Print 127 comment(s) - last by ShaolinSoccer.. on Dec 10 at 3:01 PM

  (Source: Photobucket)

A update to AVG's free software killed Windows 7 and Windows Vista computers late Wednesday. There are fixes available.  (Source: AVG)
Screw-up is another embarrassing setback for free AV vendor

There's an old saying that if something sounds too good to be true, then maybe it is.  Now, that's not always true.  Take Microsoft's free antivirus/anti-malware protection Microsoft Security Essentials works well and is free to Windows users.  However, that old adage might hold a bit more true in the case of AVG, a top free antivirus software maker.

AVG, which claims to have 110 million customers in 170 countries, on Wednesday rolled out a badly botched update.

The update rendered both Windows 7 and Windows Vista inoperable.  When booting users are greeted by the infamous "Blue Screen of Death" (BSoD), and the system reboots in an endless cycle of bad computer karma.  The mess is apparently caused by an AVG .sys file that is loaded at boot time -- \Windows\System 32\DRIVERS\AVGIDSEH.SYS.

Booting into Safe Mode does not work, as this driver is still loaded, under AVG's default setup.

Users are infuriated.  One writes on the companies support forums:

You are not alone!!! This happened to my computer also. I was able to restore it to a restore point, but I will not update. I always supported AVG and recommended it highly. Not any more. It's the same as installing a virus instead of removing one!!! Removing it now - there are other free anti-virus software out there - they just won my support!!!

Another adds:

Just adding my voice to the chorus of those whose computers are unable to reboot after this update. Thank god for Windows 7 auto-backups. I've already sent an email out to my parents who use AVG not to update. I'm about 20 minutes from just sC**pping AVG for good over this. I know, it's the free version so they aren't really losing anything, but this is the sort of computer-destroying problem that you can't even give away.

Those affected shouldn't despair, though.  There are a couple of ways to fix this problem.

One way to save your Windows install if you received the update is to have a Windows install DVD and boot in recovery mode, rolling the system back to a restore point.  If you don't have a Windows install disk or weren't saving restore points you're out of luck.

Another, perhaps better method is to use an emergency USB boot-fix that AVG rolled out.  Full details can be found here, but basically you need to copy the file to your USB stick and then enter the BIOS and tell your computer to boot to the stick.

AVG suggests then repairing your installation of AVG software with the fixed version that they've uploaded, as detailed here.  Or, better yet, you might want to uninstall AVG and go for a more reliable solution, given the company's shoddy track record.

After all, this isn't the first major screwup for the company.  In late 2008, the vendor rolled out an update that accidentally removed a critical Windows component which it mistook for a piece of malware.  Honestly, these kind of errors simply aren't acceptable for a security firm with 110 million users, many of which are paying customers.  

Then again, the allure of free may keep some coming back to AVG.

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By Cakemeister on 12/3/2010 10:50:35 AM , Rating: 3
I dropped AVG when it insisted on installing onto drive C where I have a SSD and drive space is precious. It and its 9 gigabytes are gone now, replaced by MSE.

By SpaceRanger on 12/3/2010 10:52:06 AM , Rating: 3
I've been using MSE as well, and I'm very pleased with it to date. I had been using AVAST in the past, but they too haven't been as reliable in catching infections before they hit.

By StevoLincolnite on 12/3/2010 10:58:59 AM , Rating: 4
NOD32 is hands down the best anti-virus scanner I have ever used.
It's light and efficient. - Built mostly from assembly code hence why it is so efficient.

I'm actually surprised more people don't use it... Especially on Notebooks/Netbooks where it could save a heap on battery life.

By AnnihilatorX on 12/3/2010 11:33:52 AM , Rating: 2
Avast had been very good I thought. Not sure about its capability of catching threats though.

By SpaceRanger on 12/3/2010 11:57:02 AM , Rating: 2
I had thought so as well, but personally I have witnessed MSE machines flag and prevent intrusion on things that AVAST had let slip through. Just my experiences. If AVAST has been good to you, then continue to use it. No sense in changing something that isn't broken :)

By Motoman on 12/3/2010 12:13:02 PM , Rating: 2
Avast! had a big blow-up a while ago too.

By xsilver on 12/7/2010 2:07:42 AM , Rating: 2
dont think it was avast - it was avg again - 2 strikes now...

By tastyratz on 12/3/2010 8:03:46 PM , Rating: 2
ive been using avast for a few years, they have worked great for me. I used to use nod32 a year or 2 ago but it kind of went down the tubes if you ask me.

By avxo on 12/3/10, Rating: -1
By Anoxanmore on 12/3/2010 12:07:45 PM , Rating: 1
Actually he is right...

If you want to pay for anti-virus, Eset(NOD32) has had zero issues, literally, for the past 10+ years.

By xkrakenx on 12/3/2010 2:17:23 PM , Rating: 2
another happy NOD32 user here, fast and small footprint.

By Icopoli on 12/3/2010 2:32:16 PM , Rating: 2
Happy 2 year ESET customer here.

By IcePickFreak on 12/4/2010 7:57:04 PM , Rating: 2
Another ESET user here too for the past 7 years, 0 issues with their AV or with viruses.

By ShaolinSoccer on 12/4/2010 8:12:34 PM , Rating: 2
Except it's not free? Or am I reading their page wrong?

