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Consumer Products => Avast Free Antivirus / Premium Security (legacy Pro Antivirus, Internet Security, Premier) => Topic started by: EmoHobo on June 29, 2012, 11:50:53 AM

Title: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: EmoHobo on June 29, 2012, 11:50:53 AM
Can someone explain this to me and let me know if it's actually needed to be there, I only found out about it through CCleaner.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: SafeSurf on June 29, 2012, 11:54:14 AM
It is part of the new Avast 7.0.1451 version.  I'm surprised to see it in CCleaner though.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: EmoHobo on June 29, 2012, 11:55:59 AM
It is part of the new Avast 7.0.1451 version.  I'm surprised to see it in CCleaner though.
Well they have a tab for scheduled tasks and it was on there, if it's a new feature, I'll leave it alone, it's just change and as a user of the internet, I know all change is evil.

But seriously, I just wanted to know more about it.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: Pondus on June 29, 2012, 11:58:13 AM
What is Emergency Update feature in avast? what does it do?

Quote
“A new feature — allows us to push out critical product updates in case of some big issues where the main avast service is not able to start / crashing.
Such situations, till this new version, meant the user had to reinstall avast as there was no way for us to fix such problems from remote.
With this new mechanism, we can push out fixes even to such issues”.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: EmoHobo on June 29, 2012, 12:03:03 PM
So basically it really only runs if there is a problem with Avast, I like that, but I'm also worried it's giving someone from the outside access to my computer or something since the word "remote" was used, I know it doesn't work like that, but paranoid me panics at that word.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: Pondus on June 29, 2012, 12:14:31 PM
So basically it really only runs if there is a problem with Avast, I like that, but I'm also worried it's giving someone from the outside access to my computer or something since the word "remote" was used, I know it doesn't work like that, but paranoid me panics at that word.
hmmmm......maybe you should disconnect from internet.   ;D
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: EmoHobo on June 29, 2012, 12:21:14 PM
So basically it really only runs if there is a problem with Avast, I like that, but I'm also worried it's giving someone from the outside access to my computer or something since the word "remote" was used, I know it doesn't work like that, but paranoid me panics at that word.
hmmmm......maybe you should disconnect from internet.   ;D
It is the only way to be safe.

So I should just leave this alone in my scheduled tasks and not worry about it unless Avast isn't working, right?  I mean it's not really going to do anything besides allow Avast to update in case of emergency.

I'm just worried about it somehow being used as a backdoor for something malicious, although if that is the case that means Avast was compromised and we are in trouble no matter what. xD
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: DavidR on June 29, 2012, 12:26:56 PM
So basically it really only runs if there is a problem with Avast, I like that, but I'm also worried it's giving someone from the outside access to my computer or something since the word "remote" was used, I know it doesn't work like that, but paranoid me panics at that word.

Well it doesn't only run if you have a problem with avast, it runs on startup (why you see it in the CCleaner Tools/Startup/Task Scheduler tab) and checks if there are any known issues with avast that have an Emergency Update for to correct the issue.

The idea being if an avast fault would otherwise have taken a clean reinstall to resolve, the Emergency Updater may make that unnecessary.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: Alievitan on June 29, 2012, 12:27:15 PM
Not seeing on my 2 computers from task scheduler or through ccleaner.  They were both upgraded from version 7.0.1426 through the built in updater.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: EmoHobo on June 29, 2012, 12:29:30 PM
So basically it really only runs if there is a problem with Avast, I like that, but I'm also worried it's giving someone from the outside access to my computer or something since the word "remote" was used, I know it doesn't work like that, but paranoid me panics at that word.

Well it doesn't only run if you have a problem with avast, it runs on startup (why you see it in the CCleaner Tools/Startup/Task Scheduler tab) and checks if there are any known issues with avast that have an Emergency Update for to correct the issue.

The idea being if an avast fault would otherwise have taken a clean reinstall to resolve, the Emergency Updater may make that unnecessary.
The value of this outweighs any of my paranoia or fear of changes in familiar softtware, as of right now I really like this new feature, I can only see it avoiding headaches in the future.  I hope my opinion on this doesn't change either due to something Avast does or more likely my own stupidity.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: True Indian on June 29, 2012, 12:30:02 PM
Not seeing on my 2 computers from task scheduler or through ccleaner.  They were both upgraded from version 7.0.1426 through the built in updater.

Not on my win7 system too...i can see it in the tasks only on my XP system...
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: DavidR on June 29, 2012, 12:36:39 PM
Not seeing on my 2 computers from task scheduler or through ccleaner.  They were both upgraded from version 7.0.1426 through the built in updater.

Not on my win7 system too...i can see it in the tasks only on my XP system...

Do either of you happen to have the Scheduled Tasks service disabled, if so it would have to be enabled.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: Alievitan on June 29, 2012, 01:03:46 PM
Nope, scheduled task services is enabled. 
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: True Indian on June 29, 2012, 01:04:28 PM
Do either of you happen to have the Scheduled Tasks service disabled, if so it would have to be enabled.

Not me..i have it enabled..
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: DavidR on June 29, 2012, 01:11:24 PM
A mystery then.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: True Indian on June 29, 2012, 01:15:45 PM
A mystery then.

 ;D   I dont think so as i See the emergencyupdate program in my avast software folder in program files...i cant see anything in tasks on my win7 system but i see the tasks on win XP system
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: DavidR on June 29, 2012, 01:25:19 PM
The mystery is why it isn't in the tasks, the fact that the file is present means nothing as it needs a command to execute.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: True Indian on June 29, 2012, 01:30:52 PM
The mystery is why it isn't in the tasks, the fact that the file is present means nothing as it needs a command to execute.

Probably that only is seen in tasks on Win XP systems [just guessing]..
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: DavidR on June 29, 2012, 02:08:41 PM
Not seen by CCleaner on my win7 system, I don't know why that is, a fault in CCleaner or Task Scheduler or avast, in other words a mystery.

It isn't seen in WinPatrol Plus, Scheduled tasks for win7 but is on my XP system.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: igor on June 29, 2012, 02:17:17 PM
And if you run e.g. Sysinternals AutoRuns - do you see it on the Scheduled Tasks page?
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: DavidR on June 29, 2012, 02:32:26 PM
No, nothing showing up in Autoruns, Scheduled Tasks for win7 32bit, but it does on the XP Pro system.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: naren17 on June 29, 2012, 07:19:04 PM
Same here on Win 7 64.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: SpeedyPC on June 29, 2012, 08:21:37 PM
Not seen by CCleaner on my win7 system, I don't know why that is, a fault in CCleaner or Task Scheduler or avast, in other words a mystery.

It isn't seen in WinPatrol Plus, Scheduled tasks for win7 but is on my XP system.

David I have both showing on my PC WinPatrol and CCleaner see attachment, during the update installation through Avast update from v7.0.1426 to v7.0.1451 did you accept WinPatrol to allow this to run as soon as the popup show up straight away at almost to the end of the update installation before you reboot you're PC ???
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: DavidR on June 29, 2012, 08:37:17 PM
WinPatrol never made a peep as I had previously allowed in in the early beta builds on My XP system, I never got a challenge from WinPatrol Plus on my win7 system which was a UI update from 7.0.1426.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: MikeBCda on June 29, 2012, 09:15:32 PM
My (XP) Scheduled Tasks screen is blank too, except for that standard "add task" icon.  Wonder if the emergency update even works under XP, anyone know?
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: aztony on June 29, 2012, 10:03:11 PM
Quote
you see it in the CCleaner Tools/Startup/Task Scheduler tab)

I see it in Ccleaner's task scheduler, and also in Winpatrol's. For some reason it doesn't show in windows scheduled tasks.



