Author Topic: Avast Free Antivirus: temporary folders / files, persistent / transient caching  (Read 4976 times)

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Offline Rundvleeskroket

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Re: Avast Free Antivirus: temporary folders and files
« Reply #30 on: January 18, 2018, 03:02:14 AM »
it slows down momentarily and the system will be unresponsive at that time until the platter stabilize spinning to its operational speed 5400/7200 and the header goes back to its normal position. Its to prevent motor damage, ive read that on paper before and its an assistive technology in combination to the header. Slowing down is the kick off to the HDD protection.

Strangely I cant seem to find a good resource of it on the net. It seems they already included it already on the the header protection scheme(?)

Call it a bogus one but i definitely read something like that.

Oh ... you read something like that.

Show me the drive. Otherwise admit your error. Platters cannot physically change speed like that without a braking system, within the timeframe necessary. You said it was to protect from a head crash and that is what we are arguing, not motor damage. You keep changing and amending your story.

The only thing a HDD can to to try and prevent a head crash when it detects a shock (or free fall acceleration) is to quickly move the heads to a safe storage position beyond the surface of the platters. That it can do almost instantly. Nothing else. What the drive might do after that is not relevant to this debate as it does not pertain to the prevention of a head crash.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2018, 03:10:22 AM by Rundvleeskroket »

Offline Evanna456

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Re: Avast Free Antivirus: temporary folders and files
« Reply #31 on: January 18, 2018, 09:48:11 AM »
Braking system? XD

Its more like the motor stops spinning for a moment. Still its purpose is to protect the HDD, I mixed it up earlier my bad.
Since theres no sign of it in the net just like i said, im just gonna admit the mistake and move on from here.It still exist for me though. Continues nagging about HDD's wont help OP either so let just wait until the better SSD drives of 2016 reach its first 5th year, we might get real results other than the theoretical ones available today. We might find something new like an issue?.

My my bad, im sorry.
just a noob

Offline Rundvleeskroket

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Re: Avast Free Antivirus: temporary folders and files
« Reply #32 on: January 18, 2018, 11:27:59 AM »
I still have a Vertex from 2009. Well into the age range when write endurance was a real issue. First generation beyond the stupid expensive SLC-drives that was somewhat feasible as an early adopter OS drive. Used it for years. Hammered it hard too. SSD Life Pro says it is good and done. Still, it works fine. Performance is also still as advertised. This is the thing: not only is it very hard to actually burn through the rated write cycles in anything resembling normal operation, after that they tend to outlast well beyond their rating.

Now ... this is a small drive. I used it on a OS without built in TRIM support, and even internal garbage collection wasn't available until much later with a firmware update. Write amplification was very high. And even that didn't kill it. An SSD, even an old one like this, can take a lot of abuse. Modern drives are so much better in all aspects, and to kill them you have to torture them for years. Deliberately. And even then it is more likely the controller will fry before the cells are worn out. This is no different from a HDD. Before the actual platters wear out, other failures will kill the drive long before that. So, this whole argument that an SSD can't measure up to a HDD is just silly. Especially considering how typical home use doesn't even tax a drive to the same order of magnitude as these extreme scenarios.

I really wouldn't worry about 100, 1000, or even 10.000 MB of writes to a SSD a day. At that rate it'll not hit its rated write endurance for many, many years. Well beyond its useful lifespan. And even if it does, that doesn't automatically mean it will stop working. And I don't thing Avast actually writes gigabyes of data a day to the drive. Neither do other programs. And if one really does, you probably know about it and have the SSD for that exact reason. To speed up that program.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2018, 02:42:13 PM by Rundvleeskroket »

Offline Lexor

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Re: Avast Free Antivirus: temporary folders and files
« Reply #33 on: January 18, 2018, 12:37:56 PM »
And I don't think Avast actually writes gigabyes of data a day to the drive.

Well, I'm afraid that transient caching option actually can write that much data in my case.

That's why I'd like to know where transient cache is located - does anyone know this?

I know, I can always turn this option off, but... so can anyone answer my question?
« Last Edit: January 18, 2018, 12:39:42 PM by Lexor »

Offline Evanna456

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Re: Avast Free Antivirus: temporary folders and files
« Reply #34 on: January 18, 2018, 01:28:08 PM »
I think so too. SSD's reliability really depends on what type of the NAND flash it uses, the one manufacturing it and the quality of the product.

also im noting the good points of keeping HDD's beside SSD's. As you can just reroute your trash and stuffs and just
keeping the SSD free as possible to maintain its performance and longevity.

HDD stored files are fairly easy to recover. I dunno on what state of relationship the TRIM function with the RAID and VSS feature
but i hope its already been addressed because it is sure too much a hassle backing those SSD drives up.

HDD's can best SSD's, is sure is silly. Everyone knows how fast SSD is and how old HDD is.

but HDD still has some good points to consider.

and tech stores at our place is still giving out expensive ssd disk with lower space capacity.
just a noob

Offline Evjls

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Re: Avast Free Antivirus: temporary folders and files
« Reply #35 on: January 18, 2018, 02:02:44 PM »
I don't know exactly how transient caching works but according to experience for years and in many different PCs: disabling Transient caching significantly reduces HDD usage (especially during the first few days after installing avast for the first time) and prolongs HDD longevity

lscache.dat caused constant disk usage and this is the first thing I notice in a lot of PCs/laptops I install avast. No one complains about avast slowing down their PCs since disabling it

persistent caching should be enabled
« Last Edit: January 18, 2018, 02:06:12 PM by Evjls »

Offline Lexor

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Re: Avast Free Antivirus: temporary folders and files
« Reply #36 on: January 18, 2018, 03:07:17 PM »
I don't know exactly how transient caching works but according to experience for years and in many different PCs: disabling Transient caching significantly reduces HDD usage (especially during the first few days after installing avast for the first time) and prolongs HDD longevity

Transient cache stores data connected to every scanned files and it's renewed every time when PC is restarted or when a new virus definitions database is installed. So, going by this definition,  if someone has a system setup that uses a lot of different files and does PC restarts quite often then this cache will probably create a lot data to write indeed.

