

Thanks GrofLuigi.

Very positive aspect of the Look 'n' Stop Firewall: apparently compatible with Win98 http://www.looknstop.com/En/index2.htm
But ???: distributor is "la Société Anonyme NEXWAY, au capital de 37.500 €..." http://lookandstop.t...r/aide_cgv.html

I don't need many features in a firewall. A firewall can be very basic: to keep Microsoft and installed software from calling home, and to protect against government spyware, even if possibly built into respectable software and hardware chips ("made in China, but designed in the US").

For how long have you been using the Look 'n' Stop Firewall?

#11
GrofLuigi

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For how long have you been using the Look 'n' Stop Firewall?

Year or two... It blocks even svchost, winhttp and similar in-built Windows "connectors" if you're concerned about that, but I don't know if it catches them all (haven't done any extensive testing, because, as I said, I don't care too much about that; but I understand if you do and I would say this one would fit your needs). :yes:

GL




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