By StevoLincolnite on 12/3/2010 12:12:08 PM , Rating: 3
What a bunch of bull****! Either you have no idea about programming at all, and you're repeating some nonsense you heard online, or your only experience with programming is academic and you're repeating something you heard in class. Either way, what a bunch of bull****!

Assembly code is a low-level programming language, you can't get closer programming to a systems hardware than Assembly unless you do direct machine code.

The problem with today's Virus scanners is that they are built on several different software layers, the more software layers you add, the larger the bloat and the slower the program becomes.
However that is just one aspect, but it would also explain why NOD32 is so freaking quick.

By StevoLincolnite on 12/3/2010 12:20:41 PM , Rating: 2
Er.. To add to his (Some linkage to back-up my claims):

I think that will do for now unless that still doesn't satisfy your desires... (Please use the reference links in the wiki articles for more information.)

By Smilin on 12/3/2010 1:41:21 PM , Rating: 2
I've worked with assemblers since 8086 days but thanks fer the links! :P

As a general response to this whole fork of the thread:
1. EVERYONE uses assembly, not just NOD so don't try putting them on some pedestal.
2. Everyone also uses *very little* assembly. Mostly just critical sections in the filter drivers. The rest of the driver and all user mode code is going to be a high level language (typically C/C++).
3. C/C++ that has been compiled can get optimizations that are really impractical to do by hand. These include branch optimizations that will put the common used branch into the same 4k code page to elimiate paging. Crazy stuff. "Hand tuning" assembly is a rare and dying art because it no longer adds much value.
4. Antivirus slowing down your machine with realtime activities is pretty much a myth. Toms just had an article this last week on it.
5. Any slowdown that exists isn't visible to the naked eye. You need a benchmark app.

By Proxes on 12/3/2010 2:01:56 PM , Rating: 5
Guess you never used a P4 with 512megs of RAM running Windows XP and McAfee. Hell even machines with 2 gigs of RAM feel its wrath.

Try it and get back to me.

By Smilin on 12/3/10, Rating: -1
By Smilin on 12/3/2010 2:40:28 PM , Rating: 2
lol at "lawn more".

By rcc on 12/3/2010 4:04:44 PM , Rating: 5
Is "lawn more" what you get when your lawnmower is broken???

By Cypherdude1 on 12/3/2010 9:58:24 PM , Rating: 3
I couldn't care less what problems you have on a P4,512,with XP.
Even an older system running XP should not be having problems running AV software. AV software should not have that large a footprint or effect on a system, even an older one. After all, what does AV software actually do? All it does is scan software you download to your drive and RAM scans software you or your system executes. All AV software scans for is virus signatures. It really should not tax any system by much.

I have an AMD Thunderbird 1400 MHz, 1 GB, XP Pro, with Norton AV 2006 installed. For some reason, NAV takes 14 seconds to bring its main window up (when you double-click on the Taskbar icon) and 10 seconds to bring up its scan window when right-clicking and scanning a file in Windows Explorer. There's no reason why it should take so long for such simple tasks. Because NAV makes my system a bit sluggish, I visit mostly the same safe sites and I just manually scan new files, I usually have NAV disabled. As a comparison, Corel WordPerfect 12 takes 4 seconds to load up and Microsoft Word and Excel 2003 each take 3 seconds to load up. BTW, WP12 has a large RAM footprint, 17 MB's.

A friend of mine has XP Home, also with an older 2200 MHz system. Ever since Norton 360 was installed, the system has run extremely slow. I am going to have tweak the system by disabling many of N360's features.

By chick0n on 12/4/10, Rating: 0
By messyunkempt on 12/7/2010 5:08:42 AM , Rating: 2
nah, when ur lawnmower is broken u get mower lawn.

By FaceMaster on 12/7/2010 10:43:03 AM , Rating: 2
Can somebody reply to this post? I really want to see if the comments become impossibly thin when there are enough replies.

By Proxes on 12/3/2010 4:56:47 PM , Rating: 2
Why don't you try working in IT for a small to medium sized business that has 200+ workstations that they can't afford to refresh?

I've been dealing with users complaining about the systems being slow for years. To make matters worse they use McAfee to encrypt the hard drives too. I'm a contracted 3rd party tech and I don't have much say in how the network is run, I just have to deal with what's given to me.

I know for a fact McAfee is a hog that needs to be slaughtered.

By Smilin on 12/3/2010 5:26:14 PM , Rating: 1
Why don't you try working in IT for a small to medium sized business that has 200+ workstations that they can't afford to refresh?

Been there done it. (with McAfee as well)

So you're running P4 XP workstations with, in some cases, 512MB ram and encrypted (IDE I presume) hard drives. You think Mcafee is your problem?

I don't buy it. I hate McAfee as much as the next guy but if you remove it from one of those dogcrap machines it will still run like dogcrap. 512 ram is making you page out the yingyang and an encrypted disk is aggravating that further.

That said...The critical part of AV is contained in a filter driver or similar. The difference between one crapping on your irp stack or not is going to be measured in a few KB so low ram won't have much of an impact. If all the "fluff" part of the AV sucks know the user UI, unnecessary services, etc it could cause some pain. Turn off the extras and just stick to AV. A bit of time with perfmon and process explorer will tell you what's up.

By Proxes on 12/3/2010 7:32:22 PM , Rating: 2
What's up is McAfee, I've done all that already. It's a well known fact that McAfee doesn't play well with java apps and we have a couple of those.

