iroc9555: I'm back 2 days later with bad news.
Despite following your instructions to the letter, avast is again trying to move me to avast Pro Antivirus despite my having uninstalled and reinstalled avast! twice using aswclear.exe in Safe mode without restarting until done with each listed program. I've run chkdsk and scannow. I removed a virus that avast! found in a boot scan of the machine. I've scanned the C: drive with malwarebytes, which found nothing. And I've run ccleaner to fix issues it found. All to no avail.
I don't know what else to do to solve the same problem, which keeps reoccurring, of avast! trying to move me to avast! Pro Antivirus. So any further help is welcome. Many thanks.
So you'll know, here's what I've done (from the notes I've kept throughout this ordeal):
On May 1 to remove the installed version of avast! I booted into Safe Mode by pressing F8 when starting up, and ran aswclear.exe. I selected and supposedly uninstalled in the following order without restarting the machine: avast! 4 Home/ Professional, avast! 4 Server Edition, Bart CD manager, avast! For Kerio, avast! PDA edition, avast! 32, avast! Managed Client, Avast! Distributed Network Manager, avast! Windows Home Server Edition, avast! 5 Free/Pro/Internet Security, avast! 6 Free/Pro/Internet Security, avast! 7 Free/Pro/Internet Security, and avast! Business Protection (Plus). Note there was no avast! 8 in the list. With the exception of avast! 32, which aswclear.exe was unable to uninstall (it hung), I got a report for each of the items uninstalled saying it had been removed.
Out of curiosity, I tried uninstalling a couple of the files I had already uninstalled, and got the same reports as before. Note I did NOT restart the machine until this point.
I then restarted the machine in Safe mode. I again ran aswclear, and saw the same list as before and the same report after I uninstalled avast! 7 Free/Pro/Internet Security, using it as an example.
I then restarted the machine. The avast! red ball had disappeared as well as the avast! Free icon on my desktop.
The folder C:\Program files\Avast Software was now empty. Properties showed 0 bytes.
I then went to Add or Remove Programs, and saw an entry for avast! Free Antivirus. I clicked on it, then on Change/Remove, and I got the following message: “An error occurred while trying to remove avast! Free Antivirus. It may have already been uninstalled. Would you like to remove avast! Free Antivirus from the Add or Remove programs list?” I clicked Yes.
I then ran ccleaner for Windows, Applications and the Registry; the latter fixed a number of “issues” pertaining to avast!, in particular a number of missing links.
I then installed avast! Free Antivirus, skipped the Chrome choices, chose “Custom,” installed only File shield, Mail shield, Script shield and Behavior shield, and none of the items in the “Components” column.
The setup then said it created a System Restore point, then proceeded to install itself.
I got a voice message, “Welcome to avast!” The red ball appeared as well as an avast! Free Antivirus icon on my desktop. I then heard the message, “Scan has been completed.”
I then clicked on the red ball, opened the white avast! Free Antivirus window, clicked on Maintenance, which reported “Current version: 130411-0.” “Release date: 4/11/2013 9:28:26 am/.” Latest update received: 5/1/2013 7:09:12 pm.” The database then automatically updated to the current day’s version, 130501-0.
I then restarted the machine to see if doing so would cause the red window to appear – as it has in the past – informing me that “Your subscription to Avast Pro Antivirus has expired. As a result, this program is invalid or has expired.” It didn’t, so I proceeded to register. I chose “Base protection” and proceeded to register using a new name and e-mail address. I declined “Try Internet Security” for free. Clicked on Stay with basic protection.
I got a message saying I am registered until 5/1/2014, not the date I was previously registered for. So I thought maybe changing my user name and e-mail address had something to do with the program working normally. But no as it turns out.
I then rebooted the machine, and everything seemed normal.
Yesterday, May 2, I turned off the computer, restarted it and got the error message: “Failed to init aswData.dll (126/126) with the following in the blue surround: “Avast UI.”
Clicking on the Avast icon on the desktop produced the same error message. And there was no Avast icon in the desk tray.
Clicking on Add or Remove programs produced the message: ““An error occurred while trying to remove avast! Free Antivirus. It may have already been uninstalled. Would you like to remove avast! Free Antivirus from the Add or Remove programs list?”
The support info button said I was using version 8.0.1483.0.
Ran ccleaner to fix registry issues, all related to Avast. Five said “Open with Application Issue,” the sixth said, “Uninstaller reference issue.”
