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AVG 2011 Update Causes Widespread Problems For 64-Bit Windows

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the now-that's-a-bricking dept.

Software 318

phx_zs writes "Last night's mandatory update of AVG 2011 Free edition has caused most 64-bit Windows 7 PCs to fail while loading Windows. On their website they have an FAQ with instructions on how to repair the problem using a boot CD or USB device."

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318 comments

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Ask a friend (2)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 2 years ago | (#34422814)

The irony is that you need to find another computer to read up on how to fix the issue.

Re:Ask a friend (0)

Brucelet (1857158) | more than 2 years ago | (#34422864)

That's true of anything that causes your computer to fail to boot.

Re:Ask a friend (2)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#34422988)

Or fail to connect to the network, which makes those two the biggest no-nos when it comes to breaking a computer.

Re:Ask a friend (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34423232)

What's a decent free one to use?

AV did that stupid fake warning so I stopped using them and switched to Comodo. I'm not sure how good Comodo is. Stupid windows. If I had my choice of what OS to use on my work laptop, I'd be running Ubuntu.

Re:Ask a friend (5, Informative)

Fulg (138866) | more than 2 years ago | (#34423426)

What's a decent free one to use?

If you have to run Windows, the Microsoft Security Essentials package is excellent. I haven't had the urge to uninstall it yet (unlike Avast and AVG), and it doesn't noticeably slow your system. It's free if you have a valid Windows license...

Re:Ask a friend (2)

jimthehorsegod (1210220) | more than 2 years ago | (#34423484)

You have no choice over the OS you use on your work laptop, but have free reign over which free not-for-commercial-use AV you use? How odd...

Doesn't need to be free for me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34423646)

I can spare a few dozen bucks for a good AV if that's what it takes. But even if we take the "free" requirement away, what AV would be good? I don't really trust Symnatec or F-Secure all that much... I don't know if they're really so far ahead of the free ones or not. It seems that whenever I see AV comparisons, ALL such software are ranked about equal and all suck (all of them seem to miss a large part of the virus/malware/etc. stuff). So, would it be intelligent to pay to have inefficient resource hog on my machine? Meh.

I've ended up just not using AV, using ZoneAlarm for firewall and formatting the computer about twice a year. It seems to be "OK" option.

Re:Ask a friend (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#34423198)

On their website they have an FAQ with instructions on how to repair the problem using a boot CD or USB device."

Yeah, that's real handy when your computer won't boot. AVG should snail-mail these instruictions to their paying customers. Not sure how users of free-AVG should be treated, though.

I guess they could just boot to their Linux partition.

Re:Ask a friend (0)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 2 years ago | (#34423384)

How about NOT having forced updates?

Jackasses. I hate when MS or Apple does it to my machine - I certainly don't want some other company does it either. Which reminds me: Why is there a Microsoft Addon sitting in my Firefox & SeaMonkey browsers? I don't remember putting that there, and it doesn't uninstall.

"Litigious motherfuckers." - Penn Gilette

Re:Ask a friend (1)

kryliss (72493) | more than 2 years ago | (#34423468)

Not a problem for most of the slashdot crowd.. Either their not running windows or they have n+2 computers in the house to look up how to fix the broken computer. :)

Re:Ask a friend (1)

coolmadsi (823103) | more than 2 years ago | (#34423550)

I'm sure lots of people will have a smart phone, laptop or other secondary device, not just the slashdot crowd.

Re:Ask a friend (2)

grahammm (9083) | more than 2 years ago | (#34423624)

The irony is that you need to find another computer to read up on how to fix the issue.

Or boot from a live CD/DVD such as systemrescuecd.

Antivirus? (0, Troll)

Peach Rings (1782482) | more than 2 years ago | (#34422820)

Does anyone on slashdot still run antivirus software in the background? It strikes me as a terrible idea to run through a pattern matching algorithm for every disk write. I haven't run antivirus software in years and I've never had a virus.

I mean, it's not exactly hard. Download from sourceforge, compile from source, use sandboxie, whatever.

Re:Antivirus? (1)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | more than 2 years ago | (#34422860)

I haven't run antivirus software in years and I've never had a virus.

Ummm...

Re:Antivirus? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34422938)

ssh. Let him believe he's safe. There are botnet ops that rely on people like him.

Re:Antivirus? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 2 years ago | (#34423472)

I don't have protection either, and I know I have viruses, but I just don't care.

"C'mere honey."

