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Consumer Products => Avast Free Antivirus / Premium Security (legacy Pro Antivirus, Internet Security, Premier) => Topic started by: Paul44 on August 28, 2014, 03:59:19 PM

Title: [Solved] Action center - Turn on avast
Post by: Paul44 on August 28, 2014, 03:59:19 PM
The action center on Windows 7 Home Premium x64 shows an important message that says Turn on Avast.

I have this issue for months. Some days ago I decided to remove Avast and use the Avast clean tool in safe mode in order to do a fresh install of Avast antivirus and the message disappeared.

But today after the last Windows update, KB2993651, the message is back.

Just in case it has anything to do with it I have Windows Defender running on the system too. Is there any conflict between current versions of Avast 2014 and Windows Defender?

This problem is really annoying. Avast is running anyway but I'm sick of that stupid message popping up each time I turn on my computer.

Any solution?
Title: Re: Action center - Turn on avast
Post by: Eddy on August 28, 2014, 04:12:28 PM
Never run two av's on one system.
The message from the action center is a bug that excist in Windows since XP.
Please use the search option before posting since this is handled many times before already.
Title: Re: Action center - Turn on avast
Post by: Staticguy on August 28, 2014, 04:16:21 PM
Hello Eddy! There's a similar post to this in this forum and I can't remember which one was it and I also replied to that post but didn't get any replies back. As I was saying I have faced this few times and the aftermath of this cause is that it causes the OS to automatically restart. So the automatically restart is also the same bug that causes the action center to report that the AV is turned off. Is that correct?

Edit: I found the link https://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=153899.msg1119119#msg1119119
Title: Re: Action center - Turn on avast
Post by: Paul44 on August 28, 2014, 04:44:43 PM
Please use the search option before posting since this is handled many times before already.

If you are going to create even more confusion is better not to reply. I read the forum more than enough to make my question very clear.

Never run two av's on one system.
┬┐And which are those two av's I'm running? Reply clearly. My inclusion of Windows Defender on the question was to have a clear answer if current Windows Defender is in conflict with current Avast. For what I read on this forum and, what I thought till now, Windows Defender (at least the Windows 7 version) is just a antispyware software and not an antivirus and for that reason will not conflict with Avast. If current Windows Defender for Windows 7 Home Premium x64 is in conflict with Avast (for whatever reason, because it is now an antivirus or whatever other reason) please tell me. I have not any problem to disable Windows Defender if I need to.

Never run two av's on one system.
The message from the action center is a bug that excist in Windows since XP.
I don't know which is that bug you are talking about. I have used Avast a lot for several years and I'm only facing this issue for some months now. Some days ago I have decided to do a fresh install of Avast. Doing first a total clean of Avast with the provided clean tool in safe mode (and you wonder why I did that? because I read support forums before I ask things). That indeed solved the action center message issue for some days till today when it reappeared after a Windows update.

I really don't know how is possible that Avast is confortable blaming just Microsoft about this (no more than till XP) and not providing any solution. When besides it never happened to me with any other antivirus I have tried.
Title: Re: Action center - Turn on avast
Post by: Eddy on August 28, 2014, 05:01:20 PM
"And which are those two av's I'm running?"
Quote
Just in case it has anything to do with it I have Windows Defender running on the system too
http://blog.kaspersky.com/multiple-antivirus-programs-bad-idea/

"Windows Defender (at least the Windows 7 version) is just a antispyware software and not an antivirus and for that reason will not conflict with Avast."
Quote
Windows Defender is your first line of defense against spyware and other unwanted software.
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/products/features/windows-defender

Nowadays av, anti-spyware and such names almost never cover what the software is doing.
A better naming is anti-malware, as there are almost no more viruses at present.

About the bug:
http://tinyurl.com/qfv6wq2
Title: Re: Action center - Turn on avast
Post by: Paul44 on August 28, 2014, 08:36:05 PM
First thing I have done is to disable Windows Defender real time and the active center showed after that two warnings, no antivirus and no antispyware software instead just only no antivirus message. But Avast was running correctly.

Then I downloaded the Avast uninstaller, another antivirus and that other antivirus uninstaller.

