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Consumer Products => Avast Free Antivirus / Premium Security (legacy Pro Antivirus, Internet Security, Premier) => Topic started by: ecbritz on July 09, 2012, 04:32:47 AM

Title: RESOLVED: Why does Avast install on top of remnants of old AV program?
Post by: ecbritz on July 09, 2012, 04:32:47 AM
I'm sorry to see my posting about the installation / uninstallation of Avast removed from the forum. Or rather, I'm sorry about a reason I might have given for the removal of the topic. I seems to me an important topic in terms of getting the most out of Avast. The issue is that while programs such as Kaspersky, Norton, Avira, Microsoft Security Essentials and others will automatically refuse to install with remnants of another anti-virus program still lurking in the computer, I have managed to install Avast despite the same remnants. This happened in the past, some time before Avast 7 was released. Some anti-virus programs will actually remove the remnants, on request, in stead of just refusing to install itself until you have removed the remnants yourself, using an uninstaller tool provided by your old anti-virus program provider. Because such remnants impede the installation of a new anti-virus program, my impression was that Avast allows the inadviseable installation so as not to lose the potential customer. What is the answer to this? Getting an informed answer will build confidence in Avast and prevent Avast from being affected by possible alien AV remnants still active in some computers.
Title: Re: Why does Avast install on top of remnants of old AV program?
Post by: Asyn on July 09, 2012, 06:30:50 AM
I'm sorry to see my posting about the installation / uninstallation of Avast removed from the forum. Or rather, I'm sorry about a reason I might have given for the removal of the topic.

It wasn't removed..!!!
-> http://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=100926.0
Title: Re: Why does Avast install on top of remnants of old AV program?
Post by: SafeSurf on July 09, 2012, 06:58:42 AM
The issue is that while programs such as Kaspersky, Norton, Avira, Microsoft Security Essentials and others will automatically refuse to install with remnants of another anti-virus program still lurking in the computer, I have managed to install Avast despite the same remnants.
We cannot speak for other AV companies, but in your link that Asyn posted below that you thought was removed, you stated that Avira would not install because of remnants; this is from your experience as I cannot speak for them.

Because such remnants impede the installation of a new anti-virus program, my impression was that Avast allows the inadviseable installation so as not to lose the potential customer.
It is posted in the instructions for installing Avast https://support.avast.com/index.php?languageid=1&group=eng&_m=knowledgebase&_a=viewarticle&kbarticleid=1139 (https://support.avast.com/index.php?languageid=1&group=eng&_m=knowledgebase&_a=viewarticle&kbarticleid=1139) to remove all prior AV's on your machine, and this is common practice with most AV companies:

Running two AV on the same computer can create all kind of mysterious windows errors and false detections.

Why you should never run more than one AV (see reply from quietman7):
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/index.php?s=49db784baecf17e7b189c833aafb624d&showtopic=260844&view=findpost&p=1441638 (http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/index.php?s=49db784baecf17e7b189c833aafb624d&showtopic=260844&view=findpost&p=1441638)

Clash Of The Antivirus Apps:
http://www.smartcomputing.com/editorial/article.asp?article=articles/2003/s1407/38s07/38s07.asp (http://www.smartcomputing.com/editorial/article.asp?article=articles/2003/s1407/38s07/38s07.asp)

So it is recommended that all previous AV's and their remnants be removed prior to installing a new AV.
Title: Re: Why does Avast install on top of remnants of old AV program?
Post by: ecbritz on July 09, 2012, 01:46:07 PM
I know that all remnants of one AV program should be removed before installing another AV program. That is not the issue.

What is at issue here, is the question whether Avast indeed installs on top of remnants of another AV program, instead of refusing to install, like some other AV programs do. Does Avast 7 install on top of alien remnants, or not? If it installs, like some previous versions of Avast did, it needs to be tweaked so that it does not install until all remnants have been cleared away by the user. That is my point.

