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Avast Products => Avast Free Antivirus / Premium Security (legacy Pro Antivirus, Internet Security, Premier) => Topic started by: Crashman on April 16, 2007, 08:42:31 AM

Title: Minor but annoying XP startup issue with 4.7.981
Post by: Crashman on April 16, 2007, 08:42:31 AM
Greetings, all...

Just a quick question to see if anyone else has experienced a slow startup of parts of Windows XP SP2 since the update to .981.  With the previous version, on booting up, the desktop would appear, then a second or two later the XP taskbar would appear and the tedious XP startup sound would play simultaneously; startup programs would immediately run, and the avast tray icon did not display the red slash that shows up when one of its components is not functioning.  In other words, it was a nice, crisp, clean startup.

But since the update to .981, the taskbar appears immediately, but the startup sound occurs about 10 -15 seconds later, and during this period the avast icon in the tray shows the red slash (or whatever it is) until the sound plays. I guess .981 doesn't like something about my system...

My specs:  Intel Core 2 Duo 6400 on Asus P5L-VM 1394, 1 GB memory, Windows XP SP2, firewall is XP's built-in thing.  No other security apps run at startup, and in fact the only other things set to run at startup are NeroCheck (version 6) and Nero InCD (version 4.3.something);  I don't allow Creative's X-Fi startup crap to run (yes, I'm very anal retentive).  Hardware drivers include Intel chipset software, most recent X-FI driver (ONLY the driver is installed, not the other bloatware) and Asus/Attansic LAN driver, and NVIDIA Forceware 93.71.  All drivers are WHQL certified.

This is not a major crisis, of course, but I'm curious about what might be causing this.  Any insight would be appreciated.

Regards,
Crashman
Title: Re: Minor but annoying XP startup issue with 4.7.981
Post by: Vlk on April 16, 2007, 08:55:36 AM
Hi Crashman, and welcome to the avast forums.

Could you please try this: http://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=27733.msg226219#msg226219 ?

Thanks
Vlk
Title: Re: Minor but annoying XP startup issue with 4.7.981
Post by: Crashman on April 16, 2007, 09:22:08 AM
Hello, Vlk!!!

I deleted that value from the registry and the boot process seems just about normal again.  The only remaining hint that there was an issue is that the red slash hangs on for a few seconds, but desktop, taskbar, and startup sound all materialize at virtually the same time again.  I think you got it...

Thanks for the welcome to the forum, the great help, and the quick reply!
Title: Re: Minor but annoying XP startup issue with 4.7.981
Post by: Vlk on April 16, 2007, 09:48:46 AM
Well, this is in fact an interesting problem that we intend to analyze a bit deeper. Would you be willing to do some more tests for us? The problem is, we're unable to simulate the problem on any of our machines.

The thing is - we seem to know the cure but don't know the cause. That is never good in software engineering, and makes us a bit nervous :( :)


Cheers
Vlk
Title: Re: Minor but annoying XP startup issue with 4.7.981
Post by: Crashman on April 16, 2007, 10:09:35 AM
Greetings again, Vlk,

I'd be happy to help in any way I can. Your interest in tracking down and fixing the issue is admirable, and it's well worth the time to carry my share of the water in that process.  ;D

Best regards,
Crashman

Title: Re: Minor but annoying XP startup issue with 4.7.981
Post by: Vlk on April 16, 2007, 12:13:50 PM
Thanks.

To start, I'd like to know if the problem still happens if you:

- put back the Groups reg value (to do this, you can use the following reg file http://public.avast.com/~vlk/avast-fast-start.reg), AND
- uninstall all the avast on-access providers except for Outlook/Exchange (to do this, please head to Control Panel, Add/Remove Programs, Avast antivirus, Change/Remove, Change and untick the boxes next to each of the items under "Resident Protection", except for "Outlook/Exchange" [that's the only one that should stay with the green check mark]).

The reboot and see if it has any effect on the issue.

Thanks
Vlk
Title: Re: Minor but annoying XP startup issue with 4.7.981
Post by: Crashman on April 16, 2007, 04:13:15 PM
Vlk,

With only Outlook/Exchange installed and the "groups" value ENABLED, the boot delay is back.  But I should also note that on my original installation, with only Internet Mail, Network Shield, Web Shield, and Standard shield installed (no Outlook/Exchange, P2P, Instant Messaging or skins installed) and only English language modules, the boot delay DOES occur.

