Author Topic: Problems with Avast! Free v2014.9.0.2021 on startup. Only just started.  (Read 7390 times)

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Offline Braver

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So over the past couple of days I've had some major problems with Avast! Free... before Wednesday I wasn't having any problems whatsoever and my startup was very quick but as of Thursday on every nearly every startup sequence it takes around 15-20 seconds for Avast to fully load on the system tray but it's also stopping other services from starting like my network connection as well.

I also noticed that since this problem started the Protection Shields can't be stopped manually or started without the program nearly crashing every time. It seems to me (from my observations) that the shields are what is delaying the whole startup process but I'm not sure why... as a few days previously it was fine.

I've tried reinstalling Avast! from scratch (Used AvastClear) like 3 times and it doesn't help matters at all. The moment I make my first restart on a reinstall, the problem just returns.

The funny thing is: I did a test today in where I actually started up my computer without a network connection and the program then booted up like it did previously, quickly.. and without problems. The shields also stopped and started manually with absolutely no delay or crashing in sight. I've also been having some odd problems with linking devices and such too... where I couldn't even load the log-in screen on the avast program... it would just give me internal server errors every time.

I'm quite anxious about this because I like my computer to be secure but with the way it's acting at the moment, I'm not even fully sure my shields are functioning correctly... I've been monitoring memory usage and such as well and when these things happen on a log-in where avast! delays on startup, it seems that not all shield modules are loaded and it takes anywhere from 20-30 seconds for them all to start working.

Anyone else suffered a similar issue before or can give me an idea of what this could be? I just find it VERY ODD that it works fine with no connection... please don't tell me to do a fresh reinstall, as I've done this about three times already, to no avail.

bootsy@mailinator.com

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So over the past couple of days I've had some major problems with Avast! Free... before Wednesday I wasn't having any problems whatsoever and my startup was very quick but as of Thursday on every nearly every startup sequence it takes around 15-20 seconds for Avast to fully load on the system tray but it's also stopping other services from starting like my network connection as well.

I also noticed that since this problem started the Protection Shields can't be stopped manually or started without the program nearly crashing every time. It seems to me (from my observations) that the shields are what is delaying the whole startup process but I'm not sure why... as a few days previously it was fine.

I've tried reinstalling Avast! from scratch (Used AvastClear) like 3 times and it doesn't help matters at all. The moment I make my first restart on a reinstall, the problem just returns.

The funny thing is: I did a test today in where I actually started up my computer without a network connection and the program then booted up like it did previously, quickly.. and without problems. The shields also stopped and started manually with absolutely no delay or crashing in sight. I've also been having some odd problems with linking devices and such too... where I couldn't even load the log-in screen on the avast program... it would just give me internal server errors every time.

I'm quite anxious about this because I like my computer to be secure but with the way it's acting at the moment, I'm not even fully sure my shields are functioning correctly... I've been monitoring memory usage and such as well and when these things happen on a log-in where avast! delays on startup, it seems that not all shield modules are loaded and it takes anywhere from 20-30 seconds for them all to start working.

Anyone else suffered a similar issue before or can give me an idea of what this could be? I just find it VERY ODD that it works fine with no connection... please don't tell me to do a fresh reinstall, as I've done this about three times already, to no avail.

I had a similar issue after I upgraded W7 to SP1, though I am using a different version of AVAST. Anywho, DavidR here gave me a suggestion and it sounds like it might help you too. He showed me how to edit an .ini setting to delay AVAST from checking it's vrial database for 2 minutes after boot:

https://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=156167.msg1133429#msg1133429

The relevant part of his post (instructions) are quoted there. Maybe that will help.

Offline Braver

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So over the past couple of days I've had some major problems with Avast! Free... before Wednesday I wasn't having any problems whatsoever and my startup was very quick but as of Thursday on every nearly every startup sequence it takes around 15-20 seconds for Avast to fully load on the system tray but it's also stopping other services from starting like my network connection as well.

I also noticed that since this problem started the Protection Shields can't be stopped manually or started without the program nearly crashing every time. It seems to me (from my observations) that the shields are what is delaying the whole startup process but I'm not sure why... as a few days previously it was fine.