In safe mode I used Avast uninstaller but I said no when the uninstaller asks if you are sure you want to remove all files in the folder (it shows such a warning that I clicked no trying to stop the process to start it again from scratch, but the process continued anyway uninstalling all the rest). So it uninstalled everything of Avast (browser extensions, the registry entries including the run on startup, ...) but not the files. I restarted and the action center was showing still the same messages no antivirus no antispyware. And what was very curious still showed Avast reporting it was not active (don't know how active center works to show that message but was showing Avast on the message). This message were in red, marked as errors.

Then I installed the other antivirus (which is a trial that I have not rights to use anymore) and restarted and it showed perfectly its state. The active center was reporting correctly that antivirus XXXXX was not active temporarily -because it needed to be registered-, both as antivirus and as antispyware. This was a warning, marked with a yellow color. It was not an error in red.

Then in safe mode I used that other antivus uninstaller and restarted once more. Again the active center was showing no antivirus no antispyware, reporting Avast was not active.

So again I restarted into safe mode and I run the avast uninstaller. I selected the avast folder as this time that folder was not filled in the uninstaller automatically, and continue with the uninstall. Now all Avast files were removed. I restarted and this time the active center was showing no antivirus, no antispyware. The antivirus section showing no product names at all and the antispyware software saying Windows Defender was not active.

Finally I reinstalled Avast and restarted. And the active center shows correctly that Avast is active as antivirus and antispyware. Hope it continues that way.

So, I don't know exactly how the active center works but most of the times it is showing the correct state of things. And for all the years I have been using computers and those are a lot, the only problem I have seen till now in the active center related to security software that I remember, is for some months this annoying message that is saying Avast is not active when it all indicates is running correctly anyway. Besides it all indicates that when an antivirus is running is that antivirus the one that reports its state to the active center or at least is what I imply considering the message about that other antivirus I tested was explaning very clearly what were going on -something is impossible for the active center to show unless the antivirus itself reports it to the active center-.

Maybe you are right and it is a Windows bug. But for my experience on these tests it all indicates is a problem on the running antivirus not reporting correctly its state to the active center for some reason.

Besides considering what happened to me today I'm now not sure if the other time I tried to do a fresh installation -some days ago- I did it correctly or maybe I did same mistake when using the uninstaller in safe mode not removing the whole Avast Software folder from Program Files. So maybe I did not a clean install but an installation over the previous Avast files.

I will see in some days if it is indeed a bug on Windows (if the issue comes back I will be more inclined to accept that) or a problem in Avast mayor update (from Avast 8 to Avast 2014) that is solved with a fresh install.
Title: Re: Action center - Turn on avast
Post by: Eddy on August 29, 2014, 07:52:51 AM
Quote
Maybe you are right and it is a Windows bug.
It sure is a bug in the action center. Check out the tinyurl I posted. You will see that all av's can be reported as not active while they are active. It is at least very unlikely that all av's have been programmed wrong.
Quote
But for my experience on these tests it all indicates is a problem on the running antivirus not reporting correctly its state to the active center for some reason.
It is the other way around. The action center checks if there is a av installed and if it is active or not.

Why Microsoft still haven't fixed it?
I don't know, but there are more bugs that they haven't fixed in many years.
I know one where you can get to see "put the cd in the floppy drive".
Give it a try  ;D
It can't be a translation error because it is in English, the same language MS is programming their first editions of each Windows version in.
Perhaps someone typed it at a monday morning after a "heavy weekend"  ;)
But it has been there since Windows 98.
Title: Re: Action center - Turn on avast
Post by: Paul44 on August 29, 2014, 10:38:46 AM

Quote
But for my experience on these tests it all indicates is a problem on the running antivirus not reporting correctly its state to the active center for some reason.
It is the other way around. The action center checks if there is a av installed and if it is active or not.


I'm sure that is not totally true. It can be true that when no security software is available -or something is working wrong- it is the security center the one that tries to find out what is going on to display the info message -maybe trying to find out if there is a security software present in the file system and not active-. But when the security software is active it has to be some kind of communication between the software and the security center to report the status or otherwise it is imposible that the action center can show a detailed message (not just active or not active) as I have already explained in previous message.

I have tried to find a detailed documentation about the API but it seems it is a private API only available for security software developers via an agreement with Microsoft.