A side issue: Does anybody know whether Revouninstaller Pro removes all traces of all AV programs when it is used in its "Advanced" mode? I usually use Revouninstaller Pro when switching from one AV program to another. A program like Kaspersky will immediately stop installing if Revouninstaller Pro did not perform a complete uninstallation of the old AV program. With Avast, I'm not so sure, because the question above has not been answered yet.
Title: Re: Why does Avast install on top of remnants of old AV program?
Post by: bob3160 on July 09, 2012, 03:34:23 PM
Quote
A side issue: Does anybody know whether Revouninstaller Pro removes all traces of all AV programs when it is used in its "Advanced" mode?
All AV programs provide a removal tool and that's what should be used to remove their respective program.


http://singularlabs.com/uninstallers/security-software/ (http://singularlabs.com/uninstallers/security-software/)


Revo and the rest of the generic uninstallers quite often remove items when uninstalling one program that effect other programs.
You usually don't find out about that part of the removal operation till you try to use that other program.
Title: Re: Why does Avast install on top of remnants of old AV program?
Post by: Lisandro on July 09, 2012, 07:29:12 PM
Quote
Does anybody know whether Revouninstaller Pro removes all traces of all AV programs when it is used in its "Advanced" mode?
I have the opposite experience.
Revo messed my system A LOT when I've used the advanced mode to uninstall MSE.
It removed all "security" and "essentials" keys of the registry and made a complete mess. I cannot recover my computer unless restoring a full image backup.

Revo is NOT a panacea and works only for simple programs. Do not use it for antivirus, firewalls, etc.
That's my personal experience and advice.
Title: Re: Why does Avast install on top of remnants of old AV program?
Post by: SafeSurf on July 10, 2012, 10:39:33 AM
Revo is NOT a panacea and works only for simple programs. Do not use it for antivirus, firewalls, etc.
That's my personal experience and advice.
I agree.  I use Revo, but not for security programs.  Live and learn.
Title: Re: Why does Avast install on top of remnants of old AV program?
Post by: ecbritz on July 10, 2012, 05:46:55 PM
I really wish I could get an answer to my question:  Does Avast 7 install on top of remnants of an older AV program, or not?

If it does, it means that you don't know whether a seemingly successful Avast & installation is fully functional and not being affected by remnants.

But if Avast 7 refuses to install, like for instance Kasperksy, you will know that a successful Avast installation has really been successful.

On reading some complaints on this forum, I wonder if remnants of an older AV program might not be responsible.

So: Does Avast 7 install on top of remnants of an older AV program, or does it not install on detecting remnants? Who will answer this?

Regarding RevoUninstaller Pro, the question is whether it replaces all AV removal tools and gets all AV program remnants out. I agree that Revo can strip away files needed in other programs. Especially risky is doing right-click on a folder containing certain program files, and then doing a forced uninstallation of the relevant program. If Revo does its work "too well", I usually re-install programs which seem to have been affected. This refreshes the faltering programs and seems to boost the overall performance of the computer.
Title: Re: Why does Avast install on top of remnants of old AV program?
Post by: CraigB on July 10, 2012, 06:17:15 PM
I really wish I could get an answer to my question:  Does Avast 7 install on top of remnants of an older AV program, or not?

Avast will install even if there are remnants of another av - whether avast works correctly after the installation is another matter as there may or may not be conflicts, this is why it is crucial to always remove remnants with the vendors removal tools before installing any AV.

Its quite common knowledge that AV's should be cleaned up properly before installing another, this is user responsibility.

Revo has already been discussed and answered i believe, dont use it to remove security products.
Title: Re: Why does Avast install on top of remnants of old AV program?
Post by: Lisandro on July 11, 2012, 03:09:47 AM
Revo has already been discussed and answered i believe, dont use it to remove security products.
+10
Title: Re: Why does Avast install on top of remnants of old AV program?
Post by: ecbritz on July 11, 2012, 04:42:57 PM
Thanks a million, at last I have received an answer to the question I have been repeating for a week or longer on two different topic postings.

