Author Topic: Avast Free AV Version 17.9.2322 locks up file handles  (Read 7969 times)

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Offline EmeraldAutumn

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Avast Free AV Version 17.9.2322 locks up file handles
« on: December 27, 2017, 09:07:17 PM »
THE PROBLEM
After installing the latest version of Avast Free Anti-virus (17.9.2322) I repeatedly had problems with file copying, deleting & renaming operations in Windows:
  • Some files can't be deleted in Windows XP.
          error message :
          "Cannot delete [file name] It is being used by another person or program"
  • Some files can't be copied in Windows 7
          error message:
          "The action can't be completed because the file is open in System"
  • Some folders can't be renamed.
  • Copying folders halts after copying only some of the files.
  • Copying folders from one part of a disk to another is INCREDIBLY slow (20 min for 10 MB)
In my testing so far these problems only occur with HTML or EXE files (not TXT or DOC) and with any folder which contains an HTML or EXE file.

Windows gives this error message if I try to log off or shut down:
   "Windows is currently working with a file"
In order to exit Windows I have to do a hard reset with the power button.

AFFECTED SET-UPS
Windows XP Pro, ver 2002, SP 3
Windows 7 Home Premium, SP 1

Avast components
   File System Shield    ON
   Behavior Shield   ON
   Mail Shield      ON
   Web Shield       Not installed
   No other Avast Free components installed

ATTEMPTED RESOLUTIONS THAT DIDN'T WORK
  • I ran repair of Avast.
  • I uninstalled Avast using the latest version of Avast Clear (version 17.9.3761.0) run from Windows Safe Mode and then re-installed a Avast Free Anti-virus downloaded from the Avast site, i.e. a completely fresh installation rather than an update of a previously installed version.
  • Temporarily disabling all Avast shields sometimes allowed a file deletion but not consistently.

SOLUTION THAT DID WORK
The only solution that has worked for me is:
  • uninstall the current version of Avast using Avast Clear
  • re-install an older version of Avast Free Anti-virus (17.2.2288 build 17.2.3419.64)

CONCLUSION
Apparently, the latest version of Avast (17.9.2322) doesn't release the file handles after it has checked a file.

Offline igor

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Re: Avast Free AV Version 17.9.2322 locks up file handles
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2017, 02:23:57 PM »
Would you be able to run Process Monitor (let's say with a filter to limit the monitoring to a specific path), reproduce the issue and upload the corresponding log?
It could show us who (and when) is opening the files.
Thanks.

Offline EmeraldAutumn

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Re: Avast Free AV Version 17.9.2322 locks up file handles
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2017, 09:47:28 PM »
Are you unable to reproduce the problem on Avast's test computers running Windows XP or Windows 7? 

I consistently encountered the error on several computers running Windows XP Pro, ver 2002, SP3 and Windows 7 Home Premium, SP1 -- and haven't found any without this problem -- so my hunch is it should be easy to reproduce.  Simplest test:  Copy any folder with an HTML file then try to delete or rename the copied folder.

I probably won't get to the testing you request any time soon.  In order to get the information you need I'll have to
   (1) update to the new version of Avast;
   (2) run the test with Process Monitor;
   (3) do a hard re-set with power button because the open files prevent normal shutdown;
   (4) possibly check system because Windows didn't shut down normally;
   (5) re-start Windows in Safe Mode and run Avast Clear to remove  the new version of Avast;
   (6) re-install the older version of Avast so that the computer will again work properly.

I've already lost a day of work trying to track down the source of the problem and then downgrading Avast on several computers; you can see why I am reluctant to do further testing right now.

During my original checking Process Explorer (not Process Monitor) showed that Windows Explorer had the files open.  I presume that was the result of Avast hooking into Explorer because Explorer on its own (no Avast installed) doesn't cause this problem and never has.


Offline avastuser79

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Re: Avast Free AV Version 17.9.2322 locks up file handles
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2017, 12:54:27 AM »
re-install an older version of Avast Free Anti-virus (17.2.2288 build 17.2.3419.64)

Thank you for opening this thread.

I too encountered strange problems after updating to Avast v17.9.2322 on Windows XP Pro SP3.

I would like to roll back this update. Could you tell me where I can get v17.2.2288? I tried filehippo, with no luck.

EDIT: Found an older version here: https://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=212301.0

Now I can go back to the previous version.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2017, 03:38:37 AM by avastuser79 »

Offline avastuser79

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Re: Avast Free AV Version 17.9.2322 locks up file handles
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2017, 01:17:35 AM »
Problem:

After I updated to Avast Free v17.9.2322, the native Windows copy function, on occasion, behaves erratically. It is important to note that this does not happen all the time. Most copy operations are successful. Based on my testing, my conclusion is that Avast Free v17.9.2322 is causing the problem.