Here is a quote from Windows Security Center documentation (http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg537273(v=vs.85).aspx)
Quote
In order for third party security solutions (antivirus, antimalware, or antispyware) to be compliant with Windows and successfully report status to Action Center, they are required to register themselves with Security Center and report any subsequent status changes using private APIs for communicating with WSC. WSC, in turn, communicates these updates to Action Center, where they are finally displayed to the end user.
There is some code samples in the linked documentation but I bet it is not the full documentation on that subject. In fact though I can't be sure as I'm not an expert on the subject I think it is just documention on how to query the status of the security software, something is available for Windows 8 and above only. Anyway I think that quote is very very clear on what it states.

By the way I restarted the system once more today and the action center is still reporting the Avast active status correctly. It is still soon to say but probably the issue was just related to some trash left behing by previous version of Avast. And just for the curious the Avast cleaner -Avast uninstall utility, avastclear.exe- doesn't remove Avast completely from the system. I'm sure at least the configuration options are not removed, nor the status of the registration -the license status-. And though I understand it doesn't clean the license status I don't know why it does not clean the configuration settings or at leat provide the option to do so.
Title: Re: Action center - Turn on avast
Post by: CraigB on August 29, 2014, 10:54:48 AM
As Eddy has already mentioned the problem is related to a windows bug and the security centre not correctly recognising the status of installed security software, it is a common problem across the board with many... if not all AV's.

Another problem with the security centre is in the "maintenance" - view reliability history, security centre in itself is a mess ;)   
Title: Re: Action center - Turn on avast
Post by: CraigB on August 29, 2014, 11:02:11 AM
To simply fix the security centre message you can disable the avast shields for 10 minutes via right clicking the avast ball in taskbar then re-enable.. all fixed :)
Title: Re: Action center - Turn on avast
Post by: Paul44 on August 29, 2014, 12:00:56 PM
Ok, thanks all of you for all your help.

So it is then related to the WMI database having a wrong value of the security software status because of a bug on Windows or whatever other reason? And the solution is to reset that status in some way, for example disabling the antivirus for 10 minutes and enabling it again or by forcing a full rebuild of the WMI repository? And the security software itself can't solve this situation once the WMI is messed up?
Title: Re: Action center - Turn on avast
Post by: Paul44 on August 31, 2014, 06:49:00 PM
This can not be considered a bug at least in my opinion. It is possible that in some cases this issue is related to that "bug" you are linking but it is not in all the cases. So be careful. Besides you have to be careful with what you link because maybe some people are tempted to follow instructions that are not related to their poblem (for example chances are someone finishes rebulding the WMI repository if they read some of the articles of what you are linking when they shouldn't in most case do something like that).

If your antivirus is working properly but the action center is reporting it is not active then the only thing you can be sure is that there is something wrong with your action center.

In some cases it is just a temporal issue (something could have been wrong for some minor issue) and just for example disabling and reenabling the antivirus would be enough to make the action center show the correct status again. If you do this and the problem doesn't come back again, you are done solving your problem.

But in other cases in which the problem comes back again and again you have to look for the source of the problem. Most, if not all, of the times this will be just a sympton that something is wrong with your WMI (Windows Management Instrumentation) Service. Almost sure it is not working properly and it is the source of the problem. At this point I'm not an expert on how WMI works to give any advice on how to diagnose that service but at least you know what do you need to look at. Probably a good starting point is to learn how winmgmt can be used to check repository consistency. At least you know you are most probable facing a WMI problem and maybe you can ask somewhere for advice on how to diagnose to find the source of the problem.

In my case I found the problem at last in the event log. Something was wrong with my graphic card driver that was making some services to fail and restart automatically when my laptop was waking up from sleep (and probably sometimes intermittently on normal use of the computer too). Being one of those restarted services the WMI Service. And that was the source of my problem. Uninstalling the graphic card drivers in the device manager, restarting the computer, allowing Windows to find and install the driver again and restarting the computer, solved the issue. Now when the computer wakes up from sleep there are no errors on services, no services restarted and no bad display of information on the security center.

In my case if I had rebuild the WMI repository it would had been useless because my WMI repository was in perfect shape. Not only chances are I would have messed my system more if I did that, probably having to reinstall some third party software but my issue would come back again and again and again no matter how many times I would have rebuild the repository.

