Author Topic: Avast! Free AV Will Not Activate  (Read 6163 times)

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Offline igotyerna

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Avast! Free AV Will Not Activate
« on: January 30, 2020, 06:27:01 PM »
Ladies and Gentlemen,

My subscription for Avast! Antivirus Free expired back in the Fall of 2019 and it has never reactivated.

Every day (at least) I get a pop-up telling me that my subscription has expired. I click the button that is supposedly meant to initiate the process of reactivation which brings up another window offering me a choice between the premium and free antivirus versions. I select the free version and then I get another window offering me a free trial of premium which I decline. Then I’m good usually for the day. Next day, same thing.

From what I’ve read about the current activation process, when I choose the free version in that second window, that should be the end of it. I don’t even have to supply an email address like I used to. I should be able to go to the My Subscriptions tab in the user interface and see a subscription to Avast! Free AV and how many days remain in the yearly subscription.

I see none of that.

If auto-renewal fails, you are supposed to be able to click on a green “Upgrade Now” button in the Subscriptions tab to manually initiate a renewal.

There is no Upgrade Now button.

Under “Subscriptions On This PC” it reads, “You don’t have any subscriptions. How about getting one?” Following this is a green “Buy Now” button.
Up at the top of this window it says, “Add your Avast subscriptions in one of two ways” and you choose either, “Log into your Avast account” or “Enter a valid activation code.” None of these options are supposed to be required for getting a yearly activation of the Free AV product.

A few days ago I got so sick of the process that I downloaded the latest version of Avast! Free AV (the offline full installer) and installed it over my existing version. I have read that installation of the latest version is necessary for activation success but it made no difference. Exact same behavior.

Then I used the Avastclear utility in safe mode to remove everything and then reinstalled from the same new version download. Except for taking way longer to update, this had no effect. Exact same behavior. No activation.

What am I supposed to do? The product will not activate by itself and it offers me no provision to do it manually. I’ve been using Avast! Free AV for around ten years with no activation problems. If it ain’t broke, why fix it?

If it matters, I am using Windows 7 Pro and Firefox but I also have a Windows 8.1 machine that has the same activation issues.

Thank you for your time and attention.

Grant


Offline Asyn

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Offline Jiří Šamánek

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Re: Avast! Free AV Will Not Activate
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2020, 09:10:50 AM »
Hi igotyerna,

I am sorry for your troubles.
Activation works just fine in both released builds and the one I am currently testing before release.
Your case will be specific in some way, please use our support tool to collect logs and send them to me (jiri.samanek@avast.com), so I can try to find out what's going on with your client.
https://support.avast.com/en-ww/article/Submit-support-file

thank you,
Regards
Jiri Samanek

Offline igotyerna

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Re: Avast! Free AV Will Not Activate
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2020, 09:31:36 AM »
Asyn, thank you for the response. This is the first article I read when trying to figure this out – which is why I know what Avast says is supposed to happen and how I know that my situation does not follow official expectations.

The departure begins with Step 2 in the Avast instructions: “On the My licenses screen, click the Upgrade now button next to Avast Free Antivirus in the list located under Licenses on this PC.”

As mentioned in my initial post, there is no “Upgrade Now” button to click. There is also no listing of Avast Free Antivirus under “Licenses on this PC”. In fact, it actually states, “You don’t have any subscriptions. How about getting one?” No mention of “Licenses” at all.

The window that displays in Step 3 only appears after I have clicked “Continue” (or similar) in the “Your Avast Subscription Has Expired” pop up window which appears of its own accord on a daily basis. Selecting the “Avast Free Antivirus” column gives me the next pop up window which I’m assuming is the one mentioned in Step 4 which offers me the free Premium Trial: “Click the X icon on the new screen that appears to return to the My licenses screen.” I have closed this window by clicking “No Thanks” rather than simply closing the window from the “X”. It’s hard to believe that this would make any difference, but I’m going to try just closing the window from the “X” the next time it pops up and see whether the outcome is any different.

I will post the results here, one way or the other.

Jiri, just saw your post! If the results are no different going the “X” route (which is almost a certainty), I will take measures to send you the log files.

Grant

Offline Jiří Šamánek

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Re: Avast! Free AV Will Not Activate
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2020, 09:39:08 AM »
Hi again,

I don't think it matters, whether you click "No, thanks" or use "X" button.
In your case, it seems more like a connection issue. Either something is blocking communication to our servers (do you have any kind of firewall?) or windows have trouble verifying certificates.
These are the 2 most common issues.

