Author Topic: avast! antivirus program will not load... any advice?  (Read 16853 times)

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whisper

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avast! antivirus program will not load... any advice?
« on: August 13, 2005, 05:49:49 AM »
I recently dumped my old version of Notron Antivirus 2003 and decided to download and install the latest version of Avast Pro.  I have not paid for it yet, I was going to do the 60-day trial and see how I liked it.  The installation seemed to go okay, and all the providers (script blocking, internet mail, etc) seem to be running.  However, I have one major problem:

The Avast antivirus program itself, where I assume one can perform manual scans, adjust various settings, etc., will not load.  I have tried to run it by selecting "Start avast! antivirus" from the sys tray icon, by selcting it in the start menu, and I even went into the program files folder and tried double clicking on the application itself:  "C:\Program Files\Alwil Software\Avast4\ashAvast.exe"

In all cases, I get the same result.  My cursor shows the hourglass for a few seconds, as if something is loading, and then... nothing.  It's as though I never tried to load it.  Does anyone know what might be going on here?  Is there any reason why I shouldn't be able to load the antivirus program?  Should I try to uninstall and then reinstall?

Offline Eddy

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Re: avast! antivirus program will not load... any advice?
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2005, 12:07:03 PM »
- Uninstall Avast using the uninstall util form the website.
- Reboot
- Uninstall NAV 2003 COMPLETELY with the uninstall util called Rnav2003.exe
- Reboot
- Install Avast

This should solve it. Let us know if it did or not.

ps:
The problem you stated have been talked about tons of times on this board.
Please use the search option before asking.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2005, 12:09:03 PM by Eddy »

whisper

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Re: avast! antivirus program will not load... any advice?
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2005, 04:22:05 PM »
Sorry if this has been an issue before... I did not find any posts with my exact situation, though I only spent a few minutes looking before I posted.

Anyway, I have run into another problem in that I cannot uninstall Avast.  I attempted to use the uninstall util as suggested.  It did manage to remove the avast sys tray protection (the avast sys tray icons are no longer present).  However, the util froze up and would not complete the uninstall.  It has continued to freeze up on all subsequent attempts.  I also tried uninstalling through windows add/remove programs.  There, it shows that avast is still installed, and if I click "change" and then select remove, it freezes and the system hangs, requiring a reboot.

Thinking that perhaps this might have something to do with traces left behind from NAV, I went ahead and ran the Rnav2003.exe util, which seemed to go smoothly.  However, running this did not fix my uninstall problem with Avast.

I also tried running the Avast installer (the one I originally used to install the program), but it recognizes that Avast is still installed, and will not allow me to completely reinstall the program.  So for the time being, I have what seems to be a partial installation of Avast.  The program is installed but will not load (my original problem), and now the various providers and sys tray feature are also no longer present.  And I cannot uninstall it so that I can start from scratch.

Perhaps there is a way to perform a purely manual uninstallation (i.e. combination of removing program files, relevant registry keys, etc.)?

Offline Eddy

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Re: avast! antivirus program will not load... any advice?
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2005, 04:29:22 PM »
Run both utils in safe mode. That may solve the problem.

whisper

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Re: avast! antivirus program will not load... any advice?
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2005, 05:01:32 PM »
Thanks, I actually decided to do that right after my last post, and it did in fact work.  I was able to completely uninstall Avast.  One problem solved!

I have now reinstalled Avast, and at least my sys tray services are running again, so I imagine I have some level of virus protection in place.  Unfortunately, I still cannot load the Avast antivirus program, so my original problem still exists.  I'm inclined to think there is something about my particular system configuration that is interfering.  Here is a list of the other things I normally have running (and that appear in the sys tray), which have not caused me any troubles in the past:

1. HP Photosmart 7400 series:  it's some sort of printer monitor... always has seemed pretty innocuous
2. Asusprob:  a temp/fan monitor for my motherboard
3. WindowBlinds 4.5:  some may think it's a waste, but I love it
4. Microsoft OneNote:  Program is not always running but the sys tray icon is always there
5. NVIDIA NVMixer:  Sound controls for the NVIDIA sound chip on my mobo
6. Rainlender:  Desktop calendar app
7. HandyNotes:  Lightweight desktop note application
8. Webshots:  for putting cool pictures on the desktop

I also have the windows firewall turned on.