In testing I have removed McAfee and the lucky users reported all their systems were running much better. Sadly we can't run without antivirus per contract and common sense, so after I put it back on they started reporting their systems running slow again.

I didn't tell anyone but I wasn't running McAfee on my workstation for over two years, used MSE once it came out, but they wised up and started forcing McAfee via policies and I noticed a large performance hit, and I have 2gigs of RAM on my system. Bought the RAM with my own money.

For the last year users reported their systems running really slow between 3:30 and 5:00 pm. I found out they had McAfee setup so it did its automatic updates during that time. These users only have outlook, IE and a VB app running at most.

I created the image and know it runs smooth until I put McAfee on. I went through and streamlined the options in the virus console as much as I could and it didn't help much.

512 megs is low but for what they need it's ok, until you have McAfee constantly using 150 megs+ in the background.

I really don't understand why you're defending this POS software, everyone here knows it sucks.

Best part was when I had to fix 100+ workstations because it decided SP3 svchost.exe was a virus.

By StevoLincolnite on 12/3/2010 10:01:02 PM , Rating: 2
512 megs is low but for what they need it's ok, until you have McAfee constantly using 150 megs+ in the background.

NOD32 is using a total of 34Mb of memory on my desktop (As shown in task manager) that has 8gb of ram, Phenom 2 x6 1090T, Windows 7 64bit.
And 42Mb of memory on my Netbook with an Atom Dual-core 1.5ghz, 2gb of ram, Windows 7 32bit.

I remember when I bought my Notebook which had Norton on it, it felt cumbersome and slow and barely achieved 5 hours.

Removed it, installed NOD32 and the difference is massive. An under powered computer doesn't need a bulky and slow virus scanner, and I managed to squeeze out on average 30-50 minuets of battery life due to less HDD, CPU and Memory thrashing.


Still, the best protection against Viruses/Trojans and other nasties is improving your browsing habits and not subjecting your PC to those threats in the first place.

By Smilin on 12/7/2010 3:23:15 PM , Rating: 2
Not defending it at all. It is a software I truly hate. Solidarity brother!

I'm just saying that even with McAfee it shouldn't be cripling a PC. I would troubleshoot to find other factors.

The guts of an AV product is a filter driver in the i/o stack. This thing is a few megs at most and uses a few K of stack space.

All the UI, definitions downloader, scheduled scanner and whatnot is where the trouble comes in. Getting scans and updates going at off-hours then uninstalling/disabling any unneeded features may help. (in other words is there any way to get rid of the part that's using 150megs+ in the background?)

By xkrakenx on 12/3/2010 2:26:35 PM , Rating: 2

son I been around long time and know many smart things.
because of my oldtimer-ness, I am knowledgeable in all matters that I read about on Toms.


now maybe a grizzled card punch jockey will jump in and one up your dusty ass.

By Smilin on 12/3/2010 3:08:52 PM , Rating: 1
Ah kids.

It's not that I knew dusty old 8086 assembly. That knowledge buys nothing. It's that it led to x64 debugging in WinDbg 15 years later. Find me some lil whipper snapper that can "read the matrix" like me and I'll give them a job.

None of them can. That's why they all flip burgers or work for geeksquad. Don't be bitter. :)

By klutzInMotion on 12/3/2010 3:59:19 PM , Rating: 2
Puff, real man uses kd over com :) j/k

It's really not worthwhile to hand code in assembly now. Compiler have so many optimization built in that you can hardly do any better. Donno about you, if the binaries for Nod32 is a few mb big and it IS coded in assembly, I'd be really worried. Good luck porting/debugging/updating that thing.

By Smilin on 12/3/2010 5:43:47 PM , Rating: 2
Puff, real man uses kd over com :) j/k

Lync (or other) Desktop share -> admin desktop -> mstsc -> debugger -> firewire -> end user debugee. Been there but not often thank God.

My colleagues put me to shame on KD. My kung fu there is weak and TTT/iDNA has made me too lazy to do much live debugging over com. :)

By davmat787 on 12/3/2010 10:00:50 PM , Rating: 2
Meh, WinBag, aka WinDBG, is for user mode debugging. Lame.

If we are into chest pounding I will point out the countless numbers of kernel mode debuggers I have owned or setup for other labs. Many of them with 64, 128, or more com ports to make massive kernel mode debug servers for the devs and us testers to remotely debug drivers, often crapping out on engineering samples from Dell & HP with beta BIOS and pre production processors.

By dark matter on 12/6/2010 2:24:49 PM , Rating: 2
Pffft. That's nothing. Just last week I manipulated raw DNA with my toes to assemble a backplane to which I attached several thousand modified chimp brains to do some serious parallel processing. I hard-wired the chimps brains into logic gates, memory buffers, stacks, registers and ALU's using only my eyelashes. And if that wasn't enough, I created multiple machines and then used quantum entanglement by realigning the atoms using nothing more than the power of expressive dance. Those machines were carried by me, by foot, over deserts and mountains without the need for food and water, to various secret locations across the globe, where upon I met and dispatched several guerilla groups, freedom fighters and mercenaries. I then proceeded to write the Operating System that runs on top of all this wetware by flicking ants to represent quantum states.

Beat that, dude!

By codecore on 12/6/2010 3:52:52 PM , Rating: 2
Kim Jong Il? Is that you? Thanks for inventing TV, and the Internet.

