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avast upgrade headache


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#1 ZT-repairseek

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 01:54 PM

winvista homeprem SP1

 

so earlier today avast free bleeped at me to update it, and I complied.

however, it took three reboots before the updater/installer finished up and gave me the "google paid us to get you to use chrome, will you let us install it?" finish dialog, and untill that boot, the avastsvc.exe and avastui.exe (and the self defense module) were running, but the tray icon wasn't showing and if I tried to scan something from context menu I got errored at that avastui.exe wasn't running. then I rebooted again(after the round where it finished it's updater), and the shutdown took an abnormally long time... but things seemed normal after windows woke back up.

 

but the next reboot, I was back to "it's running but it's not running". a few tries later, I used avast's own uninstall tool to remove the AV completely, and did a "clean" install of the previous (working) version. worked when it installed, worked on the next boot after some delay, quickscan came up clean except for an old instance of dds(the tool from around here), but next boot I'm back to "running but not running". and on top of it, the calender gizmo for the windows sidebar is now broken, showing a blank orange square while responding to the normal context commands but not anything that might get it to show anything meaningful.

 

I haven't had system restore going because normally avast doesn't go stupid in the process of updating itself, I generally avoid hazards thanks to spywareblaster and MVP hosts file n' reasonably smart browsing habits, and I'm twitchy about HDD space.

 

and now I'm sitting here with an antivirus that's effectively not there. an MBAM quick scan I ran after the first two reboots post-update came clean as well, so I'm flummoxed and paranoid.

 

I'll provide HJT logs and the like if the appropriate forum if requested, of course.

 

I need suggestions on getting this back to normal, please. I'm almost tempted to try another free AV, but hells if I know if it'd get afflicted with something similar or if it's just avast being daft. the avast forums seem dominated by complaints of the newest version being a trainwreck, and my phone was going to overheat before the avast tech support line actually picked up.

 

haaaalp. @_@


Edited by ZT-repairseek, 23 October 2013 - 05:42 PM.


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#2 quietman7

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 09:05 AM

I have upgraded 3 computers with the latest version and have not had a single issue. While there may be a lot of complaints at the avast forum, many folks have not experienced problems after the update. It's just that those who do naturally go to avast for a solution.

If AvastSvc.exe and Avastui.exe are running, your system is protected even if the tray icon does not always show. Users have complained about the missing tray icon issue long before the latest update and there appears to be various reasons for that happening over the years.

Anti-virus software components insert themselves deep into the operating systems core where they install kernel mode drivers that load at boot-up and create files/folders/registry entries in various locations. It is not uncommon for some anti-virus programs to not completely uninstall itself using the usual method of Programs and Features or Add/Remove Programs in Control Panel due to the presence of related servics running in the background. Sometimes the uninstall works more effectively if you first stop and disable the antivirus' service or perform the removal in safe mode.

As such, you may want to retry your uninstall/reinstall while in safe mode and see if that corrects the issue.
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#3 ZT-repairseek

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 09:34 AM

I uninstalled with avast's standalone uninstalling tool (avastclear.exe), which starts off by rebooting into safemode. I wouldn't be as worried about the matter if it was only that the tray icon was missing; but the facts that attempting to invoke the antivirus by it's desktop icon does nothing, and that attempting to scan via context menu results in the "avastui.exe is not running" error make this another story of concern entirely. the processes are loaded according to taskmanager/process explorer, and the inability to terminate them tells me the self defense thing is loaded, but I have no access to the AV at all. no opening of the interface, no notifications, nothing. I suspect if I had installed the sidebar gadget that it wouldn't be working either.

 

and the windows sidebar's calender breaking when I uninstalled avast to reinstall it is insult to injury.

 

 

{sidenote: eset's online scanner also says I'm clean...}


Edited by ZT-repairseek, 24 October 2013 - 09:51 AM.


#4 quietman7

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 10:11 AM

I was going to recommend doing an Eset online scan.

Since you are not finding any evidence of malware, it sounds like an avast issue which they need to sort out. If the forums are not any help you could try contact support directly.

avast! Customer & Technical Support
avast! Submit a Ticket

If they don't provide an immediate solution, then I would recommending removing and replacing it with Microsoft Security Essentials for the time being.
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#5 ZT-repairseek

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 12:07 PM

...digging on their forums, I found what someone else did to get the problem solved. while now, several reboots later, it seems to be solved,

 

but. now the IME is not loading properly at bootup, with the "toolbar" space for it on the taskbar showing, and the "restore the language bar" option available with it, but conime.exe is not running and does not come forth when I attempt to run it, and my calender is still broken. I think I'm going to end up switching to MS security essentials at this rate, but I'm probably going to need someone to come up with a combofix script or something for these side problems, either way. the "documents" part of the start menu is suddenly not picking up things I open, either.

 

I do have a system restore point to before the language bar derped now, and I'll try using it, but if that doesn't help... *sigh*

 

edit: it didn't help. something one of the things that I used while following what that other guy did must have messed it up and I have no idea what or how at this point, so many things doing so much weird. I really need some major assistance with this all, but first up I'm switching away from avast. this isn't the first time it's caused problems but it IS the worst yet, and there's no "loyalty" in system maintenance software. years of using it does not make me feel sentimental about it.

 

so again, I would most graciously appreciate help in fixing everything else that's exploded. direct me to where that should be discussed and handled, and I'll patiently go there and get to it.


Edited by ZT-repairseek, 26 October 2013 - 12:33 PM.


#6 quietman7

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 08:30 PM

We do have sub-forums for getting assistance with specific Operating Systems.
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#7 ZT-repairseek

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 05:17 PM

as noted and complied with.

 

though relevant to the matter of having removed avast, while doing the ol' "sweep up the temp files" thing, I noticed some stuff still thought avast 5 was on here (ancient history much?), and upon snooping in regedit I indeed found some leftovers of that long-past version, what appear to be a bunch of config settings for that version. since there's no actual files from ALWIL software/Avast left on the hard drive, would it be reasonably safe to remove these keys? (suitable backups made, and all)

 

(this is for future reference, to be dealt with after my other problems have been worked out)


Edited by ZT-repairseek, 28 October 2013 - 05:19 PM.


#8 quietman7

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 06:14 PM

Anti-virus software components insert themselves deep into the operating systems core where they install kernel mode drivers that load at boot-up and create files/folders/registry entries in various locations. It is not uncommon for some anti-virus programs to not completely uninstall itself using the usual method of Programs and Features or Add/Remove Programs in Control Panel due to the presence of related servics running in the background. Sometimes the uninstall works more effectively if you first stop and disable the antivirus' service or perform the removal in safe mode.

Many anti-virus vendors provide clean-up utilities on their web sites to remove remnants left behind after uninstalling or for a failed uninstall. When that is the case, it's best to download directly from the vendor's site to ensure you are using the most current version of the uninstall utility as it is not uncommon for third party hosting sites to have outdated versions which may not work properly.

avast! Uninstall Utility (aswclear.exe)
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#9 ZT-repairseek

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 08:36 PM

I used the uninstaller from avast's own site to uninstall avast in the first place, boss. and again, when I got fed up and switched to MSE (as per your suggestion). as best I can tell it completely removed the more recent version (barring the stuff avast's tech support people tell you to delete by hand afterwards). yet these entries from avast 5 remain, though no actual files of avast remain. I shall PM a screen capture of the relevant keys.



#10 quietman7

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 07:07 AM

They are harmless remnants leftover in the registry and should not affect your computer's performance if you leave them alone. However, if you are competent with using the registry editor, then you can remove them after backing up the registry and creating a new restore point first...That is considered a "best practice."
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