As I said, some people may not like some of the "fluff" things I have installed but I have had them on this system for over a year with no problems.  That being said, if anything looks suspicious that might interfere with Avast then by all means let me know.

whisper

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Re: avast! antivirus program will not load... any advice?
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2005, 06:13:53 PM »
UPDATE:

In safe mode, I found that I am able to successfully load the Avast program, perform manual scans, etc.  The program does a memory test and then opens up the interface module.  I assume this is what it should normally do.

However, when I boot up normally, it will no longer load.  This supports my idea that there is something about my configuration that is preventing Avast from loading.  I don't have a clue what it may be though, at least not yet.  I do know, however, that it is NOT WindowBlinds, Rainlender, or HandyNotes since I have tried quitting those and it does not help.  I'll continue to tinker around, any suggestions are welcome.

In the meatime, I imagine that I am basically protected since the "on-access" system try protections seems to be working.  Is this correct?  If I need to do manual scans, manual program updates, etc. then I can just boot into safe mode to do it.  Not sure if I would want to pay the $39 for pro edition though, if this is what I end up having to settle for:)

Offline Lisandro

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Re: avast! antivirus program will not load... any advice?
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2005, 09:33:30 PM »
However, when I boot up normally, it will no longer load.  This supports my idea that there is something about my configuration that is preventing Avast from loading.  I don't have a clue what it may be though, at least not yet.  I do know, however, that it is NOT WindowBlinds, Rainlender, or HandyNotes since I have tried quitting those and it does not help.  I'll continue to tinker around, any suggestions are welcome.
Can't you repair your installation?
Go to Control Panel > Add/Remove programs > avast! antivirus > Remove. Then choose Repair function in the popup window (Repair). You must be connected to the internet while repairing. If this does not help, can you uninstall / boot / install / boot again?

In the meatime, I imagine that I am basically protected since the "on-access" system try protections seems to be working.  Is this correct?  If I need to do manual scans, manual program updates, etc. then I can just boot into safe mode to do it.
If you sure that this is happening, I suggest you change to the skinless version (changing avast4.ini file).
Can you run: C:\Program Files\Alwil Software\Avast4\ashSimp2.exe
What do you get?

Not sure if I would want to pay the $39 for pro edition though, if this is what I end up having to settle for:)
There isn't and there wasn't any problem on avast! Home edition that will be corrected by the Pro version. This is not how we trust avast! company. Home version fully works.  8)
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whisper

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Re: avast! antivirus program will not load... any advice?
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2005, 10:17:55 PM »
Can't you repair your installation?
Go to Control Panel > Add/Remove programs > avast! antivirus > Remove. Then choose Repair function in the popup window (Repair). You must be connected to the internet while repairing. If this does not help, can you uninstall / boot / install / boot again?
I actually tried both of these.  First, I tried the uninstall/boot/install/boot method.  Although I originally had some trouble uninstalling Avast, I figured that out.  I also tried doing the repair, which did not help me.

If you sure that this is happening, I suggest you change to the skinless version (changing avast4.ini file).
Can you run: C:\Program Files\Alwil Software\Avast4\ashSimp2.exe
What do you get?
What exactly would I change about the avast4.ini file to make it skinless?  Maybe that would help.  As for running C:\Program Files\Alwil Software\Avast4\ashSimp2.exe, if I do that I get exactly nothing!  Nothing seems to load, no program opens, nothing seems to change at all.  It's like I have done nothing.  I do notice in the task manager, however, that ashSimp2.exe is running.

There isn't and there wasn't any problem on avast! Home edition that will be corrected by the Pro version. This is not how we trust avast! company. Home version fully works.
I didn't think my problem would be fixed by going to pro.  In fact, I chose to install pro in the first place so the problem is in fact occuring with the pro version!  I just meant that if I can't fix this little problem, I'd be willing to use the home version for free since it seems to provide resident protection (in fact, it already recognized that an email I got today had a virus in it).  But if I have to go into safe mode everytime I want to do a manual scan, or for any other reason that would require running the avast antivirus program, it's a little inconvenient.  Fine if it's free, but not if I was going to pay for it.