But seriously, it can happen even to the observant. This morning I installed VLC Media Player or what I *thought* was VLC, but the .exe didn't do anything. Just beep and make a "Registry changed. Approve or Deny?" window pop up. Probably a trojan. Good thing TeaTimer caught it.

Re:Antivirus? (-1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 2 years ago | (#34422866)

If you've got a Windows PC, unless you have it locked down like crazy behind a hardware firewall and never visit any websites or open any email, you very likely have a virus on there...even if it isn't really affecting anything, chances are you have SOMETHING.

Note that this isn't an indictment against Windows PCs, but merely a statement of fact. (Two of our five PCs at home run Windows 7 64, both using Avast. They likely aren't virus free, but they're free of anything Avast can find/anything that affects day-to-day usage.)

Re:Antivirus? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34422956)

Um... no.

I don't use anti-virus either. I don't have any viruses (used a trial anti-virus about a month ago then uninstalled it after it didn't find anything). You don't get them by opening email or surfing the web these days. Tracking cookies are not viruses.

Re:Antivirus? (5, Informative)

tgrigsby (164308) | more than 2 years ago | (#34423322)

You don't get them by opening email or surfing the web these days. Tracking cookies are not viruses.

You absolutely CAN get an infection from simply surfing the web. I was one of the people affected by the AVG Update Of Death, but I recovered and I will continue to use them in part because it integrates with Firefox and has stopped numerous attacks by intercepting seemingly innocuous sites. If you're not aware of the danger involved in simply surfing the web, you should do a little honest research.

Re:Antivirus? (1)

Peach Rings (1782482) | more than 2 years ago | (#34423352)

Mods please, please.

Re:Antivirus? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34423534)

...or use NoScript.

Re:Antivirus? (3, Informative)

ThatMegathronDude (1189203) | more than 2 years ago | (#34423598)

NoScript and AdBlock Plus are your friends.

Re:Antivirus? (4, Insightful)

GIL_Dude (850471) | more than 2 years ago | (#34423608)

If you have Adobe Reader or Flash installed you absolutely DO get them by surfing the web. Go to a site where their ad network has gotten either hacked or just had a bad ad get by their "review" and it is a done deal. Turning on DEP for all processes, installing EMET (video on it here http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/security/ff859539.aspx [microsoft.com] ) and configuring it to protect acrord32.exe and your browser, installing Adobe Reader 10, keeping Flash up to date and using something like FlashBlock to control when Flash can run, etc. can all help out in this space. But for the average user who doesn't update Flash or Adobe Reader - they absolutely get infections just browsing the web. My boss and my brother in law both got a fake AV from reputable sites recently - the ad networks had served an Acrobat Reader exploit. I'll recommend MS Security Essentials as a free as in beer, low impact AV product. But I'd look into EMET if you haven't already.

Re:Antivirus? (0)

Peach Rings (1782482) | more than 2 years ago | (#34423052)

Is it even possible to have broadband these days and not have a router or gateway acting as a hardware firewall?

And how would you get a virus by just visiting websites? I use noscript and only unblock it for trusted sites, and I certainly don't have Adobe Reader installed (god forbid).

And what kind of email client gives you viruses by opening email? You'd have to run an executable attachment or open a specially crafted data file. I use webmail anyway (doesn't everyone?).

Re:Antivirus? (1)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | more than 2 years ago | (#34423228)

Is it even possible to have broadband these days and not have a router or gateway acting as a hardware firewall.

Yes it is. My sister had exactly that, until I brought her a cheep router.

I use webmail anyway (doesn't everyone?).

No! I hate webmail! You can take my Thunderbird when you pry it from my cold dead hands!

Re:Antivirus? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 2 years ago | (#34423572)

Could I replace your Thunderbird with SeaMonkey/Mozilla Suite or Opera?
(SM == firefox and thunderbird merged into one)
(Opera == nordic)

I like web-mail because it's allowed me to keep the same address since 1997. I've been through PSU, Erols, MSN, AOL/Netscape, and now Verizon ISPs but my address remains the same regardless.

Re:Antivirus? (1)

Dancindan84 (1056246) | more than 2 years ago | (#34423374)

NAT != firewall. Most routers I've set up don't have the firewall running properly out of the box.

Re:Antivirus? (1)

Junta (36770) | more than 2 years ago | (#34423498)

Unless you are talking about locking down outbound connections, I fail to see how a NAT gateway would allow any unsolicited connections to things behind it.

In terms of itself, it would be a problem if they either didn't filter their own packets or at least refrain from most services/specifically bind to internal-facing addresses, but I'd hope they wouldn't be silly about it.