AMD Athlon 3000+ 2.17 GHz, 1.50Gb ram, xp sp3, avast 7.0.1451, Privatefirewall 7, Mbam, SaS, Winpatrol.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: Dch48 on June 29, 2012, 11:39:02 PM
It's not showing in CCleaner for me on Win 7 but I did get a popup from the Avast firewall that it was trying to browse the internet so I allowed it.

It also does not show in Autoruns.

It does show in the Windows 7 Task Scheduler as starting with user logon. It says it has multiple triggers though.

I have many other things showing in the Windows Task Scheduler on the local tab that do not show up in CCleaner.

I'll have to look at the XP machine now where it seems that the results will be exactly the opposite from Win 7.

Well, this is interesting. On the XP machine, the task does not show up anywhere. Not in CCleaner, Autoruns, or the XP Task Scheduler. It simply was never created and does not exist. The .exe file is present in the Avast folder however.

I ran Avast repair and now the task does show in CCleaner and Autoruns but still not in the XP Task Scheduler.  It does seem to run because the firewall prompted that it was trying to connect inside my own computer. In Win7 it said it was trying to browse the web. I have noticed these inconsistencies in the Avast firewall between versions of Windows before so I set the rule to auto-decide for other connections.  I tried to make a task in the Task Scheduler to run emergency update at startup or on logon but the tasks don't work. It says I need to set a password for the user name but that doesn't work either. I can only figure that because I do not use a Windows password to log in it can't find one and therefore the tasks will not run. I'm not going to set a Windows password because that's annoying at every startup so I guess I can't make tasks in XP. That also may be the reason why the Emergency Update task created by Avast does not show in the XP Task Scheduler.

The bottom line is that it seems to be working regardless of where it shows or doesn't show and I guess that's all that really matters.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: hayc59 on June 30, 2012, 04:32:47 AM
Its also in mine as well ;)
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: Dch48 on June 30, 2012, 09:33:26 AM
On the Vista machine, with the free avast version, the task is not showing anywhere. Not in CCleaner, Autoruns, or the Vista Task Manager.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: mesamit on June 30, 2012, 09:36:52 AM
same here in win 7 64bit....task is no where to be found even in win7 task scheduler :(......
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: NON on June 30, 2012, 11:36:45 AM
I have one on my Win7 machine, but not on my Vista machine.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: xSentinel on June 30, 2012, 03:40:31 PM
As someone that prefers to manually update my software myself ...

Can this feature safely be removed/deleted?
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: essexboy on June 30, 2012, 04:42:50 PM
You need to look in the startup tasks as it is not visible in windows tasks..  Autoruns will show it when run as admin
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: hayc59 on June 30, 2012, 04:55:46 PM
duper so sorry
As someone that prefers to manually update my software myself ...

Can this feat
Senure safely be removed/deleted?
Sentinel, hello ;)
maybe kill it or dis-able it using CCleaner??
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: igor on June 30, 2012, 04:58:12 PM
As someone that prefers to manually update my software myself ...

Can this feature safely be removed/deleted?

Yes, you can (though it will probably be recreated on the next program update).
On the other hand, this updater is not meant to be used for ordinary updates - but rather in situations where you wouldn't be able to update manually anyway (without reinstalling).
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: hayc59 on June 30, 2012, 05:14:08 PM
As someone that prefers to manually update my software myself ...

Can this feature safely be removed/deleted?

Yes, you can (though it will probably be recreated on the next program update).
On the other hand, this updater is not meant to be used for ordinary updates - but rather in situations where you wouldn't be able to update manually anyway (without reinstalling).
Hello igor
correct but some folks like me and others do not want second hand control
of update software's of any kind ;)
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: DavidR on June 30, 2012, 05:32:01 PM
It isn't a second hand control, but for a specific purpose as Igor said.

Given that, since this is a Scheduled Task 'startup item' scheduled tasks can also be deleted and as some have mentioned it isn't even listed (not in my win7 32bit starter edition) as a scheduled task.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: Asyn on June 30, 2012, 05:36:05 PM
There are also other ways to block it, but I couldn't find a reason to do so, as it's not doing much, atm.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: Dch48 on June 30, 2012, 10:00:05 PM
You need to look in the startup tasks as it is not visible in windows tasks..  Autoruns will show it when run as admin
Confirmed, if you run autoruns normally in Win 7, the task does not show, but if you run it as an admin, it does. It is also showing in the Win 7 Task Scheduler for me but not in CCleaner.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: igor on June 30, 2012, 10:04:30 PM
correct but some folks like me and others do not want second hand control
of update software's of any kind ;)

I'm not sure what exactly you mean by second hand control (and whatever it is, I find it a bit absurd personally - because you are (probably?) installing virus definition updates automatically - which can change more than this emergency updater was meant to). The emergency updater is meant only for (hypothetical) cases when something (a bad program update, a bad virus definition update) breaks avast! in such a way that its unable to update anymore in the usual way. So, instead of releasing some fix on the web and telling the users to download and run it manually (which might be hard for many users) - this would be the way to deliver it automatically. So the "emergency update" is something like "emergency repair if something went really wrong".
Of course, we hope it's never gonna be used - it's there "just in case".

But as I said, you are free to remove the scheduled task, it won't affect avast's functionality in any way under normal circumstances.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: Dch48 on June 30, 2012, 10:08:18 PM
The Emergency Updater can also be run manually by double clicking the .exe in the Avast folder.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: Lisandro on June 30, 2012, 10:13:49 PM
The Emergency Updater can also be run manually by double clicking the .exe in the Avast folder.
Exactly... No parameters. Easy.
But, what about putting a link in the Start Menu folder of avast?
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: igor on June 30, 2012, 10:21:19 PM
If there's a link in the start menu, people will ask about it, there probably should be some explanation in the help file... it's not really worth the effort for something that hopefully won't be needed.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: Lisandro on June 30, 2012, 10:28:26 PM
Ok. What is it different in the normal update process and the emergency one? I mean, the technical routines.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: Asyn on June 30, 2012, 10:31:23 PM
...there probably should be some explanation in the help file... it's not really worth the effort for something that hopefully won't be needed.

Well, a short paragraph/explanation won't hurt, imo.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: igor on June 30, 2012, 10:36:46 PM
I believe Rejzor described it quite well in some post.
The "emergency update" is as simple as possible, it has nothing to do with the normal update process, it's not really an update. It basically only downloads a file from our server (if any is available - which is normally not the case).
So if this "emergency scenario" occurred, we would have to prepare some fix - a program that would fix the avast! installation. This is just a way of distributing it without the need of user's intervention, nothing else.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: Asyn on June 30, 2012, 10:46:47 PM
Hope you didn't answer to me, as I know this already. ;)
I just suggested to put some info in the help file or the FAQ, but maybe I wasn't clear enough...
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: naren17 on July 05, 2012, 07:22:15 PM
A mystery then.

 ;D   I dont think so as i See the emergencyupdate program in my avast software folder in program files...i cant see anything in tasks on my win7 system but i see the tasks on win XP system

I too had the same issue. After applying service release update, emergency avast updater now shows in taskscheduler on win 7 64.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: The Kitchen Sink on July 05, 2012, 08:13:03 PM
1-Does the program have access to anything else other than downloading a fix for avast?
(if so = Avast! trojan horse?)