The news that Avast 7 does indeed install on top of remnants of previously-installed AV programs -- and does not refuse to install on encountering remnants, like Kasperski and other major AV programs would do -- is really important knowledge. Some AV programs like AVG can be very resistant to uninstalling completely. The "kavremover" program of Kasperski should be used repeatedly to be quite sure all remnants are gone. In other words, a user simply does not know if a computer is cleared of all remnants unless the installation of a new AV program is automatically interrupted when a remnant is detected.  I would bet that very few Avast users have a way of telling if their computers are really free of alien AV remnants. It has now been confirmed that Avast itself will not show them that. The technology for warning the user against remnants in the installation phase, is available and widely used. Why does Avast not provide this protective facility? The only reason I can think of, is that Avast does not want to discourage new customers by impeding any installation of its program, even if the impediment is a good and necessary thing. Or is there a better reason?
Title: Re: Why does Avast install on top of remnants of old AV program?
Post by: bob3160 on July 11, 2012, 04:56:38 PM
avast! also balks when it encounters a know conflict and lets you know that the conflicting AV needs to be removed
before avast! can be installed.
Since all AV programs install components in all parts of your Operating System, it is possible that it doesn't detect every
part of every other AV and some may at some time cause a future conflict.
That's one of the reasons why we preach the total removal off all previously installed AV's  before you install avast!
Title: Re: Why does Avast install on top of remnants of old AV program?
Post by: Lisandro on July 12, 2012, 12:48:01 AM
Since all AV programs install components in all parts of your Operating System, it is possible that it doesn't detect every part of every other AV and some may at some time cause a future conflict.
avast! programmers won't dedicate all their time to learn all the other solutions that does not uninstall very well ;)
Title: Re: Why does Avast install on top of remnants of old AV program?
Post by: ecbritz on July 12, 2012, 02:03:42 AM
If I remember correctly, after having tried various AV programs over many years, Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) offers to remove whatever conflicting elements (actually remnants of other AV programs) it encounters while it is being installed. Cleaning up is a step in MSE's installation process. This seems to be an improvement on for instance Avira which engages the user in a super-thorough investigation into the conflicting elements, with files and reports being emailed between the user and the company. Perhaps this German thoroughness is really necessary. But MSE seems to do enough. What I would like Avast to do, is add a function similar to the clean-up-before-installation function offered by MSE.

The average user is simply not able to know about and clear a computer of all conflicting elements (AV remnants), even after running a removal tool offered by the old AV provider. The new, incoming AV program must give warning of encountering such elements on installation, and preferably also offer to remove them. Adding such a MSE-style function would remove a weakness of Avast as an AV program.

Perhaps I have not been given enough information in answer to my question, yet. One of the postings above claims that Avast would also "balk" on encountering a conflicting element. But at what point would Avast do that? My whole problem with Avast is that it does no balk soon enough, before installing itself.
Title: Re: Why does Avast install on top of remnants of old AV program?
Post by: CraigB on July 12, 2012, 07:45:17 AM
I dont believe MSE has that feature, iv seen it installed on quite a few systems that already had an AV prior to installing MSE, some of those systems were still functioning correctly and some were conflicting.

Title: Re: Why does Avast install on top of remnants of old AV program?
Post by: SafeSurf on July 12, 2012, 11:24:35 AM
A lot of M S E users were conflicting (depends on version) because we've trouble-shooted them here to get their machines to work again.
Title: Re: Why does Avast install on top of remnants of old AV program?
Post by: SafeSurf on July 12, 2012, 11:56:47 AM
As I said earlier, it depends on the version...it may not be your version.  But you can go ahead and check if you like.

Avast already does have a statement prior to installing about removing previous AV's before installing.
Title: Re: Why does Avast install on top of remnants of old AV program?
Post by: bob3160 on July 12, 2012, 11:58:58 AM
OOPS, @ecbrits,
Your last post appeard twice and when I attempted to remove one of them,
it apparently wiped out both.
My apologies.