Re:Antivirus? (1)

Dancindan84 (1056246) | more than 2 years ago | (#34423630)

I'm not saying it's useless, or even that it's not sufficient for most ordinary users. Just pointing out that the parent to my post was incorrect in assuming all routers and gateways act as a hardware firewall out of the box.

Re:Antivirus? (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 2 years ago | (#34423594)

You would be surprised -- some broadband places hand you a CSU/DSU, tell you to "plug computer in here" and go on. This is why I end up making sure friends/family have at least a basic firewall like a Cisco ASA 5505 or 5510.

Re:Antivirus? (3, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#34423092)

No. Just no. I'm a Windows hater too, but no. It's simply not THAT bad. It's really easy to catch something, but simply existing on the web isn't enough. You are making "magical" assumptions.

Re:Antivirus? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 2 years ago | (#34423376)

No. Just no. I'm a Windows hater too, but no. It's simply not THAT bad. It's really easy to catch something, but simply existing on the web isn't enough. You are making "magical" assumptions.

I have no direct evidence to contradict what you say, but every time someone has categorically said "you can't get a virus by just doing X", it doesn't take very long for that to be demonstrated false.

Sometimes, it's even by design with Windows -- stuff like hiding the extension of well know files, autorun, or executing scripts in email just by viewing the damned thing.

I would be completely unsurprised if there were viruses/malware you could get from a website without even knowing it. I sure as hell wouldn't want to run a machine without some AV on it.

Re:Antivirus? (1)

clone52431 (1805862) | more than 2 years ago | (#34423574)

A couple of years ago I got a virus of some sort while browsing the web in IE6. Completely drive-by, no installation, no click here, nothing. Just a pop-up from Windows Firewall saying that application-with-Russian-characters-in-its-name would like to connect to the internet, allow it? It had actually already copied the executable onto my disk and launched it – no, that wasn’t just a ploy to get me to install it.

It was easy enough to remove (I was able to kill the process, delete the startup entry from the registry, and delete the executable), but it was still a bit unsettling.

I don’t remember why I wasn’t using Firefox, but it was a good learning experience for why it’s a really bad idea to use IE6...

Re:Antivirus? (1)

Shadow99_1 (86250) | more than 2 years ago | (#34423142)

I use the internet just fine and stopped using AV's a few years back as they never ever came up with anything on my desktop PC. It was a complete waste.

I however have a laptop these days and a wireless network I use often requires Sophos as an AV to be working to access the network. If anything Sophos tags all sorts of craziness as a Virus... False positives on lots of games for instance, usually in the anti-cheating software they use. And the best part is it won't let you exclude something 90% of the time. I can't run certain things even in Sandboxie. The AV does not know more than me, but it sure damn well thinks it does. Besides wrongly tagging games and finding the occasional 'virus' of the low threat kind in stuff I plan to run with sandboxie it's useless to me and a waste of cpu cycles.

So no, you don't have to have 'SOMETHING' if you run a windows PC (64 bit or not) & in fact an AV can be a complete waste of resources...

Re:Antivirus? (1)

pspahn (1175617) | more than 2 years ago | (#34423212)

Would it satisfy you if those of us who don't use AV software on a regular basis install some, do a scan, and show you that we are indeed (speak for myself) not infected with mysterious viruses?

It's kind of like saying that people that have never had sex have the same HIV infection rate as those who have unprotected sex with multiple partners. Personally, I don't have sex with the internet.

Re:Antivirus? (2)

bored (40072) | more than 2 years ago | (#34423422)

Well it isn't exactly hard to kill the majority of the virus's propagation vectors. I haven't run a "real-time" AV program on my windows machine regularly since 2000 or so. I have caught 1 (detected) virus in that time, and that was from a USB fob a friend plugged into my PC. That actually failed because I was running under a restricted user account when it happened (win2003) and the autorun on the fob simply started up and then didn't have permissions to write to the registry location in wanted. Caused some strange behavior and I said "that's weird" and promptly dug into it. Found it, and had it removed in about 10 mins.

Before that I had autorun turned off, but failed to realize that it wasn't a binary on/off, instead there are further controls which needed to be set to disable it for USB mass storage, and other types of media (fsking M$).

So, for a start..

Plain text email.
Restricted user account (can't modify the system settings).
Updated Browser with noscript/flashblock/adblock/etc.
virus total (upload everything there before you install it).
autorun disabled on all devices
restrictive firewall, traffic monitoring
etc..