One error said, “The uninstaller file or directory referenced at C:\Program Files\AVAST Software\Avast\aswRundll.exe “C:Program Files\AVAST Software\Avast\Setup\setiface.dll” RunSetup could not be located. These references are often left behind after uninstalling software. Solution: Delete the registry key.
After running ccleaner I turned off the computer and restarted it. No Avast icon appeared in the desktop tray. Clicking on the Avast icon on the desktop produced the message: “Windows is searching for AvastUI.exe. To locate the file yourself, click Browse.”
Ran ccleaner again to check registry for issues. Got “Problems” stating in order: ActiveX/COM issue referring to Avast\ashShell.dll; Application Paths Issue, Missing Startup Software, and Missing MUI Reference, all referring to AvastUI.exe; and “Invalid file reference,” referring to avastsvc.exe.
Ccleaner “fixed” all the issues and reported simply: “The file referenced at HKLM\SYSTEM\CourrentControlSet\services\avast! Antivirus\ImagePath could not be located. These references are often left behind after uninstalling software. Solution: Delete the registry key.” “Issue Fixed.”
I then ran chkdsk. No errors reported.
I ran sfc /scannow. No errors reported.
I restarted the computer in Safe Mode. As it started I got a Windows pause screen that I don’t usually get, so something changed between running chkdsk and sfc/ scannow.
I ran aswclear.exe as before, only this time it worked for all the files I removed including avast! 32. But this time around aswclear.exe didn’t suggest a folder from which to remove the files. Nonetheless, when done I checked the Avast Software folder and saw it was empty.
I then restarted the computer.
In Add or Remove programs I found no listing for Avast, and the Avast Software folder was gone from C:\Program Files.
I reinstalled avast! Free Antivirus. I registered, chose “Base protection” and used the same name and e-mail address as the last time. I got a message saying I am registered through May 2, 2014, not May 1, 2014 as for the last time I reinstalled avast! Free Antivirus.
Like the last time, on the Update page I saw that the version installed was 130411-0. After a few minutes, the program updated to the latest version.
I turned off the computer, then restarted it. I didn’t get the previous error message: “Failed to init aswData.dll (126/126) with the following in the blue surround: “Avast UI.” And the avast! Red ball and desktop icons were still there.
I ran a quick scan with avast! When done it found suspected threats that were all password-protected files. The program then asked if I wanted to do a quick boot-time scan. I said yes, the computer rebooted, and a blue window opened before XP loaded showing avast scanning local drives. avast! found the virus win32:kryptik-JUP [Trj].
I pressed 3 to “Move to chest.” Got a message that said something like “3 Esc.” Pressed 1 to delete. Nothing happened. Pressed Esc. Got “Move to chest” error. “Scanning aborted.”
Machine continued to boot, but seemed to freeze with dark blue bands at bottom of screen over task bar icons. Couldn’t shut machine down, so I forced it to turn off by pressing the Off button.
I restarted the machine. It booted normally. I found inbox.dbx folder in Outlook Express where the virus was located, scanned it with avast!, found the same virus: Win32:kryptik-JUP [Trj]. Avast suggested “Move to chest.” I clicked, and in the right column got message saying, “Action successful.”
Today May 3 after hibernating the machine overnight I restarted it, avast! seemed normal, but as a precautionary measure I did a full scan of the C drive with Malwarebytes but found nothing.
I clicked on the avast! red ball; at the top of the white screen that comes up it said: “avast! Free Antivirus Trial period not activated. BUY NOW.” And the rectangle that opened at the foot of my screen said “avast! Pro Antivirus.” I also noticed that the virus definitions were one day out of date compared to the definitions on my other machines that run avast
Also on the Maintenance page instead of an item that says “Registration” it said “Subscription.” On the “Subscription” page it said: “SUBSCRIPTION STATUS: TRIAL PERIOD NOT ACTIVATED. Activate trial period. The trial period could not be activated. In order to start receiving updates, the trial period must be activated.”
I turned off and rebooted the machine, clicked on the red ball, and the avast! window now has a black surround that says: “avast! PRO ANTIVIRUS Trial period not activated. BUY NOW.” But the virus definitions have now been updated to 130503-0. The “Subscription” page says the same thing as before.
So I'm back to where I started. What more can I do to fix this problem?