Offline Lisandro

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Re: avast! antivirus program will not load... any advice?
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2005, 10:26:54 PM »
I also tried doing the repair, which did not help me.
Were you connected at that time?
Are you using ODBC or XML method of storage?

What exactly would I change about the avast4.ini file to make it skinless?
More details here: http://forum.avast.com/index.php?board=2;action=display;threadid=1647

But, this is very strange:

As for running C:\Program Files\Alwil Software\Avast4\ashSimp2.exe, if I do that I get exactly nothing!  Nothing seems to load, no program opens, nothing seems to change at all.  It's like I have done nothing.  I do notice in the task manager, however, that ashSimp2.exe is running.
Your avast! installation is corrupted for sure.
Do you have any other antivirus in your system?

I didn't think my problem would be fixed by going to pro.  In fact, I chose to install pro in the first place so the problem is in fact occuring with the pro version!
Did you 'downgrade' it to free version?

I just meant that if I can't fix this little problem, I'd be willing to use the home version for free since it seems to provide resident protection (in fact, it already recognized that an email I got today had a virus in it).
Are you sure you're clean?
Is there any strange process running?

But if I have to go into safe mode everytime I want to do a manual scan, or for any other reason that would require running the avast antivirus program, it's a little inconvenient.  Fine if it's free, but not if I was going to pay for it.
I think it's inconvenient even for the free version.
avast! Home really works!  :(
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whisper

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Re: avast! antivirus program will not load... any advice?
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2005, 10:17:34 PM »
Were you connected at that time?
Are you using ODBC or XML method of storage?
I was connected, yes.  Unless my cable goes out, I am usually always connected :)  I have two HDDs, both of which are formatted in NTFS file system.  I don't use any ODBC or XML methods.

More details here: http://forum.avast.com/index.php?board=2;action=display;threadid=1647
I haven't had time to play with the .ini file yet.  I will post any result once I have some time.  I'm certainly willing to try, though not sure that the skinning is really the culprit.

Your avast! installation is corrupted for sure.
Do you have any other antivirus in your system?
While I do agree that something is definitely wrong, I'm actually not so sure that my installation is corrupted.  As I mentioned, if I boot into safe mode and then try to load avast! antivirus, it loads up just fine.  This makes me think that there is something else running when I boot up normally (some other process) or some particular windows setting I am using that is prevening avast! antivirus from loading.  I used to use NAV 2003, which I uninstalled prior to installing avast.  When I noticed my problem with avast, I ran Rnav2003.exe to ensure that NAV had been completely uninstalled.  So at this point, there should not be any other antivirus (or traces thereof) on my system.

Did you 'downgrade' it to free version?
Here's the exact order of what I did:
1. Uninstalled NAV 2003 using add/remove programs in the control panel
2. Installed avast! pro edition.  Chose to perform virus scan on next boot, which found one bad file (not sure if it was a virus or just a suspicious file.  It was associated with "popcaploader", something yahoo games uses for some of it's web-baed java games.  Anyway, I chose to remove the file.
3. Noticed that although all sys tray features seemed to be working, avast! program would not load.
4. Tried to uninstall avast using aswclear util.  Util froze up and would not complete uninstallation.  This happened multiple times.  Booted into safe mode, ran aswclear again, and then it worked.  avast was uninstalled.
5. Ran Rnav2003.exe to remove any traces of NAV 2003.
6. Re-installed avast.  However, this time, I chose the free home version instead of pro.  So yes, I have in a sense downgraded.  However, my problem existed on my earlier installation of the pro version, so I don't think it's because of the downgrade.
7. Still have the home version installed.  Avast program still will not load, unless I boot into safe mode.

As a little side-note, I think it may be related, the fact that I had to go into safe mode to uninstall avast, and that I have to go into safe mode in order to successfully load the avast program.

Are you sure you're clean?
Is there any strange process running?
Since I performed a boot-up scan and found only one file, which was removed, I think I'm clean.  I don't notice anything unusual in the task manager.

