Author Topic: Why is avast! unable to scan these files and suggestions for handling them  (Read 5525 times)

Offline Spartan18

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Hello, I am a newer avast! user and this is my first post in the forum. 

I am using avast! Free Home Edition, Version 4.8.1296.  (My computer specs are at the end of this message)

My computer knowledge level is pretty novice, so please forgive me in advance if I have any trouble following some of the suggestions and instructions, or don’t understand some of the terminology.  Detailed step-by-step help is much appreciated.

I ran an avast! virus scan and had some questions about the “Results of last scan” window that pops up at the end of the scan.

QUESTION #1:
Is there a way (and if so how) to expand the “Results of last scan” window so that all characters can be seen (the full, complete file name) for each of the columns (“Name of File”, “Result”, and “Operation”)?



QUESTION #2:
How do I determine what to do (i.e., Move To Chest, Delete, etc.) with files that have in the “Result” column of “Unable to scan: Ar…” or  “Unable to scan: T…”?

For example, after completing the scan, it shows 1,288 files that have a “Result” of "Unable to scan: Ar…" or “Unable to scan: T…”.   (I don’t know what “Ar…” or “T…” stands for, or what the differences between them are?)

All of these file names are too long to show the “complete” file name (hence my first question above), so each of these file names have \…\ in the middle of them.  The vast majority of the file names end with .exe (or .EXE in all caps), but there is a bunch of .OCX, a few .COM, and a .PIF.

The breakdown of the 1,288 files are as follows:

A)  1,260 of them are Unable to scan: Ar… with a file name that starts out as follows:
c:\Windows\Temp\NSW2005\NCS\

B)  6 files start out with:
c:\Program Files\Pest Patrol\Spyware\.dat\
(FYI, I previously used Pest Patrol, but stopped when it no longer supported Windows 98SE)

C)  The remaining 18 files are on my external hard drive (f:).  Of these, 2 are Winzip application files, 13 are compressed .rar files I recognize that I had previously downloaded.  Three of them I am not sure what they are (again, if I knew how to make the complete file name viewable it would help).  The three unknowns are:
f:\Software Programs\…\dec0de.txt
f:\Software Programs\…\ fil_id.dlz
f:\Software Programs\…\Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0.exe



QUESTION #3:
 In summary, for questions 2 A/B/C, I am essentially trying to figure out two things.
*  One, why is avast! “unable to scan” these particular files?
Two, which files, if any, are recommended (and or safe) to be either "Moved to the Chest" or "Deleted" entirely?
 

Any help anyone could share would be genuinely appreciated.




System Information:
Computer Model:  Dell Dimension XPS T450
Processor:  Pentium III, 450mhz
SD RAM:  640 MB
Operating System:  Windows 98SE

avast! Free Home Edition,  Version 4.8.1296 
avast! CLEANER, version 1.0.211

Online DavidR

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Many programs (usually security based ones) password protect their files for legitimate reasons such as AdAware and Spybot Search & Destroy, there are others (and avast doesn't know the password or have any way of using it even if it did know it).

When you run scans with the above programs and you delete harmful entries that they detect, a copy is kept (in quarantine/restore/backup) in case you need to reverse what you did. These are usually password protected, you should do some housekeeping and delete old backup/recovery/quarantine entries (older than two weeks or so), this will reduce the numbers of files that can't be scanned.

By examining 1) the reason given by avast! for not being able to scan the files, 2) the location of the files, you can get an idea of what program they relate to. You may need to expand the column headings to see all the text. If you can give some examples of those file names, the locations and reason given why it can't be scanned might help us further ?

Files that can't be scanned are just that, not an indication they are suspicious/infected, just unable to be scanned.

By expanding the column width, drag the column title to expand it, see image.

Once you expand the column you would see Ar is Archive is password protected, off the top of my head I can't remember what the T is, could be The file is in use by another program, etc.

I would recommend that you clear temp locations periodically.
CCleaner - Temp File Cleaner, etc.

