Author Topic: Avast difficulties on other user's desktop  (Read 21280 times)

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Offline Nana2

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Avast difficulties on other user's desktop
« on: February 13, 2005, 07:19:34 PM »
Hello all!

I have made a folder on my desktop that I use to hold things I want to check out with AVAST before I run them.  It works fine.

I wont open attachments from anyone until I've run them through this folder.

I have set up the same folder on my husband's desktop on the same computer.  He has very little skill with computers and I worry that he will open an attachment that he believes is "safe" because it came from a source he trusts.

I have shown him how to copy the Outlook Express files into and through this desktop folder.

It is not working.  He can move the Outlook Express file into the holding folder ... start the AVAST procedure ... and there it sits. 

The notification on the AVAST skin is that it is "initializing engine - please wait."  It "does" whatever it does forever!  The scan never takes place.  When we turn it off it advises that it is scanning the system and do we really want to turn it off?

I've tried running AVAST ... a complete check of the computer from his side .... it says it's "running."  It isn't.

This is by far the most vulnerable point of my computer and I'd really appreciate some guidance here.

Thanks muchly.

Nan

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Offline DukeNukem

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Re: Avast difficulties on other user's desktop
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2005, 07:38:18 PM »
Have you tried repairing avast from the add/remove settings?
or even a reinstall of avast?

Why are you scanning emails this way?

The Internet Mail Provider if you enable it will scan incoming emails and attachments  automatically.

Do you use the internet mail provider?

 

Offline Nana2

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Re: Avast difficulties on other user's desktop
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2005, 08:09:53 PM »
Well, I either found this "tip" in the Cloudeight Info letter or I found it in my Kim Komando newsletter.  Those are the only two I read.

The comment was that e-mail virus checkers do not always work.  The suggestion was to put a folder on the desktop ... save the attachment over to this folder and run it through your virus checker again.

Works for me!  I rarely open any attachments.  I don't mind the second check.

Am I missing something here?  Does AVAST have the capability to check inside the un-activated attachment?  I always assumed it did ... but I still don't open attachments!

Yes, I have the internet mail provider set to "high."

Nan
« Last Edit: February 13, 2005, 08:13:01 PM by Nana2 »
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Offline Eddy

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Re: Avast difficulties on other user's desktop
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2005, 08:13:19 PM »
The latest beta build of Avast has improved email handling for OE/Oulook. I suggest you use that and forget about that folder. That folder is not needed. Avast is perfectly capable of handling mail scanning.

fyi: the final release of Avast 4.6 is scheduled for 19 february

Offline Nana2

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Re: Avast difficulties on other user's desktop
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2005, 08:19:35 PM »
Hi Eddy!

Thanks!  So, all this fuss for nothing huh?  Sorry I can't recall for sure which of those newsletters gave out the tip.  I'd rather have quoted it accurately. 

If AVAST can spot all the attachments that "might" be carrying a worm or virus BEFORE they are opened and activated, why would we even hesitate to open everything that arrives in the mailbox?

So Eddy, can you tell me why AVAST wont run from my husband's desktop?

Regards,

Nan
My computer is a Gateway, Model E-3600
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Offline Eddy

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Re: Avast difficulties on other user's desktop
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2005, 08:32:27 PM »
Did you install Avast while logged in with a administrator account?
What does Avast's log say about the scanning?
Does it get 'stuck' on the same file/folder each time?

Offline Nana2

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Re: Avast difficulties on other user's desktop
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2005, 08:44:15 PM »
Eddy,

I am logged in as the Administrator.  My husband is not an Administrator.

AVAST will not do anything when started from his desktop.  The skin comes up ... it looks normal ... it says it is running ... it isn't.

I haven't looked at the log.  I guess I will ... now.

Back later ...

Nan
My computer is a Gateway, Model E-3600
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Offline Nana2

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Re: Avast difficulties on other user's desktop
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2005, 07:13:41 AM »
Have you tried repairing avast from the add/remove settings?
or even a reinstall of avast?

Why are you scanning emails this way?

The Internet Mail Provider if you enable it will scan incoming emails and attachments  automatically.

Do you use the internet mail provider?

 

This is the article.  I'll be interested in your comments:  I have highlighted a sentence at the bottom of the article which will explain why I am doing the second virus check.