Thanks again for all the help.  I'm sure avast is great and I know a lot of people seem to like it.  Hopefully I can figure out what's going on with my situation!

Offline Lisandro

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Re: avast! antivirus program will not load... any advice?
« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2005, 12:07:42 AM »
I don't use any ODBC or XML methods.
Oh, you must use one  ;D
Open C:\Program Files\Alwil Software\Avast4\Data\avast4.ini file into Notepad and search two words: ODBC.
Change the value Database=XML and boot. See what you get.

I used to use NAV 2003, which I uninstalled prior to installing avast.  When I noticed my problem with avast, I ran Rnav2003.exe to ensure that NAV had been completely uninstalled.  So at this point, there should not be any other antivirus (or traces thereof) on my system.
I will not be that sure  :-\ :'(
Do you know how to work with the Registry?
Can you post the contents of these Windows Registry keys in your system (if you have them)?
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\VirtualDeviceDrivers\\VDD
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Control\VirtualDeviceDrivers\\VDD
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet002\Control\VirtualDeviceDrivers\\VDD
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet003\Control\VirtualDeviceDrivers\\VDD
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet004\Control\VirtualDeviceDrivers\\VDD

Here's the exact order of what I did:
1. Uninstalled NAV 2003 using add/remove programs in the control panel
It's not enough. You should, after booting, run the step number 5 before installing avast!

2. Installed avast! pro edition.  Chose to perform virus scan on next boot, which found one bad file (not sure if it was a virus or just a suspicious file.  It was associated with "popcaploader", something yahoo games uses for some of it's web-baed java games.  Anyway, I chose to remove the file.
It's better to send files to Chest for further analysis or, at boot time, move it and after login, send to Chest.

4. Tried to uninstall avast using aswclear util.
Wrong again. It's better, first, use Control Panel (like you did with Norton).

6. Re-installed avast.  However, this time, I chose the free home version instead of pro.  So yes, I have in a sense downgraded.  However, my problem existed on my earlier installation of the pro version, so I don't think it's because of the downgrade.
Which Registry key do you use now? A Professional version or a Home one?

7. Still have the home version installed.  Avast program still will not load, unless I boot into safe mode. As a little side-note, I think it may be related, the fact that I had to go into safe mode to uninstall avast, and that I have to go into safe mode in order to successfully load the avast program.
Try changing the avast4.ini file like I said before and post again if it fails.
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whisper

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Re: avast! antivirus program will not load... any advice?
« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2005, 12:45:47 AM »
Oh, you must use one  ;D
Open C:\Program Files\Alwil Software\Avast4\Data\avast4.ini file into Notepad and search two words: ODBC.
Change the value Database=XML and boot. See what you get.
Ok, did this.  Didn't seem to hurt anything, but didn't help either.

Can you post the contents of these Windows Registry keys in your system (if you have them)?
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\VirtualDeviceDrivers\\VDD
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Control\VirtualDeviceDrivers\\VDD
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet002\Control\VirtualDeviceDrivers\\VDD
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet003\Control\VirtualDeviceDrivers\\VDD
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet004\Control\VirtualDeviceDrivers\\VDD
Here are the entires, in the order that you requested them:

C:\PROGRA~1\Symantec\S32EVNT1.DLL
C:\Program Files\Alwil Software\Avast4\aswMonVd.dll

C:\PROGRA~1\Symantec\S32EVNT1.DLL
C:\Program Files\Alwil Software\Avast4\aswMonVd.dll

Don't have ControlSet002

C:\PROGRA~1\Symantec\S32EVNT1.DLL
C:\Program Files\Alwil Software\Avast4\aswMonVd.dll

Don't have ControlSet004

I assume from the Symantec entry that some traces of my old NAV2003 might still be there?  Also, I forgot to mention that although I DID uninstall NAV2003, it was part of SystemWorks 2003 and I still have Norton Utilities and Norton CleanSweep installed.  Should I try to get rid of these as well?  I sort of like them but don't really care that much.

