Author Topic: Cannot delete "Avast Software" registry key  (Read 13404 times)

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Offline drffcc

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Cannot delete "Avast Software" registry key
« on: June 06, 2019, 01:13:14 AM »
Hello!

I decided to remove Avast from my Windows 7 Ultimate pc.

First I used Avast's uninstall utility.

Then I searched the entire computer (C and D drives) for anything 'avast' and deleted 151 files.

Then I searched the registry and deleted anything 'avast'.

But there's one registry key I cannot delete:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\AVAST Software

I also found an Avast Software folder sitting in,
File explorer -> Program Files -> Common Files -> Avast Software
and deleted it.

And still I cannot delete that registry key.

I found an Avast Software folder sitting in Task Scheduler under Task Scheduler Library.

When I tried to delete it I got an error:
"The directory is not empty"

But, there's nothing to the right, in the middle section of Task Scheduler for this Avast Software folder, where its tasks would be listed:



When I right-clicked the Avast Software folder and tried to "Display All Running Tasks" I got,
"Task Scheduler service is not available. Verify that the service is running."

I checked Services: Task Scheduler is started.

Now I'm stumped.

(again, this is all leftover from first using Avast's uninstall tool)

So, how to:

1) Remove the Avast Software folder from Task Scheduler and,

2) Remove the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\AVAST Software key ?


Any suggestions are much appreciated!
Thanks!

Offline DavidR

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Re: Cannot delete "Avast Software" registry key
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2019, 04:45:54 PM »
@ drffcc
I saw this early this morning and I was hoping one of the Avast Team might jump in as this is very strange and certainly not normal.  So much so that I haven't seen this reported in the forums before.


Did you not use the standard uninstall from Control Panel - Programs & Features - Avast Antivirus - Uninstall ?
Whilst running the uninstall utility should have done the job (not sure how this might have impacted if you were using a non standard installation location).

Did the uninstall utility boot the system into safe mode to carry out the uninstall ?

The reason I ask as it would appear that Avast Self Defence module could stop/protect against removal of some of the things you mentioned.  But it should have been clear that it was the Avast Self Defence module blocking.

As Static_Syn, mentioned it could also be a permissions issue (Admin Rights).
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Offline drffcc

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Re: Cannot delete "Avast Software" registry key
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2019, 07:39:17 PM »
This may be dumb, since you know how to navigate the registry, so you at least have an A+ understanding of what you are doing, possibly more. But, did you open regedit with Admin privileges? I only ask because Windows being the pain in the fraking ass that it is, restrict Admin rights, even when a user are the only user/Default admin. Which is why if I am not Gaming or working on projects that require Adobe CC(it is buggy as hell outside like 3 applications.) and last I check my Cintiq model isn't supported (I was going to work on that, but stopped. ) I run Debian Linux, I like it because when I am lazy and don't feel like using the console I can use it like winblows, and intall things using deb files.

Anyway I am rambling, it is a nervous habit, and I suck at explaining things because I go off topic and over explain(Like right now.), and the registry can be a potential mine field, but I did find this. Read it over, make sure it matches your problem, then make a System Image, back up personal files( if you haven't already. Oh, and set a system restore before attempting this, as I have not tried it. it looks safe though.

Let me know if this worked, or you if you figured it out yourself.

Yes, I used regedit with admin rights.

No, I'm not an A+ techie by any means.

Just a guy who digs and has "on the job" learning and experience.

But a jack-of-all, master-of-none nonetheless.

Offline drffcc

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Re: Cannot delete "Avast Software" registry key
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2019, 07:41:58 PM »
@ drffcc
I saw this early this morning and I was hoping one of the Avast Team might jump in as this is very strange and certainly not normal.  So much so that I haven't seen this reported in the forums before.

Did you not use the standard uninstall from Control Panel - Programs & Features - Avast Antivirus - Uninstall ?
Whilst running the uninstall utility should have done the job (not sure how this might have impacted if you were using a non standard installation location).