That said, I do periodically run some scanners, so its not like I never check, but I don't like any of the run all the time scanners.

So while its possible I have a virus, it doesn't seem to have done any harm yet, and none of the mainstream scanners I sometimes run against system images seems to be able to find anything.

Re:Antivirus? (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 2 years ago | (#34423602)

Um, no.
I have a PC that has been running Windows XP for five years now, and ESET Nod32 all the time. It's seen heavy Internet use.
So far it's had four false positives, and not blocked any real payload.

I have gone through the machine with a fine toothed comb more than once, and it really is clean.

The recipe for keeping it so is amazingly simple - just a few common sense rules will keep you safer than any AV software will (and I'm saying this as an AV software author).

1: Use a NAT
2: Run Microsoft update every patch Tuesday, or when Microsoft releases urgent updates.
3: Keep other internet capable software up to date too (Firefox, Adobe Flash and Reader, ...)
4: Don't use IE for external sites.
5: Don't use Firefox extensions from someone you can't even name.
6: Don't use a web browser for e-mail, and don't use your e-mail reader for web content.
7: Don't follow links in e-mails. Cut and paste links if you have to.
8: Get your educational video files from well-known sites.

Re:Antivirus? (2)

Waccoon (1186667) | more than 2 years ago | (#34423648)

Hogwash.

I've tried installing a number of different anti-virus utilities over the years to check my system from time to time, but never used to have any permanent anti-virus protection in the background. In the 12 years I've been using Windows, I've never gotten a virus. Earlier this year, I tried Security Essentials and liked it, so I started using it permanently. Visiting a web site will occasionally warn that the site is trying to set a tracking cookie, but that's it.

The only real difference in my system usage is that I favor open source apps, I don't run any games newer than 8 years old, I never use Internet Explorer, and I have JavaScript support disabled in my PDF reader.

I also fix other people's computers. It's very rare that I find a virus, but common that I find multiple anti-virus programs fighting with each other, or massive amounts of bloatware installed. I usually replace the bloatware with open source apps, use "Autoruns" to disable the crap, and replace the mess of security suites with Security Essentials (largely because it doesn't nag about updates and fees, and updates silently). Reinstallation of Windows is almost never required. Amazingly, most people already know that they should avoid IE. I see a lot of people using Firefox, and haven't seen much of Chrome or Opera.

Frankly, the only time I saw viruses in the wild was at the class computers at my college campus. Those machines were overrun with crap. PCs are almost always unstable due to bad drivers, unnecessary background tasks, or mal-ware that must be explicitly installed.

Re:Antivirus? (1)

Junta (36770) | more than 2 years ago | (#34423658)

With a modern desktop OS, the chances of infection via remote exploit is generally low by virtue of not generally listening on any port by default, at least not beyond link-local scope. MS *at least* learned that lesson. Most all exploits enter a network via trojaned email, web site, or removable storage.

So if you do have a regimented small home network, and you are careful about not doing *anything* via unsolicited dialog boxes, you have a good shot of running. I have anti-virus on systems and haven't had a single hit in years.

Meanwhile, I have relatives that see 'an urgent update for flash is needed' window, click without question, and end up rapidly with a mess of a setup real quick (with or without anti-virus, the anti-virus was surprisingly oblivious despite correctly updating definitions). I think the vast majority of users fall into this bucket.

Simple rule for Windows systems I give to less savvy friends and family: If it doesn't show up in the system tray, assume it's a browser window and therefore not to be trusted. If you really think flash needs an update, close the dialog and go to adobe's site directly, just like you would call your bank rather than blindly reply to an email.

Re:Antivirus? (1)

Servaas (1050156) | more than 2 years ago | (#34422898)

Why does the lyric "It's a small world after all!" suddenly ring in my head?

Re:Antivirus? (1)

leonardluen (211265) | more than 2 years ago | (#34422916)

yeah, because compiling from source is always safer... ProFTPD.org Compromised, Backdoor Distributed [slashdot.org]

However for the most part I agree with you and don't run any antivirus software myself, at least at home, i am forced to at work.

Re:Antivirus? (1, Interesting)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#34423058)

The fact the ProFTPD backdoor is news is because it's so rare.

Malware on Windows? Not news. Not when there are millions of signatures.

Why do Windows boosters *always* use the false equivalence fallacy when it comes subjects such as this?