Maybe this helps someone.
Title: Re: Action center - Turn on avast
Post by: bob3160 on September 01, 2014, 01:32:16 AM
This can not be considered a bug at least in my opinion. It is possible that in some cases this issue is related to that "bug" you are linking but it is not in all the cases. So be careful. Besides you have to be careful with what you link because maybe some people are tempted to follow instructions that are not related to their poblem (for example chances are someone finishes rebulding the WMI repository if they read some of the articles of what you are linking when they shouldn't in most case do something like that).

If your antivirus is working properly but the action center is reporting it is not active then the only thing you can be sure is that there is something wrong with your action center.

In some cases it is just a temporal issue (something could have been wrong for some minor issue) and just for example disabling and reenabling the antivirus would be enough to make the action center show the correct status again. If you do this and the problem doesn't come back again, you are done solving your problem.

But in other cases in which the problem comes back again and again you have to look for the source of the problem. Most, if not all, of the times this will be just a sympton that something is wrong with your WMI (Windows Management Instrumentation) Service. Almost sure it is not working properly and it is the source of the problem. At this point I'm not an expert on how WMI works to give any advice on how to diagnose that service but at least you know what do you need to look at. Probably a good starting point is to learn how winmgmt can be used to check repository consistency. At least you know you are most probable facing a WMI problem and maybe you can ask somewhere for advice on how to diagnose to find the source of the problem.

In my case I found the problem at last in the event log. Something was wrong with my graphic card driver that was making some services to fail and restart automatically when my laptop was waking up from sleep (and probably sometimes intermittently on normal use of the computer too). Being one of those restarted services the WMI Service. And that was the source of my problem. Uninstalling the graphic card drivers in the device manager, restarting the computer, allowing Windows to find and install the driver again and restarting the computer, solved the issue. Now when the computer wakes up from sleep there are no errors on services, no services restarted and no bad display of information on the security center.

In my case if I had rebuild the WMI repository it would had been useless because my WMI repository was in perfect shape. Not only chances are I would have messed my system more if I did that, probably having to reinstall some third party software but my issue would come back again and again and again no matter how many times I would have rebuild the repository.

Maybe this helps someone.
It is a windows bug and the fix is very easy:
http://youtu.be/5eqPZUxmbOY (http://youtu.be/5eqPZUxmbOY)
Title: Re: [Solved] Action center - Turn on avast
Post by: CraigB on September 01, 2014, 03:23:14 AM
Are you not noticing the previous posts again Bob :-\ I thought reply 9 clearly explained how to solve the problem.
Title: Re: [Solved] Action center - Turn on avast
Post by: bob3160 on September 01, 2014, 03:28:56 AM
Are you not noticing the previous posts again Bob<$1alt="" title="" onresizestart="return false;" id="smiley__$2" style="padding: 0 3px 0 3px;" /> I thought reply 9 clearly explained how to solve the problem.
I guess reply #12 didn't understand that resolution. :)
Title: Re: [Solved] Action center - Turn on avast
Post by: CraigB on September 01, 2014, 03:42:38 AM
Undoubtedly a senior moment then ;)
Title: Re: [Solved] Action center - Turn on avast
Post by: Paul44 on September 01, 2014, 04:02:12 AM
Are you not noticing the previous posts again Bob :-\ I thought reply 9 clearly explained how to solve the problem.

If you actually read my message explaining the issue you will know that what you are saying is just nonsense. If you have a real issue with the WMI Service not working properly for some reason, that fix is totally useless. You will fix the issue only temporarily and it will can back again as soon as your real problem makes the action center display again the wrong message.

In my case the problem was a not properly installed hardware driver that was making WMI Service fail and restart automatically quite often (and other services the first one to fail being Shell Hardware Detection) having as a side effect the wrong message about antivirus not being enabled in action center.

Sure I don't have an in depth knowledge on how WMI works and how action center reads the metadata from it but my real issue was exactly the one I explained.

If you prefer to repeat your fix again and again and again thinking all people is having same problem, you guess what, you are not going to be very helpful.