I will await your next instructions.

Crashman
Title: Re: Minor but annoying XP startup issue with 4.7.981
Post by: Vlk on April 16, 2007, 04:16:55 PM
Thanks. Interesting, so it seems the problem is not related to any of the providers.

Two more questions:
- do you have a fast Internet connection?
- do you have a PS/2 keyboard (as opposed to USB)?

Thanks
Vlk
Title: Re: Minor but annoying XP startup issue with 4.7.981
Post by: Crashman on April 16, 2007, 04:22:39 PM
Vlk,

Yes to both questions.  I'm on 768K DSL broadband which require a dial-up-like logon process.

Crashman
Title: Re: Minor but annoying XP startup issue with 4.7.981
Post by: Crashman on April 16, 2007, 04:33:28 PM
Just a thought here...

Could the services Windows XP runs at bootup have something to do with this?  I know that disabling the Web Client service had no effect on the boot lag when I tried that yesterday, but the SSDP Discovery service is set to "manual" but still runs at Windows startup anyway (apparently because of Windows Media Player 11 being installed on this computer).

I might also note that I have .NET framework 2.0 installed as well.

Crashman
Title: Re: Minor but annoying XP startup issue with 4.7.981
Post by: Vlk on April 16, 2007, 04:42:48 PM
What I'd need is a full memory dump of the machine at the time it is "stuck".

The procedure is described here: http://support.avast.com/index.php?_m=knowledgebase&_a=viewarticle&kbarticleid=71

It's a bit time-consuming (you have to do some config changes, reboot, then generate the dump, reboot again, and then upload the dump to our ftp site, which usually takes quite long). If you don't have time to do it, no problem! ;)


Thanks
Vlk
Title: Re: Minor but annoying XP startup issue with 4.7.981
Post by: Crashman on April 16, 2007, 04:53:47 PM
Vlk, no problem, but I'll need about 20 minutes or so.  I'll reinstall avast! with the Standard, Web, Network, and Internet Mail shields enabled, and the groups registry value in place, then follow the full memory dump procedure.

Back to you soon,

Crashman
Title: Re: Minor but annoying XP startup issue with 4.7.981
Post by: Crashman on April 16, 2007, 05:32:57 PM
Vlk,

I have the complete memory dump, but I've never sent anything using FTP. How do I use XP's FTP client to send the file to ftp.avast.com/incoming? 

Thanks,

Crashman
Title: Re: Minor but annoying XP startup issue with 4.7.981
Post by: DavidR on April 16, 2007, 05:41:36 PM
With IE or a clone, Upload them to ftp://ftp.avast.com/incoming - Connect to the link and drag the file into the Right pane and drop it, that starts the upload, you don't have read access to this folder.
Title: Re: Minor but annoying XP startup issue with 4.7.981
Post by: Crashman on April 16, 2007, 05:50:07 PM
DavidR,

Thanks for the info.

Before I could read your reply, I think I figured out how to use XP's ftp client.  I'm currently sending the file as the binary file crashman.dmp (hope this was right!).

Regards,
Crashman
Title: Re: Minor but annoying XP startup issue with 4.7.981
Post by: Vlk on April 16, 2007, 05:51:25 PM
I see it coming. However, I'd strongly suggest to compress (e.g. ZIP) the file - this usually makes it at least 3x smaller.

Thanks
Vlk
Title: Re: Minor but annoying XP startup issue with 4.7.981
Post by: DavidR on April 16, 2007, 06:00:31 PM
@ Crashman
That looks fine, naming the file as you have should help Vlk if there are other .dmp files.

Edit: didn't see Vlk's post on a 2nd page and he has already seen it
Title: Re: Minor but annoying XP startup issue with 4.7.981
Post by: Crashman on April 17, 2007, 02:42:15 AM
Vlk,

Sorry about not compressing the dump file before sending it.  I was so excited that I figured out how to FTP it to you that I just sent it off without thinking. :-[ ;D With some luck, the upload should be finished in a few hours.