2-Does it automatically download a fix or does it have a manual option?
(Having both options is good. An "off switch" would be nice also)

My concerns are not knowing any of you people and reading that you want trust. No offense but I do not trust people I do not know and trying to convince us by using the excuse you are the good guys is never convincing, even if you are. I do not think people having concerns of software that touches sensitive personal property should ever be considered "absurd". That is simply ignorant. People ask questions because we want to understand something.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: CraigB on July 05, 2012, 08:16:18 PM
1-Does the program have access to anything else other than downloading a fix for avast?
(if so = Avast! trojan horse?)

2-Does it automatically download a fix or does it have a manual option?
(Having both options is good. An "off switch" would be nice also)

My concerns are not knowing any of you people and reading that you want trust. No offense but I do not trust people I do not know and trying to convince us by using the excuse you are the good guys is never convincing, even if you are. I do not think people having concerns of software that touches sensitive personal property should ever be considered "absurd". That is simply ignorant. People ask questions because we want to understand something.
Read reply 45 by igor
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: The Kitchen Sink on July 05, 2012, 08:29:41 PM
I did. My questions are still valid as they are not answered at all. Nor are our concerns less valid as they are not met with adequate responses. The responses from the team I read are disregarding our questions entirely by saying it is nothing important, do not worry about it.

Well as others have stated, this seems like a backdoor. Which it is. We do not get an answer that we can use this function manually or turn it off. We do not know what call outs it makes or if it can be executed by anyone else maliciously or even on accident by other programs.

If you do not understand this simple query of concerns, then you may if something negative happens to your personal property I am certain. Then it won't be amusing to you.

I do not mean what I write as being negative. I am very direct and take such matters of security serious.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: essexboy on July 05, 2012, 08:50:19 PM
Quote
We do not know what call outs it makes or if it can be executed by anyone else maliciously or even on accident by other programs.
It makes a request to the Avast server asking are there any emergency updates that is it.   

You can remove it from the task scheduler  with just a few clicks if you are that concerned about it...  But then under the same rationale you will also need to disable virus data base updates, windows updates etc.  To be honest, and this is my personal opinion there is so much paranoia on the web now   that it is a wonder anyone goes there.  Do not believe all the scare stories about your computer being taken over by the evil geniuses at Google/MS/FBI/Adobe as to be honest an indivdual user is not really a great concern to the criminals, the corporations and banks are the better targets.

I feel it is time that some common sense was applied rather than following the herd instinct,   make your own decisions based on what is fact and evident to you and not what some other numpty says....


OK rant over
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: Herrminator on July 05, 2012, 08:54:29 PM
To be honest, and this is my personal opinion there is so much paranoia on the web now   that it is a wonder anyone goes there.  Do not believe all the scare stories about your computer being taken over by the evil geniuses at Google/MS/FBI/Adobe as to be honest an indivdual user is not really a great concern to the criminals, the corporations and banks are the better targets.

Well, after what happened with version 7.0.1451, I think a little bit of paranoia is in order ;)

The evil geniuses are not necessarily a problem, but human error is.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: CraigB on July 05, 2012, 09:04:21 PM

Well, after what happened with version 7.0.1451, I think a little bit of paranoia is in order ;)

The evil geniuses are not necessarily a problem, but human error is.
What has the problems of 7.0.1451 got to do with emergency updater  ??? your completely off topic.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: Herrminator on July 05, 2012, 09:09:33 PM
What has the problems of 7.0.1451 got to do with emergency updater  ??? your completely off topic.

You've been asking why people are paranoid about an automatic updater.

I just gave you one reason  ::)
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: CraigB on July 05, 2012, 09:23:57 PM
What has the problems of 7.0.1451 got to do with emergency updater  ??? your completely off topic.

You've been asking why people are paranoid about an automatic updater.

I just gave you one reason  ::)
There was no valid reason of yours that i could see and with your suspicion level you should just get rid of your computer, why in the world would avast want your private details anyway ? as already mentioned in the other thread the emergency updater is just for pushing out fixes - not for stealing your info.

Dont forget to put on your alfoil hat when you go outside, the government are trying to read your mind  ;D
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: Dch48 on July 05, 2012, 09:44:02 PM
Being worried about a feature to automatically fix bugs or prevent exploits of flaws in your security software without you having to do a full update or even reinstall is , to put it simply, paranoid and silly. It's a great feature that will only be used very infrequently , if at all. It also needs to be granted all of the firewall rights it requests.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: JohnnyBob on July 05, 2012, 09:51:32 PM
I just found out about this and am seriously thinking about dropping avast because of it. I do not want any updates pushed on me for any reason. I'll be looking at MSE, AVG, et alia in the next few days and it is highly likely that I'll dump avast permanently. Avast is becoming a major PITA with recent changes and this is the final straw. I'm getting tired of trying to tweak it back to normality.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: essexboy on July 05, 2012, 09:55:32 PM
If you go for AVG or MSE I will be here to help clean you up ...  At the end of the day the choice is yours

So prior to finding out about this you were unconcerned ? I am afraid this comes back to my rant about herd mentality
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: Dch48 on July 05, 2012, 10:45:06 PM
I just found out about this and am seriously thinking about dropping avast because of it. I do not want any updates pushed on me for any reason. I'll be looking at MSE, AVG, et alia in the next few days and it is highly likely that I'll dump avast permanently. Avast is becoming a major PITA with recent changes and this is the final straw. I'm getting tired of trying to tweak it back to normality.
With all the things you've left out, the worst being the participation in the avast community which is a great boon to the developers, I highly doubt you'll be missed.  You will be sorry though, especially if you go to MSE.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: igor on July 05, 2012, 10:50:11 PM
1-Does the program have access to anything else other than downloading a fix for avast?
(if so = Avast! trojan horse?)

2-Does it automatically download a fix or does it have a manual option?
(Having both options is good. An "off switch" would be nice also)

1 - not sure what else it should have access to, but no, it only checks our server whether a fix is available (which it's not), and if it is, it downloads it, verifies its digital signature and lets it fix the program, if applicable.
In many aspects similar to virus definion updates (that sometimes were, are, and most likely will also be used to deliver fixes in some cases) - it just was made standalone, lauched via Scheduler, so that it's usable even in case of a problem so big that the avast service wouldn't start (in which case program or virus definition updates wouldn't work).

2 - no, there's no manual option. That was actually the point - to avoid having to tell people "sorry, the installation is so broken that it cannot be updated, please download this file manually and start it."
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: Lisandro on July 06, 2012, 03:51:14 AM
No, there's no manual option.
Why can't avast! be repaired (or the Fix button) in some situations?
Wouldn't if be useful a complete repair that works in *any* situation?
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: igor on July 06, 2012, 11:25:11 AM
The Repair function basically makes sure that everything is installed as it would be after a clean installation (let's say except for keeping the settings etc.)
Wheter it always succeeds or fail sometimes, is completely unrelated to this topic. First, we don't want to tell people "please navigate to Control Panel and invoke the Repair", and second this is meant for the hypothetical case of a bad (e.g. Virus definition) update being released that breaks things - and Repair wouldn't help there anyway, cause the virus definitions would be correctly installed, just would crash the program.
Or, the setup component itself might get broken - which contains both the updating and repair functionality.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: jwa on July 06, 2012, 03:05:31 PM
On this topic of trust.

Isn't it true that by simply installing an antivirus software you are in fact trusting that company. After all, they have access to the deepest part of your system and surely if they had bad intentions could probably  make modifications, or install a  nasty of some sort or other  during a program update or something that would be next to impossible to detect.

Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: DavidR on July 06, 2012, 03:31:23 PM
If you monitor your firewall logs you will see where the Emergency Updater goes to check if there is any emergency fix (only to avast servers).
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: Dch48 on July 06, 2012, 10:10:09 PM
If you monitor your firewall logs you will see where the Emergency Updater goes to check if there is any emergency fix (only to avast servers).
My firewall logs show nothing at all under connections. The page stays blank on this XP machine. the activity tab only shows my network being detected and the firewall mode being set.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: DavidR on July 06, 2012, 10:18:41 PM
I can't speak for AIS firewall, by the Outpost Firewall Pro has a pretty comprehensive set of logs.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: norel on July 06, 2012, 10:33:01 PM
avastemupdate.exe tried to run when I updated to 1456. My firewall flagged it and I disabled both incoming and outgoing. I think the concept is good but there should be a manual option. I hate the direction software developers are going in this regard. Automation in the name of simplicity. Instead they should focus on better message dialogs so end users can make educated decisions for themself as to whether to allow something on their system.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: Lisandro on July 06, 2012, 10:56:10 PM
The Repair function basically makes sure that everything is installed as it would be after a clean installation (let's say except for keeping the settings etc.)
Wheter it always succeeds or fail sometimes, is completely unrelated to this topic. First, we don't want to tell people "please navigate to Control Panel and invoke the Repair", and second this is meant for the hypothetical case of a bad (e.g. Virus definition) update being released that breaks things - and Repair wouldn't help there anyway, cause the virus definitions would be correctly installed, just would crash the program.
Or, the setup component itself might get broken - which contains both the updating and repair functionality.
Thanks Igor.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: Dch48 on July 07, 2012, 04:54:39 AM
avastemupdate.exe tried to run when I updated to 1456. My firewall flagged it and I disabled both incoming and outgoing. I think the concept is good but there should be a manual option. I hate the direction software developers are going in this regard. Automation in the name of simplicity. Instead they should focus on better message dialogs so end users can make educated decisions for themself as to whether to allow something on their system.
I'm sorry but it really needs to have any and all firewall access it asks for to be granted. What if sometime in the future some hacker finds a flaw in Avast that enables them to exploit it in some way? The emergency updater could kick in, replace the infected files, and prevent some serious damage from happening without requiring any interaction by the user. A manual option is not necessary at all and would actually , at least somewhat, defeat the purpose of the feature. What if Avast gets modified so much that you can't even open it to access the manual option?
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: dhym on July 07, 2012, 05:06:20 AM
it is nice product thanks for avast  :P
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: The Kitchen Sink on July 08, 2012, 02:01:08 AM
My main concern is not having an off switch. I don't want calls being made at all by anything automated, I do not have control over or am not even made aware of such changes. It is NOT being paranoid to want to know what is happening with expensive machinery. I would appreciate it if everyone saying such things would stop doing so, just because you have a different opinion on the matter.


