Author Topic: Avast BLOCKS Hardware-Assisted Virtualization !!! Yes it does !!!  (Read 82702 times)

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Offline glnz

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EDIT -- SEE WAY DOWN IN THIS THREAD AT FEBRUARY 2017.  AVAST 17.1.2286 IS BLOCKING VIRTUALIZATION AGAIN.
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Original post in Dec., 2014:

I've been struggling for weeks trying to figure out why my good new Dell Optiplex 7010 Mini-Tower with 8GB RAM, a 500GB hard drive and an Intel Core i5-3470 CPU @ 3.20GHz - dual-booting Win 7 Pro 64-bit and Win 8 Pro 64-bit - has NOT been passing the test for hardware-assisted virtualization (HAV).  The Intel processor is fully rated for HAV across the board.

All along, it's been the default settings in Avast Free 2015.

The Microsoft havdetectiontool has been saying that HAV is "not enabled" in the PC even though the BIOS has it fully turned on.

Well, today I figured it out.  It's an AVAST default setting that is the villain.

Avast - Settings - Troubleshooting - "Enable hardware-assisted virtualization" has been on, so I turned it off, rebooted, and now the havdetectiontool finally shows the good news, "This computer
is configured with hardware-assisted virtualization".

Great!!! But bloody hell !!!!

Can anyone tell me why Avast's internal setting to enable HAV takes HAV away from everything else? Avast has certainly been getting sleazy the last two years, so apparently they're also not quality-testing their new versions very well.

Any thoughts? Was this supposed to happen?

« Last Edit: February 24, 2017, 04:25:32 AM by glnz »
Various Dell Optiplexes running XP Pro SP3 32-bit, Win 7 Pro SP1 64-bit and Win 10 Pro 64-bit.  Firefox with security add-ons.

Offline KevTech

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Re: Avast 2015 BLOCKS Hardware-Assisted Virtualization !!! Yes it does !!!
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2014, 05:14:25 AM »
Is there a reason you could not use normal size fonts?

Offline glnz

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Re: Avast 2015 BLOCKS Hardware-Assisted Virtualization !!! Yes it does !!!
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2014, 04:13:30 PM »
KevTech - I lowered the font size to 12.

It was very frustrating not finding the clue for so many days.

Now, FYI - this problem shows itself in Win 7 Pro 64-bit and Win 8 Pro 64-bit - Avast's "enable hardware-assisted vitualization" steals all HAV capability so that the MS test shows that HAV is NOT enabled on the machine.  This does not happen in Win XP Pro SP3 32-bit (on my old Dell Optiplex 755 with Intel Core 2 Duo E6850).  On the old Win XP Pro machine,  with Avast's "enable hardware-assisted vitualization" on, the MS test has the good result that HAV is enabled on the machine.

So Avast should fix this problem for Win 7 Pro 64-bit and Win 8 Pro 64-bit.

Thanks.
Various Dell Optiplexes running XP Pro SP3 32-bit, Win 7 Pro SP1 64-bit and Win 10 Pro 64-bit.  Firefox with security add-ons.

Offline KevTech

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Re: Avast 2015 BLOCKS Hardware-Assisted Virtualization !!! Yes it does !!!
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2014, 08:36:26 PM »
I don't think the Microsoft tool is accurate as my virtual machines and virtual pc run perfectly but the Microsoft tool fails.

Have you tried another tool?

Try SecureAble

https://www.grc.com/securable.htm

My results and you can see the Microsoft tool was wrong:

Offline glnz

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Re: Avast 2015 BLOCKS Hardware-Assisted Virtualization !!! Yes it does !!!
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2014, 09:02:22 PM »
KevTech - that is interesting.  I have the grc tool but I did not try it when I got the negative results in the MS havdetectiontool test.  Anyway, the GRC tool only says what I already know to be the case, that my CPU and BIOS SHOULD permit virtualization.  Which I also confirmed using Intel's tools.

In any case, I don't think I'm wrong, and I don't think Avast is OK.

I would not wish to start to work on virtualization on my new Optiplex 7010 if I have a negative result from MS even if I knew about a positive GRC test.  Too much work that's likely to lead to too much frustration.  And whatever is the reason for the negative result from MS, it's bound to show up in some other problem if I were to proceed with virtualization.

