Author Topic: RESOLVED: Why does Avast install on top of remnants of old AV program?  (Read 16595 times)

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Offline ecbritz

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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.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2012, 12:17:58 PM by ecbritz »

Offline Asyn

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Re: Why does Avast install on top of remnants of old AV program?
« Reply #1 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
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Offline SafeSurf

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Re: Why does Avast install on top of remnants of old AV program?
« Reply #2 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 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

Clash Of The Antivirus Apps:
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.
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Offline ecbritz

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Re: Why does Avast install on top of remnants of old AV program?
« Reply #3 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.

Offline bob3160

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Re: Why does Avast install on top of remnants of old AV program?
« Reply #4 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/


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.
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Offline Lisandro

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Re: Why does Avast install on top of remnants of old AV program?
« Reply #5 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.
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Offline SafeSurf

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Re: Why does Avast install on top of remnants of old AV program?
« Reply #6 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.
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Offline ecbritz

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Re: Why does Avast install on top of remnants of old AV program?
« Reply #7 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.

Offline CraigB

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Re: Why does Avast install on top of remnants of old AV program?
« Reply #8 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.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2012, 06:29:08 PM by craigb »

Offline Lisandro

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Re: Why does Avast install on top of remnants of old AV program?
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2012, 03:09:47 AM »
Revo has already been discussed and answered i believe, dont use it to remove security products.
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Offline ecbritz

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Re: Why does Avast install on top of remnants of old AV program?
« Reply #10 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?

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Re: Why does Avast install on top of remnants of old AV program?
« Reply #11 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!
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Offline Lisandro

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Re: Why does Avast install on top of remnants of old AV program?
« Reply #12 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 ;)
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Offline ecbritz

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Re: Why does Avast install on top of remnants of old AV program?
« Reply #13 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.

Offline CraigB

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Re: Why does Avast install on top of remnants of old AV program?
« Reply #14 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.