One example of this being a problem could be:
Not aware something is being downloaded by avast. You go to shut off you machine or cut the connection and you didn't know it was in the middle of patching and it does more damage than resolved. This is the very essence of manual updates. Automation tends to screw up things. A simple matter to settle this would be to add an optional off switch for this and the matter would be over with. For those knowingly shutting it off would obviously have to just re-install as per the old way. No worries. If they can't, they can leave it on. Both sides are happy.

~~~

Regarding why JWA's comment on trust:
Why we use avast? It is a tool, like a screw driver or a wrench. Nothing more. But you should go look up Sony's view on the matter of trust and while you are at it, how about Microsoft's track record of behavior. This is nothing close to paranoia. It is politely discussing and asking the team about something we want to know more about to avoid any future problems and conflicts.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: VanguardLH on July 09, 2012, 08:13:34 AM
Reviewed this thread so far but have not found mention if the auto-updater (well, to be correct, the scheduled updater) PROMPTS the user before committing any changes.  Yeah, it might be handy to have it check for catastrophic fixes to Avast (and why this separate process is needed to download AND RUN the fix program) but I don't want something making major changes to the state of my host without my permission.  Microsoft can wail all they want about what are critical or important Windows updates but I configured the AU service to prompt me for my permission to download and install the updates.  I'll choose if and when to apply changes to my host - just like I make that same choice of what software I install on my host. 

They don't even notify me that they added the scheduled event.  As a consequence, they don't let me decide when the scheduled task runs on my host.  Only after accidentally finding out about the new scheduled event can I then know I have to reschedule it.  They simply toss in a time for the daily event based on whenever I installed the program update that added this scheduled event.  Sorry, but my computer has other tasks scheduled at that time that will not get interrupted because a non-critical application (which includes all security software) wants to perform some catastrophic repair of itself.  So not only does Avast surreptitiously add a scheduled event but it can interfere with other scheduled events.  They behave like they have blinders that see only their product without any thought that users may already have a list of scheduled events and which are scheduled to not interfere or overlap with each other.

I've noticed some users note that the scheduled emergency update downloads a file.  That would be pointless.  It would download AND RUN the downloaded file.  So the emergency updater, a scheduled task, upon discovering there is a fix file to download, should first prompt me if I want to download and apply that fix.  If I have more important real work to accomplish using my host, I'm certainly not going to let some security software alter my host and probably require a reboot to interrupt my work.  Consider how rude it would be for a program to patch your software (OS or apps) and then reboot the host without ever warning you and without ever asking for your permission.  Bang, your host just rebooted in the middle of your work and your document or work just got discarded.  Well, not prompting me to allow the update in the first place is just as rude.

For now, I'm disabling the Avast emergency update scheduled task because there is no good information from Avast about it.  They didn't bother to describe it to me, they don't describe its operation or behaviors, and they never mention if I get prompted to then decide whether or not to permission the change.  Yeah, it's there software but it still remains MY computer!
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: CraigB on July 09, 2012, 08:35:57 AM
Reviewed this thread so far but have not found mention if the auto-updater (well, to be correct, the scheduled updater) PROMPTS the user before committing any changes.  Yeah, it might be handy to have it check for catastrophic fixes to Avast (and why this separate process is needed to download AND RUN the fix program) but I don't want something making major changes to the state of my host without my permission.  Microsoft can wail all they want about what are critical or important Windows updates but I configured the AU service to prompt me for my permission to download and install the updates.  I'll choose if and when to apply changes to my host - just like I make that same choice of what software I install on my host. 

They don't even notify me that they added the scheduled event.  As a consequence, they don't let me decide when the scheduled task runs on my host.  Only after accidentally finding out about the new scheduled event can I then know I have to reschedule it.  They simply toss in a time for the daily event based on whenever I installed the program update that added this scheduled event.  Sorry, but my computer has other tasks scheduled at that time that will not get interrupted because a non-critical application (which includes all security software) wants to perform some catastrophic repair of itself.  So not only does Avast surreptitiously add a scheduled event but it can interfere with other scheduled events.  They behave like they have blinders that see only their product without any thought that users may already have a list of scheduled events and which are scheduled to not interfere or overlap with each other.

I've noticed some users note that the scheduled emergency update downloads a file.  That would be pointless.  It would download AND RUN the downloaded file.  So the emergency updater, a scheduled task, upon discovering there is a fix file to download, should first prompt me if I want to download and apply that fix.  If I have more important real work to accomplish using my host, I'm certainly not going to let some security software alter my host and probably require a reboot to interrupt my work.  Consider how rude it would be for a program to patch your software (OS or apps) and then reboot the host without ever warning you and without ever asking for your permission.  Bang, your host just rebooted in the middle of your work and your document or work just got discarded.  Well, not prompting me to allow the update in the first place is just as rude.

For now, I'm disabling the Avast emergency update scheduled task because there is no good information from Avast about it.  They didn't bother to describe it to me, they don't describe its operation or behaviors, and they never mention if I get prompted to then decide whether or not to permission the change.  Yeah, it's there software but it still remains MY computer!
I believe most of your questions are answered throughout this thread, some in reply 60 by igor.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: VanguardLH on July 09, 2012, 08:52:06 AM
I did read the thread before posting.  Igor's reply implies that there is no prompt. 

"lets it fix the program, if applicable".  That's not a database signature update.  That's a program update.  Patches or fixes to programs should be permissioned by the user.  Even Avast thought so when they gave you options on how program updates are to behave.  So this scheduled update doesn't honor the user's settings regarding how program updates are to be applied. 

In Avast's settings for updates, the user configurable options are:

- Automatic update
- Ask when an update is available
- Manual update

I opted for the 2nd setting.  I get prompted when there is a program update and it is *me* that gets to choose if and when the update is applied.  As yet, and other than hints at behavior when the scheduled auto-updater is executed, it is unclear if it asks me for permission to apply the update.  Without solid documentation telling me that the scheduled task for the auto-updater will ask me for permission, the safe assumption is that it won't ask me for permission.  Since I do not permit programs to change the state of my host without my permission except for limited scenarios, like signature updates versus program updates, and since it is unclear how this scheduled auto-updater behaves, I will keep that scheduled event disabled.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: igor on July 09, 2012, 09:48:58 AM
No, it won't ask you for any confirmation, that would destroy the point of automation.
But as I was also saying, it's not a functional program update, it's just a fix. More significant behavior changes may be delivered via virus definition updates (and fixes certainly have been delivered that way for quite some time) - which also don't ask for confirmation.

Anyway, I think this tiny "safety belt" feature has gotten much more attention/time spent than it really deserves. So feel free to disable it, it shouldn't affect anything.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: crofty59 on July 10, 2012, 03:22:45 PM
Out of curiosity i checked to see if avastemupdate.exe was in my Scheduled Tasks Folder but isn't there. I am almost certain it was there earlier, but am not 100% certain.
But it is located in Ccleaner and i also checked Autoruns and it is also located there.

I tried a repair and that made no difference.

I uninstalled and then reinstalled no difference.
So i would assume the Avast Emergency Updater will still work, as it shows up in Autoruns and ccleaner :-[

 
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: DavidR on July 10, 2012, 04:37:25 PM
Well I'm not sure if seeing or not seeing it in the scheduled tasks is an indication it will or won't run. As can be seen in many of these posts the scheduled task may not be seen depending on the method used to find it.

The latest version  of Autoruns sees it in XP Pro but not in win7 32bit - WinPatrol Plus sees it in XP Pro but not in win7 32bit. So it looks like some of the tools can see it and others can't.

Yet my Outpost Firewall Pro logs for both XP Pro and Win7 32bit show it connecting to avast.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: crofty59 on July 10, 2012, 05:04:31 PM
Hopefully there will not be a need for it to run ;)
See what you mean it's not universal with where it shows up.

Very much appropriated your reply DavidR :)
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: DavidR on July 10, 2012, 05:17:41 PM
You're welcome.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: The Kitchen Sink on July 10, 2012, 05:52:01 PM
No, it won't ask you for any confirmation, that would destroy the point of automation.
But as I was also saying, it's not a functional program update, it's just a fix. More significant behavior changes may be delivered via virus definition updates (and fixes certainly have been delivered that way for quite some time) - which also don't ask for confirmation.

Anyway, I think this tiny "safety belt" feature has gotten much more attention/time spent than it really deserves. So feel free to disable it, it shouldn't affect anything.

That is our point. There is no off switch *sigh* -_-



Igor-

Which leads me to ask:

1- Do you suggest deleting the Avastemupdate.exe? Is that ok for Avast to run?

2- If deleted, it will not make calls?

I would like an off switch, but if this will NOT damage avast. At least it is an option. Thank you.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: Asyn on July 10, 2012, 05:55:57 PM
That is our point. There is no off switch *sigh* -_-

If you're afraid of it, just block it with your FW.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: The Kitchen Sink on July 10, 2012, 06:12:33 PM
I really cannot fathom how simple it is to add an off switch, only to ignore the concerns of the patrons regarding something so small to fix.

I am not so much afraid of it as I mention before as others have as well in our examples. If avast is at all broken and needed a fix. We have zero control over it when we need our machine active for whatever reason. If it were broken that badly, obviously it would require a restart as Vanguard mentioned, despite igor saying it would be not important.

So if Avast! is crippled or not functioning properly and a fix is issued. This won't need a restart? Really? Since when?

How can it not be a concern? How can so many smart people not see this?? Including the team members! It is very frustrating =/
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: igor on July 10, 2012, 06:17:01 PM
1- Do you suggest deleting the Avastemupdate.exe? Is that ok for Avast to run?

No, I'm certainly not suggesting it - I'm saying it's ridiculous because bigger changes are delivered via virus definition updates (that you, at least most likely, update automatically anyway) than this tool would. But if you, for some reason, feel the urge  to disable it, then yes, it's OK to remove/disable the scheduled task, it won't affect avast's normal functionality in any way.

2- If deleted, it will not make calls?

Not sure what you mean... if it's not started, then of course it wouldn't make any calls.
If you're asking whether avast! is using other means to start the executable then the Task Scheduler, then no. The whole point of this tool is to be standalone, independent on the rest of avast! in any way - so that it would be able to run even if the rest of avast! wouldn't load.
So if avast! itself wanted to make similar calls, it would do that directly, without using AvastEmUpdate.exe.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: The Kitchen Sink on July 10, 2012, 06:22:18 PM
I did not ask about disabling it in task scheduler. I asked if the executable(.EXE) is ok to :delete and not damage Avast.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: igor on July 10, 2012, 06:25:33 PM
I really cannot fathom how simple it is to add an off switch, only to ignore the concerns of the patrons regarding something so small to fix.

I can see you can't :)
Yes, it is not very complicated, but the amount of associated work (including translating the options into 45 languages, and possibly even updating the help files) is much bigger than you imagine - definitely not worth the significance of the option. There are many more important properties in the program that would deserve a separate option.
I'm not saying there won't be an option for it in the future, but it certainly doesn't have any priority.

If it were broken that badly, obviously it would require a restart as Vanguard mentioned, despite igor saying it would be not important.

Not sure how you came to this "obvious" conclusion.
On contrary - if the installation was be so badly broken that it wouldn't load, it's quite likely that it wouldn't require a reboot - because the reboot is generally needed to replace files that are loaded at the moment.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: igor on July 10, 2012, 06:29:05 PM
I did not ask about disabling it in task scheduler. I asked if the executable(.EXE) is ok to :delete and not damage Avast.

So instead of disabling the task in Scheduler you'll go to disable self-defense, remove the executable, enable-self defense again...? What's the point?
At the moment, it shouldn't damage avast - but the file will probably appear back sooner or later anyway.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: The Kitchen Sink on July 10, 2012, 06:36:52 PM
I really cannot fathom how simple it is to add an off switch, only to ignore the concerns of the patrons regarding something so small to fix.

I can see you can't :)
Yes, it is not very complicated, but the amount of associated work (including translating the options into 45 languages, and possibly even updating the help files) is much bigger than you imagine - definitely not worth the significance of the option. There are many more important properties in the program that would deserve a separate option.
I'm not saying there won't be an option for it in the future, but it certainly doesn't have any priority.


Ok, this is true. I did not think about this. You are very correct and I apologize if I upset anyone. I can understand this being a lot of work. Perhaps as a low priority in a future version it can be added. It would be appreciated.


