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Windows 7: Avast Freezes in Foreground

29 Nov 2017   #1
w7fusr

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
Avast Freezes in Foreground

A serious problem.

Avast freezes and there is no way to tell whether it's working. I've uninstalled and reinstalled it a couple of times, the second time following the steps suggested for troubleshooting if Avast components are not working properly.

When the app started up just after installation, clicking on the 'continue' button caused the cursor to stick to the UI indelibly. That means that wherever the cursor is moved, that window goes, and nothing else can be clicked-upon/selected. It prevents any other activity from being undertaken.
Hitting the left Windows key and typing 'task' enabled the taskmanager app to be selected with the enter key; that is configured this time to be replaced by Comodo Killswitch, which was the only thing that made possible stoppage of the Glued Cursor in the Avast UI. The Windows 7 task manager failed to stop this behaviour when the problem first appeared and when the machine was first crippled and the Avast needed to be uninstalled, so Comodo Killswitch was the second resort.

'You are protected' popup appears, but right-clicking icon in systray does nothing except open the context menu, which then sticks there in the foreground, preventing any other activity. I've used Comodo 'force terminate' to stop that behaviour and then have succeeded in left-clicking the systray icon to open the interface. However if 'Smart Scan' is clicked, the scan does not start up.

All the following steps were attempted:

Quote:
Uninstall Avast Antivirus from the system using the Avast Uninstall Utility as described in the following article:

Manually delete any remaining Avast folders in the following default locations:
64 bit type/version:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Avast Software or C:\Program Files (x86)\Alwil Software
C:\ProgramData\Avast Software or C:\ProgramData\Alwil Software
PLEASE NOTE: Depending on your system preferences, the folders referenced above could be hidden.

Manually uninstall Avast Firewall Driver (or Avast Firewall NDIS Filter Driver) if it exists in the Properties of your Network connections, by following these steps:
In Windows Explorer, right-click the Network icon on the left panel, and select
Properties from the context menu to open Network and Sharing Center.
Click Change adapter settings in the left panel to open Network connections.
Right-click one of your connection icons (for example, Local Area Connection) and
select Properties from the context menu.

Reboot your computer and start Windows in Safe Mode by following the instructions on the Microsoft website:

Advanced startup options (including safe mode)
In Windows Safe Mode:
Search and delete all files starting with aswNdis*.* if any exist in the following folder and its subfolders:
C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore

Search and rename the file INFCACHE.1 to INFCACHE.1.BAK if it exists in the following default folders:
C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore
C:\Windows\Inf

If Windows (started in Safe Mode) refuses to delete any of these files, take ownership of the files as follows:
In Windows Explorer, right-click the file that you want to take ownership of, then click Properties from the context menu.
Click the Security tab, and then click Advanced.
Click the Owner tab, and then click Edit (click Yes if prompted by User Account Control dialog for permissions).
Below the Name in the list click Administrator or click the Administrators group, then click OK repeatedly until all opened dialogs are closed.

Clear all offline content and cookies from your web browser by following the instructions available on its vendor's website:
Internet Explorer:
Offline content | Cookies
Mozilla Firefox:
Offline content | Cookies
Google Chrome:
Offline content | Cookies

Temporarily turn off any firewall software.

Download and install the latest version of Avast Antivirus.
If you don't have Avast Premier or Avast Internet Security which include a built-in firewall, turn on your firewall software.

One of the steps proved impossible;

Quote:
Search and rename the file INFCACHE.1 to INFCACHE.1.BAK if it exists in the following default folders:
C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore
C:\Windows\Inf
Taking ownership failed. The folder was read-only. Changing the read-only status and taking ownership and then attempting to rename INFCACHE.1 to INFCACHE.1.BAK resulted in an error message 'access denied'.

After some reading advised deletion of INFCACHE.1 to force Windows to rebuild the USB driver cache, I've deleted it. Attempts to restore the file to the Driverstore folder failed with the error message 'you need permission... access denied'. After an external device was plugged in it has been rebuilt.

I'm absolutely at a loss as to how as Administrator these actions, as Owner, are still inaccessible.

And still at a loss as to why after all troubleshooting instructions were followed Avast continues to malfunction.

A Malwarebytes scan has found no problems.

Comodo Firewall is and has been in Safe Mode unless terminated as stipulated in troubleshooting instructions.

What might the problem be and how do I get Avast going again?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
29 Nov 2017   #2
ICIT2LOL

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10
 
 

Hello and welcome w7usr mate I just want to ask just what do you actually want because your post is rather lengthy and I got the impression you want Avast off the computer and Comodo on?? To be frank Avast is reasonably good but has in my time on this forum been a recurring problematic software.

Now I have found in the past that AV removal tools are not always that thorough if i ever use them myself I alwasy check in the registry for remnants an example of this happening is Norton because if the removal tool is used for it then one can be fairly sure you will find entries under Symantec still in the registry.

But as I said just what are you trying to do and by the by I never use those driver finder softwares bar one and that only in dire emergencies because most are crap.

Now if you want to do a thorough scan then try this Kaspersky Rescue Disk 10
it runs in a non Windows environment and will check everything if malware is suspected this will generally find it wherever it is dug in.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Nov 2017   #3
w7fusr

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Well thanks so much for your response ICIT2LOL... the first in 121 views.

My question:
Quote:
What might the problem be and how do I get Avast going again?
Maybe a case of TLDNR, but that's the risk you run avoiding criticisms of incomplete info.

