Author Topic: Reverting back to Avast Free from Avast Internet Security  (Read 22802 times)

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Offline Paradoxian

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Reverting back to Avast Free from Avast Internet Security
« on: September 24, 2012, 04:25:32 PM »
My trial of Avast Internet Security is about to expire in a couple of days, and according to this FAQ: https://support.avast.com/index.php?_m=knowledgebase&_a=viewarticle&kbarticleid=1219#idt_02 , there should be a way of reverting to Avast Free, specifically under Maintenance-->Subscription-->Other options. However, these "Other options" don't appear to me. Why could this be, and is there another way of reverting to Avast Free without having to reinstall? Finally, if I do have to reinstall, what is the safest/easiest way to do this while preserving my settings and staying protected during the process?

Offline CraigB

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Re: Reverting back to Avast Free from Avast Internet Security
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2012, 04:34:12 PM »
If the switch me back to avast free tab is not there then im sorry but you'll have to re-install :( download avast free and save then uninstall the avast version you have now and reboot, install the saved copy of avast free.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2012, 04:42:11 PM by craigb »

Offline DavidR

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Re: Reverting back to Avast Free from Avast Internet Security
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2012, 04:59:32 PM »
I believe this KB article relates to a 20 day trial when initiated from an avast Update or offer within the avastUI.

If you downloaded the regular version of Avast Internet Security (AIS) that gives you 30 days unrestricted use before purchase or uninstall is required. If so then you won't get the options outlined in the support KB article.
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Offline Paradoxian

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Re: Reverting back to Avast Free from Avast Internet Security
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2012, 12:22:38 PM »
Thanks for the answers.

Now, I fear I have matters worse. Thinking that I would need protection inbetween the uinstallation of Avast Internet Security and the installation of Avast Free, I downloaded and installed the trial of McAfee Antivirus Plus on an impulse. Note that this is all I’ve done so far, I have not yet uinstalled AIS, so the two antivirus programs are running concurrently.

I have since searched a bit however and it appears that the presence of McAfee could potentially cause AIS to uinstall incorrectly, Avast Free to install incorrectly, and when Avast Free has been installed, McAfee to uinstall incorrectly, and I’m wondering how to remedy the situation.

To sum it up: Right now, I have both McAfee AV+ and AIS installed and running at the same time, and I need to get to a point where I only have Avast Free, without the process of getting there endangering my security. I’d appreciate if someone could guide me through this, and preferably quickly, as the AIS trial expires in about a day.

Offline CraigB

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Re: Reverting back to Avast Free from Avast Internet Security
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2012, 12:39:43 PM »
You need to download and save a copy of avast free and the McAfee removal tool from here http://singularlabs.com/uninstallers/security-software/

Now proceed to remove programs and uninstall avast then reboot, now uninstall McAfee and reboot, run the McAfee removal tool and when completed reboot again.

If you have CCleaner installed it would be a good time to run it - cleaner and registry as it will probably find a few leftover keys, now you can install the saved copy of avast free you downloaded earlier.

Offline DavidR

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Re: Reverting back to Avast Free from Avast Internet Security
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2012, 12:43:05 PM »
You don't need additional protection if you do things in the right order.

First download the tools whilst you are protected and save them to your hard disk, then an only then would you uninstall.

Having two resident anti-virus scanners installed is one too many and not recommended as rather than provide twice the protection it can cause conflicts that could leave you more vulnerable.

- Download the latest version of avast, 7.0.1466 http://files.avast.com/iavs5x/avast_free_antivirus_setup.exe and save it to your HDD, somewhere you can find it again. Use that when you reinstall.

- Download the avast! Uninstall Utility, aswClear.exe find it here and save it to your HDD (it has uninstall tools for 5.x, 6.0.x and 7.0.x).
  • 1. uninstall McAfee and reboot. Run McAfee removal tool suggested by craigb
  • 2. Now uninstall avast! (using add remove programs, if you can't do that start from the next step), reboot.
  • 3. run the avast! Uninstall Utility from safe mode, first for 6.x if previously installed and then for 7.0, once complete reboot into normal mode.
  • 4. install the latest version, reboot.
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Offline Paradoxian

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Re: Reverting back to Avast Free from Avast Internet Security
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2012, 01:06:49 PM »
Much appreciated - that was wonderfully detailed, both of you! Just some final questions:

Could hypothetical malware on my computer detect the absence of antivirus protection during this process and exploit it?

Should I disconnect from the internet during the process so no malware can “sneak in” when antivirus protection is absent?

Could uninstalling one of these programs potentially mess with the Windows Security Center settings? As in, turn of Windows Firewall/Defender. Just to know if I should check for this every step of the process.

Offline Paradoxian

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Re: Reverting back to Avast Free from Avast Internet Security
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2012, 01:09:16 PM »
I notice your orders differ slightly. craigb recommends uninstalling Avast before McAfee. Is this important?

Quote
•1. uninstall McAfee and reboot. Run McAfee removal tool suggested by craigb
So, uinstall via the Windows Remove programs option, then reboot, then use the removal tool?

Oh, and is step 3 unnecessary if step 2 can be completed without problems or I am reading you wrong?