I've tried reinstalling Avast! from scratch (Used AvastClear) like 3 times and it doesn't help matters at all. The moment I make my first restart on a reinstall, the problem just returns.

The funny thing is: I did a test today in where I actually started up my computer without a network connection and the program then booted up like it did previously, quickly.. and without problems. The shields also stopped and started manually with absolutely no delay or crashing in sight. I've also been having some odd problems with linking devices and such too... where I couldn't even load the log-in screen on the avast program... it would just give me internal server errors every time.

I'm quite anxious about this because I like my computer to be secure but with the way it's acting at the moment, I'm not even fully sure my shields are functioning correctly... I've been monitoring memory usage and such as well and when these things happen on a log-in where avast! delays on startup, it seems that not all shield modules are loaded and it takes anywhere from 20-30 seconds for them all to start working.

Anyone else suffered a similar issue before or can give me an idea of what this could be? I just find it VERY ODD that it works fine with no connection... please don't tell me to do a fresh reinstall, as I've done this about three times already, to no avail.

I had a similar issue after I upgraded W7 to SP1, though I am using a different version of AVAST. Anywho, DavidR here gave me a suggestion and it sounds like it might help you too. He showed me how to edit an .ini setting to delay AVAST from checking it's vrial database for 2 minutes after boot:

https://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=156167.msg1133429#msg1133429

The relevant part of his post (instructions) are quoted there. Maybe that will help.

Were you having the same exact problems? Cause these problems I'm having seem really unusual... they also weren't present a few days ago... it's also very odd that these delays don't happen with no internet connection... when it was Ok before avast! was taking like 2-3 seconds to load in system tray... now anywhere between 10-30 seconds... another thing that's also very odd is the fact that it doesn't do this every time... just 90% of the time or so I'd say...

It also delays my windows internet connection icon when it fails to start properly... by around 5-10 seconds also... so I'm not sure if it's connection related but I can update and stuff just fine... the shields are just weird... and last I checked... the protection shields weren't run by internet, just windows... so I find it a little odd that the program pretty much crashes whenever I try to manually disable any of the shields... but the file shield is the worst... it almost always crashes... but turns back ON/OFF after about 20 seconds.

What that post mentions just changes the delay time between checking for updates... I changed and even turned off the update to manual etc already in the settings and it was still the same. Only when I turned off my connection did it start normally. :\

Also... I've been on Windows 7, SP1 for a long time... and I've never ever had a problem like this before while using Avast!... it's a bit scary... I don't even know if the shields or even the program are running correctly and whether it's giving me the full protection I want...
« Last Edit: October 11, 2014, 11:51:01 PM by Braver »

Offline DavidR

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The avast tray icon, avastUI.exe, is just the access point for the user Interface and some other option - it isn't part of the protection as such, which loads much earlier.
Windows 10 Home 2004 64bit/ Acer Aspire F15/ Intel Core i5 7200U 2.5GHz, 8GB DDR4 memory, 256GB SSD, 1TB HDD/ avast! free 21.1.2449 (build 21.1.5968.561) UI-1.0.597/ WinPatrol+/ Firefox, uBlock Origin, uMatrix/ MailWasher Pro/ Avast! Mobile Security

Offline Braver

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The avast tray icon, avastUI.exe, is just the access point for the user Interface and some other option - it isn't part of the protection as such, which loads much earlier.

Alright, but still... why do my shields not load properly? It's quite evident by watching my process monitor on startup that avastsvc.exe uses very little memory on startup and then goes up around 20 seconds later, basically when the UI icon decides to show up.

I noticed as well that Avast before took some of my computer's RAM on startup to probably startup quicker, but as of this problem starting, the amount used is next to nothing...

I don't understand what's going on... I didn't change any settings or anything until this problem started... all I did was a couple basic malware/virus scans and a defrag... and there was something previously I didn't mention... I've had this similar problem before but in the past... using AvastClear and reinstalling fixed it, but this time it is unsuccessful and I've done it a few times.

Just really worried here, not sure what to do and this particular problem is driving me crazy... I've tried most basic maintenance/routine things to fix it, tested different avast settings, turning certain things off etc... but to no avail... but it seems to be something to do with the shields as they don't seem right... they shouldn't be almost crashing when trying to deactivate them or reactivate them... when it was working before I could deactivate and reactivate them all I liked... and it took a second.