These are the reasons that I will probably disable this cache, but I would like to know folder/file location of transient cache to consider if there are maybe other options available for me.

lscache.dat caused constant disk usage and this is the first thing I notice in a lot of PCs/laptops I install avast. No one complains about avast slowing down their PCs since disabling it

I'm not sure I understand - so you are saying that lscache.dat is the name of the file which stores data for transient caching?
Or lscache.dat is "some other problem of disk writting", not connected to transient caching?

persistent caching should be enabled

That's my opinion as well. :) Persistent cashing is updated only with 100% trusted files (operating system files, files signed by trusted publishers or other files covered by the avast! whitelist) so there won't be many of them = it is ok to have it turned on.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2018, 03:10:26 PM by Lexor »

Offline Rundvleeskroket

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Re: Avast Free Antivirus: temporary folders and files
« Reply #37 on: January 18, 2018, 03:51:06 PM »
Transient cache stores data connected to every scanned files and it's renewed every time when PC is restarted or when a new virus definitions database is installed. So, going by this definition,  if someone has a system setup that uses a lot of different files and does PC restarts quite often then this cache will probably create a lot data to write indeed.

You are making assumptions. First of all: you don't know how much data is written, even for a huge number of files. It might be a lot. It might just be a little bit. And second: if it is renewed after every boot, that doesn't mean a complete new set of data is generated/written. It may just be data for changed files only. Which typically is only a tiny fraction of disk content.

Now, it would be great if an Avast person could elaborate on this. I don't know what the impact of these settings is. But assuming it must be a massive amount of data is premature. Virus definitions are by default constantly pushed to your machine. Dozens of times a day. If every time that would mean writing a new transient cache of several gigabytes you would've noticed the disk activity already. Even on an SSD. People on this forum would be asking what the hell was going on on a daily basis. They don't. So let's not jump to conclusions just yet.

Offline Lexor

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Re: Avast Free Antivirus: temporary folders and files
« Reply #38 on: January 18, 2018, 04:04:33 PM »
People on this forum would be asking what the hell was going on on a daily basis. They don't.

That is not true as some people do. Majority of the rest probably "doesn't even know" or "doesn't care" (no, I'm not going to tell you what option is "the more likely one") but I know one thing: I do care and I do ask. :)

Now, it would be great if an Avast person could elaborate on this.

I'm waiting for this as well.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2018, 04:08:57 PM by Lexor »

Offline Rundvleeskroket

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So enable it and see if you notice these big writes. Monitor your SSD. Tally up daily write totals. You'll know fast.

I've read the description of the transient cache, and it doesn't even say it stores data on disk. Might just be in RAM.

Certainly, if this feature wrote gigabytes of data to disk for every virus database update, systems would grind to a halt. A system with a HDD would become virtually unusable. People would complain or try to find out what was going on. This isn't a case of they just wouldn't notice. If writes that big happen that often, it would severely impact performance and people would be looking for answers. The fact that it doesn't seem to be the case makes me think this cache is fairly small. And maybe not even on disk. The cache doesn't need to contain files, just a small checksum or something to denote a file hasn't been modified.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2018, 04:45:00 PM by Rundvleeskroket »

Offline Evjls

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Re: Avast Free Antivirus: temporary folders and files
« Reply #40 on: January 18, 2018, 10:39:11 PM »
I don't know exactly how transient caching works but according to experience for years and in many different PCs: disabling Transient caching significantly reduces HDD usage (especially during the first few days after installing avast for the first time) and prolongs HDD longevity

Transient cache stores data connected to every scanned files and it's renewed every time when PC is restarted or when a new virus definitions database is installed. So, going by this definition,  if someone has a system setup that uses a lot of different files and does PC restarts quite often then this cache will probably create a lot data to write indeed.

These are the reasons that I will probably disable this cache, but I would like to know folder/file location of transient cache to consider if there are maybe other options available for me.

lscache.dat caused constant disk usage and this is the first thing I notice in a lot of PCs/laptops I install avast. No one complains about avast slowing down their PCs since disabling it

I'm not sure I understand - so you are saying that lscache.dat is the name of the file which stores data for transient caching?
Or lscache.dat is "some other problem of disk writting", not connected to transient caching?

persistent caching should be enabled

That's my opinion as well. :) Persistent cashing is updated only with 100% trusted files (operating system files, files signed by trusted publishers or other files covered by the avast! whitelist) so there won't be many of them = it is ok to have it turned on.
yes I think lscache.dat is related to transient caching
I don't care about the description, I do care about the fact that disabling it makes the HDD spin much less in ALL of my machines
since disabling it, lscache.dat never appears again in performance monitor  ;)

Offline Lexor

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Re: Avast Free Antivirus: temporary folders and files
« Reply #41 on: January 18, 2018, 11:14:11 PM »
yes I think lscache.dat is related to transient caching
I don't care about the description, I do care about the fact that disabling it makes the HDD spin much less in ALL of my machines
since disabling it, lscache.dat never appears again in performance monitor  ;)

Thank you very much, Evjls, for your reply. I'll check this "relation" myself as soon as I'll be able to. :)