I got to thinking about why this boot hang seems to be such an isolated problem.  On April 10, Microsoft issued a number of critical XP patches which changed what I believe are core system files, and which I installed when Windows Update offered them last Tuesday.  For example,
         KB931784 provided new versions of ntkrnlmp.exe, ntkrpamp.exe, ntoskrnl.exe and ntkrnlpa.exe;
         KB930178 issued a new version of winsrv.dll;
         KB925902 installed updated versions of mf3216.dll, gdi32.dll, win32k.sys and user32.dll;
         KB931261 gave us a new upnphost.dll; and
         KB932168 updated xpsp3res.dll and agentdpv.dll
Perhaps something new in one or more of these updated core files caused .981 to hang a bit at boot up when the "group" registry setting is enabled.

I would also add that the HAL.dll that my system is using is actually renamed from halmacpi.dll for my dual-core processor.  This file is version 5.1.2600.2180 and dated 2/28/2006.

Thanks again for your patience with me in this process and for your quick help in tracking down whatever the issue might be.

Regards,
Crashman
Title: Re: Minor but annoying XP startup issue with 4.7.981
Post by: Vlk on April 17, 2007, 12:44:24 PM
Hi Crashman,

the dump finally arrives. Thanks!

Now, I'd need you to do some more tests. From the command-line (cmd.exe), please try the following commands:

fltmc instances

fltmc volumes

(one at a time) and please post back the output you're getting.

Thanks
Vlk
Title: Re: Minor but annoying XP startup issue with 4.7.981
Post by: Crashman on April 17, 2007, 02:16:07 PM
Hi Vlk,

For the first, I get "no filters/instances found" and for the second I get "no volumes found".

Regards,
Crashman
Title: Re: Minor but annoying XP startup issue with 4.7.981
Post by: Vlk on April 17, 2007, 02:45:58 PM
OK, thanks.

One more question: does WebDAV ring a bell to you? I mean, are you (intentionally) using any WebDAV drives?

Thanks
Vlk
Title: Re: Minor but annoying XP startup issue with 4.7.981
Post by: Crashman on April 17, 2007, 02:50:17 PM
Not that I am aware of, although the XP WebClient service does run at startup, and that service claims to be dependent on the WebDav Client Redirector...

Crashman
Title: Re: Minor but annoying XP startup issue with 4.7.981
Post by: Vlk on April 17, 2007, 02:59:29 PM
And that's exactly where the system was stuck at the moment you captured the dump!

I'd like to ask you to try to disable the Web Client service and restart (with the new version, with the Groups value set). Does that resolve the problem as well?

Thanks
Vlk
Title: Re: Minor but annoying XP startup issue with 4.7.981
Post by: Crashman on April 17, 2007, 03:12:03 PM
Vlk,

Disabling the WebClient service reduces the startup sound delay by about half.  A delay still occurs, but its duration is now about 4-5 seconds or so.

Crashman

EDIT:  May I ask you what the "groups" registry setting does?  Despite the fact that it seems to introduce a slight boot delay for Windows XP itself, all my programs seem to load faster with avast! resident and the groups setting in place than when there is no antivirus at all resident in memory!  Firefox loads virtually instantly now, and I've never seen anything close to that before, with or without an antivirus program running. It's pretty remarkable!
Title: Re: Minor but annoying XP startup issue with 4.7.981
Post by: Vlk on April 17, 2007, 03:44:49 PM
1. Could you please try running this small app http://public.avast.com/~vlk/WebDavMiniTest.exe and report back what it says?

2. The Group value only causes avast to load much earlier during the boot process. That is, it provides extra protection against malware that starts automatically with the OS. I don't think it can give your machine any "magical" performance boosts though... :)
Title: Re: Minor but annoying XP startup issue with 4.7.981
Post by: Crashman on April 17, 2007, 03:51:58 PM
Vlk,

1. With WebClient service still disabled, running WebDavMiniTest results in "WsLoadRedir returned 2".

2.  Maybe I'm going insane or something, or a victim of the "placebo effect", but I'd swear that programs load faster!

Thanks!
Title: Re: Minor but annoying XP startup issue with 4.7.981
Post by: Vlk on April 17, 2007, 03:53:29 PM
Quote
1. With WebClient service still disabled, running WebDavMiniTest results in "WsLoadRedir returned 2".