By troysavary on 12/7/2010 4:35:11 AM , Rating: 2
Ant! That is what I was doing wrong. I tried the same thing, but was flicking hornets and they kept stinging me. Thanks for the heads up.

By Smilin on 12/7/2010 3:47:10 PM , Rating: 2
By Smilin on 12/7/2010 3:25:42 PM , Rating: 2
WinDBG works just great for kernel debugging. Same tool MS uses.

By Smilin on 12/3/2010 5:44:33 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, and Get off my Lawn!

By Spivonious on 12/3/2010 12:32:15 PM , Rating: 2
You do realize that higher-level languages get converted to assembly and then machine code before the CPU can execute it, right? With a properly optimized compiler and a programmer who knows what he's doing, choosing C++ is no different than going straight to x86.

By SPOOFE on 12/3/2010 12:37:05 PM , Rating: 2
So you're saying we lack properly optimized compilers and programmers that know what they're doing?

By Smilin on 12/3/2010 1:43:45 PM , Rating: 2
We do not. Compilers (and linkers, and optimizers) are now tuned so well that "hand assembly" typically adds very little value.

By xkrakenx on 12/3/2010 2:27:54 PM , Rating: 2
says you.

humans can still out-optimize a compiler.

By Smilin on 12/3/2010 3:20:02 PM , Rating: 2
Not really.

The circumstances where you can make a meaningful improvement are few and far between. Compilers and optimizers leave very little that can be tuned further. When they do it is typically in a non-critical section where the optimization doesn't warrant the man-hours.

Many optimizations come from runtime testing where branch probability can be seen. Once the optimization is found it would be stupid to go execute the code change by hand. Just let the tools do it.

By Fritzr on 12/3/2010 8:22:23 PM , Rating: 2
The problem is that compiler optimizing requires a programmer writing optimized code.

It is very easy to de-optimize code even when all the proper switches are selected when compiling. Choosing the wrong switches just makes matters worse.

The bloat that is so common now is due to programs loading massive libraries so they can grab one or two functions included in the set.

A truly optimized program is designed for speed and minimal linking of unused code. Compiler optimization then builds on this. Unfortunately for the commercial programmer, this requires extra time to do the job right. That extra time costs money and may cause a missed deadline.

It is cheaper and faster to get it working and shove it out the door. Optimization beyond what the compiler can manage will not be done if the program design does not include it.

Yes the compilers can optimize, sometimes so aggressively that bugs are introduced, but they cannot modify the program to eliminate bad design choices. Some high level languages come close as they only allow the programmer to select building blocks, but they still require the design be optimal for the task.

Old programs that are modified for each release are serious offenders. The program gets progressively less optimized until a groundup rewrite using a comprehensive redesign of the program.

This applies to all levels whether it be pure assembly or pure Logo...the design determines the speed and efficiency.

By StevoLincolnite on 12/3/2010 10:08:21 PM , Rating: 2
The circumstances where you can make a meaningful improvement are few and far between.

The problem is these pieces of software are only getting more and more complex and larger by the day, any improvement is a good improvement.

Over the years computers have gotten several times faster, yet software has kept up to those speed increases demanding more performance.

Now, allot of that performance reduction could be attributed to many things, but if we can increase performance (Even slightly) in one area, then that is still an improvement, and should be commended, and may pave the way to improvements in other areas of the application.

I don't know about you, but I tire of applications maxing out the processing capability of a core and using several hundred megabytes of memory.
Games... Doesn't bother me so much, but things like Virus scanners do.

By Smilin on 12/7/2010 3:49:56 PM , Rating: 2
My own pet peeve: Maxing a CPU and leaving the others idle when the task at hand is clearly suited to multitasking.

By Iketh on 12/5/2010 2:07:49 AM , Rating: 2
humans make the compilers... the irony in your statement is humorous

By Smilin on 12/7/2010 3:53:35 PM , Rating: 2
Humans made ONE compiler. All the rest of the compilers were made by other compilers.

By drycrust3 on 12/3/2010 2:44:33 PM , Rating: 2
No, what he is saying is that whereas at one time people did actaully write in assembly language on a hexadecimal keypad, you know, "B6, 8A, 77, 55" stuff (my apologies to purists), it is highly unlikely that anyone anywhere actually writes programs in assembly for a PC (and if they are using a keyboard then it is almost certain).

By Omega215D on 12/5/2010 10:15:22 PM , Rating: 2
Yup and with it being a competitor site has a thorough review of many of the latest AV suites. ESET and Kaspersky come out on top. My old favorite BitDefender is still decent but it has gotten bloated and still lets some things through but it still isn't easy to do.

By AlexWade on 12/3/2010 12:35:16 PM , Rating: 2
I like NOD32, but it has problems with rootkits. Other than that, I like how the real-time scan is as good as the on-demand scan.

Hitman Pro detects just about everything, but it has no real-time scan. If it had real-time scanning, that would be the best solution.

By Reclaimer77 on 12/3/2010 3:49:55 PM , Rating: 2
I'm actually surprised more people don't use it

Because MSE is free, very good, has a low footprint? Also it will be updated for free, from MS, for life?

The age of buying anti-virus protection and having to put up with it expiring every year are over and done with. Long live Microsoft Security Essentials!!

By Smilin on 12/3/2010 5:30:58 PM , Rating: 3
Plus it is so easy to recommend to friends/family now.

"What do I do with the McAfee trial registration that keeps coming up when I boot my new computer?"