Version Info:

OS: Windows XP Professional SP3 Build 2600 (32-bit)
Avast Free version: 17.9.2322
Avast components installed: Only two components are installed, the File Shield and the Web Shield

Problem Description:

When I try to copy from one folder (local) to another folder (local), the copy process seems to hang up. It is important to note that this does not happen all the time. Most copy operations are successful. I am unable to figure out why it is happening or under what conditions it is happening.

The behaviour of copy is erratic and unpredictable.

After I copied the files, I waited for three or four minutes, but nothing happens. I am unable to kill the copy process from the Task Manager. I am unable to shut down the computer.

I hard rebooted the computer by pressing the Power button for 10 seconds.

Next, I went to a Windows 10 computer on the LAN. I used the Windows 10 computer to do the copy operation. The Windows 10 computer has Windows Defender installed (Avast is not installed on this computer). The drive on the Windows XP computer is accessible on the Windows 10 computer (I use mapped network drives). I opened a command prompt window on the Windows 10 computer, then used "copy" to copy the files. The exact same copy operation which had earlier failed now succeeds.

Screenshots of Error 1 (HTM file):

A directory listing of the source folder before I copied:


After I copied, the copy operation seems to "hang":


The exact same copy operation succeeds when I access the computer from a Windows 10 computer on the LAN (I am using mapped network drives):



Screenshots of Error 2 (HTM file):

A directory listing of the source folder before I copied:


After I copied, the copy operation seems to "hang":


The exact same copy operation succeeds when I access the computer from a Windows 10 computer on the LAN (I am using mapped network drives):



Screenshots of Error 3 (EXE file):

This EXE file is the installer for FileASSASSIN from Malwarebytes and can be downloaded here:
https://www.malwarebytes.com/fileassassin/

A directory listing of the source folder before I copied:


After I copied, the copy operation seems to "hang":


The exact same copy operation succeeds when I access the computer from a Windows 10 computer on the LAN (I am using mapped network drives):



Screenshot of Version Info:




Other Info:

Here's what else I had tried:

1. I tried the teracopy program to do the same copy operations. I was successful. The built-in Windows copy failed, but teracopy was successful.
2. I disabled Avast permanently using the System Tray icon (Avast shields control -> Disable permanently). Surprisingly, the problem persists.
3. I booted into Safe Mode and tried the exact same copy operations. I was successful.
4. I uninstalled Avast using Revo Uninstaller. I tried the exact same copy operations. I was successful.
5. The files are all clean. I scanned every file used in testing with virustotal.com. No problems were reported.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2017, 02:15:56 AM by avastuser79 »

Offline avastuser79

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Re: Avast Free AV Version 17.9.2322 locks up file handles
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2017, 02:01:59 AM »
Post merged into above post for better clarity.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2017, 02:14:01 AM by avastuser79 »

Offline EmeraldAutumn

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Re: Avast Free AV Version 17.9.2322 locks up file handles
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2017, 03:38:00 AM »
@avastuser79
Hi!

Quote
I would like to roll back this update. Could you tell me where I can get v17.2.2288? I tried filehippo with no luck.
The older version I used is my own backup. Even when I update an existing Avast installation I also download and archive the full OFF-LINE installation file in order to do roll backs.

Most of the old apps sites I have seen have OLD OLD versions of Avast like Avast 4.x to 7.x.  I know I saw one recently that claimed to have RECENT OLD (Avast 17.x) ... but now I can't find my bookmark for it. :P 

Hopefully you can find a good site if you Google or StartPage for "Avast 17.2". 

One problem with a lot of the "old apps" sites for Avast is that they link to the ON-LINE installer which will give you the latest version of Avast even though they are offering something earlier.

I haven't used the site or its files so I can't say if it is legit, virus free and actually has the old version.



It sounds like our experiences are about the same. 

Quote
Many copy operations are successful. It only seems to happen with particular files/folders. I am unable to figure out why it is happening or under what conditions it is happening.

The behaviour of copy is erratic and unpredictable.

Initially the problem seemed unpredictable for me, too.  I eventually narrowed the problem in my case down to these situations:
  • Trying to copy a file with an .HTM* or .EXE extension
  • Trying to copy a folder which contains a file with an .HTM* or .EXE extension

The problem may also affect .PDF files but I didn't thoroughly test that.  I also did no tests with other common file extensions such as .XLS.

