Author Topic: General Avast Tweaking/Performance Issues  (Read 5785 times)

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Offline Japazo

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General Avast Tweaking/Performance Issues
« on: April 13, 2007, 03:17:19 AM »
Hello,

My name is Andrew. Ive been a long time Avast user since I like the interface and havent had a single case of malware infection since I started using it(I consider myself a high risk for them). I have an older computer that my family uses at home and its begun to age to the point that it is frustrating at times to wait for programs and files to load. I played with Avast a bit and noticed that it scans literally every file involved with opening anything and everything. I turned off 32-bit scanning and excluded a few file types from the standard scanning but it still seems to be overdoing things in my opinion. I was wondering if there are any safe options I can use to speed up everyday program usage and web browsing(which seems to be slowed significantly as well). Any suggestions are greatly appreciated! I just dont want to end up turning everything off and being left with a completely open machine :P.

Offline Vladimyr

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Re: General Avast Tweaking/Performance Issues
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2007, 05:40:31 AM »
Hi Andrew

I have had Avast 4.7 running well on some very humble-spec machines.
What are this machine's vital stats?
  Operating System?  (eg: 95, 98, XP)
  CPU type & speed?(eg 486 66mhz, Pentium 200)
  RAM total?
And less importantly - HDD rotational speed, interface (e.g. PIO, UDMA 33/66/100), size & amount of free space


The following suggestions work for me on 586 and early Pentiums.

Install from scratch
- choose 'Custom' Configuration
- uncheck everything in the "Resident Protection' section except 'Standard Shield'.
- uncheck 'Script Blocking' in the 'Professional Edition' section if it's there - it's right at the bottom. (Applies only to Professional Edition - kinda obvious eh!.)
If you really don't have the free 3MB required for 'Skins' then uncheck that too, but you may later wish for at least the standard skin when you discover that the drop-down menus on the 'Simple' interface don't work with Windows 95.

After completing the installation
- right-click on the "i" ball in the system tray
  - click 'Disable VRDB generation'
- right-click on the "i" ball again
  - click 'Merge with main avast! icon'
- right-click the "a" ball
  - choose 'Program Settings' > 'Update (Basic)'
    - set both 'Virus Database' and 'Program' to 'Manual'
      You must of course remember to update manually at least once a day!


enjoy,
Vlad   :)


« Last Edit: April 13, 2007, 07:51:29 AM by Vladimyr »
There is a way that seems right to a man,
       but in the end it leads to death
.” - Proverbs 16:25

Offline Lisandro

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Re: General Avast Tweaking/Performance Issues
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2007, 03:23:27 PM »
I played with Avast a bit and noticed that it scans literally every file involved with opening anything and everything. I turned off 32-bit scanning and excluded a few file types from the standard scanning but it still seems to be overdoing things in my opinion.
Do not change 32-bit scanning but, better, remove the open/changed/created files of scanning (the second tab of Standard Shied settings).
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Offline Lisandro

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Re: General Avast Tweaking/Performance Issues
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2007, 03:33:13 PM »
uncheck everything in the "Resident Protection' section except 'Standard Shield'
This is not safe, imho.
Not even faster, because you'll need Standard Shield at High sensitivity without the other providers.

uncheck 'Script Blocking' in the 'Professional Edition' section if it's there - it's right at the bottom. (Applies only to Professional Edition - kinda obvious eh!.)
Script Blocking won't use any resources if you register the home (free) version. Indeed it will be uninstalled. Besides this, it only scans scripts with three browsers, Firefox is not scanned. When it is not used, no resources are used.

If you really don't have the free 3MB required for 'Skins' then uncheck that too, but you may later wish for at least the standard skin when you discover that the drop-down menus on the 'Simple' interface don't work with Windows 95.
I suppose you're talking about 3MB of free space in the disk. Skins does not take memory (RAM) usage on resident protection.

click 'Disable VRDB generation'
This is not safe nor will safe resources. It will only run when your screensaver is active or you're not using the keyboard/mouse, i.e., the computer is idle.

- right-click on the "i" ball again
- click 'Merge with main avast! icon'
This won't safe resources...

- right-click the "a" ball
  - choose 'Program Settings' > 'Update (Basic)'
    - set both 'Virus Database' and 'Program' to 'Manual'
      You must of course remember to update manually at least once a day!
Why? You will lose the automatic updates and protection... You can set a longer period for avast to check the updates, that run in low priority and does not take that much resources...

Sorry, Vlad, I don't intent to be rude... but we disagree very deeply on avast usage...
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Offline Vladimyr

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Re: General Avast Tweaking/Performance Issues
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2007, 11:03:02 AM »
Hi Tech

I don't think you're being rude - just careful. It depends on circumstances. Japazo hasn't given any specs for the "older computer" in question but he does say "I just dont want to end up turning everything off and being left with a completely open machine"

The configuration I suggested is, as I said, for "586 and early Pentiums", as an alternative to having no active protection at all, and has been refined over a period of years.
BTW I forgot to mention it but I also have unchecked "Scan created/modified files", in the second tab of Standard Shield settings but not "Scan files on open" as I thought this would leave the machines too vulnerable.

The specs:
Notebook: Cyrix MediaGX (586) 200mhz, 64MB RAM, 1.7GB HDD PIO Mode 3, Windows 98SE
Desktop: Centaur/IDT Winchip C6 200mhz, 48MB RAM, 8.4GB HDD PIO Mode 4, Windows 95OSR2
Internet: Cable, NAT router/firewall

I use the Cyrix notebook every day, mainly with Firefox 1.5, Windows Remote Desktop, MSN Messenger, MS Word 2000. Loading all the Avast shields on these machines, especially the ones that won't be used or are incompatible with Win9X, increases startup time and they then have to be paged-out anyway when other apps are launched.