"Uninstall it in control panel. Go grab MSE. It's free. Yes I'm sure. Yes, it's all you already have defender and a firewall built in."

By Reclaimer77 on 12/4/2010 12:27:40 PM , Rating: 1
Exactly :)

Plus the best thing about MSE, it does NOT try to take over your entire computer.

By mindless1 on 12/7/2010 4:05:34 PM , Rating: 2
Nor does it catch a lot of malware. IOW, pointless to have it installed when you'll likely need something else too.

By Smilin on 12/8/2010 1:17:57 PM , Rating: 2
MSE is actually VERY effective at catching trojans and viruses. Where did you hear otherwise? It's got top ratings and being Microsoft you would certainly hear from the haters if something was wrong with it. The engine and definitions benefit from MSFTs paid offering for enterprises, Forefront.

Remaining malware is captured by Windows Defender which is already built in.

As a typical consumer you really don't need anything else. Really.

By mindless1 on 12/9/2010 7:36:52 PM , Rating: 2
MSE can catch all kinds of things, but what remains is it does not catch everything. And. That. Matters. Quite. A. Lot.

You suggest I "hear"(d) it, when it is personal experience, I am the one most people I know bring their PCs to after it has become infected.

I'm not suggesting something is wrong per se, only that it is not enough by itself, a limited redundancy.

If you feel you don't need anything else, good for you. That is no consolation for others who do.

By ShaolinSoccer on 12/4/2010 8:26:08 PM , Rating: 2
Except defender slows your PC down and Windows Firewall lets any program add itself as an exception... not very secure at all!

By Smilin on 12/7/2010 3:46:34 PM , Rating: 2
Uh What?

Defender will put some chug on your machine if it's actively doing a scan but unless you fooled with the settings it won't scan while you're using the machine. Realtime activities are unnoticable.

Same thing with firewall..don't blame Windows Firewall if you're dumb enough to turn off UAC. Apps cannot add themselves without elevation.

By mindless1 on 12/7/2010 6:29:56 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe if people weren't dumb enough to put themselves into situations where they need to be babysat by UAC...

Otherwise, only a tard keeps letting UAC nag them, it's worse than having to restore a backup once in a blue moon if you can't secure your system otherwise.

If you have UAC popping up to do something you didn't want to do you have FAILED as a user already!

By Smilin on 12/8/2010 1:30:06 PM , Rating: 2
I'm quite a competent user and I always leave UAC on (unless I need to do extended kernel debugging..UAC is designed to stop that). It's saved my bacon before.

UAC prompt when installing a program update (NTFS write to the normally read-only "program files")? I anticipated the prompt before it even appeared. I clicked OK and didn't even notice I did.

UAC prompt when I visit some otherwise benign web page? What in the??? >>Cancel<< (followed shortly by defender catching some crap in IE temp files)

Windows 7 UAC changes have made UAC prompts few and far between. The "always just click OK" conditioning that Vista was heading towards is gone. If we could get more 3rd party app developers to follow common security practices we would get fewer still.

By mindless1 on 12/9/2010 7:51:41 PM , Rating: 2
Lots of things write to the program files folder or subfolder, it is routine and should not be blocked nor permission needed.

I can't help it if you visit dodgy websites but I suggest you aren't a very competent user if you use a browser with security holes that allow that to happen.

If you run a system where little changes so you get few UAC prompts, that is your subjective assessment of the burden but that subjective assessment does not equate to your use of computers being identical to someone else's use.

I have a revelation for you. I am typing on an XP box right now that has had the same XP installation for years. No UAC, no infections. No nagging, no worries.

That doesn't mean everyone should do without UAC, only that for some it is not needed and worse than not having it.

By ShaolinSoccer on 12/10/2010 3:01:40 PM , Rating: 2
And you're dumb enough to think I was using Vista or 7.

By AstroGuardian on 12/3/2010 6:49:44 PM , Rating: 1
NOD32? Ahhh gimme a brake!

I have always uninstalled NOD32 from client's computer and installed Avast + Spybot. I have always found some viruses requiring even Windows reinstall.

By Yanz on 12/4/2010 6:38:59 PM , Rating: 2
hey, i'm a nod32/eset user too.. use it on my acer d255 netbook.. you right it runs light enough. i use it since august coz it detect stuxnet virus when av like mcafee, norton didn't.

and all my rigs use esset since then, so far we hove no security/virus problem..

By Aenslead on 12/4/2010 7:38:39 PM , Rating: 2
Well, I've been using AVIRA only, and it's worked perfectlty. Very, very reliable. Actually install it in all of my home-customers.

I feel it's stronger than NOD32, IMHO.

By FITCamaro on 12/3/2010 12:13:54 PM , Rating: 1
9GB? Not hardly.

By Cakemeister on 12/3/2010 12:24:55 PM , Rating: 1
I could hardly believe it myself.

By Master Kenobi on 12/3/2010 8:15:37 PM , Rating: 2
Might be talking about a quarantine folder he never bothers to delete.

By mindless1 on 12/7/2010 4:12:22 PM , Rating: 2
Probably just a crack smoking troll post. It seems (almost) impossible to generate ~ 9GB worth of quarantined stuff within the timeframe of owning a Vista or Win7 system, unless it was some kind of virus that appended itself to every single MP3 it could find.