I just really need some help and a solution. :(

Offline DavidR

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The avastSvc.exe is the main avast service and that should be running pretty early. It doesn't use a whole lot of resources, RAM or CPU generally - that would depend on the activity on your system.

I can't really hazard a guess as to why the shields are starting quickly - to start with you can't see those until the tray icon is present.

What are your system specs, OS, RAM and CPU ?
What other security based software do you have installed, anti-spy/malware, firewall, etc. ?

Have (or did) you another Anti-Virus installed in this system, if so what was it and how did you get rid of it ?
Windows 10 Home 2004 64bit/ Acer Aspire F15/ Intel Core i5 7200U 2.5GHz, 8GB DDR4 memory, 256GB SSD, 1TB HDD/ avast! free 21.1.2449 (build 21.1.5968.561) UI-1.0.597/ WinPatrol+/ Firefox, uBlock Origin, uMatrix/ MailWasher Pro/ Avast! Mobile Security

Offline Braver

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The avastSvc.exe is the main avast service and that should be running pretty early. It doesn't use a whole lot of resources, RAM or CPU generally - that would depend on the activity on your system.

I can't really hazard a guess as to why the shields are starting quickly - to start with you can't see those until the tray icon is present.

What are your system specs, OS, RAM and CPU ?
What other security based software do you have installed, anti-spy/malware, firewall, etc. ?

Have (or did) you another Anti-Virus installed in this system, if so what was it and how did you get rid of it ?

It's just that a few days ago, when things were running smoothly... I had a mental note of how much memory RAM AvastSvc was using and it always used the same amount on every startup and both the AvastUI and AvastSVC processes started pretty much instantly, infact it was one of the first 2 processes to startup on my system in general.

My specs are OS: Windows 7, Home Premium SP1, 8GB DDR3 RAM, I7 2400k 3.4ghz processor.
Security software, just Avast! Free and COMODO Internet Security. I haven't had any other Antiviruses installed on this system except AVG at one point but that was years ago and I have reformatted since then... but no... not had any other antivirus on this hard drive in general.

I don't know if definitions installed on the avast! program can cause shield behavior and memory usage to change but if it does then it may be these last patch of definitions I've had in the past 3 days... because on the 8th October my computer was fine, next day... poof... this problem started and I did not change any settings regarding avast that day.

All I did was routine virus/malware checks and a defrag of my system hard drive. Oh, forgot to mention I have Malwarebyes installed too, but it's not version 2.0, I use an older version and always have done. I don't like 2.0 and had problems with it on my system before.

Offline DavidR

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Well your system is well up to the task.

When the tray icon eventually appears, does it have an asterisk in a triangle over it ?

Is your Comodo Firewall the stand alone one,  no AV or defence+ (or whatever it is called) ?

I'm going to have to call it a night after Midnight here and I'm up early.
Windows 10 Home 2004 64bit/ Acer Aspire F15/ Intel Core i5 7200U 2.5GHz, 8GB DDR4 memory, 256GB SSD, 1TB HDD/ avast! free 21.1.2449 (build 21.1.5968.561) UI-1.0.597/ WinPatrol+/ Firefox, uBlock Origin, uMatrix/ MailWasher Pro/ Avast! Mobile Security

Offline Braver

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Well your system is well up to the task.

When the tray icon eventually appears, does it have an asterisk in a triangle over it ?

Is your Comodo Firewall the stand alone one,  no AV or defence+ (or whatever it is called) ?

I'm going to have to call it a night after Midnight here and I'm up early.

Nope. Regular icon, and the changing from blue to orange animation. Yes my COMODO Firewall is the free/standalone version. Tried a lot of other stuff regarding this problem though, like allowing avast in firewalls, turning off firewalls, all that stuff... it makes no difference.

At first I thought it was the virus definitions that were the culprit as I think with certain ones they change the way the shield and stuff behaves? I'm no technical expert so I don't know. I just know basic functions and such in Avast! But since I've been fresh installing the program it probably isn't, nor can it be the core files of Avast! as they're new.

bootsy@mailinator.com

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Nope. Regular icon, and the changing from blue to orange animation. Yes my COMODO Firewall is the free/standalone version. Tried a lot of other stuff regarding this problem though, like allowing avast in firewalls, turning off firewalls, all that stuff... it makes no difference.