--
BMO

Re:Antivirus? (1)

leonardluen (211265) | more than 2 years ago | (#34423124)

look, i don't have neither a pro nor anti linux or windows agenda. i use both systems at home linux works great as a server, windows as a desktop.

i guess the point i am trying to make is that if you don't read and understand all the source code before you compile it isn't really any safer than running a precompiled binary/executable. because unless you read and understand the source code entirely you really don't know what could be hiding in it.

Re:Antivirus? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34423036)

I know what you mean. Antivirus software is sort of like the police: they don't really prevent crime, but mostly do the job of investigating crime after it happens. Similarly, no antivirus software I've come in contact with has ever caught a virus prior to infection. Usually (but not always) it can find a virus after infection. Occasionally, it can remove or fix a virus, but none of the really stealthy ones.

I no longer run antivirus software on my Windows boxes either. I rely on script-blocking at the browser, virtual machines, and common sense. Ultimately, the best antivirus software is between your ears.

I have not had a virus in five years. Before that, I had not had one in three years. Meanwhile, I enjoy the benefits of a system that is not slowed down by antivirus bloatware.

Re:Antivirus? (1)

larppaxyz (1333319) | more than 2 years ago | (#34423126)

I never have had any virus scanner running on background, i only manually run it every now and then. Never had any viruses, plenty of 'scary' cookies and stuff like that, but nothing else. This could be because i pretty much know what i'm doing, i don't search porn sites with IE6 and i only install software that i already know from somewhere.

Re:Antivirus? (1)

igreaterthanu (1942456) | more than 2 years ago | (#34423226)

Does anyone on slashdot still run antivirus software in the background?

Some of us have to maintain computers for family/friends. Said people are not always the brightest when it comes to computers. Unless you haven't upgraded in the last 10 years, your computer should easily be able to run an antivirus without much noticeable performance issues. Myself, I am very glad I was too lazy to upgrade AVG yesterday.

Re:Antivirus? (1)

aarggh (806617) | more than 2 years ago | (#34423290)

I haven't run antivirus software in years and I've never had a virus.

I'd say there's a very good chance you have viruses and/or trojans already but just don't know it. On my home network it's a constant battle not only with the staid sites I use but especially with the sites the teenagers frequent to keep machines clean. These days you just cannot afford to not run anti-virus if you have your machine connected to any network or use any form of USB devices, and this is especially so if you use your machines for any type of online banking/financial transactions! I run multiple packages, Comodo free firewall/IDS, Peerblock, and Trend Anti-virus. As the i5 and i7 CPU's have all the grunt you could want, having several background security apps running now doesn't have any appreciable performance impact on a system.

Re:Antivirus? (1)

EnsilZah (575600) | more than 2 years ago | (#34423386)

Using a USB dongle where I study can infect it with anywhere between 1 and 4 different malware, I don't know, maybe the IT staff are incompetent, maybe it the large number of Macs leaving them with not much experience with Windows, maybe it's just the heavy use of USB dongles.

It wouldn't be a good idea to stick your dongle into one of those machines without protection.

Re:Antivirus? (1)

shadowrat (1069614) | more than 2 years ago | (#34423606)

I mean, it's not exactly hard. Download from sourceforge, compile from source, use sandboxie, whatever.

did you comb through all the source to that thing you compiled? I didn't, but i assumed you did so it must be safe.

AVG? Feh. (4, Informative)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 2 years ago | (#34422824)

Does anyone actually use AVG anymore? There was a time when it was awesome, but it just got crazy bloated and slow...

Re:AVG? Feh. (3, Informative)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 2 years ago | (#34422896)

I run AVG but not the default versions. Well, it's the same except I disable the link scanning, tool bars, and id protection crap and it seems to be smooth and light.

Re:AVG? Feh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34422962)

Every program runs smooth and light if you disable most of it.

Re:AVG? Feh. (1)

An ominous Cow art (320322) | more than 2 years ago | (#34423060)

Same here. It's still annoying at times, but once those are turned off, it's usable.

Re:AVG? Feh. (5, Insightful)

JeffSpudrinski (1310127) | more than 2 years ago | (#34422972)

I've been discouraging my friends/customers from using it for about 18 months now.

Agreed that it was once awesome, but they took a dive when they starting including that crappy IE plugin tool that pre-verifies all the results of your searches.

They also make it nigh on impossible to find the free version on their site (or it was hard last time I looked, which has been a while).

While all AV programs are prone to screwing something up, this one won't help their already soured reputation.

I've been using Avast and Sophos for a while now and had little issues with either of them.

-JJS

Re:AVG? Feh. (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 2 years ago | (#34423504)

Yeah, seems Microsoft Security Essentials should have done them in. Probably a lot of people just use them because they have for a few years out of habit.

