My Fight with World of Warcraft

Today, I had to completely reinstall Windows 7 on my computer. Might sound like a drastic step, but the backstory will speak as to why I had to reinstall the operating system. Then, we’ll talk more about the title of the post.

I acquired DSL service from Qwest on October 18th, after being without a land-based internet service for 6 months. The entire debacle around getting this set up is bound to become a post sometime in the near future; for now, we’ll just say that it was a major pain. The main reason I had stopped paying for World of Warcraft was due to the fact that I had no internet service; therefore, I had no reason to continue paying for something I was not able to use effectively.

After getting my internet service back up and running last week, I decided to purchase a game card for WoW, because I actually did miss the game a bit and wanted to play it again. I added the card to my account early this morning and launched the game, only to find that DWM.exe, which is the Desktop Window Manager (the portion of Windows 7 that controls every window you see on the screen) was just going crazy with CPU, RAM, and disk usage. I had noticed some issues like this before, and this may have been what contributed to the hard drive failing last week in this computer. So, that’s the reason I decided to reinstall the OS this morning.

After installing the OS, and adding some protection software back on (Kaspersky Internet Security 2011) and a few other application, I started downloading the World of Warcraft client – hoping that Blizzard had finally updated the downloaded setup files, since the game is now on version 4.0.1. I was vastly disappointed that I was downloading version 3.0.1, but kept at it anyway.

After the download was done, I started the amazingly long patch cycle to get up to the current version. However, every time an updater attempted to run, I kept seeing error messages such as “Connection Timed Out” and “Launcher requires write permission to the World of Warcraft registry key”. At this point I had to go to work anyway, so I left it for the time being and went to work. After coming home, I removed the game that I had spent hours downloading, and reinstalled it from the Wrath of the Lich King disc since I knew it had the same game version as what I downloaded. After the install, I noticed I was still getting the same frustrating error messages, and was even contemplating reinstalling the OS again. Before I did that, I decided to pause the protection of Kaspersky, and suddenly everything started working!

Since turning Kaspersky completely off seemed to fix the problem, I did a bit more digging into Kaspersky’s settings. I attempted nearly everything to get the updater working, from setting all Blizzard applications to trusted to adding a few exclusions. Finally, I arrived at the following solution that did allow the updaters to work properly:

  1. Open Kaspersky Internet Security 2011 (these basic steps will work for previous versions but the screens might not look the same) and click “Settings” in the upper right corner.
  2. Click the 4th box over (make sure you are on “Threats and Exclusions”.blog102510-1
  3. Under the “Exclusions” header, click “Settings…”
  4. Add the following items to the Exclusion Rules tab (NOTE: This article assumes you are running Windows 7. The same paths will work for Vista; however, these paths probably will NOT work for XP users. You are warned!). You will need to make sure these paths are excluded from ALL components of Kaspersky Internet Security!
  1. C:\Users\Public\Games\World of Warcraft\
  2. C:\Users\<USER>\AppData\Local\Temp\Blizzard* (the asterisk is important!)
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That should be all there is to making Blizzard’s update software work properly for World of Warcraft on a Windows 7 Ultimate machine protected with Kaspersky Internet Security 2011. If you needed to do any additional steps to make this work, please let me know in the comments. Otherwise, sit back and enjoy the world of Azeroth (after all your patching completes)!