I thought I read it was Comodo Internet Security, which does include an AV AFAIK. Maybe I'm wrong, or maybe you have the AV function disabled. But whatever version of Comodo you are using, if it always got along with AVAST then it must not have an AV or be the problem, assuming it has not changed or been upgraded/updated.

Are you sure no other software has been updated or changed? Any new device drivers installed ... any changes to the system at all? Because it certainly (to me anyway) sounds like a conflict. Or possibly a corrupt file.

I bow to David's expertise where AVAST is concerned but since he is retired for the night, it certainly wouldn't hurt to run sfc /scannow from the command prompt with admin privileges. This checks vital system files for problems. Takes a few minutes but is a good thing to eliminate on the off-chance it finds a problem and fixes it. If no problem is found then I am sure David will be back tomorrow with some suggestions.

To run the command:

Windows Orb-> type "cmd" in Search (without quotes)

cmd.exe will appear above, right click and Run As Admin

Opens like this:

c:\windows\system32\

(c:\windows\users\...   isn't in admin mode)

at the prompt type:

sfc /scannow

and hit ENTER. (There is a space between sfc and the back slash.)

Upon scanning the files Windows will report of it found any integrity errors or repaired any files. When it's done you can type "exit" and ENTER to close the command window.

Offline Braver

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Re: Problems with Avast! Free v2014.9.0.2021 on startup. Only just started.
« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2014, 04:50:58 AM »

I thought I read it was Comodo Internet Security, which does include an AV AFAIK. Maybe I'm wrong, or maybe you have the AV function disabled. But whatever version of Comodo you are using, if it always got along with AVAST then it must not have an AV or be the problem, assuming it has not changed or been upgraded/updated.

Are you sure no other software has been updated or changed? Any new device drivers installed ... any changes to the system at all? Because it certainly (to me anyway) sounds like a conflict. Or possibly a corrupt file.

I bow to David's expertise where AVAST is concerned but since he is retired for the night, it certainly wouldn't hurt to run sfc /scannow from the command prompt with admin privileges. This checks vital system files for problems. Takes a few minutes but is a good thing to eliminate on the off-chance it finds a problem and fixes it. If no problem is found then I am sure David will be back tomorrow with some suggestions.

To run the command:

Windows Orb-> type "cmd" in Search (without quotes)

cmd.exe will appear above, right click and Run As Admin

Opens like this:

c:\windows\system32\

(c:\windows\users\...   isn't in admin mode)

at the prompt type:

sfc /scannow

and hit ENTER. (There is a space between sfc and the back slash.)

Upon scanning the files Windows will report of it found any integrity errors or repaired any files. When it's done you can type "exit" and ENTER to close the command window.

Yeah I just mean COMODO Firewall, it doesn't have a built in AV. Just regular Firewall security... and yeah, I don't touch the settings on it much at all. I didn't prior to the problem happening, that's for sure. As I mentioned in some previous posts... all I did on the day before the problem occurred was a full system scan with Avast!, a scan with Malwarebytes 1.75 and a system defrag and the next day I woke up and restarted it was like this.

I tried the scannow command, it didn't find any integrity violations. :\ Running out of ideas... I've tried most of the more simple tests and such, such as disabling firewalls, changing stuff in msconfig (only 5 system tray programs anyway so not much), fully reinstalling Avast! (Using the avastclear.exe) which removes it completely AFAIK and just installed it again, no change.

As I said though, the most odd thing to me about this whole thing is the fact that the program still appears to be sorta normal offline... I've even done things such as a disc drive error check etc but it's all been inconclusive. :(

bootsy@mailinator.com

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Re: Problems with Avast! Free v2014.9.0.2021 on startup. Only just started.
« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2014, 05:18:04 AM »
[...] As I mentioned in some previous posts... all I did on the day before the problem occurred was a full system scan with Avast!, a scan with Malwarebytes 1.75 and a system defrag and the next day I woke up and restarted it was like this.

I assume the AV scans did not find/remove anything?

