Author Topic: [Solved] Lots of virus def folders and can't delete them  (Read 10396 times)

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wolf99

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[Solved] Lots of virus def folders and can't delete them
« on: March 11, 2014, 02:35:36 AM »
My virus defs have been steadily accumulating ever since I installed Avast almost a month ago.   The "defs" folder now contains 10 folders with names like "14021801" created on 2/18/2014 right up to two folders with today's date.   All are roughly around 70 MB in size.   The total space occupied is about 694 MB and growing.  I see no way to force Avast to do housecleaning and I cannot manually delete anything because I always get "access denied" on the first file (algo.dll).

The problem is that I made the mistake of creating a small "C:" partition a long time ago and I'm now running really short of disk space.  Surely I do not need almost 700 MB just to store virus definitions?   Is there some easy way to get rid of the (presumably unneeded) extra folders other than going into Safe Mode or some other drastic process?   

Any help would be greatly appreciated because Avast looks like a great AV except for this annoying eating up of disk space.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2014, 01:20:16 AM by wolf99 »

Offline Pondus

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Re: Lots of virus def folders and can't delete them
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2014, 02:51:49 AM »
seems like something is wrong with your install.....

follow instructions and remove with this   http://www.avast.com/en-eu/uninstall-utility

then reinstall   http://www.avast.com/en-eu/download-software


wolf99

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Re: Lots of virus def folders and can't delete them
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2014, 05:25:12 AM »
Thanks for the tip.   One thing I tried first was stopping the AvastSvc.exe service and seeing if I could delete the files manually.  Still no go.   Started the service again and got some error messages about some files not being found and lo and behold, all the old virus defs suddenly started disappearing, with only one folder remaining just containing the new ones.  Something was definitely confused and we'll see how it goes from here.   :)

Offline Alikhan

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Re: Lots of virus def folders and can't delete them
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2014, 03:00:39 PM »
Thanks for the tip.   One thing I tried first was stopping the AvastSvc.exe service and seeing if I could delete the files manually.  Still no go.   Started the service again and got some error messages about some files not being found and lo and behold, all the old virus defs suddenly started disappearing, with only one folder remaining just containing the new ones.  Something was definitely confused and we'll see how it goes from here.   :)

I'd strongly recommend a clean install since it seems corrupt... something will go wrong in the future.

1. Download Avastclear, Rejzors uninstall tool and the appropriate Avast program edition

Note: It's important you used the stub online installer from the one I linked.. NOT the offline one.

Note: You need to be ONLINE during this install (online installer works in all cases whereas offline sometimes doesn't)

http://files.avast.com/iavs9x/avast_free_antivirus_setup_online.exe
http://files.avast.com/iavs9x/avast_pro_antivirus_setup_online.exe
http://files.avast.com/iavs9x/avast_internet_security_setup_online.exe
http://files.avast.com/iavs9x/avast_premier_antivirus_setup_online.exe

Avastclear : http://files.avast.com/iavs9x/avastclear.exe
Rejzors Uninstall tool: http://rejzor.wordpress.com/avast-cleanup-tool/

2. Uninstall Avast by control panel  [If you don't have Avast in control Panel go to #4]
3. Uninstall in safe mode using Avastclear.
4. Run Rejzors Uninstall Utility in Normal Mode (removes traces avastclear doesn't) - reboot.
Check : Once uninstalled check in device manager>view>show hidden devices if there is anything related to avast with a yellow triangle.. if so, uninstall it and reboot.
5. Install the version you downloaded.
6. Reboot.
Windows 10 Home 64-bit • Avast Free (latest stable version) •  Malwarebytes 4 Premium (On-Demand) • Windows Firewall Control • Google Chrome • LastPass • CCleaner • O&O ShutUp10 •

Offline DavidR

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Re: Lots of virus def folders and can't delete them
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2014, 03:31:13 PM »
Thanks for the tip.   One thing I tried first was stopping the AvastSvc.exe service and seeing if I could delete the files manually.  Still no go.   Started the service again and got some error messages about some files not being found and lo and behold, all the old virus defs suddenly started disappearing, with only one folder remaining just containing the new ones.  Something was definitely confused and we'll see how it goes from here.   :)

The avast self-defence module would be protecting avast, so you would need to disable that.

Avast housekeeping should be removing old virus defs sub-folders. That said, an image of the folder structure would have been helpful as some of those folders could have been streaming update folders, e.g. 14021801_stream.

However, the defs folder name you gave is positively ancient (14 Feb 2014) and should have been removed ages ago.

An avast Repair is something I would have tried first before doing a full clean reinstall.
Windows 10 Home 64bit/ Acer Aspire F15/ Intel Core i5 7200U 2.5GHz, 8GB DDR4 memory, 256GB SSD, 1TB HDD/ avast! free 22.2.6003 (build 22.2.7013.717) UI 1.0.697/ Firefox, uBlock Origin, uMatrix/ MailWasher Pro/ Avast! Mobile Security

wolf99

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Re: Lots of virus def folders and can't delete them
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2014, 05:50:50 PM »
Thanks, all!   Now I have several things to try if it gives me any more trouble, including repair and possibly a complete cleanout and reinstall, but as I have it nicely configured right now and it seems to be working I'm going to give it a couple of days and see if the virus def files are now being managed correctly.    Seems a shame to do a complete reinstall if it was just a minor glitch.

I should mention that when I said that I got some error messages about files not found after I restarted AvastSvc.exe, the files in question were the old virus folders which were now in the process of being deleted, not program files or anything like that.   At the time I was running Process Explorer to try to track down file handles and had been trying to delete stuff with Windows Explorer so who knows what was going on!!

wolf99

  • Guest
Re: Lots of virus def folders and can't delete them
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2014, 01:24:29 AM »
Yay!!  Looks like all is well!    About an hour ago I had just two virus def folders and the oldest of the three recent downloads had been deleted.  I just looked again and now there's only one.   The virus def housekeeping now seems to be working.    :)