If you don't use Pest Patrol any longer that you uninstall it and clear out any remnants, e.g. program folders, etc.
Core2Duo E8300/ 4GB Ram/ WinXP ProSP3/ avast! free 2014 9.0.2018/ Outpost Firewall Pro9.1/ Firefox 28.0, NoScript, RequestPolicy/ MailWasher Pro/ DropMyRights/ MalwareBytes AntiMalware Premium 2.0.1/ WinPatrol+/ Drive Image 7.1/ SnagIt 10.0/ avast! mobile security

Offline Spartan18

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David:

Thanks for the response.

Three additional follow-up questions (in red text below) for David or anyone else that would like to help:

QUESTION 1:
How do I make the “Results of Scan” window columns wider so I can view all characters in the “Name of file” and “Result” columns (i.e., view the complete File name and Result description)? 


I still can’t figure it out.

I seems I can ONLY do two things:
A)  Click my arrow cursor on a file name row and than click on the “Action” button and make a selection from the drop-down menu………..  OR
B) Click on the close window “X” at the top right hand side of the window (which of course, with the Free Home Version, once closed, can only be view again by completing an entirely new scan).

I have tried to “click and drag” on the vertical column divider lines to widen the columns, but cannot make this work as the cursor will not “grab” the lines.


QUESTION 2:
What is the best way to search for and find/locate any remnant files, program folders, etc. so they can be deleted.?


For one example, apparently the 1,260 files noted as "unable to scan" in this post that had “NSW” in the file name turn out to be “Norton System Works” anti-virus related files- a program I uninstalled a couple years ago!


QUESTION 3:
A)  In an unrelated question, keeping in mind my OS is Win98SE (which I know limits my options), what other programs, in addition to CCleaner, would anyone highly recommend to protect my system and information- if free, all the better ;D?

B)  Has anyone tried and have any opinions on Spyware Doctor v4 (which I know is not free)?

Online DavidR

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1. Click on the image I posted is opens it up. You will see the mouse pointer has changed (double pointer) when you move it over the column separator. As the instruction said Drag (left click and hold) the pointer to the right, but it has to be done when the double pointer is displayed.

Does the mouse pointer change when you hover the pointer over the column separator as in my image ?

This works for mouse windows applications with a column layout and works for me.

2. By using explorer check if the program folders mentioned in your post above are still there and if so remove them. You have already given their locations, just navigate to them using windows explorer.
c:\Windows\Temp\NSW2005\ 
c:\Program Files\Pest Patrol\

I have no experience of spyware doctor.
The others on the external drive I would just ignore, don't lose sight of what I said earlier. Files that can't be scanned are just that, not an indication they are suspicious/infected, just unable to be scanned.

3. I'm so out of touch with win98 I can't say what is likely to work with it but I do know you are likely to be limited.

Some to check out :
1. SUPERantispyware On-Demand only in free version.
2. MalwareBytes Anti-Malware, On-Demand only in free version http://download.bleepingcomputer.com/malwarebytes/mbam-setup.exe, right click on the link and select Save As or Save File (As depending on your browser), save it to a location where you can find it easily later.
3. Or Spyware Terminator Resident scanner (if you use this don't install the toolbar or crawler or the anti-virus module). Or a-Squared free, this one I think works with win98.

- I suggest trying them in order as the order that represents the better detection and clean-up. Some elements of the programs might not work if you have an older OS like win9x or winME, this is namely the resident protection in SpywareTerminator.

4. Spywareblaster Don't install this until you are clean. This is a passive tool and should work with win98 and can be used by any of the above.
Core2Duo E8300/ 4GB Ram/ WinXP ProSP3/ avast! free 2014 9.0.2018/ Outpost Firewall Pro9.1/ Firefox 28.0, NoScript, RequestPolicy/ MailWasher Pro/ DropMyRights/ MalwareBytes AntiMalware Premium 2.0.1/ WinPatrol+/ Drive Image 7.1/ SnagIt 10.0/ avast! mobile security

 

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