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How to uninstall and remove Antivirus Master (Av Master)

By on July 16, 2008 @ 07:54 AM | Read 30,237 times.
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Antivirus Master is a new rogue anti-spyware program from the same family of rogues as Advanced Antivirus, Vista Antivirus 2008, and Ultimate Antivirus 2008. Antivirus Master is advertised through misleading web sites that create popups stating that you are infected and that you should run a scan. A new Internet Explorer screen will then be shown that pretends to scan your computer, and when done, states that you have a variety of infections on your computer. It then prompts you to download and install the software. These popups are advertisements only and have no way of actually scanning your computer and should be ignored.

If you decide to download and install Antivirus Master, the program will automatically start and scan your computer. When done, it will find a variety of files and Windows Registry entries that it states are malware. These results, though, cannot be removed unless you first purchase the software. In reality, though, these results are all fake and are only being shown to scare you into purchasing the software. This rogue will also occasionally display a fake alert stating that you are infected with some sort of malware. For example, an alert we saw has the following text:

WARNING! Attack Detected.

Antivirus Master has detected possible harmful actions from remote computer on the network. Blaster/Sasser.variant worm behaviour detected. You have to register your copy to get full protection feature set and an ability to defeat upcoming threats. To begin online registration, please click "Activate now" button below.

Another side effect of this infection is that is can slow down your computer. This is because it loads automatically when you start your computer and then constantly prompts you to purchase the software. These annoying alerts and the running program can cause your computer to become slower.


Antivirus Master screen shot
Antivirus Master screen shot
For more screen shots of this infection click on the image above.
There are a total of 4 images you can view.


This guide will walk you through removing the Antivirus Master program and any associated malware for free.


Threat Classification:


Advanced information:

View Antivirus Master files.
View Antivirus Master Registry Information.


Tools Needed for this fix:


Symptoms that may be in a HijackThis Log:

O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [Antivirus] C:\Program Files\AVM\avm.exe
O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [Antivirus] C:\Program Files\AVM\avm.exe


Article Updates:

07/16/08 - Initial guide creation.


Automated Removal Instructions for Antivirus Master using Malwarebytes Anti-Malware:

  1. Print out these instructions as we will need to close every window that is open later in the fix.

  2. At this point you should download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, or MBAM, to scan your computer for any any infections or adware that may be present. Please download Malwarebytes from the following location and save it to your desktop:

    Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Download Link (Download page will open in a new window)

  3. Once downloaded, close all programs and Windows on your computer, including this one.

  4. Double-click on the icon on your desktop named mbam-setup.exe. This will start the installation of MBAM onto your computer.

  5. When the installation begins, keep following the prompts in order to continue with the installation process. Do not make any changes to default settings and when the program has finished installing, make sure you leave Launch Malwarebytes Anti-Malware checked. Then click on the Finish button. If MalwareBytes prompts you to reboot, please do not do so.

  6. MBAM will now start and you will be at the main screen as shown below.

    Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

    Please click on the Scan Now button to start the scan. If there is an update available for Malwarebytes it will automatically download and install it before performing the scan.

  7. MBAM will now start scanning your computer for malware. This process can take quite a while, so we suggest you do something else and periodically check on the status of the scan to see when it is finished.

    Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

  8. When MBAM is finished scanning it will display a screen that displays any malware that it has detected. Please note that the infections found may be different than what is shown in the image below due to the guide being updated for newer versions of MBAM.

    MalwareBytes Scan Results

    You should now click on the Remove Selected button to remove all the listed malware. MBAM will now delete all of the files and registry keys and add them to the programs quarantine. When removing the files, MBAM may require a reboot in order to remove some of them. If it displays a message stating that it needs to reboot, please allow it to do so. Once your computer has rebooted, and you are logged in, please continue with the rest of the steps.

  9. You can now exit the MBAM program.

Your computer should now be free of the AV Master program. If your current anti-virus solution let this infection through, you may want to consider purchasing the PRO version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware to protect against these types of threats in the future.

If you are still having problems with your computer after completing these instructions, then please follow the steps outlined in the topic linked below:

Preparation Guide For Use Before Using Malware Removal Tools and Requesting Help


View Associated Antivirus Master Files

c:\Program Files\AVM
c:\Program Files\AVM\avm.cpl
c:\Program Files\AVM\avm.exe
c:\Program Files\AVM\avm0.dat
c:\Program Files\AVM\avm1.dat
%UserProfile%\Desktop\Antivirus Master.lnk

File Location Notes:

%UserProfile% refers to the current user's profile folder. By default, this is C:\Documents and Settings\<Current User> for Windows 2000/XP, C:\Users\<Current User> for Windows Vista/7/8, and c:\winnt\profiles\<Current User> for Windows NT.

View Associated Antivirus Master Windows Registry Information

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run "Antivirus"
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run "Antivirus"


This is a self-help guide. Use at your own risk.

BleepingComputer.com can not be held responsible for problems that may occur by using this information. If you would like help with any of these fixes, you can ask for malware removal assistance in our Virus, Trojan, Spyware, and Malware Removal Logs forum.

If you have any questions about this self-help guide then please post those questions in our Am I infected? What do I do? and someone will help you.

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