That is very strange I have to say.
And, I assume, if the Groups value is not there, the result is different? (e.g. "WsLoadRedir returned 0"?)

Thanks
Vlk
Title: Re: Minor but annoying XP startup issue with 4.7.981
Post by: Vlk on April 17, 2007, 03:54:54 PM
BTW isn't there anything suspicious in the Windows Event Log? Something recurring on every boot... (especially in the System category).

Thanks
Vlk
Title: Re: Minor but annoying XP startup issue with 4.7.981
Post by: Crashman on April 17, 2007, 04:04:21 PM
Vlk,

Nothing suspicious in any section of the WIndows Event Log (that is, no warnings of any kind).

Let me remove the groups value again, reboot, and retry the minitest again.

Back in a couple minutes,

Crashman
Title: Re: Minor but annoying XP startup issue with 4.7.981
Post by: Crashman on April 17, 2007, 04:09:55 PM
Vlk,

With the groups value removed now, the value returned is still 2.

EDIT:  Actually, now that I have tested with and without the groups value, the improved load times of programs seems to be a function of the new version .981, not the groups registry setting.  At least for Firefox and a few other programs I have tried, the load is lightning fast...
Title: Re: Minor but annoying XP startup issue with 4.7.981
Post by: roleo on April 17, 2007, 08:08:03 PM
Hi, seem to have had a similar problem. Avast would only start, eventually, after update with only 3 modules, Network, Web and e-mail. Used regedit to remove "group" from HKLMC\System\currentcontrolset\services\avast!antivirus which worked.

Tried using add/remove program to edit/repair modules ,but this did not work.
Title: Re: Minor but annoying XP startup issue with 4.7.981
Post by: Crashman on April 17, 2007, 08:33:30 PM
Greetings, roleo,

My experience was almost exactly the same.  Mine loaded with all four modules working, but after I removed all but Outlook/Exchange and adjusted the groups value for testing purposes, I was unable to reinstall the other services using Add/Remove.  My system locked up at the end of the add/remove process, and a hard reboot was the only way out.  When I got back into Windows, I did a complete uninstall of avast!, rebooted, then reinstalled avast!.  This worked fine, and after removing the groups value from the registry again, the boot process was back to normal.

(I didn't mention this in my earlier posts because I didn't want to introduce a new twist to the issue of tracking down the boot delay.)

I am currently running the four providers (standard, network, web, and internet mail), WITHOUT the "groups" registry entry, and everything is perfect.  The system boots well, and programs run very crisply.

Best regards,
Crashman
Title: Re: Minor but annoying XP startup issue with 4.7.981
Post by: Vlk on April 17, 2007, 10:08:43 PM
Crashman, so if you download and run WinObj (http://www.microsoft.com/technet/sysinternals/SystemInformation/WinObj.mspx - the download link is at the bottom of the page) and navigate to the Device folder, the object "WebDavRedirector" is not in it?

Thanks
Vlk
Title: Re: Minor but annoying XP startup issue with 4.7.981
Post by: Crashman on April 18, 2007, 12:22:07 AM
Vlk,

Sorry for the delay in responding. I fell asleep unexpectedly...we aging people need our sleep, it appears ;D

That is correct.  With the aforementioned avast modules running and the "groups" setting removed from the registry, and with XP's WebClient service disabled, I show no "WebDavRedirector" object in that folder of WinObj. If I enable the WebClient service without rebooting or logging off and back on to Windows, the WebDavRedirector object reappears in the devices list of WinObj.

I then reset the WebClient service back to Automatic and rebooted the system.  With "groups" still missing from the registry, the desktop icons, taskbar, startup sound and startup programs all again loaded within one second of the appearance of the desktop.  The only very slight difference with the WebClient service automatically enabled at startup is that the avast! tray icon's "red slashed circle" (signifying that some component is not enabled) appears for a few seconds, but then disappears, leaving avast's resident shields fully functional. The red slash does not appear with the WebClient service set to manual or disabled.