(Sorry for the double-post, meant to edit and accidentally quoted.)
« Last Edit: September 25, 2012, 01:16:19 PM by Paradoxian »

Offline DavidR

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Re: Reverting back to Avast Free from Avast Internet Security
« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2012, 01:20:32 PM »
Since we have no idea of the current stare of your existing installation then it is advisable, just as it is advisable for running the additional removal tool for McAfee and not just the regular uninstall.

The normal rule of thumb when running the avast uninstall utility is to do so from safe mode, to ensure no possible interference from the avast self-defence module (if you had a problem with the regular uninstall) if it is still active.

I doubt that malware would be detecting you had no AV protection unless you already had malware active on your system, so it would be external to the system and your firewall (even windows one, would need to be on) should prevent inbound connections. By all means disconnect from the internet if it makes you more comfortable.
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Offline CraigB

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Re: Reverting back to Avast Free from Avast Internet Security
« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2012, 02:18:21 PM »
I notice your orders differ slightly. craigb recommends uninstalling Avast before McAfee. Is this important?

It doesn't matter which one you uninstall first, just make sure to reboot after each removal.

On a side note you can disable window defender as it's not really needed once you have avast installed.

Offline Paradoxian

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Re: Reverting back to Avast Free from Avast Internet Security
« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2012, 02:53:23 PM »
Ok, so just to see if I got it right:
Download:
http://download.mcafee.com/products/licensed/cust_support_patches/MCPR.exe
http://files.avast.com/iavs5x/avast_free_antivirus_setup.exe
http://files.avast.com/files/eng/aswclear.exe
Then (perhaps with internet disconnected or checking every step to see that Windows Firewall is on) in this order:
-   Uninstall McAfee via add/remove programs, reboot. Presumably this will uninstall the Firefox plugins as well.
-   Run MCPR.exe. (no reboot afterwards?) Uninstall Avast Internet Security via add/remove programs, reboot (directly to safe mode?)
-   In Safe mode, run aswclear.exe, first for 6.x then for 7.0, reboot to normal.
-   Run avast free antivirus setup.exe, reboot.
-   Set settings and personal preferences, reconnect (if disconnected), update as necessary

Thank you for your patience!

Offline CraigB

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Re: Reverting back to Avast Free from Avast Internet Security
« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2012, 03:58:57 PM »
All good, just need to reboot after running MCPR.exe.

You shouldn't have to worry about checking the windows firewall at all steps, just need to make sure its on once you've installed avast.

Offline Paradoxian

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Re: Reverting back to Avast Free from Avast Internet Security
« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2012, 11:30:57 PM »
So, I've completed the process. Thanks a lot for the help.

When I booted my home computer, McAfee AV+ started to update itself and proceeded to delete old files and install new ones... this resulted in three consecutive blocks by the Avast behaviour shield (set to "Ask", and I decided to block). After this, I couldn't enter the McAfee AV+ UI, and the Firefox plugins seemed to have disappeared. Also, it wasn't on the list of programs in the Windows add/remove programs option, so I went straight to the MCPR.exe removal tool step. It seems to have worked. Then uninstalled Avast IS and subsequently used the removal tool for that, which I hope I have used correctly... didn't know whether to specify a path.

Now that Avast Free Antivirus has been installed, everything seems to be working pretty much as it should (which means, as before). I'm getting a bit more and different file and behaviour shield scans than usual, although as far as I recall that was also the case when I first installed Avast on this computer some months ago.

Now, I can't remember if I also chose to enable debug logging (if there's a relation) the last time around, but I haven't seen these entries in the event log before:

Quote
25-09-2012   18:39:05   Entering AavmStart...
25-09-2012   18:39:05   Calling InitGlobalProviderStructure...
25-09-2012   18:39:05   Calling AavmLangInit...
25-09-2012   18:39:05   Calling TakeCareOfGlobalSettings...
25-09-2012   18:39:05   Server side init; calling avworkInitialize...
25-09-2012   18:39:54   Entering AavmStart...
25-09-2012   18:39:54   Calling InitGlobalProviderStructure...
25-09-2012   18:39:54   Calling TakeCareOfGlobalSettings...
25-09-2012   18:39:54   Leaving AavmStart...
25-09-2012   18:39:54   Entering AavmStart...
25-09-2012   18:39:54   Refcount > 0, leaving AavmStart...
25-09-2012   23:01:07   Entering AavmStart...
25-09-2012   23:01:08   Calling InitGlobalProviderStructure...
25-09-2012   23:01:08   Calling AavmLangInit...
25-09-2012   23:01:08   Calling TakeCareOfGlobalSettings...
25-09-2012   23:01:08   Server side init; calling avworkInitialize...
25-09-2012   23:01:54   Entering AavmStart...
25-09-2012   23:01:54   Calling InitGlobalProviderStructure...
25-09-2012   23:01:54   Calling TakeCareOfGlobalSettings...
25-09-2012   23:01:54   Leaving AavmStart...
25-09-2012   23:01:54   Entering AavmStart...
25-09-2012   23:01:54   Refcount > 0, leaving AavmStart...

Does this look normal and harmless to you?

« Last Edit: September 25, 2012, 11:34:14 PM by Paradoxian »

Offline CraigB

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Re: Reverting back to Avast Free from Avast Internet Security
« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2012, 07:04:15 AM »
Its best to leave avast at the default settings as it's automatically configured for the best balance between protection and performance, no need to enable debug logging.

There have been improvements in many of the shields so it's normal to see an increase in the amount of objects scanned.

Glad your set up and working fine :)