.TXT and .DOC files were not affected For me.

Have you been able to find a pattern in your affected files?

Offline avastuser79

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Re: Avast Free AV Version 17.9.2322 locks up file handles
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2017, 04:19:30 AM »
Thanks for the response. I did find an older version here:
https://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=212301.0

No, I couldn't find a pattern. I found the behaviour erratic and unpredictable.

The testing I have done is limited (in no way comprehensive). I have updated my original post here:
https://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=212278.msg1438086#msg1438086

I request you to read it again. In particular, I have found an .EXE file (FileAssassin) that I am unable to copy.

EDIT: Post updated for clarity.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2017, 02:21:17 AM by avastuser79 »

Offline avastuser79

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Re: Avast Free AV Version 17.9.2322 locks up file handles
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2017, 04:29:22 AM »
Deleted post because I could not reproduce this particular scenario.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2017, 10:29:01 PM by avastuser79 »

Offline SHADOWLIFE

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Re: Avast Free AV Version 17.9.2322 locks up file handles
« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2017, 08:06:38 AM »
Hey,I have the same problem just like yours.
But I'm not good at English ,and sadly,AVAST have no direct support to Chinese user  :-\
So,I can only report my problems to the agent in my country on 12/25,but they still have no  positive response till today.......
(If post in Chinese is allowed here, i can describe my situation more detailed )

It seems that the new update would interfere the work of  "explorer.exe".
>>Windows gives this error message if I try to log off or shut down:
>> "Windows is currently working with a file"
I use "unlocker.exe"to help me to delete the damaged files.
I fonud they are locked by explorer.exe,and explorer.exe can't be shut down by the windows task manager.





Offline bob3160

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Re: Avast Free AV Version 17.9.2322 locks up file handles
« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2017, 03:15:06 PM »
"I fonud they are locked by explorer.exe,and explorer.exe can't be shut down by the windows task manager."
In Windows 10, there are options for explorer.exe

Another reason to upgrade. :)
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Offline askme

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Re: Avast Free AV Version 17.9.2322 locks up file handles
« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2017, 09:35:44 PM »
ever since this new version mine is in MS Outlook 2010 and explorer.exe for XP sp3 every time i get a new avast core program update I have problems with Outlook and mostly disabling through custom and disabling SSL fixes most of the issues -

This time had to reset my settings in avast. Outlook has issues closing/quitting and if restarting it will not fully restart because if you look at the processes the original didn't close so you will have multiple instances

Since yesterday no attachments can be previewed or opened - just clicking on the attachment freezes Outlook and seemingly parts of explorer

absolutely can not end task this even with 3rd party process utilities MUST hard kill the computer which is extremely slow boot up is extremely slow now as well. Have repaired Outlook, reinstalled Acrobat, scanpst.exe , recreated profile, safe mode etc nothing absolutely nothing works that has worked in the past to fix but i have never have required multiple hard reboots ever. No other new software or settings

so ticked this happens every time and it is my work computer where seconds on email response time is critical. Normal email response time must be 30 sec or lessor the majority of requests will be gone to another vendor. Now i cant open any attachments so responding in at least 50% of the cases can't even be done

Offline askme

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Re: Avast Free AV Version 17.9.2322 locks up file handles
« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2017, 10:00:24 PM »
wow just uninstalled avast and i got an immediate restart that was easy and normal nothing like the crap it has been the last several weeks - definitely reinstalling another antivirus

Offline avastuser79

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Re: Avast Free AV Version 17.9.2322 locks up file handles
« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2017, 02:24:15 AM »
Would you be able to run Process Monitor (let's say with a filter to limit the monitoring to a specific path), reproduce the issue and upload the corresponding log?
It could show us who (and when) is opening the files.
Thanks.

Not what you asked for.

But I would like to say that there is a file on the internet that you can use for testing/reproduction.

Please see "Screenshots of Error 3 (EXE file)" in this post:
https://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=212278.msg1438086#msg1438086

Offline SHADOWLIFE

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Re: Avast Free AV Version 17.9.2322 locks up file handles
« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2017, 03:37:33 AM »
"I fonud they are locked by explorer.exe,and explorer.exe can't be shut down by the windows task manager."
In Windows 10, there are options for explorer.exe

Another reason to upgrade. :)


uh....you misunderstand.
there are options for explorer.exe by the XP task manager  ,too.
in normal situation,explorer.exe can be shut down.
what cause explorer.exe frozen is avast.