Quote
I tried the scannow command, it didn't find any integrity violations. :\

Always a good thing to eliminate though...

Quote
Running out of ideas... I've tried most of the more simple tests and such, such as disabling firewalls, changing stuff in msconfig (only 5 system tray programs anyway so not much), fully reinstalling Avast! (Using the avastclear.exe) which removes it completely AFAIK and just installed it again, no change.

(Not that it would make a difference to your problem, but the best way to uninstall it is in SafeMode...)

Just wondering if you happen to have system restore turned on and would be able to return to a prior restore point... like one before the defrag. Some defrag programs create a system restore point before running, or you might have created one recently.

To check for restore points:

Orb -> Control Panel -> System -> then click the System Protection hyperlink for the Sys Restore window to open.

Here you can see if Sys Restore is turned on for the C drive, and if it is, clicking on the System Restore button will make another window popup. From there click "Choose a different restore point" at the bottom of that window, then click NEXT to see a list of all the restore points available. Now you can see what dates they were created, and if one is available for Oct 7 or before, try it. (If any software was installed after the restore point was made, it will have to be reinstalled, but data will not be affected.)

Quote
As I said though, the most odd thing to me about this whole thing is the fact that the program still appears to be sorta normal offline...

That would appear to be because it is one of the processes in AVAST that uses network services that is causing the problem or experiencing the conflict or hiccup. When offline, those processes aren't running.


Quote
I've even done things such as a disc drive error check etc but it's all been inconclusive. :(

You mean you did chkdsk? (i.e. had Windows check the integrity of the hard disk) ... what was "inconclusive" about the check?

I assume you haven't noticed any other irregularities since the scan/defrag? No keyboard lagging, or sluggishness... anything at all out of the ordinary in your other programs?
« Last Edit: October 12, 2014, 05:22:09 AM by bootsy »

Offline Braver

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Re: Problems with Avast! Free v2014.9.0.2021 on startup. Only just started.
« Reply #12 on: October 12, 2014, 05:38:11 AM »


Quote
I assume the AV scans did not find/remove anything?

Nope, I haven't found a single piece of Malware or Viruses on my PC for a fair while, I'm rather OCD when it comes to security, my browsers all have stuff like that too like Noscript and Adblock, stuff like that.


Quote
(Not that it would make a difference to your problem, but the best way to uninstall it is in SafeMode...)

Just wondering if you happen to have system restore turned on and would be able to return to a prior restore point... like one before the defrag. Some defrag programs create a system restore point before running, or you might have created one recently.

To check for restore points:

Orb -> Control Panel -> System -> then click the System Protection hyperlink for the Sys Restore window to open.

Here you can see if Sys Restore is turned on for the C drive, and if it is, clicking on the System Restore button will make another window popup. From there click "Choose a different restore point" at the bottom of that window, then click NEXT to see a list of all the restore points available. Now you can see what dates they were created, and if one is available for Oct 7 or before, try it. (If any software was installed after the restore point was made, it will have to be reinstalled, but data will not be affected.)

I did uninstall it in Safe Mode, the avastclear program pretty much recommends you do so, so I do, but it made no difference.
About System Restore... Unfortunately not. I delete restore points pretty much every day, as I've never really had to use System Restore much and whenever I did, it made things regarding my PC's general integrity a whole lot worse and I've ended up having to reformat my hard drive. Had bad experiences with it in general so I tend not to use it much, which sucks for me in this situation, I guess.

Quote
That would appear to be because it is one of the processes in AVAST that uses network services that is causing the problem or experiencing the conflict or hiccup. When offline, those processes aren't running.

Hmm... not sure which part of avast! that would be but this whole thing just seems really random, about 30 minutes ago I was able to turn the shields off and on without any problems (even with a connection) but the moment I restarted my PC, it just went back to being slow again. From what I can gather by certain thing's I've been observing in the process monitor and such is that on the startup, only one of the shields appear to be active (going by system memory usage), yet the icon in the system tray and the program itself appears to say they're all running and that "everything is fine" which it blatantly isn't. /sigh... this is kinda depressing.

Quote
You mean you did chkdsk? (i.e. had Windows check the integrity of the hard disk) ... what was "inconclusive" about the check?