Which Registry key do you use now? A Professional version or a Home one?
Right now I have Avast! Home version installed.  I had originally installed the pro version, but I uninstalled that yesterday.  When I reinstalled, I chose the home version instead (actually I did that as a little test, to see if my problem would go away if I switched from pro to home).  I have just left the Home version installed for the time being.

Offline Lisandro

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Re: avast! antivirus program will not load... any advice?
« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2005, 02:43:01 AM »
C:\PROGRA~1\Symantec\S32EVNT1.DLL
C:\Program Files\Alwil Software\Avast4\aswMonVd.dll
The first driver is from Symantec... if you could change the order and let avast! be the first, will be better. But, like it is now, might be working.

I assume from the Symantec entry that some traces of my old NAV2003 might still be there?  Also, I forgot to mention that although I DID uninstall NAV2003, it was part of SystemWorks 2003 and I still have Norton Utilities and Norton CleanSweep installed.  Should I try to get rid of these as well?  I sort of like them but don't really care that much.
No, other parts of the Suite work perfectly with avast! This is not the problem for sure.

Right now I have Avast! Home version installed.  I had originally installed the pro version, but I uninstalled that yesterday.  When I reinstalled, I chose the home version instead (actually I did that as a little test, to see if my problem would go away if I switched from pro to home).  I have just left the Home version installed for the time being.
Did you change any setting of Internet Explorer (like pictures)?
Again, what do you get running C:\Program Files\Alwil Software\Avast4\ashSimp2.exe ? Nothing?
It's becoming a mistery for me... If you open the thread of avast4.ini file (http://forum.avast.com/index.php?board=2;action=display;threadid=1647) and search the word skin and make sure you set the skinless options, will it work?
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whisper

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Re: avast! antivirus program will not load... any advice?
« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2005, 03:33:38 AM »
Did you change any setting of Internet Explorer (like pictures)?
No, I hardly ever touch IE.  I use firefox exclusively.

Again, what do you get running C:\Program Files\Alwil Software\Avast4\ashSimp2.exe ? Nothing?
I have a little more to say about this after experimenting a bit.  Essentially I get nothing when running ashSimp2.exe, yes.  However, I tried running it several times in a row while leaving the task manager open and seeing which processes start up.  Interestingly, although nothing seems to open on my desktop, I do see that a process named ashSimp2.exe is loaded with each run attempt.  The process stays running until I re-boot, and multiple instances can run at the same time.  Right now I have three of them running.  Also of note, if I go into the Avast sys tray and click on "Start avast! Antivirus" a different process loads into the task manager, named ashAvast.exe.  I have about six of those running right now as well.  Very strange.

It's becoming a mistery for me... If you open the thread of avast4.ini file (http://forum.avast.com/index.php?board=2;action=display;threadid=1647) and search the word skin and make sure you set the skinless options, will it work?
I set EnableSkins=0 and also added StartWithSkin=0.  This did not help however :'(

Offline Lisandro

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Re: avast! antivirus program will not load... any advice?
« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2005, 03:19:15 PM »
I have a little more to say about this after experimenting a bit.  Essentially I get nothing when running ashSimp2.exe, yes.  However, I tried running it several times in a row while leaving the task manager open and seeing which processes start up.  Interestingly, although nothing seems to open on my desktop, I do see that a process named ashSimp2.exe is loaded with each run attempt.  The process stays running until I re-boot, and multiple instances can run at the same time.  Right now I have three of them running.  Also of note, if I go into the Avast sys tray and click on "Start avast! Antivirus" a different process loads into the task manager, named ashAvast.exe.  I have about six of those running right now as well.  Very strange.
Both processes are correct, I mean, their names: ashSimp2.exe is the skinless version of avast! and ashAvast.exe is the splash screen that opens the Simple User Interface (ashSimpl.exe) or the Professional version (ashEnhcd.exe).

It's becoming a mistery for me... If you open the thread of avast4.ini file (http://forum.avast.com/index.php?board=2;action=display;threadid=1647) and search the word skin and make sure you set the skinless options, will it work?
I set EnableSkins=0 and also added StartWithSkin=0.  This did not help however :'(
Now I can say it's a total mistery... I'm asking for 'higher' help support here...  :-[
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