Re:AVG? Feh. (1)

Gonoff (88518) | more than 2 years ago | (#34423506)

I do. Am on Win7 64bit. Ran the upgrade last night and it seems fine here.

Re:AVG? Feh. (1)

b0bby (201198) | more than 2 years ago | (#34423562)

Since I first tried out Microsoft Security Essentials that's what I've advised people who ask me what to run on the home machines to use. I use it on my Win7 machine & it's unobtrusive, which I like. For work I like NOD32, which equally just does its job & otherwise is not noticed. I had an issue with AVG on an XP machine years ago and one problem like that is enough for me.

AVG is Garbage (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34422828)

AVG is trash and has been since at least vserion 8. We're using the enterprise version 9.0, with the 2011 management console at my organization, and today it started pushing out its AVG toolbar to everyone.

Wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34422840)

Didn't this happen once already?

Microsoft Security Essentuals (5, Insightful)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 2 years ago | (#34422856)

I used to recommend AVG as the free anti-virus solution to people, but Microsoft Security Essentials has a much smaller footprint, it doesn't harass you to upgrade to a paid version, and it has a better detection rate.

AVG isn't particularly great when comparing free or paid products these days.

Re:Microsoft Security Essentuals (1)

cobrausn (1915176) | more than 2 years ago | (#34422886)

Agreed. Started using it not too long ago and it works well. Whenever any of my relatives call me to get them to fix their XP machines, I just tell them to either get Windows 7 with MSE or to learn to use Linux.

Re:Microsoft Security Essentuals (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34422942)

Agreed on that one - I've migrated away from recommending AVG or AVAST to Microsoft Security Essentials to any Windows user who doesn't want to shell out for an AV.

(The turning point was the AVG link scanner. That was a terrible idea and a sure sign it was headed for the toilet quickly.)

To any who do prefer higher-quality, paid antivirus software, I've found ESET NOD32 to be consistently excellent, or Kaspersky AV if you want to trade speed for thoroughness on deeply-nested archives (not always a good idea). (I have to begrudgingly admit that the newest Norton is not completely awful like we've come to expect but still isn't something that would ever appear on my recommendation list. McAfee would never appear there under any circumstances.)

Re:Microsoft Security Essentuals (1)

bemymonkey (1244086) | more than 2 years ago | (#34423050)

Same here. MSSE has been stellar in the time it's been available... glad I switched from AVG :)

Agreed 110%: Great program... apk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34423054)

"I used to recommend AVG as the free anti-virus solution to people, but Microsoft Security Essentials has a much smaller footprint, it doesn't harass you to upgrade to a paid version, and it has a better detection rate." - by Enderandrew (866215) on Thursday December 02, @04:04PM (#34422856) Homepage

Per my subject-line above - Agreed, 110%... & I used to do the same (recommend AVG Free, for folks that didn't have the "coins/dead-presidents" to afford a paid-for antivirus solution), until I tried MS Security Essentials (good stuff, surprisingly so).

My license for ESET's NOD32 64-bit (a great program in & of itself, but pay for ware) for Windows 7 ran out, & MS had JUST put out Security Essentials (a combined antispyware/antivirus program afaik, no less) & I tried it: Haven't strayed from it since!

APK

P.S.=> They update signatures like crazy too, around 2-4 times a day in fact (I do it manually from here -> http://www.microsoft.com/security/portal/Definitions/ADL.aspx [microsoft.com] so I get a "pretty good picture" of how often this program can update itself (automatically - which it can do but I choose to do it myself manually is all))... apk

Re:Microsoft Security Essentuals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34423420)

The responses in this thread blow me away. You all trust the antivirus option from Microsoft... the people that make the software which gets owned by the most exploits (IE, Outlook, Word, etc.)?

Perhaps you also advocate using the mafia's protection services to stop crime?

Re:Microsoft Security Essentuals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34423660)

The responses in this thread blow me away. You all trust the antivirus option from Microsoft... the people that make the software which gets owned by the most exploits (IE, Outlook, Word, etc.)?

On the browser side actually FireFox and Opera has the most vulnarebilities.

Internet Explorer deemed least vulnerable browser [infoworld.com]

Report: Firefox is the world's most vulnerable browser [computerworld.com]

Firefox most vulnerable browser, Safari close second [net-security.org]

Re:Microsoft Security Essentuals (1)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | more than 2 years ago | (#34423452)

How do I get the icon out of the system tray?

