I use ZoneAlarm Security Suite on my laptop (yes, it’s running Windows…) since its a cheap and nice complete suite that has a firewall, an anti-virus and anti-spyware software plus a lot of other stuff I rarely use (IM Security and the likes).

I have it for about a year and a couple of months and I saw in the support forums that there is a beta release of version 7.0.

Since I have a couple of standing issues with ZoneAlarm Security Suite, mainly its pro-active anti virus that keeps on hogging the machine at boot time and another problem with Cygwin (it’s a known issue) I thought I’d give it a try.

It worked relatively well, but it had more than a few major issues (one of which is that it started to say the beta has expired – also a known issue). I’ve decided to go back to my 6.5.x version.

At this point I started to really get pissed off. It seems that a normal uninstall of ZoneAlarm Security Suite will not uninstall the license and since the beta require a special beta license my 6.5.x version didn’t work and said it has expired and wouldn’t let me put my previous valid serial number.

After digging in the forums a bit more it seems there is a secret key for doing that just.

If you add two parameters to the uninstall executable it will clear the license information. Just run this from the command line or “Start -> Run” (don’t forget to change that path if you installed it to a different location):

“C:\Program Files\Zone Labs\ZoneAlarm\zauninst.exe” /clean /rmlicense

That is the magic line that will fix all of your problems.

Now I know they don’t want people partying on their 15-days evaluation of the full Security Suite but there is no reason that I will have to dig to find out how to cleanly uninstall it. What about other people who are less technology oriented than me?

I would expect, like in any uninstall program, that the nice people at ZoneLabs will not leave any trace of there program including my license information.

Don’t leave crap on my machine if it’s not really necessary.