So, for me at least, the WebClient service itself introduces a very slight delay in avast! components loading fully, but has no effect on the loading of Windows itself or of other startup programs/sounds, and avast! components do fully load within a few seconds.  But the "groups" setting being present -- with or without WebClient service running at startup -- creates the more significant delays and issues we've been working on this week.

Thanks again for continuing to look into this!
Crashman
Title: Re: Minor but annoying XP startup issue with 4.7.981
Post by: apri on April 18, 2007, 08:57:16 PM
Hello there!

First of all sorry for my no-good-english!

Since the newest release of avast, i got real heavy problems with my system!

At first, my system hangs for at least two (!) minutes at startup.
Wallpaper and icons are complete, but the network is "locked".

Then, after these (long) two minutes, a new error appears when i play a game, have an bt-client open and copy some data an my xbox at once.
In this case, after a few seconds my system shut down, without a warning or something!

Playing a game and doing only one of these things, there is nothing!


Oh, and by the way...
While testing the posted "WebDavMiniTest.exe" this error message pops up:
"Base address mismatch for webclnt.dll! [5AA50000]."

What does this mean?
Title: Re: Minor but annoying XP startup issue with 4.7.981
Post by: Vlk on April 19, 2007, 12:23:32 AM
Please update to version 4.7.986, then open avast settings, go to the Troubleshooting page and check the "Delay loading of avast services" box.
That should resolve the issue.

Thanks
Vlk
Title: Re: Minor but annoying XP startup issue with 4.7.981
Post by: Crashman on April 19, 2007, 02:10:55 AM
Vlk,

Thanks for the heads up.  Downloading it now.

And thanks again for working with me to get me straightened out!

Regards,
Crashman
Title: Re: Minor but annoying XP startup issue with 4.7.981
Post by: Lisandro on April 19, 2007, 02:45:54 AM
Please update to version 4.7.986, then open avast settings, go to the Troubleshooting page and check the "Delay loading of avast services" box. That should resolve the issue.
Vlk, does this update do not require restart of the system?
Title: Re: Minor but annoying XP startup issue with 4.7.981
Post by: DavidR on April 19, 2007, 03:06:47 AM
It required a system restart when I did a manual update.
Title: Re: Minor but annoying XP startup issue with 4.7.981
Post by: Vlk on April 19, 2007, 08:38:41 AM
Crashman, I am still not entirely sure why the issue happened (and I'd really love to play with your machine a bit more to find out) but the latest version should help.

Thanks
Vlk
Title: Re: Minor but annoying XP startup issue with 4.7.981
Post by: apri on April 19, 2007, 10:35:19 AM
Thank you!

With the newest update and your help my system starts up without problems.
Title: Re: Minor but annoying XP startup issue with 4.7.981
Post by: ts on April 19, 2007, 06:41:21 PM
Just wanted to report that the Groups-Trick helped for me, too. I had the same problems as the guys here:

- No icons in tray after avast startup.
- No spinning avast logo.
- Startup took about 2 minutes with avast in status "Starting..." in the Services Control Panel.

OS: Microsoft Windows XP Professional, Version 2002, Service Pack2 with recent updates installed
Title: Re: Minor but annoying XP startup issue with 4.7.981
Post by: Crashman on April 19, 2007, 08:22:18 PM
Vlk,

The latest version does indeed improve startup considerably.  Only the red slash tray icon for a few seconds with WebClient service set to automatic (normal icon with that service set a manual or disabled) remains when the "delay loading of avast services" option is ticked.

I'd be happy to help... but on Tuesday and Thursday next week (April 24 and 26) it may be difficult to get a lot of time at my computer (especially at times when you may be awake in your part of the world!).  Let me know what you'd like, and we'll work something out schedule-wise.

Crashman
Title: Re: Minor but annoying XP startup issue with 4.7.981
Post by: thiruppu on April 25, 2007, 03:54:01 PM
how to down load avast home edition4.7
Title: Re: Minor but annoying XP startup issue with 4.7.981
Post by: Lisandro on April 25, 2007, 05:19:32 PM
how to down load avast home edition4.7
http://www.avast.com/eng/download-avast-home.html