I don't want an icon down there unless I am infected. How can I get MSE to do this?

Re:Microsoft Security Essentuals (1)

Groghunter (932096) | more than 2 years ago | (#34423474)

What i changed over to last night when AVG broke my machine, lol.

First time (at least in a long time) AVG Failed me (1)

MrWin2kMan (918702) | more than 2 years ago | (#34422872)

I was happily working along on the Dell Latitude E6500 laptop I justed picked up off of eBay (after replacing the hard drive and reinstalling Win7Prox64 of course), when AVG asked to reboot. I did so, and...system restore popped up. Okay, I knew AVG screwed something up, because this just doesn't normally happen. After getting back into the system and having it happen again, I uninstalled AVG Free 2011 until they get it fixed.

Re:First time (at least in a long time) AVG Failed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34422950)

I had a similar experience, but it was on my 2 year old gaming laptop.

Glad to see that it was a fault in AVG and not a hardware failure.

Security Essentials (4, Informative)

PIPBoy3000 (619296) | more than 2 years ago | (#34422876)

I used to recommend AVG, and have since switched to telling family members to use Windows Security Essentials. AVG isn't the lightweight, unobtrusive piece of software it used to be.

Re:Security Essentials (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 2 years ago | (#34423130)

That is my experience exactly. I stopped using AVG when it went to version 8 and became bloatware. I switched to using Microsoft Security Essentials for all of my Windows boxes and recomend it for all of the people I provide informal support for,

AVG Free Edition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34422882)

Is the free edition free of testing or is it a testbed for the premium version ?

What the.... (1, Troll)

Slash.Poop (1088395) | more than 2 years ago | (#34422902)

Why is /. not blaming this on M$?

Re:What the.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34422996)

Because M$ has its own blanket parties, this one is for AVG only.

Re:What the.... (1)

anyGould (1295481) | more than 2 years ago | (#34423186)

Why is /. not blaming this on M$?

Not that people won't try, but this one is pretty clearly on AVG - if you're going to make your updates mandatory, make damn sure that you don't have any showstopper bugs in there.

I'm guessing they'll be busily pointing to the fine print that says "even if we deliberately screwed your computer up, it's not our fault"

Between McAfee and AVG... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34422920)

Can we can label 2010 the year of the anti-virus uprising?

First problem with AVG (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34422952)

That was really frustrating this morning, I woke up to a machine stuck in a reboot/blue screen/reboot cycle. Took me awhile to dig out my old Vista CD and roll back with a system restore.

But this is the first trouble I've ever had with AVG, still sucks it slipped through quality control. I guess I get what I paid for (since I was using the free version)

Re:First problem with AVG (1)

Runefox (905204) | more than 2 years ago | (#34423074)

AVG started going downhill at 8, and then nose-dived at 9 when they had the focus stealing [avg.com] issue and another that a coworker of mine reported regarding the Outlook/Exchange plugin failing to update and causing Outlook to crash on startup (this was also a widespread issue, but I don't believe it got as much press seeing as most organizations using Outlook or the Exchange plugin aren't using AVG). Worse was their response to the issue, which as I recall was initially lazy denial.

This now hardly surprises me. I've migrated from AVG to Avast, and not only is it far lighter, but it's also faster and has never once given me grief. It's one of the best overall AV's according to AV-Comparatives (AVG is, too), and next to Security Essentials for the less technically-minded, it's all I recommend.

Not suprising... (5, Funny)

Cyno01 (573917) | more than 2 years ago | (#34422982)

Of course something like this would happen with a free program, you get what you pay for. Nothing like this would ever happen with one of the quality anti virus programs, like McAfee...

Re:Not suprising... (1)

Shadow99_1 (86250) | more than 2 years ago | (#34423210)

That had to have been an attempt at humor... Especially since I seem to recall both Norton and McAfee having issues which remind me of this in past versions...

I guess it just means AVG has joined the Norton and McAfee club...

Fix: use Linux to rename files (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34422986)

I downloaded the rescue cd image. Now where is my source code?

Re:Fix: use Linux to rename files (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34423400)

It's up your ass. Make sure you dig deep.

WTF? (1)

GF678 (1453005) | more than 2 years ago | (#34422990)

Aren't updates tested before being pushed out? Or would useful testing of definitions take too long with modern AV software that they just pass the barest of qualifications before being approved?

Re:WTF? (5, Funny)

olddoc (152678) | more than 2 years ago | (#34423240)

Sure they are tested. The problem ONLY occurs on rebooting. Who ever has to reboot a Windows computer?