I assume you haven't noticed any other irregularities since the scan/defrag? No keyboard lagging, or sluggishness... anything at all out of the ordinary in your other programs?

Yeah, chkdsk... it did a full scan but didn't find anything unusual... and regarding the PC's speed and such... not really, my system in general seems as fast as it normally does, other programs are running fine, COMODO and my graphics drivers start the moment I log-on to my PC, these aren't really affected by the avast! issue. Except... when I first log-on (if the problem occurs, it doesn't 100% of the time, which is odd, but more like 90%.) I can't really open the start menu in windows when Avast! is in the process of loading, as I get the spinning circle cursor and I can't basically open the start menu at all until Avast and my network icon loads.

« Last Edit: October 12, 2014, 05:48:20 AM by Braver »

bootsy@mailinator.com

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Re: Problems with Avast! Free v2014.9.0.2021 on startup. Only just started.
« Reply #13 on: October 12, 2014, 05:51:53 AM »
Have you tried starting in Safe Mode with networking, then starting AVAST manually in safe mode to see if it works there?

To start in Safe Mode with networking:

Orb -> Run -> type msconfig (or if you don't have the Run command, just type msconfig in Search then click on it) -> click Boot tab -> click Safe Boot and Network then OK and Restart.

Once you try it out in Safe Mode (if you do) don't forget to go into msconfig again and uncheck Safe Mode so it boots normally when you are ready to reboot.

Also, you mentioned early on that you had disabled updates in AVAST to see if that would make a diff just for troubleshooting purposes (i.e. to keep it from using the network), but you didn't mention if you disabled all updates... viral AND program. (That still leaves the Emergency Update service but we'll leave that for now.) All cloud services and cloud features and the "connected account" also use networking. Would be interesting to see if all those things were disabled, how it would behave. If the shields continued to act funky I would disable all of them, then enable them one at a time. That is, activate one shield at a time, see if turns on and off normally... then after seeing if each shield works independently, I'd start activating one, add another, add another, add another, until the problem resurfaced... 

The results of these exercises might help David (or another AVAST expert) diagnose the problem easier tomorrow.


bootsy@mailinator.com

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Re: Problems with Avast! Free v2014.9.0.2021 on startup. Only just started.
« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2014, 06:22:17 AM »
[...] this whole thing just seems really random, about 30 minutes ago I was able to turn the shields off and on without any problems (even with a connection) but the moment I restarted my PC, it just went back to being slow again.

When you first boot a computer many services and processes are all vying for resources as they initialize, and many programs automatically 'phone home' or check for updates. AVAST has all sorts of services that use the network... This glut of activity can create a "bottleneck" (network-wise and resource-wise) until the processes all get a chance to finish their initializing duties. Once that happens, the PC smooths out and becomes more responsive because there aren't as many processes running in the background. This is why it was originally suggested to delay AVAST from looking for the network at boot, to allow all the other programs and services to use the network first and reduce the glut. That may not fix your problem but it won't hurt either, regardless.

Quote
From what I can gather by certain thing's I've been observing in the process monitor and such is that on the startup, only one of the shields appear to be active (going by system memory usage), yet the icon in the system tray and the program itself appears to say they're all running and that "everything is fine" which it blatantly isn't. /sigh... this is kinda depressing.

While I am not an AVAST aficiondao, a shield can be active but idle if there is nothing for it to do at the moment. In fact, if programs weren't designed that way they would eat up too many resources unnecessarily. So while you may have a problem, if AVAST is telling you all of its shields are active, they most probably are.

Quote
[...]... when I first log-on (if the problem occurs, it doesn't 100% of the time, which is odd, but more like 90%.) I can't really open the start menu in windows when Avast! is in the process of loading, as I get the spinning circle cursor and I can't basically open the start menu at all until Avast and my network icon loads.

Again lots of processes working at once, tying the system up. I do have to say it seems this problem happens more with AVAST than some other AVs (judging by complaints about AVAST being a resource hog at boot), but perhaps not on every machine.

IAC I would suggest once again to use David's edit regardless of the nature of your problem. It can only help.

PS, I am off for now, so good luck and I hope you straighten the problem out with some expert help tomorrow. I will be following the thread to see how it turns out.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2014, 06:27:14 AM by bootsy »