Issues with Avast 7 Update

Started by Corrine, February 28, 2012, 09:01:08 PM

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In part from my blog post at avast! Users Frustrated With Unwanted Chrome Browser

Reports of the inclusion of Google Chrome with the latest avast! upgrade began trickling in several days ago when Version 7 was released.

As  illustrated below, the issue is complicated by differing reports of the upgrade process.

  •   Some avast! users report that they were not presented with the pre-checked option to install Google Chrome.
  •   There are reports that the avast! window presented after reboot does not remain active long enough to uncheck the pre-checked options.  (Note:  it was also reported that the window was presented after the first hard restart rather than the initial restart installing the upgrade.)
  •   People with Google Chrome installed have reported that even unchecking the installation option resulted in a second install of Chrome! In addition, that second install wrecked havoc with the existing Chrome installation, resetting the current users profile to default and extensions missing.
  •   Others reported problems with Hostman Server and Sandboxie, necessitating an uninstall/reinstall of avast!.

The above is minor when considered in conjunction with the issues that ky331 collected.  His original comment from the above blog post is quoted below:

QuoteIt seems that the "surprise" installation of Chrome, and even the overwriting of existing customized Chrome installations, are actually among the lesser of the problems plaguing users of avast 7. The following have all been reported:

1) Borked/partial installations... systems freezing.
2) A message screen appearing after every reboot, telling you that you need to reboot yet again. [The avast "work-around" is to disable this screen from appearing.]
3) An "overly active" File System Shield, that repeatedly tests the same file over and over again... hundreds or thousands of times. CPUs spiking. As such, systems are bogged down and not really usable.
4) Significantly increased scanning times.
5) The Internet being slowed down to a snail's pace (on high-speed connections).
6) The new "cloud-based" features [e.g., streaming updates] not connecting to the Internet.
7) The inclusion of a "remote access" module, which has sparked a heated debate as its safety.
8) Losing all of one's customized settings when "upgrading" via the program's internal updater from avast6 to avast7.
9) At least 2 reports of Avast automatically "upgrading" itself to version 7, when the user had set version 6's program-update status to "Ask me first".
10) Without notification/explanation to users, the "auto-sandbox" feature, which indeed functioned as such in avast6, has been relegated into being merely an "analysis tool", which simply shuts itself down after offering its analysis. Nonetheless, the "sandbox" name was retained for this "tool". Furthermore, it seems to have become significantly more "frisky" in avast7, questioning files --- especially files created by users and small-business entrepreneurs, as well as some bootup files --- that had long-existed and were never targeted in avast6.

I also feel compelled to mention avast's removal tool, since many people are downloading/using it given all the problems cited above. In general, a "dedicated" removal utility is an essential move when trying to completely uninstall an anti-virus program... in particular, it's supposed to go after any "lingering" registry entries and "orphaned" files.
However, as best as I can tell, the avast removal utility does not do this!...
1) reports indicate this tool does NOT look for and remove [stray] registry entries. The registry remains cluttered with an abundance of avast references. Rather,
2) the tool simply deletes a directory, including all of its contents. The presumption is that the user will identify/locate the Avast directory, to remove it. However, this tool will remove ANY directory that the user highlights... including one's PROGRAM FILES directory ... in which case, ALL of your installed programs go bye-bye, So use it with extreme care... or better yet, not at all!!

In short, my conclusion is Avast7 is "not ready for prime time".

Take a walk through the "Security Garden" -- Where Everything is Coming up Roses!

Remember - A day without laughter is a day wasted.
May the wind sing to you and the sun rise in your heart.