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XP SP3 locks up after installing Avast!

Last response: in Applications
a b 8 Security
July 8, 2011 9:55:53 PM

I was using avira personal on my computer. A recent update installed the toolbar.
I couldn't stand this and uninstalled avira straightaway.
Installed Avast free, registered and updated, and restarted, no issues.
Created a restore point, opened Avast, opened
Checked the option to SCAN ALL FILES.
Restarted computer, clicked username, typed password, pressed ENTER, and XP locks up.
Doesn't even show "loading your personal settings", it just locks up right there, the password field still visible, populated with dots.
Forced restart (press and hold power button), same behavior again.
Restarted in SAFE MODE, opened Avast, cannot change settings in safe mode, changes aren't saved.
SYSTEM RESTOREd to the restore point i created BEFORE ENABLING SCAN ALL FILES, issue resolved.
XP would lock up every time i enabled the scan all file option. Issue would be resolved every time i disabled it (using the restore point)
What's wrong??
The only other security related software I have installed is comodo firewall (firewall only, not the security suite). windows firewall is turned off..
a b 8 Security
July 12, 2011 2:26:56 PM

Could anyone help me on this please? :( 
I really want to enable the scan all files option :( 
Please let me know if you experts need more information about the problem before you can suggest a solution :( 
Thanks in advance
a b 8 Security
July 12, 2011 2:49:39 PM

Get rid of Avast. Use a real AV program like NIS 2011 or if you want free, try Panda Cloud AV.
Related resources
a b 8 Security
July 15, 2011 4:10:49 PM

Thanks Grumpy.
My friend recently purchased BitDefender Antivirus Pro 2011. I borrowed his CD and installed this as a 30 day trial. I can enable the scan all files option here, no issues.
However, my internet connection drastically slows down. Firefox 5 struggles to open simple pages like with bitdefender installed. I have noticed the same behavior with Avira if I enable the "webguard" module.
Why is the antivirus slowing down my internet connection? Are these antivirus apps conflicting with comodo firewall? The only antivirus that doesnt slow down my connection is avast (i dont like it though as i cannot enable the scan all files option).
Any idea whats going on?
Please help. Thanks for your time, really appreciated.
February 27, 2012 12:31:49 AM

If you saved the install of Avast 5 or 6, you can re-install it from the folder you saved it in and then deselect program updates.

If you did NOT save it, you may find a download on for versions of 4.8 to 6 (pick the old version you prefer,) or for 4.8 or 5 and SAVE the install file in a downloads folder so you can always reinstall. Both
5 & 6 will still update with the latest virus definitions.
Look through the preferences, however, to MANUALLY check for updates to the program itself, and turn off notifications about available program updates.
You won't get the "instant" virus definition updates, but an older system probably can't handle the traffic for that anyway, I know my old XP laptop with 512 memory certainly won't!
I had the exact same trouble, I think version 7 is just designed for newer, faster, hardware with Vista or 7 on it (although I've heard of people on lower memory units on 7 having the same problem.) It WOULD be nice if they fix this problem soon, though.
Anyone needing to UN-install Avast 7, reboot while hitting F8 (typically) as mentioned above and boot to safe mode and use the add/remove programs, and then reboot normally to install. There also seems to be a problem with free Zone Alarm firewall blocking correct installation of Avast 7, probably because it wants to install malware (toolbars, etc.)
Hope this helps everyone!
[I had a similar problem with AVG several years ago when they updated to a version that required a Vista dll not present on XP, and had to drop them, which is when I switched to Avast.]
March 1, 2012 12:32:06 PM

OK hawkeye, TY for the info. Avast apparently released this too quickly (Only 3 weeks in beta) to notice the problems I suppose. I'm not sure I want the new features, anyway, such as the cloud-based virus database or the fact that it relies on Microsoft Security Essentials, or that it installs Google Chrome if you're not careful. I consider installing stuff you don't want BY DEFAULT rather than by choice, to be malware, even if it's something like Chrome. I do use SRware Iron, Portable, so I know Chrome is pretty good, but I wouldn't allow another to just install it and make it my default browser! That's insane.
a b 8 Security
March 1, 2012 12:44:02 PM

I've had no problems with avast since I ran the fix. The new installer also fixed the problem. I think the main problem was the installer itself as it corrupted avast even if you cancelled the install.

I understand your concerns, though I don't think avast it depends on mircosoft security essentials since that is a competeing product.

Also, the new version of the installer allows you to opt out of installing chrome now.
March 1, 2012 1:02:58 PM

Hawkeye, you're correct of course. I read the post over at Ghacks incorrectly, where it stated that the only fix (at that time) was to uninstall EITHER msSE or Avast7. My problem most likely was the installer, however, as I don't have msSE installed (unless that's the same as ms Security Center, which shipped with XP SP2.


This machine is running XP SP3 as was the laptop that locked up originally. However, I dual boot Xubuntu 11.10 (not without its own problems) on both of them, I like it much better for most purposes than either XP or 7, and that avoids problems like these.