Title: Re: Why does Avast install on top of remnants of old AV program?
Post by: SafeSurf on July 12, 2012, 12:07:11 PM
I believe he was going to check with M S E to see if they remove AV's and remnants prior to installation of new AV's.  He also feels that it is Avast's responsibility to put out a statement prior to installing to remove prior AV's and remnants.  There was more, but I don't recall the rest of it.
Title: Re: Why does Avast install on top of remnants of old AV program?
Post by: bob3160 on July 12, 2012, 12:19:47 PM
I'm sure he has it memorized and can re-post it even though he's posted the same message many times before.



Title: Re: Why does Avast install on top of remnants of old AV program?
Post by: CraigB on July 12, 2012, 12:21:14 PM
I already told him MSE doesn't have that feature, im testing there new beta version on one of my systems ;)

It could be helpful if avast had this feature one day in the future maybe and i bet they've already thought about it but the fact of the matter is that its not a feature included in avast now so its time to end this topic and move on as it's been dragged out to far already.
Title: Re: Why does Avast install on top of remnants of old AV program?
Post by: bob3160 on July 12, 2012, 12:36:45 PM
I already told him MSE doesn't have that feature, im testing there new beta version on one of my systems ;)

It could be helpful if avast had this feature one day in the future maybe and i bet they've already thought about it but the fact of the matter is that its not a feature included in avast now so its time to end this topic and move on as it's been dragged out to far already.
http://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=100961.msg809054#msg809054 (http://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=100961.msg809054#msg809054)
Title: Re: Why does Avast install on top of remnants of old AV program?
Post by: Lisandro on July 12, 2012, 01:38:33 PM
ecbritz, MSE does not have such function.
Title: Re: Why does Avast install on top of remnants of old AV program?
Post by: ecbritz on July 13, 2012, 05:57:10 AM
MSE does indeed NOT have a function to spot and also remove remnants / conflicting elements. I must have seen this function on another program, having scouted among the AV and AM programs recently. However, I hope to get support rather than defensive or dismissive reactions from forum members about my plea. Avast should really seriously consider the improvement I ask for. If Avast is a quality product, it deserves a quality installation, not an anything-goes installation which will leave perhaps half of their customers with conflicting remnants undermining the effectiveness of their new acquisition.

Computer program forums often ignore the reality that most computer users are "software idiots", to some degree. They want and need to use their computers without having to perform special antics. That is the whole point of designing "intuitive" or self-explanatory software. And that is the point of Kaspersky and other top AV providers preventing installation over conflicting remnants of other products. Its to make their products more "idiot proof", a fact appreciated by millions of software idiots out there. Please help encourage Avast to address the weakness of their product that it installs on top of conflicting elements. That would be true loyalty to Avast. That's what real friends do.

Conflicting remnants is really a serious AV problem. I add some URL's that might help some users to get rid of possible remnants. Its worth uninstalling Avast and re-installing it after using tools mentioned at the websites given below:

1.  This site contains extensive information about removing all remnants of previous anti-virus or anti-malware installations:  http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/protect/forum/mse-protect_start/list-of-anti-malware-product-removal-tools/407bf6da-c05d-4546-8788-0aa4c25a1f91

2. This site contains a list of removal tools available for different anti-virus and anti-malware programs:
http://singularlabs.com/uninstallers/security-software/

3. This site contains another list and instructions for completely uninstalling various anti-virus and anti-malware programs:

http://www.raymond.cc/blog/comprehensive-list-of-uninstallers-or-removal-tools-for-antivirus-software/

4. This site will apparently help you to remove remnants of any anti-virus or anti-malware program (according to it's claims):

http://www.appremover.com/
Title: Re: Why does Avast install on top of remnants of old AV program?
Post by: CraigB on July 13, 2012, 07:59:40 AM
No point in going on about this as the feature is not included in avast and wont be anytime in the near future, as mentioned earlyer users are responsible for there systems and not software companies.

As for the links you've supplied singularlabs is often recommended here to users for cleaning up remnants of old AV's, raymond is always outdated with there removal tools as you can see the first removal tool in there list is for alwil ::) and the appremover link you supplied is a generic uninstaller and not recommended - always use the legitimate vendors removal tools then maybe follow up with running CCleaner to tidy up.

