It is not uncommon for some security scans to take many hours to complete.
to complete an anti-virus or anti-malware scan depends
on a variety of factors
- The program itself and how its scanning engine is designed to scan: using a signature database vs heuristic scanning or a combination of both...see How an Anti-virus Program Works.
- Options to scan for rootkits, adware, riskware and potentially unwanted programs (PUPS).
- Options to scan memory, boot sectors, registry and alternate data streams (ADS).
- Type of scan performed: Deep, Quick or Custom scanning.
- What action has to be performed when malware is detected.
- A computer's hard drive size.
- Disk size and used capacity (number of files that have to be scanned).
- Types of files (.exe, .dll, .sys, .cab, archived, compressed, packed, email, etc) that are scanned.
- Whether external drives are included in the scan.
- Competition for and utilization of system/CPU resources by the scanner.
- Other running processes and programs in the background.
- Whether the scanning engine stalls, hangs or freezes.
- Interference from malware.
- Interference from other security programs attempting to scan at the same time.
- Interference from other programs attempting to update (download/install) components from the Internet.
- Interference from the user (whether or not you use the computer during the scan).
In most cases when performing routine security checks, only a Quick Scan is needed
since it checks the areas of your computer most likely to contain malware...the most prevalent and common places where malware typically hides. A Full Scan
is much more comprehensive and can take a long time since it checks the entire hard drive (all folders/files) which can number in the thousands. The length of time for performing this type of scan varies because it is so comprehensive and therefore can take several hours. As such, a Full scan is generally recommended only for heavily infected systems.
I have not used HouseCall in years and most experts I know do not use it either. There are several vendors which provide Online Virus Scans
.ESET Online Virus Scan
is one of the more effective online scanners and the one we generally recommend.