Regards,
Jiri Samanek

Offline igotyerna

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Re: Avast! Free AV Will Not Activate
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2020, 11:05:17 AM »
Jiri,

Believe it or not, I still use a 56K dial-up connection. This is why I have to download the Avast Offline Installer rather than go with the more common Online Installer option. My connection will not stay up long enough at any one time to download the whole 360 MB Avast application, so I have to use a download manager to resume the download when the connection breaks. This is possible with the Full Installer download. I think that if the connection breaks using the Online Installer, the whole download goes back to the beginning when the connection is re-established. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong on this, but this is how it usually works with these Online installers. I’ve done it for ten years using the Offline Installer and it has always worked with no issues.

The only firewall I use is the Windows firewall, at default settings, that installs with Windows 7 Pro.

How could connection issues prevent the Avast app from recognizing itself in the “My Subscriptions” window? According to the Avast article on product activation, there is supposed to be a “Licenses on this PC” heading under which is listed “Avast Free Antivirus”. In my set up, the term used is “Subscriptions” not “Licenses” and Avast Free AV is not listed at all.

I have the feeling that you and your support brethren will need the information provided by that Avast Support Tool to even begin to get a handle on whatever is going on, here. I’ll probably get around to it in the next few days – unless clicking that “X” works some strange Voodoo!

Thanks for your interest!

Grant

Offline Jiří Šamánek

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Re: Avast! Free AV Will Not Activate
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2020, 11:35:54 AM »
Igotyerna,

Your connection shouldn't be a problem when activating a license. It's a very low amount of data like several KBs.
Text License vs Subscription is just wording, which was changed a while back.
According to your description, it seems like you don't have any license on your pc at all - no license file here - C:\ProgramData\AVAST Software\Subscriptions
That's why nothing is displayed under section "Subscription on this PC".

Sooner or later we will get to the bottom of this. Thanks for your patience.

Regards,
Jiri Samanek

Offline igotyerna

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Re: Avast! Free AV Will Not Activate
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2020, 01:57:40 AM »
Jiri,

Did you get the zipped folder I emailed you yesterday? I'm assuming that it was what you are looking for from the Avast Support Tool.

Grant

Offline Jiří Šamánek

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Re: Avast! Free AV Will Not Activate
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2020, 07:19:45 AM »
Grant,

No, I didn't receive any emails from you.
did you send it to jiri.samanek@avast.com?
I can also look for the file on our servers if you give me the filename.

Regards,
Jiri Samanek

Offline igotyerna

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Re: Avast! Free AV Will Not Activate
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2020, 06:48:27 AM »
Okay, I think this issue has me beat.

I finally did get a “lim.log” file to Avast Support (Jiri). He originally wanted the full report file generated by the Avast Support Tool but the attachment refused to send with the email, so he settled for the lim.log, which obviously did attach.

Jiri recommended that I change my DNS settings to Google DNS servers because there were many log entries about connections failing due to an inability to connect with DNS servers. I guess his logic was that my inability to get a new license might be due to poor communication with Avast servers.

As stated in my previous posts, I get a window from Avast every day telling me that my subscription has expired and that lets me choose AFAV as the product I want. This is acknowledged by Avast in the follow-up window I get which thanks me for choosing Avast Free Antivirus and offering me a free 60 day trial of the Premium version (which I decline).

Avast sends me this every day, acknowledges that I have chosen the free version of the product -- which is supposed to initiate a new one-year license -- and still my installed product does not recognize the existence of any subscription/license! And on it goes.

If this is a result of some kind of communication issue between Avast servers and my installed product, why can I update virus definitions/engine or get product version updates -- which require far more extensive communication between Avast servers and my installed product than downloading and installing a 1kb license file?

This is the same connection I have used since my first copy of AFAV some 10 years ago and have never had a licensing/activation issue.

I changed IPv6 and IPv4 DNS addresses to Google public DNR addresses and it made zero difference in my situation.

Grasping at straws, I next tried to go this route: My Subscriptions>Enter a Valid Activation Code>Use a License File, and then selecting a license copied from the Subscriptions folder of another Win7 computer I have which has a working AFAV license, but the license is rejected because it isn’t a license from a supported product!

Next I tried to just copy the license file into the empty Subscriptions folder under Avast\Application Data but I can’t gain access to the Subscriptions folder on the target computer to copy it into even though Windows shows that I have full Administrator privileges over the folder.

So, my installed product will not accept a license/subscription by hook or by crook. I just want to have a working license which by every account Avast says I'm entitled to, but it just ain’t gonna happen.