Actually there is a nested issue there as well: the problem of being thwarted from taking ownership of files/folders. Something has wrested control of my own damned machine from me. I really hate that.

I've already carried out the approximate steps you suggest. As it turns out the only possible course of action has been to uninstall Avast in safe mode using their avastclear utility.

Then CCleaner scoured out the registry.

Following the disruption of my work, the wastage of time and complete lack of response over at the Avast 'support' forum I would be very wary of using Avast again. I preferred them for maybe a decade, but the very numerous ad popups and removal of user control have finally turned the tide. I"m the sort who likes continuity, consistency AND agency, and I go to greater lengths than some to resolve problems rather than do the baby/bathwater thing. If they've lost someone like me they're really doing something wrong.

Microsoft Security Essentials and a rootkit detector it is.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

29 Nov 2017   #4
ICIT2LOL

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10
 
 

Okmate no worries and do't worry I always trawl the unanswered because soem folks get left for ages.

Now if the Kaspersky sacn didn't come up with anyhting then maybe it is an idea to get your data saved as a safety measure.

Now if you go into the registry as admin the go through the HKEYs LOCAL_MACHINE & CURRENT _USER open them up and scroll to Software and then scroll down the listings of entries and you might just find Avast listed soemwhere do bot HKEYs > Software to make sure. If you find an entry labeled Avast then right click it and then hit delete it will remoe all of that entry.

To get to the registry hit Start> type "regedit" without the quotes > then right click run as admin and the reg will appear fr you

No just as a precaution against deleting something you shouldn't have by accident or whatever BEFORE you do the deleting do this from the linked tutorial below it will save the registry as is and if you do make a mistake then you can always merge the registry back form that saved file/folder

Registry - Backup and Restore - Windows 7 Help Forums

If I am telling my grandmother how to suck eggs please let me know as you sound as if you are confident in finding your way around a computer but for my peace of mind I always say this to members.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Nov 2017   #5
w7fusr

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Yes your nana is ok with egg-sucking already, but I do thank you sincerely for taking the trouble to offer help.

Still the mystery remains: what the hell happened to Avast???

I'm very interested to see how Microsoft Security Essentials will go. It's been a long time, as in forever, that I've been using other free AVs.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Nov 2017   #6
ICIT2LOL

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10
 
 

So I gather then that the Avast has completely gone and well in your instance probably just as well. Now there are a few options for a free AV though MSE is ok but this is a bit of a guide I always use
Free Windows Desktop Software Security List | Gizmo's Freeware have a look at the real time stuff and I would recommend - Kaspersky, Bitdefender, Sophos, and Panda some o them I would not have if it came with gold plating like AVG, Baidu Muck Afee , Clam out of the lot I reckon Kaspersky is the best as i have run the paid version for many years on my Windows machines and the free version is only lacking some of the "bling" software like child tampering etc have none so I don't have to worry LOL!!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Nov 2017   #7
w7fusr

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Lol

MSE was Gizmo's second choice; that's why it was mine. I've tried several of those others, but they were cumbersome and not highly rated for efficacy.

All semi-ok now.

Next step will be to use windows 7's System File Checker to straighten things up there.

I guess I can't mark this as solved...

Thanks again and all the best.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Dec 2017   #8
ICIT2LOL

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10
 
 

Ok mate if you run sfc it is often recommended you do it for three runs at once because of stuff possibly being mised but th choice is yours

Personally I think a chkdsk is the way to go too see this Disk Check - Windows 7 Help Forums and when I do this myself I use the /f switch and if I am really feeling pedantic the /r switch as well and I prefer to do this through the Command prompt as in Option 2 as again I am a tad pedantic with thses things.

I'm surprised you found the Kaspersky freebie too much but one mans food another poison eh?? LOL!! I use MSE for friends machines on fixes but not on my machines though I have to admit I am trying out Linux based system's right now because I am not a fan of the 10 anymore. If ever you are curious I would recommend you try Linux Mint MATE 18.3 - not that different form 7.

Good luck and have a Happy Christmas:)

John
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Dec 2017   #9
Layback Bear

Windows 10 Pro. 64/ version 1709 Windows 7 Pro/64
 
 

If sfc /scannow finds problems, reboot and do it again. Up to 3 times with reboots after each.

The reason for this is; some of the problems sfc /scannow finds it can only repair with a reboot.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

Avast has been wondering off on a lot of side trails. Outside the realm of anti virus program. They have been going to cleaning and tuning computers. In my opinion they should of stuck with a anti virus program where they seemed to being a good job.

I personally been using MSE for years on my system without problems.
I also use Malwarebytes Premium at the same time. (both active).


Jack
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Dec 2017   #10
ICIT2LOL

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Layback Bear View Post
If sfc /scannow finds problems, reboot and do it again. Up to 3 times with reboots after each.

The reason for this is; some of the problems sfc /scannow finds it can only repair with a reboot.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

Avast has been wondering off on a lot of side trails. Outside the realm of anti virus program. They have been going to cleaning and tuning computers. In my opinion they should of stuck with a anti virus program where they seemed to being a good job.

I personally been using MSE for years on my system without problems.
I also use Malwarebytes Premium at the same time. (both active).


Jack
I agree with all what jack has said and look once you find an AV that suits you just stick with it and just be careful what you do on the net it isn't rockets science. I can only think that what Avast has done is just power grabbing thye should have stuck to what they did best because the stuff like CCleaner now being a bit of a worry to me at least.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Avast Freezes in Foreground




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