I'm a long time Avast free user and have recommended it to everyone who asks me what antivirus program to use. Point is, I may not be an expert with Avast, but we've been friends a long time. and I update the program regularly.
I received a notification about four days ago that there was a program update available. I clicked "more info" and it said that it was a 7.x release and fixed problems with CPU usage and Zone Alarm, among other things. Right about the same time, I ran my DVD program to look at something, and the current version of Avast was reporting CyberLink PowerDVD.exe as malicious, and moved it to the chest when I tried to launch it. I took it out of the chest, disabled Avast, and shot the file to Jotti, who reported the file as clean with 21 different antivirus engines, including Avast. So, I figured now was as good as time as any to update and updated Avast via the button that comes up in the notification area.
The program seemed to update successfully, asked for a reboot, which I allowed. Upon rebooting however, windows xp would not load completely. I got my wallpaper, and that's it. No taskbar, no icons, nothing. I decided to wait and see if it was, for some reason, just taking its sweet time. I waited an hour. So finally, I had to cycle the power. In short, I cycled the power 7 times, and Windows XP still would not boot.
So, I ran in safe mode, and did a system restore. The system restored, but now told me that I was using Avast PRO, and I was running a trial version. I did some research here, and found someone from the forum (an Uber poster) had said that Avast didn't play well with system restore. So, after trying to repair the installation and rebooting, no change. It said I was using Avast PRO (even though Add/Remove Programs showed Avast for Free in the list).
I run Norton's GoBack on this machine. I tried to restore my drive to an earlier time, but to no avail. For some reason, all of GoBacks restore points were corrupted and I could not restore my drive to any earlier point. So, okay...
I uninstalled Avast and used aswclear.exe to completely remove Avast from the system. I then reinstalled the program that I had downloaded earlier (avast_free_antivirus_setup.exe).
After installation, I registered the program, re-imported all of my previous config files, and rebooted.
Avast loaded with windows, and I scanned my system thoroughly using high heuristics and scanning for root kits, and the whole lot. Avast reported a clean bill of health. Oddly enough, my account at my.avast.com still shows I'm using the PRO version.
I rebooted. Avast will not load at startup. I have rebooted about 50 times total, and for some reason, quite a few of my startup programs will not start up. My Nvidia control panel won't start, no GoBack icon in the system tray, NO AVAST.
As a test, I downloaded the eicar test file and was able to download it without incident. I right clicked on it and tried to scan it from the context menu and it told me that AvastSvc.exe was not running, and (basically) please start the program.
Regardless, no matter what I do, I cannot get Avast to start with Windows, even though it is clearly in the "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run" section of the registry. That said, the entry is ""C:\Program Files\AVAST Software\Avast\avastUI.exe" /nogui". I'm not sure what the nogui switch is, but I don't want to screw around anymore experimenting.
Can you offer any guidance whatsoever?