I can either be content to “renew” the product on a daily basis from now until doomsday, pay for a premium license (would it even recognize that?) or I can find a different free AV product – of which there are several very good ones. I just happen to be used to Avast and I’ve never had issues with it until now.

Unless anyone can come up with something other than:

*Uninstalling/reinstalling the (latest version) product with the Avast Removal Tool in Safe Mode
*Changing IPv6 and IPv4 DNS addresses to Google public DNR addresses
*Adding a valid license through both the My Subscriptions window in the product settings and copying directly into the Avast Subscriptions folder --

I’m done with this, one way or the other.

Grant

Offline Asyn

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Re: Avast! Free AV Will Not Activate
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2020, 07:14:42 AM »
Be sure Avast isn't blocked by a firewall and try again.
Win 8.1 [x64] - Avast PremSec 20.9.2434.Beta#2 [UI.571] - CC 5.72 - EEK - FF ESR 78.4 [NS/AOS/uBO/PB] - TB 78.4 - SB/CP/SL/DU.B
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Offline igotyerna

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Re: Avast! Free AV Will Not Activate
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2020, 12:19:03 PM »
Thanks, Asyn.

All I have ever used is the standard Windows firewall at the default settings. I would imagine that if the current version of AFAV has developed a problem with this, given the number of Windows users who rely solely on the built-in firewall just doing its’ thing, you would be seeing a tsunami of complaints by now.

Weirdly enough, the last new installation that I put Avast Free on was Windows 8.1 a few months ago and it has exactly the same licensing issues. The only things that installation has in common with the Windows 7 installation which I have been writing about here, is the AFAV version and the 56k dial-up internet connection. But, unless someone can argue cogently as to why, suddenly, the dial-up connection should prevent, selectively, the information exchange between the Avast servers and the installed application pertaining to licensing – when everything else seems to work okay (slow, but okay) – I am hesitant to lay the blame there.

These are both desktop computers. Otherwise I could try the initial AFAV installation on a faster connection at a location with free wifi and see if there was any difference with license retrieval.

I have two other Win7 desktops using this same dial-up connection that have current AFAV versions and  valid licenses. The difference here may be (I don’t remember specifically) that I renewed their licenses manually before they expired, so that all that had to be done was to reset the calendar on installed licenses rather than receive and install brand new licenses where none existed (empty Subscriptions folders).

I’m a bit(!) disappointed that all that Avast support has been able to come up with has been to recommend changing DNS settings. To me, that’s like going to the doctor for a broken arm but the only thing red-flagged in your diagnostic work is an electrolyte imbalance, so the doctor concludes that the electrolyte imbalance caused the broken arm and recommends drinking Gatorade to fix it.

For me, this has all devolved into voodoo, and although I hate losing, I also hate beating my head against a wall.

Grant

Offline Asyn

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Re: Avast! Free AV Will Not Activate
« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2020, 12:28:02 PM »
Hi Grant,

Did you try to turn Windows Firewall off before Avast activation..?
Any other security related software installed..?
« Last Edit: February 10, 2020, 12:51:40 PM by Asyn »
Win 8.1 [x64] - Avast PremSec 20.9.2434.Beta#2 [UI.571] - CC 5.72 - EEK - FF ESR 78.4 [NS/AOS/uBO/PB] - TB 78.4 - SB/CP/SL/DU.B
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Offline Lloyd_au

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Re: Avast! Free AV Will Not Activate
« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2020, 01:51:57 PM »
I have had the exact same issue for a while now.  Maybe a couple months, I forget.  Win 7, no extra firewall.

It isn't an isolated issue.  It happens on all four of my home computers.  Every time I first connect to the internet, and I go through the process described.

I have been running Avast Free for maybe 10 years (guessing - could be more or less) and have never had this problem.

I cannot believe that anyone associated with computer security would recommend turning off the Win firewall.

« Last Edit: February 10, 2020, 02:01:18 PM by Lloyd_au »

Offline Asyn

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Re: Avast! Free AV Will Not Activate
« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2020, 02:10:12 PM »
I cannot believe that anyone associated with computer security would recommend turning off the Win firewall.
Well, we're troubleshooting here, so it's worth a try.
Win 8.1 [x64] - Avast PremSec 20.9.2434.Beta#2 [UI.571] - CC 5.72 - EEK - FF ESR 78.4 [NS/AOS/uBO/PB] - TB 78.4 - SB/CP/SL/DU.B
Deutschsprachiger Bereich -> Avast Wissenswertes (Downloads, Anleitungen & Infos): https://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=60523.0