The Top Questions of The Week

A Question from Allen
I have nothing but praise for your newsletter. It is the best of its kind bar none. But, I do think you dropped the ball by advising people to turn off their anti-virus email scanner. It's not sound advice and I think you did a disservice by printing this. This is the first time I've ever known your company to provide bad advice. I hope you reconsider and advise people to do the right thing and leave their anti-virus email scanners running. Keep up the otherwise great work! Thanks, Allen

Answer:
We will explain why we stand by this and why many other technical experts stand by this as well.

First, email is a just a file. A file like many other files. Email whether you read it or not, is stored on your hard drive. Malicious files attached to an email are located on your hard drive. To an anti-virus scanner it does not matter whether the offending file arrived by email, arrived by file-sharing,, or arrived by download. It is all the same to it. Any good up-to-date anti-virus will prevent you from opening a malicious worm or virus no matter how it arrived. Until and unless you click the attachment the virus or worm will not execute. And if you're using Outlook Express, and you have kept it updated with the latest patches from http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com/ it will not execute merely by looking at your email.

Our advice is sound. Email scanning might have been useful years ago, but not anymore. We're not sure it ever was. Six or seven years ago one could wander the Internet and open emails rather freely. Viruses were rare and the number of people using anti-virus programs was small. With the Internet Boom of 1999 came an influx of millions of new people using the Internet and millions of new potential targets for those who have nothing better to do than to ruin other people's fun. So worms, Trojans, and viruses became numerous, but still few used good anti-virus protection.

Email Scanning by any anti-virus is not recommended because the harm and delay that scanning can cause don't justify the minimal (if any) benefits to be derived. One of the biggest problem caused by email virus scanners is corrupted Outlook Express DBX (data) files. If these files become corrupted, whatever mail you have stored in them will be unreadable. Email virus scanning is the number one cause of corrupted DBX files; and hence the biggest cause of unrecoverable email. Other problems are minor but they're a nuisance: Aggravating delays in sending or receiving email being among the top nuisances.

Many others do agree with us on shutting off email scanning in your anti-virus program. The following article by Tom Koch, a Microsoft MVP explains it best. Mr. Koch details not only why you should turn off your email scanner but how Outlook Express works, as well as other interesting and little known Outlook Express facts. Here is an excerpt from his excellent article by Tom Koch:

"...When encountering the symptoms of DBX corruption, many people immediately fear that their computer is infected with a virus. As surprising and ironic as it may seem though, the most common cause of DBX corruption is not a virus, but rather anti-virus programs that are configured to scan incoming or outgoing e-mail. Even the most well-known anti-virus programs have exhibited this problem from time to time. To lessen the risk of such corruption you should disable the e-mail scanning module in your anti-virus program. This is usually easy to do by looking at the user-configurable options in the anti-virus program. It is not at all necessary to scan e-mail for viruses to protect your computer.

Now before you dismiss me as mad, let me explain why e-mail scanning is unnecessary. Almost every anti-virus program for Windows installs by default a system scan that runs in the background every time Windows starts. This scan is necessary to protect your computer. If you receive a virus in an e-mail attachment, the virus cannot do anything at all until you actually open the attachment. ..." See http://www.microsoft.com/windows/IE/community/columns/filecorruption.mspx to read the rest of this article.

The most important thing, and we cannot emphasize this strongly enough, is to use a good, reputable anti-virus program (AVAST and AVG are two good free ones) and keep it updated daily! An anti-virus program which is not updated is worse than none at all. It will return false-positives and ignore real threats. So, above all, keep your anti-virus program up-to-date. And NEVER open an attachment directly from your email. ALWAYS save it to your desktop (or another easily accessible folder) and scan it with your anti-virus program before opening it. Another thing we cannot emphasize enough: Keep your Microsoft Windows current. Either turn on automatic updates or visit http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com/ at least once a week. Finally, we recommend that weekly you visit http://housecall.trendmicro.com/ weekly, just to be sure that no virus or worm has made its way around your anti-virus program. A second opinion never hurts and it's good insurance policy that provides you with the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you're anti-virus has indeed been doing its job.

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Offline igor

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Re: Avast difficulties on other user's desktop
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2005, 10:33:42 AM »
I'm afraid I really cannot agree with the article - it's wrong.

Quote
Email Scanning by any anti-virus is not recommended because the harm and delay that scanning can cause don't justify the minimal (if any) benefits to be derived.

Minimal benefits? You may think that you will scan every attachment you receive, but it is very easy to forget - and you finally will.