That fix can be the correct fix for some people, even maybe in most cases, but not always is the solution.
Title: Re: [Solved] Action center - Turn on avast
Post by: CraigB on September 01, 2014, 04:10:43 AM
The fix that was discussed is for the Security centre not recognising the AV is turned on, if your problem was related to a incorrectly installed driver then that is another problem altogether so the fix that was mentioned is still relative to the issue discussed beforehand.
Title: Re: [Solved] Action center - Turn on avast
Post by: Paul44 on September 01, 2014, 04:37:45 AM
The fix that was discussed is for the Security centre not recognising the AV is turned on, if your problem was related to a incorrectly installed driver then that is another problem altogether so the fix that was mentioned is still relative to the issue discussed beforehand.

Whatever. If you actually don't understand that your fix is not a real fix and the only real fix is to find out what made the action center* fail in first place -and that will mean review and diagnose your WMI Service- then there is not much to do. Be happy.

If what made the action center fail was a fluke that is not going to be repeated, then yes, your fix is the fix.

* windows 7 and above don't have a security center but an action center.
Title: Re: [Solved] Action center - Turn on avast
Post by: CraigB on September 01, 2014, 04:52:42 AM
Whatever. If you actually don't understand that your fix is not a real fix and the only real fix is to find out what made the action center* fail in first place -and that will mean review and diagnose your WMI Service- then there is not much to do. Be happy.

If what made the action center fail was a fluke that is not going to be repeated, then yes, your fix is the fix.

* windows 7 and above don't have a security center but an action center.
You've certainly got a bad attitude for people that were trying to help you ::)

The fix discussed is a real fix for the issue it was intended and has helped and solved many peoples enquiries on the same matter, you only stated later in the topic that your problem was driver related so hence it is different to the initial problem discussed.

Security Centre - Action Centre "basically same thing" ::)
Title: Re: [Solved] Action center - Turn on avast
Post by: Paul44 on September 01, 2014, 11:33:57 AM
Whatever. If you actually don't understand that your fix is not a real fix and the only real fix is to find out what made the action center* fail in first place -and that will mean review and diagnose your WMI Service- then there is not much to do. Be happy.

If what made the action center fail was a fluke that is not going to be repeated, then yes, your fix is the fix.

* windows 7 and above don't have a security center but an action center.
You've certainly got a bad attitude for people that were trying to help you ::)

The fix discussed is a real fix for the issue it was intended and has helped and solved many peoples enquiries on the same matter, you only stated later in the topic that your problem was driver related so hence it is different to the initial problem discussed.

Security Centre - Action Centre "basically same thing" ::)

I know about the attitude and I'm sorry for it but you are not having a good attitude either. Just pay attention how you all are trying to help just from the beginning. I must confess I was pissed off just from the beginning when I was blamed of not searching the forum for the solution when I had done so.

And then later when I explain the issue you continue with the mantra of what is in your opinion the one and only fix to that issue which besides in your opinion is because of a bug in windows that can't be solved in any other way. Something you are repeating even once more now:
Quote
The fix discussed is a real fix

Until you realize that's not true and that the action center showing a bad message about the state of the antivirus software is just a sympton and can be a symptom of other problems -including serious problems- you will continue repeating that fix as if it were the real and only fix.

But fixing a symptom is not the solution for a problem.

And I really hope that none of the people applying that fix are masking a real problem and having a headache finding the real problem later. Or people aplying that fix 10 times a month or whatever because they actually believe you when you say it is a windows bug and they believe there is nothing they can do other than applying that fix. Or people being sick of having the wrong action center message so often they decide to disable that action center message because they believe it is a windows bug and they can't solve the problem. Or... You follow my concern?

You are right that Windows Action Center and Windows Security Center are basically same thing. It has only been renamed because from Windows 7 it monitors more things than just security. And in fact the service is still called Security Center (wscsvc). Anyway and as this issue was for Windows 7 I prefer to use the proper name to avoid confusion (which doesn't mean I don't make mistakes on the names from time to time).

Think about how polity is the attitude: "this is the fix, this is a windows bug, period".
Title: Re: [Solved] Action center - Turn on avast
Post by: CraigB on September 01, 2014, 01:34:34 PM
As you are the only person who seems to have your exact issue then the fix suggested is still the correct fix for 99.9% of other people, your system obviously has other problems that weren't diagnosed because no diagnostic programs had been run to supply anyone here the logs to look over, what was previously discussed is still a windows bug but whether that relates to your corrupted driver issue " who knows "