Re:WTF? (1)

igreaterthanu (1942456) | more than 2 years ago | (#34423268)

This wasn't a definition update, it was an update to the client software. They absolutely would have had time to do more testing.

Got burned with this ... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 2 years ago | (#34423032)

I got burned with this this morning. I had to boot into my Windows install CD and revert to a save point. I'm quite underwhelmed.

Quite frankly, I'm actually getting tired of AVG suddenly deciding that I need to restart my computer so that it can finish an upgrade that I didn't initiate it. It's my computer, and I will decide when to do upgrades and when to f-ing reboot -- that's the one thing about Windows machines that still drives me crazy, every ^$#^#% application deciding that what I really need to do is reboot.

Knowing that it was AVG that cost me an hour this morning.

So, Slashdot, what are my alternatives to move away from AVG?

Re:Got burned with this ... (3, Informative)

jesseck (942036) | more than 2 years ago | (#34423128)

Microsoft Security Essentials. It may be from Microsoft, but it's a good piece of software. Licensed for home users and businesses with 10 or less computers- it's what I've been pushing my small business customers to lately. It's lightweight, unobtrusive, and performs checks well.

Alternatives to AVG? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34423134)

So, Slashdot, what are my alternatives to move away from AVG?

Linux
BSD
Mac
Plan9
BeOS
AmigaOS
Atari
TRS80 ...

Re:Got burned with this ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34423158)

On my Windows boxes I usually use a VM for surfing and whatnot. If it gets a virus, I just blow the VM and create a new one.

Re:Got burned with this ... (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 2 years ago | (#34423190)

You've probably seen the recommendations by now, but Microsoft Security Essentials is a good one.

(Mostly because it is intended to simply be free, not to harass you; I expect the scan quality is pretty much the same all round. Also, MSE isn't any more resource hungry than the last version of AVG I used, and I didn't have to be careful to avoid installing extra browser crap.)

Re:Got burned with this ... (2)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 2 years ago | (#34423312)

You've probably seen the recommendations by now, but Microsoft Security Essentials is a good one.

I might try that --- though, admittedly, if Microsoft is so good at detecting the viruses, why don't they just prevent them better?

But, AVG has really become obtrusive and annoying of late. Forcing it to not install toolbars, telling it I don't want to install "PC Analyzer", having it whine that I should upgrade to the paid version, constantly asking to reboot, and now hosing my machine ... well, they're running out of goodwill.

Re:Got burned with this ... (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 2 years ago | (#34423578)

I might try that --- though, admittedly, if Microsoft is so good at detecting the viruses, why don't they just prevent them better?

What do you suggest?

Require every .exe to be examined carefully by a Microsoft employee before executing? Sending a task squad to every Windows-using household to give them a 3-hour lecture on phishing and computer security? Fix security holes in other vendors' (Apple and Adobe primarily) products?

Praytell, what should they be doing *specifically*, that they aren't doing now?

Go bareback! (1)

goodmanj (234846) | more than 2 years ago | (#34423316)

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Antivirus causes more problems than it solves. You're far better off using a modern operating system (Mac, Linux, Win7, anything but XP) with no antivirus and religious attention to system updates.

This opinion may be totally uninformed and wrong, but since I never use Windows for anything mission-critical, I don't care if I turn out to be wrong.

Thought of a title this morning as I wrote... (1)

gsgriffin (1195771) | more than 2 years ago | (#34423370)

about this same item first thing this morning. "AVG Update Stops Viruses From Running...And OS"

Yep, got me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34423460)

I restored my Windows to a previous point( having done a pretty lame windows update the other day for IE 8 Compatability). I knew the restore would be minimal. I could reboot and redown the update after updating my antivirus ( worked second time) and verify that it wasn't caused from another reason, as no one had yet posted a problem with AVG.

How many times... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34423636)

How many times must AVG release a version that eats computers before people stop using that shitware?

Microsoft Security Essentials is free. So is Avast! and Clamwin.

Clam AV? (1)

Ralphus Maximus (594419) | more than 2 years ago | (#34423642)

So I see that Clam AV has a windows version. Is it any good?

Cheers,
RM

Not just 64-bit (1)

tpstigers (1075021) | more than 2 years ago | (#34423694)

This happened to me about a month ago on a 32-bit Windows 7 box. Woke up to a BSOD caused by a wee hours AVG update. Used system restore to fix the box, got rid of AVG, installed Microsoft Security Essentials and haven't looked back.
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