Response From AVG Technologies
By AVG Technologies on 12/3/2010 10:48:58 AM , Rating: 4
This is AVG Technologies,

We’re very sorry for the inconvenience. Over the past 24 hours, AVG has had two update issues. The problems affected Windows 7 users on 64-bit products. As soon as we were first notified about these issues, we immediately began fixing the problems. AVG is taking swift action on this matter. We remain committed to our customers, and, as such, we are taking the following actions:

1-Updates have been issued for both of these issues and are currently being propagated to the broad AVG user base.

2-For the next 48 hours, we are offering free technical support to our entire user base; anyone who has been affected by either of these issues.

3 -Please view the YouTube tutorial for the rescue procedure:

PAID CUSTOMERS: Support for System crash after the recent AVG 2011 update 3292 (BSOD)

If you have encountered the above mentioned issue with the latest AVG update and FAQ 4079 didn’t help you, please contact our English support team by dialing the following numbers:

1-Home and Free customers: 24/7 support +1-877-367-9933

2-Business customers: 9:30am-6:30pm EST +1-828-459-5436 or skype:avg-nc

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FREE CUSTOMERS: Support for System crash after the recent AVG 2011 update 3292 (BSOD)

1-If you have encountered the above mentioned issue with the latest AVG update and FAQ 4080 didn’t help you, please contact our English support team by dialing the following number:

2-24/7 support: +1-877-367-9933

You can also email us at

AVG sincerely regrets any inconvenience this issue has caused and we are ready to help you resolve this as quickly as possible.

RE: Response From AVG Technologies
By Denigrate on 12/3/2010 10:51:34 AM , Rating: 2
Too little too late. They boned both free and paying customers. Glad I dumped them already.

RE: Response From AVG Technologies
By quiksilvr on 12/3/2010 10:58:12 AM , Rating: 1
Everyone makes mistakes. At least they had the decency to admit it, apologize, and provide solutions to the problem. Yeah it was annoying, but my computer automatically did a system restore and removed it.

I will be patiently waiting for AVG to fix the issue and will reinstall it once the next update has been deemed safe to use.

RE: Response From AVG Technologies
By Pirks on 12/3/2010 11:24:31 AM , Rating: 4
You're still using this free crap when we had MSE for more than a year?! What's wrong with you man?

By Smilin on 12/3/2010 11:28:05 AM , Rating: 2
Stop it man. I don't want to like you so quit being correct. crap..I'm starting to forget why I don't want to.

RE: Response From AVG Technologies
By Motoman on 12/3/2010 11:39:16 AM , Rating: 2
You mean to tell me, Pirks, that you think MS is so perfect that they could never cause a problem with their software...even their free software? Like, IE for example?

By quiksilvr on 12/3/2010 11:42:48 AM , Rating: 2
Wait a minute. PIRKS is complementing MICROSOFT?! I didn't notice who was the user until after I replied!

And btw, IE9 is the Windows 7 of Internet Explorer. I still prefer Chrome, but it's a definite improvement.

RE: Response From AVG Technologies
By Pirks on 12/3/2010 12:07:03 PM , Rating: 2
No, I'm just surprised people use crap that failed before and may fail again in the future instead of using first party software that has clean record and has yet to fail like others. If you know one free AV crashed Windows before and another never did it why would you use the one that was crashing Windows instead of the version that never did?

RE: Response From AVG Technologies
By Iketh on 12/5/2010 2:23:53 AM , Rating: 2
because the software that made the mistake has learned a lesson and could theoretically be stronger than the "perfect record" software

of course, in this situation, all AV companies have equally learned from AVG's mistake...

By Smilin on 12/7/2010 3:55:53 PM , Rating: 2
Since Mcafee has done this screw up more times than all others (guess) that makes them the best right?

RE: Response From AVG Technologies
By mindless1 on 12/7/2010 4:10:39 PM , Rating: 2
... because there is more to AV software than just "does your box finish booting".

Yes that bit is crucial, but MSE isn't the total solution, meaning you'd need two or more things installed instead of one which is fine if you want to babysit your PC.

Personally, I don't care for a really great reason. I don't trust any of them to not screw up, especially the OS developer that left the gaping holes in the first place. The solution is full system backups partition by partition.

Nuke it from orbit, it's the only way to be sure.

RE: Response From AVG Technologies
By Smilin on 12/7/2010 5:53:14 PM , Rating: 2
MSE combined with the built in Defender and Firewall are indeed a total solution.

And BTW very very few viruses work via security flaw. Almost all of them require user derp.

Backups while essential do nothing to stop the spread of a virus. Congrats on restoring that go do the same for the thousand clients that are now down. :)

By mindless1 on 12/9/2010 7:41:08 PM , Rating: 2
Nope, wasn't isn't and isn't likely to be in the future.

And BTW, massive percentages of infections are in fact due to security flaws, particularly in IE where a virus can exploit the flaw and install itself. Less often with newer versions of IE but nevertheless it is quite easy to see flaw after flaw patched, year after year.

Backups do stop the spread of a virus. If you have thousands of clients that intertwined with the server you have a boot image the server distributes to them. That's a LOT easier and quicker than going to each of those thousands of machines and running MSE.

OOPS, you didn't think of that?

RE: Response From AVG Technologies
By Anoxanmore on 12/3/2010 1:11:23 PM , Rating: 2
That isn't the real Pirks, it has too much correct grammar, spelling, and literacy writen all over it.