~~~

To answer the why delete the EXE:
Because if Avast requires an restart while we need our machines active, we will not be able to prevent any damage of lost data from automatic restart that we users cannot turn off =/
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: igor on July 10, 2012, 07:03:32 PM
Uh... no.
That hypothetical fix certainly wouldn't reboot your machine out of the blue, without asking... that would be harsh indeed.

As for deleting the executable - I'm just saying the by disabling the scheduled task you achieve exactly the same, but the solution is a bit more permanent (generally, if you delete an avast file, the installer notices that under specific circumstances and puts the file back).
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: Asyn on July 10, 2012, 07:07:20 PM
Uh... no.
That hypothetical fix certainly wouldn't reboot your machine out of the blue, without asking... that would be harsh indeed.

;D
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: The Kitchen Sink on July 10, 2012, 07:09:16 PM
Uh... no.
That hypothetical fix certainly wouldn't reboot your machine out of the blue, without asking... that would be harsh indeed.

As for deleting the executable - I'm just saying the by disabling the scheduled task you achieve exactly the same, but the solution is a bit more permanent (generally, if you delete an avast file, the installer notices that under specific circumstances and puts the file back).

That is a relief. I think many of us were under the impression it would automatically download/restart and be like....OMG!!?? 0_0

Thank you for your patience and your time.

PS- Low priority off switch would be nice as an option for a future update. Yes, I know it is small. Hence Low priority =D
(suggestion for the beta?)
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: Skakara on July 18, 2012, 12:28:31 AM
As for deleting the executable - I'm just saying the by disabling the scheduled task you achieve exactly the same, but the solution is a bit more permanent (generally, if you delete an avast file, the installer notices that under specific circumstances and puts the file back).
Disabling scheduled task, a permanent solution?

On my desktop PC:
- First I deleted the "avast! Emergency Update" task from Scheduled Tasks.
- Then ran program update (which doesn't find anything, which is normal since I've the latest version already), but which runs "AvastEmUpdate.exe" and it reinstalls the "avast! Emergency Update" task!!!

- I tried to disable the "avast! Emergency Update" task from Scheduled Tasks.
- Then ran program update (which doesn't find anything, which is normal since I've the latest version already), but which runs "AvastEmUpdate.exe" and it again reinstalls enables the "avast! Emergency Update" task!!!

Same thing happens on my laptop PC, except that I've to disable or delete the task from CCleaner (for some odd reason the Scheduled Tasks folder is empty! (logged in as an administrator!) I guess there's a bug too in the installer... which doesn't suprise me, the finished installation, when trying to register avast, shows an error message (red cross icon or something like that), but the message says something like: "successfully registered"... and after that, going to the "registration" window, it show 0 days.. after boot it says 30 days, so the registration right after installation FAILS totally... CHECK THIS NEW TOPIC FOR THIS PROBLEM EXACTLY (http://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=101709.0))

So, how do I really PERMANENTLY disable the emergency updater?!

------------------------------------------------------------
Desktop PC: Windows XP SP3. Has been running from at least avast 4.x version. Customized settings. Shields installed & On: Network, Script & Behavior. Shield installed & Off: File (has been too buggy and slow to turn on on this machine, started from the first 5.x version, similar settings in 4.x worked just fine.). On-demand scans used for new files (+VirusTotal online scanner for files from unknown/shady sources), and saved custom full scan every month.. no malware.. if one knows what to do, it's possible to run a PC without "full" AV protection for better performance.

Laptop: Windows XP SP3. Clean new installation of 7.0.1456. No settings changed. Shields installed & On: File, Network, Script & Behavior.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: Skakara on July 27, 2012, 11:39:15 PM
Ok, about 10 days and not a single answer!? Would it be possible for avast team to respond to this concern?
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: igor on July 27, 2012, 11:55:18 PM
Yes, if you manually invoke a program update, the updater will probably gets re-registered - that's how it is.
The emergency updater is simply an integral part of avast, and there's no way to disable it that would "survive" things like "Repair" function or a manual program update [check].
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: Skakara on July 28, 2012, 12:17:56 AM
"Probably gets re-registered"? Probably? You don't know for sure? Amazing.

So, that's how it is, let me get this straight:

1) When you keep avast on auto-update for program updates, then the emergency updater does NOT get enabled if it's disabled one way or other.* Yes/no?

2) When I do my avast program updates when I want them to happen (notify only, and invoking manual update when I'm ready), then emergency updater gets enabled if it's disabled. Yes/no?

I don't see the point/logic. Why?

*Couple of weeks ago you said: "disabling the scheduled task you achieve exactly the same, but the solution is a bit more permanent". I'm guessing that you meant when program updates is on auto because now you replied about manual program updates. Or does "a bit more permanent" only mean that it "probably gets re-registered"? (in that case it's only very very little "more permanent") My head spins. ;)
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: igor on July 28, 2012, 01:03:59 AM
The program is rather huge and complex, I won't pretend I know every tiny detail - if it offends you, sorry, but I'm not gonna study the huge installer source code because of that.
There is no ordinary option to disable the updater - so we're talking about damaging the program here to achieve that; hardly a normal scenario.

I know there are some self-checks (and subsequent self-repairs, if anything is found missing) performed under some circumstances, but no, I don't know what exactly those circumstances are; manually invoking a program update is one of them. The self-check will definitely restore a missing file, and as you've found out, it will also put back a missing registry key (which I didn't expect initially, that's why I wrote it's a more permanent solution - so I was wrong, it's basically an equal "solution").

Anyway, to sum things up, there is no reliable way to damage the program in such a way that the emergency updater gets disabled (yet other things work).
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: Dch48 on July 28, 2012, 03:00:29 AM
The bottom line is, to me anyway, that the emergency updater is a good thing that will only come into play in very rare instances. It should be left alone and allowed to function. There is absolutely no reason to be concerned or worried about it's presence.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: Skakara on July 28, 2012, 01:01:16 PM
The program is rather huge and complex, I won't pretend I know every tiny detail - if it offends you, sorry, but I'm not gonna study the huge installer source code because of that.
It doesn't offend me. It amazes me. And your further writing about this subject reveals even more things that amazes me. Between the lines you're telling us that avast doesn't document product development. Do you do any requirements specification and design documents before coding? The functionality of the emergency update should be documented as should be the rest of the program. Are you really telling us that your "documentation" is the source code? Amazing.

The self-check will definitely restore a missing file, and as you've found out, it will also put back a missing registry key
What registry key? At least on WinXP, AFAIK, there's only a file in the windows\tasks\ folder which contains all the settings of the scheduled task.

Anyway, to sum things up, there is no reliable way to damage the program in such a way that the emergency updater gets disabled (yet other things work).
When a program uses a 3rd party scheduler, which the Windows Scheduler is, and not an embedded scheduler (without settings), it's giving users a possibility to change that scheduled task... I would not call that "damaging the program", a bit far fetched IMO.


emergency updater is a good thing that will only come into play in very rare instances.
Hmm, scheduled to run every 12 hours AND at user logon. Rarely? I personally want to know everything that happens on my rig. It's raising questions in my mind if *any company name* is reluctant to tell about the behavior of the feature OR doesn't know how it actually functions.