Yes, the "free 3MB required for 'Skins'" is HD space.

Re: merging icons, you may be right about that. It's so long since I disabled VRDB that I might have just done it just to remove an extra icon from the tray.

Re: updating. This is my choice. iAVS updating takes between 7 and 15 minutes on these machines, during which they continue to be usable but at about half their normal speed (which makes sense as 'Wintop' tells me that Avast.setup is using up to 50% CPU resources). Program updates take 25 to 40 minutes. I just prefer to do these things when I know I won't be using the computer.

As I said, these configurations represent satisfactory use of Avast as an alternative to "turning everything off" or having NO AV at all. By all means question them and adjust them to suit your circumstances.
There is a way that seems right to a man,
       but in the end it leads to death
.” - Proverbs 16:25

Offline Lisandro

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Re: General Avast Tweaking/Performance Issues
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2007, 03:03:54 PM »
The configuration I suggested is, as I said, for "586 and early Pentiums", as an alternative to having no active protection at all, and has been refined over a period of years.
But, again, I think the best way to get performance is unchecking the open/created/modified files scanning of Standard Shield and not uninstalling/disabling other providers...
It's not only security, but performance as far I could test in 2k/XP/Vista systems.

BTW I forgot to mention it but I also have unchecked "Scan created/modified files", in the second tab of Standard Shield settings but not "Scan files on open" as I thought this would leave the machines too vulnerable.
I would have all providers and don't think that the open files will left the system unprotected as the 'running' infection is what counts.

iAVS updating takes between 7 and 15 minutes on these machines
Wow... it should be 30 seconds... How do you connect the Internet in these machines?

Program updates take 25 to 40 minutes.
Wow... I took me some minutes, not more than five, running in background without the major priority, doesn't hanging the computer...
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Offline Vladimyr

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Re: General Avast Tweaking/Performance Issues
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2007, 09:16:28 AM »
Hi Tech

Quote
I think the best way to get performance is unchecking the open/created/modified files scanning of Standard Shield.....
.....and don't think that the open files will left the system unprotected as the 'running' infection is what counts.

I don't disagree with you - I just haven't been game to try it. I'm comfortable with the idea that my AV is at least scanning non-exe files on opening. Anyone else care to comment on this point?

I'm on 10,000/256kbps fibre-optic cable but these are truly s l o w PCs. Also, I'd bet that Avast code is not optimised for the instruction set of such ancient CPUs.
Attached screenshots for two of my machines illustrate the difference in update time.
'iAVS_Athlon.jpg' is or AthlonXP 1800+ (1533mhz), Windows 95OSR2
'iAVS_Cyrix.jpg' is Cyrix 586 200mhz, Windows 98SE

cheers
« Last Edit: April 16, 2007, 05:04:48 AM by Vladimyr »
There is a way that seems right to a man,
       but in the end it leads to death
.” - Proverbs 16:25

Offline alanrf

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Re: General Avast Tweaking/Performance Issues
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2007, 10:21:01 AM »
I have recently decided to resuscitate a couple of older laptop machines and have them running on Windows Me (I tried installing Ubuntu flavor of Linux on the older machine earlier today ... hmmm took about 4 hours to load and then is a next to useless; it is back on WinME now).

The older of the machines is a Pentium II 300Mhz processor with 96 Mb of memory.  I can confirm the findings of Vladimyr on this type of system and the elapsed time for VPS updates (even though I have a fast cable connection). 

I have now updated this oldest system to the new release of avast, it will be interesting to see what if any improvement there is for the future VPS updates.

Offline igor

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Re: General Avast Tweaking/Performance Issues
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2007, 10:37:32 AM »
Also, I'd bet that Avast code is not optimised for the instruction set of such ancient CPUs.

Appart from the real scanning code (which wouldn't apply for updates), most of avast! code is compiled with the optimization setting of "blended". So, it should work well on all CPUs (but yes, it's not specifically optimized for older CPUs).

Offline Vladimyr

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Re: General Avast Tweaking/Performance Issues
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2007, 05:45:02 AM »
Thanks igor for the info on optimization.
Do you have any input re benefit or other effect of turning off  "Scan files on open" and/or "Scan created/modified files" in "Scanner (Advanced)" Tab at On-Access Protection Control > Standard Shield > Customize?

Vlad
There is a way that seems right to a man,
       but in the end it leads to death
.” - Proverbs 16:25

Offline igor

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Re: General Avast Tweaking/Performance Issues
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2007, 11:03:14 AM »
I'd say the main thing is to keep the options on the first configuration page enabled (scanning of executed programs) - the rest is not so critical.

Offline Vladimyr

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Re: General Avast Tweaking/Performance Issues
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2007, 04:47:28 AM »
Hi all,
Hope Japazo/Andrew has been helped.
I've taken the plunge and given my ancient laptop a little performance boost by turning off  "Scan files on open".
Thanks again igor and also to Tech for your strong response. After all, a difference of opinion is an invitation to think and an opportunity to learn.

Vlad
There is a way that seems right to a man,
       but in the end it leads to death
.” - Proverbs 16:25

Offline Lisandro

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Re: General Avast Tweaking/Performance Issues
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2007, 11:57:38 PM »
After all, a difference of opinion is an invitation to think and an opportunity to learn.
Sure... we are all learning 8)
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