End of story as your flogging a dead horse ( no animals were harmed in the making of this post ) ;D
Title: Re: Why does Avast install on top of remnants of old AV program?
Post by: ecbritz on July 13, 2012, 09:00:06 AM
I'm not sure what your interest is in beating down this "horse". You clearly know what Avast is up to. Help try fixing this problem, it will be much better than trying to bury the topic. But thanks for the tip. I'm sure it's better than my second-hand information on removal tools.   
Title: Re: Why does Avast install on top of remnants of old AV program?
Post by: ecbritz on July 13, 2012, 09:08:45 AM
Find the Singularlab list of uninstallers here: http://singularlabs.com/uninstallers/security-software/

You'll need it, if you are going to install Avast.
Title: Re: Why does Avast install on top of remnants of old AV program?
Post by: CraigB on July 13, 2012, 09:09:22 AM
No one is trying to bury the topic but you've made your suggestion and have been given an answer, thats it! nothing more to be said.

Avast may incorporate this feature one day if they feel the need but not anytime soon so there is nothing left to be said and no point in dragging this thread out any further.
Title: Re: Why does Avast install on top of remnants of old AV program?
Post by: SafeSurf on July 13, 2012, 10:10:57 AM
@ ecbritz,

I agree with craigb.  You have now made your point and opinion in many posts and the Avast Team reads the forum.  We are users just like you.  You have made a good suggestion.  At this point you should end this thread.  Thank you.
Title: Re: Why does Avast install on top of remnants of old AV program?
Post by: bob3160 on July 13, 2012, 02:20:42 PM
The squeaky wheel gets the grease unless the squeaking becomes so annoying
that you finally replace the whole car.  :o
Title: Re: Why does Avast install on top of remnants of old AV program?
Post by: ecbritz on July 14, 2012, 09:52:43 AM
Personal insults will not blind almost 650 viewers of this thread to the fact that Avast allows unsuspecting users to install its program on top of conflicting elements, instead of helping such users to realize and remove the conflicting elements. Avast is not as user-friendly on installation as it seems to be. This is my charge. The repetition of my message was necessitated by a small band of Avast "Evangelists" who denied, dismissed and opposed my remarks as if I had somehow caught Avast out and Avast needed "cover". An exception was CraigB who finally admitted the problem. But he also corrected me in ways which were useful to both myself and other viewers. CraigB also gave some hope that a function warning unsuspecting installers of Avast might be added to the program in future. I really appreciate constructive debate and criticism concentrated on the matter at hand. If it was not for CraigB, I would started to doubt the integrity of this forum itself. Avast is an excellent program and I would encourage anybody to buy the Pro or Internet Security versions. But it needs to prevent unsuspecting users from installing it on top of conflicting remnants of other AV products.
Title: Re: Why does Avast install on top of remnants of old AV program?
Post by: Asyn on July 14, 2012, 10:02:12 AM
Personal insults...

Sorry, but nobody did insult you in any way..!!
Title: Re: Why does Avast install on top of remnants of old AV program?
Post by: Lisandro on July 14, 2012, 05:09:50 PM
The repetition of my message was necessitated by a small band of Avast "Evangelists" who denied, dismissed and opposed my remarks as if I had somehow caught Avast out and Avast needed "cover".
We're not blind not deaf. You've posted and was listened. Please, keep forum atmosphere.

I really appreciate constructive debate and criticism concentrated on the matter at hand. (...) I would started to doubt the integrity of this forum itself.
We also love constructive debate and criticism. But if you doubt about it and do not trust your security company, maybe it's time to move on. We can't help you further.

