Please bring back Window Washer!

  • 14 May 2012
  • 4 replies

I want to see Windows Washer come back! I still use the program, and I want to see its development continued. Windows Washer would make WSA a more complete security suite. Many security suties have already intergrated their own version of privacy or tracks cleaning softare into their suties. Webroot was a true piooner in this area, and was one of the first to offer this type of software. Spysweeper's database has already been integrated into WSA. Why not do the same with Windows Washer or offer it as a stand alone product or both. Please bring Windows Washer back!

4 replies

Userlevel 7
I'll start with the sad news: Window Washer as a standalone product is something we no longer offer. Now for the good news: We DO already have it integrated into SecureAnywhere! That functionality is called "System Cleaner" in our Essential and Complete suites. 🙂
I too thought Windows Washer stand alone was the BEST product you guys (or anyone else for that matter) has put out there.  I have been using it since it first came out and religiously upgraded every time there was an upgrade to be had or I got a new version of Windows. I religiously ran Windows Washer after each use of my computer before shutting down. 
Your tech support folks tell me I can easily disable the antivirus portion of Complete ... Likewise the cloud backup portion.  I do NOT want any of that ... in fact ALL I WANT is Windows washer. 
UNFORTUNATELY, your tech folks also tell me the cleaner portion of Complete is nowhere near as good as Windows Washer was ... does not show each segment to be cleaned as it is scanned and then again as it is cleaned, does not overwrite with as many passes (complete is limited to only 7 passes ?) and may not clean as many segments as Windows Washer did ... in fact it may not recover or overwrite Windows Update temporary files AT ALL which is really weird since those consume a horribly large amount of the hard drive that needs to be recovered.
Why did you take a hugely successful product and cheapen it by destroying some of the functionality?  Was it too good?  Or couldn't the government recover the files you overwrote 30 times so they made you destroy the effectiveness?  I am afraid that is the only possible reason I have been able to think up for such a stupid move.
Please confirm I can disable all portions of Complete except the Washer/Cleaner portion, and then tell me why you cheapened such a great product.  Oh, and is Complete REALLY compatible with other products ... such as ZoneAlarm?
Userlevel 7
Yes, Webroot SecureAnywhere Complete (and all other versions of WSA) is fully compatible with all other antivirus programs.  We work extra hard to ensure that compatibility.  And yes, you can disable the antivirus protection it offers completely if that is what you'd prefer to do.
The reason Window Washer wasn't included wholesale, rather than the System Cleaner functionality that is included in Complete, is that the code-base wasn't compatible with WSA.  WSA represents a revolutionary leap forward in cloud-based antivirus protection.  It wasn't built on our old products but was rather a separate product that was developed to fundamentally address some critical issues found in old-school antivirus applications.  The reason the agent is less than one megabyte and far outperforms older versions of our antivirus software is because it operates on a different, superior, model.  That model just doesn't mesh well with the older technology used in Window Washer.  System Cleaner can and should be improved in areas where there is popular demand, but it can't be done by utilizing the old code-base.  Rather it has to be re-done, which is why certain features are more resource-intensive to facilitate.
There is also another concern with Window Washer technology, and that is the increasing prevalence of solid state hard drives.  Window Washer was developed at a time when there was no such thing as a solid state hard drive (hard drives that operate using flash memory).  On old hard drives, you could write and rewrite up to 99 passes over free space, ensuring no deleted data would be recoverable.  On newer hard drives, rewriting 99 passes over the free space can actually be detrimental to the drive itself, which begs the question as to whether or not we should even offer the feature if it could potentially hurt our customers.  Solid state drives have a limited number of writes that can be done on any sector.  Eventually they will give out due to use.  Unlike older hard drives that operate differently, excessive writes will actually take life off the drive.  As more and more hard drives in use are solid state, it may ultimately be considered unwise to package such a feature into WSA, which is something we have to consider.
Thanks for the reply ... from what you said it seemes you should have just continued to offer Windows Washer to those of us that wanted it ... even without future upgrades ... I would certainly have remained a user.
You did not say if i can turn off ALL portions of the Complete program (including cloud backup) and retain, or use, ONLY the Cleaner.