And, as I now know, the Avast setting has also interfered with certain gaming programs.  If you google "Avast intreferes with hardware-assisted virtualization", you'll see some threads.  The gamers had to turn off the same Avast setting that I did.  I think it's the same underlying issue.

Bottom line - Avast needs to fix this.
Various Dell Optiplexes running XP Pro SP3 32-bit, Win 7 Pro SP1 64-bit and Win 10 Pro 64-bit.  Firefox with security add-ons.

Offline essexboy

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Re: Avast 2015 BLOCKS Hardware-Assisted Virtualization !!! Yes it does !!!
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2014, 09:16:00 PM »
I am running both Avast NG on windows 8  and a VMware windows 7 with no problem

The enable virtualisation should be on by default

Offline Secondmineboy

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Re: Avast 2015 BLOCKS Hardware-Assisted Virtualization !!! Yes it does !!!
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2014, 09:20:25 PM »
Im running NG on Windows 8.1.

No problems with VMWare, but unbootable VMs with VirtualBox tho.
Windows 10 1909, 4 GB DDR3 RAM, 500 GB 5400 RPM HDD, 1366 by 768 LCD Screen, Intel Core i3 5010U Dual Core, Intel HD Graphics 5500
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Offline Gandalf1369

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Re: Avast 2015 BLOCKS Hardware-Assisted Virtualization !!! Yes it does !!!
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2014, 02:37:27 PM »
glnz,

I have the exact same situation as you.  Ever since the new version of avast was released that includes NG I have been unable to get the avast virtualization process to function properly. 

I have an Intel Core i5 650 @ 3200 MHz, Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit, 8 GB of RAM, avast Free, and boot from an SSD.  The option in the BIOS is set to enable hardware assisted virtualization.

No matter what I tried to get avast to recognize that hardware assisted virtualization was active it never would.  I would also check with the Microsoft tool AND also with  PC Wizard from CPUID - both would indicate that hardware assisted virtualization was disabled (remember that it WAS set to be active in the BIOS).  I tried turning on/off NG in the avast change setup and also repairing avast from the Windows Control Panel.

After reading this thread, I tried unchecking the box "Enable hardware-assisted virtualization" in the settings section of avast and rebooting.  Lo and behold both the Microsoft tool and PC Wizard now indicate that hardware assisted virtualization is enabled.  Again - the ONLY change was unchecking the box "Enable hardware-assisted virtualization" in the settings section of avast.

I don't know if this means that something is screwy with avast or with my machine, although it may be something that the developers might want to look into.
Windows 10 (64bit); 8GB RAM; Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Pro; avast Free (latest version)

Offline KevTech

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Re: Avast 2015 BLOCKS Hardware-Assisted Virtualization !!! Yes it does !!!
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2014, 07:52:33 PM »
I just found another issue that Enable hardware-assisted virtualization is causing and that is slowing down loading of games/apps.

I have been testing many apps and games with all of them showing a significant slow down with Enable hardware-assisted virtualization turned on.

Example...

With ehav on:

Time from shortcut clicked on and main menu showing: 45 seconds and up to 1 minute

Time to load levels: 1 minute 20 seconds and up to 1 minute 30 seconds

With ehav off:

Time from shortcut clicked on and main menu showing: 10 to 15 seconds

Time to load levels: 10 to 15 seconds

All other apps/games I tested had similar results

Offline glnz

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Re: Avast 2015 BLOCKS Hardware-Assisted Virtualization !!! Yes it does !!!
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2014, 02:32:18 PM »
 
Avast - are you reading this?

When will you fix?
Various Dell Optiplexes running XP Pro SP3 32-bit, Win 7 Pro SP1 64-bit and Win 10 Pro 64-bit.  Firefox with security add-ons.

Offline pk

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Re: Avast 2015 BLOCKS Hardware-Assisted Virtualization !!! Yes it does !!!
« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2014, 03:49:56 PM »
Avast - are you reading this?

When will you fix?

Hi, may I ask why do you need HW virtualization feature on your Dell? I mean, if avast detects your computer has HW virtualization, we'll use this feature and hide it PC settings that you have any (that's why HAV tool reports you don't have such feature). The reason why we do that is from compatibility with other possible softwares. However, if we detect you're using (or you installed) vmware/virtualbox/hyper-v, then we disable this feature in avast (so other apps will benefit from HW virtualization as well).

