I deactivated Avast useing the 10 min option but still could not access Hotmail. By doing a 'system restore' I was able to go back to the 2014.9.0.2006 version and was able to use Hotmail as normal. I raised a ticket with Avast support and during our correspondence over many days they gave me about 8 different fixes for the problem and none of them worked even though they told me they had cracked it.
While going back and forth between the 2 versions useing 'system restore' that my PC throw a wobbly and stopped working completely. Eventually I had to do a clean install of my OS Win XP PRO. Hotmail came back to life, then I downloaded the free version of Avast to get me secure. Then although I could get Hotmail and see my 'in box' I could not open any emails. Disabling Avast made no difference and it was only after I disabled the Avast add-ons in 'Manage Add-ons' was I able to read emails.
So what is going on at Avast? Do they really know whats going on? Are they experts in software as they tell us they are? Does Avast AV actually work? Are our computers safe in teir hands??