RE: Response From AVG Technologies
By Pirks on 12/3/2010 1:43:31 PM , Rating: 2
I love you too, Seth (C)

RE: Response From AVG Technologies
By quiksilvr on 12/3/2010 11:41:35 AM , Rating: 2
Haha, it is what I am using for the time being. I heard good things and the install was pretty clean too. Scanning is a bit slow but other than that it's pretty cool.

RE: Response From AVG Technologies
By Klober on 12/3/2010 12:35:19 PM , Rating: 2
I used to be a huge fan of AVG, but I switched over to Avira a year or so ago and haven't looked back. Same clean/quick install and same low resource use, but according to my research less false positives and misses. I've been very happy with it.

By gamerk2 on 12/3/2010 1:42:39 PM , Rating: 4
AVG is the new Norton: A bloated piece of crapware. They used to be good; not anymore.

RE: Response From AVG Technologies
By drycrust3 on 12/3/2010 2:35:58 PM , Rating: 2
Everyone makes mistakes.

I agree. We all rely on others to support us end users, whether it is browser writers or OS writers or any other program writer, and it only needs one tiny mistake for a computer to be affected.
The problem any AV manufacturer has ... let's just delete that long and boring screed for something more sensible.

The problem AV people have, using photography as a metaphor, is that they are trying to maintain focus over an increasingly vast panorama of OSes with an increasing depth of field of stuff that runs on each, and it only needs a tiny bit of that whole picture to go out of focus and either a malware runs rampant or you get the BSOD.

By mindless1 on 12/7/2010 4:15:28 PM , Rating: 2
No the problem is they need a sufficient number of pre-screeners, beta testers if they won't devote the resources (people, not time since AV updates must be timely) to do it themselves.

Vast panorama of OS is certainly not the problem when the fault effects the two most current versions of OS from the far dominate OS developer in the world. If they weren't to test these two, WTF would they test?

RE: Response From AVG Technologies
By CZroe on 12/3/2010 11:16:46 AM , Rating: 1
Their competitors have had similar gaffes.

By Motoman on 12/3/2010 11:26:05 AM , Rating: 2
Exactly. How many bajillions of PCs did that McAfee update brick last year?

Anyway, I actually do feel a bit better seeing how far AVG is going to help with this problem. I wouldn't have guessed in a million years that they'd offer free tech support to users of their free product.

By kattanna on 12/3/2010 12:00:18 PM , Rating: 2
Their competitors have had similar gaffes

correct, and more often i might add too

not a year goes by that you dont hear how the "big players" have done some update and deleted a windows system file or such.

AVG on the other hand is rare. I still use them for servers, though i use MS now for desktop systems.

By AstroGuardian on 12/3/2010 6:53:01 PM , Rating: 2
Yea, thanks for the info. Luckily i don't use AVG for more than 5 years.

AVG Sucks.
By CrazyBernie on 12/3/2010 10:44:12 AM , Rating: 2
I dropped 'em like a bad habit when version 8 came out and slowed my computer down, not to mention the adverts for their pay products.

RE: AVG Sucks.
By hughlle on 12/3/2010 10:53:52 AM , Rating: 2
So far as i'm concerned, they are a free because they are on someones payroll, sorry, incentive package.

I've not found any other program out there that can identify so many safe files as viruses. Every single game crack in existence it would seem, a fresh install of flashget, oh right, the .exe is a virus, sure. Pretty much anything that certain organisations would prefer you didn't have on your computer regardless of the applications intentions etc. They'd rather you think it were a virus and delete it.

RE: AVG Sucks.
By Smilin on 12/3/2010 1:45:53 PM , Rating: 2
Try MSE.

RE: AVG Sucks.
By Akrovah on 12/3/2010 2:29:41 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I once had AVG flag, and remove, my Blizzard original, Non-craked, Warcraft III executable.

I pretty much ditched them right after that.

RE: AVG Sucks.
By DominionSeraph on 12/4/2010 12:38:28 AM , Rating: 2
I remember that war3.exe flag.
I overlooked it since it was a blatantly obvious false positive and there really wasn't much better at the time.
Even when I switched to MSE it wasn't because AVG was bad. I was just curious about the new kid. (And came out a convert because MSE just has nicer integration.)

But AVG seems to have gone downhill since then. The update to AVG 2011 took 40 minutes on my brother-in-law's computer, came with a control panel that was slow to open and laggy to use with an annoying ad, and the real-time protection noticeably slowed his system down. I swapped him out to MSE immediately thereafter. That install took under 5 minutes.

i'd like to get my hands on that BSOD
By kattanna on 12/3/2010 12:02:43 PM , Rating: 3
the pic shows one type of BSOD that i could get all hands on about


RE: i'd like to get my hands on that BSOD
By johnsonx on 12/3/2010 12:48:13 PM , Rating: 2
yeah, there's something undeniably hot about a chick wearing a BSOD shirt. I wonder if I could get my wife to wear one?
oh, even better, BSOD panties!

By klutzInMotion on 12/3/2010 5:04:23 PM , Rating: 2
Who said anything about the chick. I just want the shirt!

*rips the shirt off*

Sooooo, what was I saying?

By johnsonx on 12/3/2010 10:41:43 PM , Rating: 2
I just noticed that shirt is showing an old school Windows 98-style BSOD. But that's not important right now.

By mattclary on 12/3/2010 11:47:42 AM , Rating: 2
If you don't have a Windows install disk or weren't saving restore points you're out of luck.