But it needs to prevent unsuspecting users from installing it on top of conflicting remnants of other AV products.
Whenever it is technically possible (for time effort, programming, etc.) it will be done.
Title: Re: Why does Avast install on top of remnants of old AV program?
Post by: bob3160 on July 15, 2012, 03:42:10 PM
Quote
But it needs to prevent unsuspecting users from installing it on top of conflicting remnants of other AV products.
Using that analogy, when someone punches you in the eye, don't blame the person throwing the punch,
blame the eye for being in the way to receive the punch. ??? ??? ???
The culprit are the manufacturers since they didn't prepare  the standard removal to remove all traces of their program.
(To be fair, since avast! also has a removal tool, I guess they also need to improve their standard add/remove function.)
Title: Re: Why does Avast install on top of remnants of old AV program?
Post by: ecbritz on July 16, 2012, 10:40:48 AM
I was very happy to read the following coming from the Tech Team: "Whenever it is technically possible (for time effort, programming, etc.) it will be done." If I received this greatly appreciated answer at the start of the thread, this would have been a very short, sweet and gratefull thread. Not a saga of denial and dismissal attracting the attention of about 800 viewers to date. I do trust Avast and I like its special protective and scanning features.  I would not have bought a three computer license for two years, recently, if I did not like Avast. I've known Avast for at least ten years. The main reason I prefered Kaspersky for most of that time, was the deceptive ease with which Avast could be installed, compared with the "strict" installation of Kaspersky -- the checking for conflicting elements. This kind of installation instills trust, not only in the product but also in the installation itself. When Kaspersky installs, one knows that it is properly installed and will function as intended.

But enough of that. After the promise given by the Tech Team, I'm done with this topic. MANY THANKS! Also to the "Evangelists" whose product loyalty I do appreciate!
Title: Re: Why does Avast install on top of remnants of old AV program?
Post by: SafeSurf on July 16, 2012, 10:45:47 AM
After the promise given by the Tech Team, I'm done with this topic. MANY THANKS! Also to the "Evangelists" whose product loyalty I do appreciate!
If you feel that you would like to close this thread, please go back to the first open post in this topic, click the modify button in that Post and change the title/subject, add [Resolved] to the beginning.  Thank you  :)
Title: Re: Why does Avast install on top of remnants of old AV program?
Post by: ecbritz on July 16, 2012, 11:17:05 AM
The one question still remaining is whether it is technically possible for a AV program provider like Avast to provide a generic "conflicting remnants" cleaner, on installation of its  program -- a cleaner which does away with the need to use special uninstallation tools provided by a wide variety of other AV and AM products. CraigB dispelled my illusion that MSE came with such a cleaner. This question is beyond the actual thread subject, which has been resolved. But just to put a last curl in the cat's tail, I'd like to know if such a cleaner would be too much to ask for, for technical reasons. Thanks again for a very nice conclusion to this debate.
Title: Re: Why does Avast install on top of remnants of old AV program?
Post by: bob3160 on July 16, 2012, 11:43:58 AM
Quote
I'd like to know if such a cleaner would be too much to ask for, for technical reasons.
Such a cleaner already exists you simply have to pick the right one at:
http://singularlabs.com/uninstallers/security-software/ (http://singularlabs.com/uninstallers/security-software/)
Title: Re: Why does Avast install on top of remnants of old AV program?
Post by: Gopher John on July 16, 2012, 06:33:18 PM
Any program removing a competitor's product opens up a real can of worms, regardless of whether there are conflicts.  I believe that it was McAfee that targeted certain competitors' products, even when there was no conflict.  At most, perhaps the installer could raise a flag about a possible conflict with an installed program would be a good feature.  The true and final responsibility (and option) must remain with the user.  They could either proceed with the install or abort until they'd removed the offending program.  Otherwise, they suffer the consequences of the conflicts.
Title: Re: Why does Avast install on top of remnants of old AV program?
Post by: ecbritz on July 17, 2012, 12:17:09 PM
I'm not as knowledgable about AV matters as most of the subscribers to this thread. However, I think that not only a flag should be waved, but a good AV program should refuse to install until the coast has been cleared of conflicting forces according to a check it automatically runs at the installation phase. The program, not the user, should recognise and decide what conflicts with itself. This is what Avast has promised for the future, I thought. At this point of reaching about 1000 viewers, I am happy to declare the issue resolved. Thanks very much to all for a good discussion coming to a very hopeful conclusion!