Did the uninstall utility boot the system into safe mode to carry out the uninstall ?

The reason I ask as it would appear that Avast Self Defense module could stop/protect against removal of some of the things you mentioned.  But it should have been clear that it was the Avast Self Defence module blocking.

As Static_Syn, mentioned it could also be a permissions issue (Admin Rights).

My first move was to use Avast's uninstall utility, not the Control Panel, and no, it did not boot into Safe Mode.

I have gone into Safe Mode and tried deleting the key - can't.


Offline DavidR

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Re: Cannot delete "Avast Software" registry key
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2019, 09:07:02 PM »
<snip quote>
My first move was to use Avast's uninstall utility, not the Control Panel, and no, it did not boot into Safe Mode.

I have gone into Safe Mode and tried deleting the key - can't.

If it didn't boot into safe mode it would be trying to uninstall avast whilst it is running and is most likely to the avast self-defence module.  That said it 'should' have mentioned/sought permission to reboot into safe mode.

Avast doesn't run in safe mode, so it shouldn't be blocking the delete action for the registry key.  You could try booting into safe mode and running the uninstall utility from there.

In Windows 10 the entry for the avast task manager is a hidden one, I can see a task for the Avast Emergency Update check, but not on my win10 system.  I don't know if this would be the same for win7, if so I guess the error message "The directory is not empty" would confirm that.
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Offline Spec8472

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Re: Cannot delete "Avast Software" registry key
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2019, 09:08:35 AM »
Please use AvRegLink.exe tool to remove the registry link:  http://public.avast.com/~hnanicek/AvRegLink.exe

Execute as Administrator:
AvRegLink.exe delete "SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\AVAST Software"


Offline xogejiv

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Re: Cannot delete "Avast Software" registry key
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2019, 05:48:40 PM »
Please use AvRegLink.exe tool to remove the registry link:  http://public.avast.com/~hnanicek/AvRegLink.exe

Execute as Administrator:
AvRegLink.exe delete "SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\AVAST Software"

It's not working anymore.

Offline Aurgh!

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Re: Cannot delete "Avast Software" registry key
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2019, 09:29:04 PM »
I just temporarily imported an old registry hive into my new computer so that I could extract some of its records.  When I was done I tried to delete those entries, but it was a pain because the old permissions were also imported which was all wonky (several were system-only, most were read-only).  After messing with half a dozen registry editors I finally got all of them deleted EXCEPT for one named AVAST Software, located at Computer\HKEY_USERS\DEAD_COMPUTER\Wow6432Node\AVAST Software.

Clicking on the key displays an "Error Opening Key" message with "Access is denied".  When I try to change permissions, there are NO users listed, and when I go into advanced permission settings the owner is "Unable to display owner."  I can neither change the permissions nor change the owner ("Access is denied").

The last editor I've tried was AvRegLink.exe which has failed with the following errors:

Quote
AvRegLink.exe delete:  "Computer\HKEY_USERS\DEAD_COMPUTER\Wow6432Node\AVAST Software"
Unable to open link key! err=2
AvRegLink.exe query:  "Computer\HKEY_USERS\DEAD_COMPUTER\Wow6432Node\AVAST Software"
Unable to open link key! err=2

One article said that if the above doesn't work, you should manually create another key then create a link over the Avast key:

Quote
AvRegLink.exe create "Computer\HKEY_USERS\DEAD_COMPUTER\Wow6432Node\AVAST Software" "Computer\HKEY_USERS\DEAD_COMPUTER\killit"
Unable to open/create source key! err=87

Technically this isn't hurting anything, since no program should automatically be looking in Computer\HKEY_USERS\DEAD_COMPUTER, but it's nonetheless a broken registry entry, so I'd rather get rid of it.

P.S. Your crappy CAPTCHA is damn near impossible for a HUMAN to read.

Offline Asyn

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Re: Cannot delete "Avast Software" registry key
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2019, 07:40:00 AM »
See Reply #6.

PS: Captcha is only needed for your first 3 posts. (Spam protection)
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