Or, you could boot from a Linux live cd and delete the problematic file.

RE: alternative
By MrFord on 12/3/2010 1:03:52 PM , Rating: 2
It will still probably ask for the file if it's in the bootloader tho.

That's why in the first place they shouldn't have had access to the kernel and anything lower than user-level.

RE: alternative
By mattclary on 12/3/2010 1:16:09 PM , Rating: 2
Asking for the file is better than a BSOD in safe mode, and should be remediable once inside Windows.

RE: alternative
By mindless1 on 12/7/2010 4:19:22 PM , Rating: 2
Or stop the madness and start practicing responsible computing instead of expecting babysitter software to do it for you.

Always before, now and in the furture, all you NEED to do is make and restore a backup... because you are making backups, right? Right?

If not, which AV you pick is a trivial thing... that choice and a dozen others can't forsee or cope with all possible problems and OS can face, not to mention the fact that all hardware, especially HDDs, die eventually and often w/o much warning.

By Denigrate on 12/3/2010 10:52:57 AM , Rating: 1
Yeah, but paying customers got the hose as well. What a shite company. Used to be great, now just another McAfee or Norton with bloated software.

By SPOOFE on 12/3/2010 12:44:03 PM , Rating: 3
They have a long, long way to go to reach the pantheons of crappiness represented by Norton/McAfee. You might as well have compared it to Hitler.

By captainBOB on 12/3/2010 1:53:31 PM , Rating: 1
Good thing Norton has been redeeming themselves lately unlike McCrapee.

NIS 2011 is surprisingly light and its like its not even there. Definitely a world of difference from the utter crap that was everything below 2010. I would actually recommend Norton now, something I thought I would never say.

By Smilin on 12/3/2010 4:39:24 PM , Rating: 1
I heard they were putting great effort into making the product lightweight. Good for them if they pull it off. Nice example of hearing the roar from the customers.

By nidomus on 12/3/2010 11:30:49 AM , Rating: 2
So that's why my sister's laptop (which I'm working on now) won't boot.

RE: Hah.
By delphinus100 on 12/3/2010 10:17:25 PM , Rating: 2
Hmmm. I may have the same situation with a friend's Vista-32 laptop. Cleaned various malware in Safe Mode, all seemed good, tried to install AVG, had some problems doing so, but didn't crash anything. Saw that the Service Pack wasn't installed, did so, haven't been able to boot back to the desktop (or Safe Mode) since...

OTOH, my own Vista-64 laptop has no problems with AVG as yet, but I installed the Service Pack long ago.

On still another hand, an XP-Pro desktop has 'General Error' when trying to update AVG recently, even after re-installing it...but no other issues.

Poor showing
By frobizzle on 12/3/2010 10:47:13 AM , Rating: 3
Before a company rolls out a software update, they need to thoroughly test it internally on all the potential platforms it will be installed on. That obviously was not done by AVG.

Free or not, this is a mandatory requirement.

By Motoman on 12/3/2010 10:45:01 AM , Rating: 2
...on many, many PCs. Never had a problem - but I'm a bit nervous about this.

Avast! had a big problem not long ago too. And Dog help you if you're using McAfee/Symantec/Norton.

I have put the new MS thing on a few boxes - seems fine.

By Denigrate on 12/3/2010 10:49:32 AM , Rating: 2
I used to have it on all my computers, even paid for a license because I liked their product so much. Unfortunately over time their software became more and more bloated so I moved to Avast, and have been very pleased. Just updated my parents Vista machine over Thanksgiving to Avast, which seems to be just in time to avoid yet another SNAFU by AVG.

By InvertMe on 12/3/2010 11:03:30 AM , Rating: 2
I got hit by this. I was already annoyed by the frequent pop-ups from AVG lately. It will annoy me to death with reboot requests. I'm switching to MSE - I use it on many of my clients already. It's good stuff.

By Smilin on 12/3/2010 11:26:18 AM , Rating: 2
Microsoft Security Essentials is better anyway. It's light, fast, effective, and is basically the free version of their Corporate Forefront (that they dogfood).

Perils of Kernel Hooking
By Flunk on 12/3/2010 11:27:30 AM , Rating: 2
This is yet another example of why Microsoft should not have caved to AV vendors demands to support kernel hooking in Vista and Windows 7. Carelessly written updates can take down the entire system.

As a side note, my father uses AVG on his 64-Bit Windows 7 system. I wonder if I'm going to have to fix it this weekend... Perhaps I need to get him to switch to MSSE.

ClamWin FTW
By HrilL on 12/3/2010 12:45:31 PM , Rating: 2
For a free AV I always used ClamWin since it is open source. It worked pretty well and was the least intrusive AV I've ever used.

or just pay for the best AV ESET's Nod32. its like $30 for three years and is the best AV I have ever used and I've used just about everything, From symantec/norton, McAfee, AVG, Avast, ClamWin, Kaspersky, and Avira.

Safe and satisfied
By INeedCache on 12/3/2010 4:45:08 PM , Rating: 2
I've been using Norman AV for years without any usage issues or infections. More than happy to pay for it, as it works.

By warisz00r on 12/3/2010 11:01:19 PM , Rating: 2


By xxsk8er101xx on 12/6/2010 1:31:51 AM , Rating: 2
I got rid of it when it kept prompting me to buy it. Good thing I uninstalled it and got trend micro instead.

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