Quote
Malicious files attached to an email are located on your hard drive.

Not necessarily - the malicious piece of code may be included in an HTML page (for example) and may be executed without having been stored to disk first - therefore, the virus scanner would not stop it.

Quote
Until and unless you click the attachment the virus or worm will not execute. And if you're using Outlook Express, and you have kept it updated with the latest patches from http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com/ it will not execute merely by looking at your email.

The second sentence denies the first one - it is possible that a virus code is executed without clicking on the attachment. The fact that the known bugs in Outlook Express (or any other e-mail client) were fixed by the latest patches (you have to take care that you actually have the latest patches installed) doesn't mean that another similar problem, abusing a bug unknown at the moment, won't appear very soon again.

Quote
One of the biggest problem caused by email virus scanners is corrupted Outlook Express DBX (data) files.

Well, that's a complete misunderstanding of how the e-mail scanners work.
The DBX file might get corrupted if you scan your disk with an antivirus, a virus is detected in your Outlook Express folder (stored as a DBX file on your disk) and the antivirus tries to repair the virus somehow, without fully understanding the (undocumented) DBX format.
But, the e-mail scanner doesn't do that! The e-mail scanner is a network component (proxy) - a program that monitors the network traffic of your e-mail program and if a virus is found, it prevents the infected data from being delivered to your e-mail client. So, it doesn't have anything to do with DBX files, or any other e-mail storages.

Quote
Almost every anti-virus program for Windows installs by default a system scan that runs in the background every time Windows starts.

The conclusion from the above arguments is: leaving the e-mail scanning up to the resident "disk protection", instead of deploying an e-mail scanner, actually increases the risk of DBX corruption (if the antivirus doesn't fully support the DBX format).




Anyway, back to your problem.
How exactly do you scan the desktop folder? By rightclicking on it and selecting "Scan ..." from the popup menu, or anyhow else?
Can you run a disk scan (using the Simple User Interface) under your husband's account?


Offline Nana2

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Re: Avast difficulties on other user's desktop
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2005, 08:11:48 AM »
Okay ... I just went onto the other desktop.  The AVAST icon would not allow any kind of search.  It again gave me the same message I referred to above.

I went into MY COMPUTER after putting a CD RW in the E drive.  I right clicked on E: and it and ran AVAST from the drop down menu.  It took several minutes, but it ran through 2119 files from the MY PICTURES files that were on the CD.

When it finished going through all the files it just stopped.  There was no message saying anything about the CD being virus free or anything.  It just stopped checking files.

I also tried right clicking on the AVAST icon on my husband's desktop.  "the words AshAvast ... ??? popped up.

By the way ... that article I copied for your info was from the "Cloudeight" information newsletter.

Does this answer your query?

Nan
« Last Edit: February 15, 2005, 08:38:59 AM by Nana2 »
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Offline Nana2

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Re: Avast difficulties on other user's desktop
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2005, 07:07:57 PM »


This is what the log on his side shows as of yesterday.

Nan
« Last Edit: February 15, 2005, 07:15:15 PM by Nana2 »
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Offline lee20

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Re: Avast difficulties on other user's desktop
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2005, 07:16:07 PM »
Edited

--lee
« Last Edit: February 16, 2005, 12:50:26 PM by lee16 »

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Offline BanziBaby

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Re: Avast difficulties on other user's desktop
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2005, 07:28:50 PM »
Picture works fine Nan2

If U want the right click scan to give U results then U need to tick the option in the image i post



Hope it helps :)

BaNzI ;D

Offline Nana2

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Re: Avast difficulties on other user's desktop
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2005, 08:04:10 AM »
Hey, thanks guys!

I've copied your selections ... I'll see what happens.


* that comment above about the image I inserted:  It looks okay on my computer.  Are some viewers not able to see it?  I was having trouble inserting it until I remembered about the bracket thing.  I went back into the post and edited it.

Nan
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Offline Nana2

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Re: Avast difficulties on other user's desktop
« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2005, 08:39:13 PM »
Okay ... so I did what you suggested.

The original problem STILL exists! ???

AVAST cannot be run from the other user's desktop. 

How come?

Did anyone look at the image I posted of the log book?  Does it suggest where the flaw might be?  It's all waaaaay above my computer skill level.  It certainly appears to me that all those "errors" mean something.

Nan
My computer is a Gateway, Model E-3600
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Capacity 512 MB
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