Anyways, my testing shows that you can't 1) delete 2) disable 3) change task settings of the emergency update. It's always reinstated back to how avast wants it to be. You can stop it by using an "application behavior blocking" software (my Sunbelt Personal Firewall has that) OR you can disable the Windows Task Scheduler (which I will do.. I'm already using a much much better task schduler (+using less memory), nnCron Lite (it has "missed tasks" feature, which Windows XP doesn't have)).

Thank you for your replies.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: igor on July 28, 2012, 01:23:52 PM
You're mixing unrelated things - this is not about the emergency updater itself (which could hardly re-register itself if unregistered, right?) - but rather about the ordinary updater, which tries to repair the installation. From its point of view, missing registration is a damage to the program, the same as missing a file. (And yes, the task are stored in the Tasks folder - though as far as I know, every task is also accompanied by a registry key - but the installer doesn't access the files directly, it uses the ordinary Scheduler API).

Again, I repeat that there is no supported way to disable the emergency updater. So whatever I was suggesting, was more in the area of "hacks" to bypass the ordinary functionality. So no, I don't think those ways are documented (though I certainly don't work on the installer part, so I'm guessing in some areas.)


The functionality of the emergency updater has been described here - it just makes a request to our server, to see if any fix is available. If so, it downloads it, verifies it and applies it; that's all it does.
And again, you can disable the task scheduler if you like, it won't affect the avast's functionality in any way - unless something really bad occurs, which of course we hope never happens.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: Skakara on July 28, 2012, 03:38:03 PM
... re-register ... unregistered ... missing registration ... the task are stored in the Tasks folder - though as far as I know, every task is also accompanied by a registry key
Is your multiple "register" words pointing to "windows registry" like in the last snippet (="registry key")? There's no info about individual tasks in the windows registry.. everything is in the task .job file. So I would again refrain from using terms like "damage to the program" because there are no "missing registration".

Again, I repeat that there is no supported way to disable the emergency updater. So whatever I was suggesting, was more in the area of "hacks" to bypass the ordinary functionality. So no, I don't think those ways are documented (though I certainly don't work on the installer part, so I'm guessing in some areas.)
I think that you're mixing things here. I was NOT talking about documenting "how to disable emergency updater", I was talking about documenting the program behavior in general.

I asked you in what conditions avast re-enables/instates the task, to which you replied that you don't know for sure and you won't start studying the source code. To which I replied asking you whether you have any documentation of the program or not. A design document (made BEFORE coding), if made correctly, should document how the program works, i.e. it would show, quoting myself, "in what conditions avast re-enables/instates the task".

I'm sorry that this got so convoluted. Hope this clears things up.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: igor on July 28, 2012, 04:27:56 PM
By the word "register" (a opposed to "registry") I mean "register to be started" ("schedule", if you wish) - in any way the Scheduler actually implements that, registry, files, whatever.
And yes, there are registry keys associated with the tasks (though they might actually duplicate the info stored in the job file). They contain hashes of the the job files, and the job files are verified against those hashes when started. That's why the Stuxnet malware had to perform the collision attack (CRC32, wasn't that hard) to change the content of the files, and that's why it was subsequently changed to SHA-256.


Some things are documented more, some less - especially the parts that were created over 10 years ago probably have some gaps (yes, installer might be one of those, but it's being worked on). But as I said, I don't develop the installer part (which is a bit of a separate project) and I'm not familiar either with its code or its documentation. Anyway, I was just trying to give some info based on my past experience; if I had to spend time on checking the code or documentation to give the answer, honestly, I wouldn't.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: Skakara on July 28, 2012, 04:44:40 PM
there are registry keys associated with the tasks (though they might actually duplicate the info stored in the job file).
Show me. Tell me the full path in WinXP registry where I can find the emergency update scheduled task. Thank you.

Edit: I took the SHA-256 hash of the task file and searched my registry with it, nothing came up.

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

This is to all; if you're wondering why you're not seeing the "avast! Emergency Update" task in "Scheduled Tasks" folder, when some users report that they see it. It's a hidden task and some users might have a registry key (put by some other software) that makes it visible even if it's hidden. Notice that setting "show hidden files and folders" from explorer "folder options -> view" does NOT show hidden task files! Here's the registry key if you like to see hidden tasks in Scheduled Tasks folder (reboot needed):

Code: [Select]
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\SchedulingAgent]
"ViewHiddenTasks"=dword:00000001
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: igor on July 28, 2012, 07:38:27 PM
OK, not on XP.
Starting with Vista, it's in HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Schedule\TaskCache\Tasks.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: Skakara on July 28, 2012, 10:55:37 PM
Thanks Igor. Good to know. (I'm a developer myself and also always interested to learn more.) :)
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: norel on July 29, 2012, 06:12:13 AM
The easiest way I know of is to disable it with a firewall. It stays disabled, but if you reinstall or repair it might reactivate. Just disable it again.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: cooby on July 29, 2012, 09:07:34 PM
My observations from Windows XP-SP3 and Sunbelt firewall (like in Skakara's posts):
I used to have free Avast v6 which then I allowed to automatically upgrade to the most recent version 7.
Emergency updates were coming in once or twice a day. I saw it also in Autoruns display of Scheduled Tasks.
Sunbelt firewall alerted about behavior and packet filter about its attempt to connect through the Avast proxy port.
I didn't block those updates, having read igor's replies here that they are important. But I didn't want to NOT know that it was occuring, hence I didn't allow the firewall to do it without asking me.

Three days ago I decided to do a very clean reinstallation of the newest Avast.
And I made sure the relevant items in the firewall are to ask, not silently block.
Interesting result so far.
No alerts from the firewall, no scheduled task seen in Autoruns, nothing.
It might, of course, be a coincidence of no such updates issued by the Avast team.
Or it might be that an upgraded Avast behaves differently from a clean installation where no patching is necessary.

Just my 2 cents.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: Lisandro on July 29, 2012, 09:46:59 PM
Emergency updates were coming in once or twice a day.
They're being checked, but, for sure, they're not coming (downloaded) with this frequency...
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: NoelC on July 29, 2012, 09:47:58 PM
Just a minor thing...  I noticed when I was looking through AutoRuns that the term \avast5\ as part of the path of the scheduled file, which  caught my eye...

I see that the installation area for Avast! overall is:

C:\Program Files\Alwil Software\Avast5

Can I assume this is implying version 5 instead of version 7 because I've been upgrading the software since a while back?  Or just that the Avast! development team hasn't chosen to use a different folder name for two major versions?

In other words, this is normal, right?

-Noel
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: igor on July 29, 2012, 09:50:41 PM
There never has been any emergency update available so far.

Yes, if you updated from v5 (without reinstalling), the old installation folder is kept (well, you could have chosen a completely different installation folder anyway, but provided you kept the default). The user might have custom shortcuts to some avast! executables, so we cannot really rename the folder during update.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: cooby on July 29, 2012, 10:25:24 PM
Emergency updates were coming in once or twice a day.
They're being checked, but, for sure, they're not coming (downloaded) with this frequency...
Correct. I worded it incorrectly, SORRY.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: Skakara on March 03, 2013, 03:13:34 PM
Aaaand the plot thickens with the Emergency Update.