Offline glnz

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Re: Avast 2015 BLOCKS Hardware-Assisted Virtualization !!! Yes it does !!!
« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2014, 04:32:52 PM »
 
Mr. pk - thanks for fast response, and thanks for supplying such a good program over many years.

To answer your question, I shall soon be trying each of (a) XP Mode in Win 7, (b) VM Ware Player and (c) VirtualBox for the first time on my new personal Win 7 - 8 dual boot PC.  For better or worse, I'm the (pretend) IT person to my wife's business and the two separate PCs I bought for her mini-office, and I'm trying to keep up with developments.  Over the years, my blind experimenting on my own PC has paid off and kept us running through some difficult computer moments.   

You seem to be saying that if I'd installed any of these virtualization programs, Avast would have turned off its EHAV automatically.  Do I have that right?  (A number of threads - especially some issues with gaming - indicate that it's not happening.)

If I have that right, then my turning EHAV off manually is the same thing, yes?

But ... why does Avast monopolize HAV at all?  Why couldn't Avast have an EHAV that does NOT cause the "not enabled" message in havdetectiontiool?  Do you think my experience is a good thing?

Thanks.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2014, 04:39:43 PM by glnz »
Various Dell Optiplexes running XP Pro SP3 32-bit, Win 7 Pro SP1 64-bit and Win 10 Pro 64-bit.  Firefox with security add-ons.

Offline pk

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Re: Avast 2015 BLOCKS Hardware-Assisted Virtualization !!! Yes it does !!!
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2014, 04:47:14 PM »
@KevTech: if EHAV is active, it doesn't mean it's used at all -- avast will start using active EHAV only in very limited moments. So your slowdowns can't be caused by EHAV, probably by caching, running background processes, etc. Microsoft's Hyper-V (based on EHAV) is usually enabled on some Win8.1+ machines and it doesn't slow down these PCs as well.

@glnz: avast detects you installed xpmode/vmware/virtualbox/hyper-v and we disable EHAV automatically (so these software can use HW virtualization feature). Usually only one application in system can use HW virtualization for itself.

>> (A number of threads - especially some issues with gaming - indicate that it's not happening.)
number of threads is something else, it has no connection to HW virtualization (my system is running 1242 threads -- check Task Manager/Performance tab). We don't create any new thread for HW virtualization.

>> But ... why does Avast monopolize HAV at all?  Why couldn't Avast have an EHAV that does NOT cause the "not installed" message in havdetectiontiool?
There was a reason for that, I'll ask my coworker, but I'm sure it was probably from compatibility reason. Oh, I just found out, Hyper-V is probably masking this HW virtualization feature as well and we have also a special detection for it.


Offline Spec8472

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Re: Avast 2015 BLOCKS Hardware-Assisted Virtualization !!! Yes it does !!!
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2014, 06:07:23 PM »
There can be only single VMM(hypervisor) active in single moment on single CPU core.  It does't mean that multiple Type-2 hypervisors cannot co-exist, they can share CPU time. For example it is possible to execute a VBox VM simultaneously with a VMWARE VM. However Avast is kind-of Type-1 VMM and it is switching host to non-root  (guest) mode, because Avast needs to control  its guest (former host) completely. Similar approach is used in Hyper-V. Avast virtualization would suspend if well-known virtualization SW (VirtualPC, VBox, VMWARE) is detected. We have already implemented nested hypervisor support, which solves this issue completely but it is not yet ready to release. MS HAV tool reports VTX/SVM is disabled in BIOS, because Avast VMM is faking the MSR containing that info. Avast uses this mechanism to prevent possible VMM running in non-root mode from causing BSOD.

Offline Spec8472

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Re: Avast 2015 BLOCKS Hardware-Assisted Virtualization !!! Yes it does !!!
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2014, 06:31:43 PM »
Can you please provide some details? CPU, Game title, a crack used?

I just found another issue that Enable hardware-assisted virtualization is causing and that is slowing down loading of games/apps.

I have been testing many apps and games with all of them showing a significant slow down with Enable hardware-assisted virtualization turned on.

Example...

With ehav on:

Time from shortcut clicked on and main menu showing: 45 seconds and up to 1 minute

Time to load levels: 1 minute 20 seconds and up to 1 minute 30 seconds

With ehav off:

Time from shortcut clicked on and main menu showing: 10 to 15 seconds

Time to load levels: 10 to 15 seconds

All other apps/games I tested had similar results