Updated Avast to 8.0.1482 (both laptop & desktop PC's). Disabled "avast! Emergency Update" scheduled task. Rebooted and what do you know, "c:\Program Files\Alwil Software\Avast5\AvastEmUpdate.exe" wants to connect to internet!!

1) If the task is disabled, how is this possible?

AND, to make things more interesting, I have "Task Scheduler" service DISABLED!!

2) What's the point of the hidden "avast! Emergency Update" scheduled task if Emergency Update runs even if the task is disabled AND even when "Task Scheduler" service is disabled??

3) How do I stop Emergency Update?

I want to know what installed programs do in my computer.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: codernaut on March 18, 2013, 10:59:26 PM
I noticed today that my wife's PC got an emergency update.  What we also found out is that it installed google update.

I verified this by uninstalling avast and removing the two google update services.  Then installed 8.0.1482.

Verified no google services.  Next thing that happened was another emergency update.  Not exactly sure but I believe there was just a press enter to continue - no abort ability that I can remember.

Good update was back.  No opt out option.

So, based on this, I agree emergency update needs to have end user controls on it.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: igor on March 18, 2013, 11:10:37 PM
No, the emergency updates certainly don't install anything, let alone google updating services.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: Dch48 on March 19, 2013, 05:34:35 AM
I noticed today that my wife's PC got an emergency update.  What we also found out is that it installed google update.

I verified this by uninstalling avast and removing the two google update services.  Then installed 8.0.1482.

Verified no google services.  Next thing that happened was another emergency update.  Not exactly sure but I believe there was just a press enter to continue - no abort ability that I can remember.

Good update was back.  No opt out option.

So, based on this, I agree emergency update needs to have end user controls on it.
I highly doubt any of this happened.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: Cool Javelin on December 03, 2013, 08:50:06 PM
I would like to add my 2 cents to this.

I am running XP(SP3) and using Zone Alarm. Contrary to popular belief, Emergency Update runs more often then just at start up.

Zone alarm tells me when a new program (or a revised version of an old program) wants to access the internet. It will remember my selection, but the Emergency Update seems to get launched from various locations, and various program names too, confusing Zone Alarm, (and me too.)

Locations Zone Alarm has tracked for this include:

...\Avast\Setup\emupdate\(some very long hex number).exe
There are 4 different very long file names in this folder

..\Avast\Setup\(a different very long hex number).exe (without the emupdate sub folder)
(again, 3 different very long file names for this.)

...\Avast\AvastEmUpdate.exe

It is almost like there are several developers at Avast, and they don't communicate with each other and standardize a location for this. It is very annoying.

Having a program to make sure Avast is properly intact is a good idea, but...
#1 that supervisor program should NOT access the internet,
#2, it should run at start up, and have options in the user settings to be able to run more or less often, and,
#3 maybe even shouldn't exist because Windows already has a method of keeping track, it is called Security Center.

My guess is I am going to hear a lot of flack about using Zone Alarm instad of the firewall that came with Avast,
but in my opinion, all the other firewalls I have tried are too quiet. They allow access to the internet from programs without alerting me, and I don't like that.

Also, I can hear you saying, "Well the file names and locations are randomized so viruses can't disable the emergency update"
Ok, I see that, but PUBLISH THAT in documentation somewhere so we, as end users, understand and are less frustrated.

Just my 2 cents.
Mark.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: dieferman on December 30, 2013, 05:43:30 PM
I Discovered The Feature By The "Barking" Of "Scotty" ("WinPatrol") And Even If It Showd That The App Was Published By Avast! , The Random Name Worried Me.

I Agree With Mark :

...

Also, I can hear you saying, "Well the file names and locations are randomized so viruses can't disable the emergency update"
Ok, I see that, but PUBLISH THAT in documentation somewhere so we, as end users, understand and are less frustrated.

Just my 2 cents.
Mark.

Features Like This Should Be Documented And The News Spread. I've Been Using Avast! For 13 Years Now And I Have Recommended To (Literally) Hundreds Of People, Even IT/CS Teachers, Technicians, Technologist And Engineers Who Have Recommended To Many Other People ... Imagine The Avalanche Of People Coming To Me Asking Me About The Suspicious "Program" ... Or Even Worst , Uninstalling Avast! And Installing Something Else 'Cause Someone" Told 'em It Was Dangerous !
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: breshlaw on March 27, 2014, 05:42:09 PM
They should really consider renaming this to the avast! Routine Update, since it runs every day.
The odd thing for me was that, today, it sort of hijacked my computer for about three or four minutes after startup...
Startup proceeded normally, then the screen went black. "Well, this is not right," I say to myself. So I wait. A minute goes by and I hit control-alt-delete to see if something's hanging Explorer. Windows Task Manager comes up and shows that avast! Emergency Update, runonce.exe (Run Once Wrapper) and runonce.exe *32 are running. I cannot force quit these.
So, I wait.
A couple of minutes go by as I stare at the Task Manager. When the avast! "Emergency" Update and the runonce's disappear, the black screen suddenly reveals Explorer and I can see my desktop.
Too mysterioso for my tastes, Avast. Much too mysterioso.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: DavidR on March 27, 2014, 05:49:07 PM
Well it isn't a routine update, this element in the Scheduled tasks only checks for the presence of an emergency update. If there is one it would then initiate the process to install it. Which also includes the creation of the RunOnce so that it is runs that function.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: Skakara on March 27, 2014, 09:13:27 PM
Why is emergency update needed in addition of normal update? Why a separate system of updates?
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: DavidR on March 27, 2014, 11:38:34 PM
Why is emergency update needed in addition of normal update? Why a separate system of updates?

Because if there is a problem that also means that the normal update doesn't work, then you need another option.

Plus it is independent of the program as such, hence the Scheduled task.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: hake on March 28, 2014, 01:59:47 PM
Avast Emergency Update obfuscates the protection provided by my software firewall/HIPS.  It renders that protection less effective because it forces me to respond unnecessarily to executables which do not represent a threat.  Why the random naming when a version update uses regular names?  Avast uses self-protection and digitally signed update files.  Why can't it contrive a less disruptive and distracting system?
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: -midnight on March 28, 2014, 02:26:16 PM
I've gotten 3 Emergency Updates this week.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: hake on March 28, 2014, 10:58:27 PM
It feels like multiple emergency updates each day.  You never know when the next one will strike.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: -midnight on March 28, 2014, 11:06:57 PM
I got another one today.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: Duran on October 03, 2014, 02:23:09 PM
I just got bit by this damn thing this morning. Everything was fine with the version I had installed and then without any warning, AVAST needs to reboot your computer to update. WTF. Now I have some unwanted, unneeded, crappy white looking UI version that looks like it was puked out of a smart phone.

AVAST, if you are going to force people into new versions without consent, at least update them to the latest version and provide some warning of what the hell is going on while you disregard user settings.

I'm rolling back to a previous disk image and am going to kill the AVAST Emergency Updater.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: drake127 on October 03, 2014, 03:34:57 PM
Hi, I hear you. We are replacing binary emergency updates with other options available in v9 but if we are in need to update legacy versions (<2000), we have to use these annoying EXEs.

@Duran: I answered in other topic, so I'll be glad to here any comments about version banning in there.
Title: Re: What is Avast Emergency Updater and why is it in my scheduled tasks?
Post by: dc10boy on October 11, 2014, 04:51:31 AM
Hi how can I make sure I never get an emergency update again?XP 64 bit and your last update (AGAINST MY WILL) left me with an unusable computer that took me 6 hours to fix!