Author Topic: Avast takes 17 seconds to scan first email  (Read 4246 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline mjt

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 23
Avast takes 17 seconds to scan first email
« on: February 02, 2008, 10:11:47 AM »
The first email message I select in Outlook Express after booting the system takes 17 seconds to open. Thereafter all emails open immediately for the remainder of the session.

I have found that this is caused by Avast - if I completely stop on-access protection the first mail opens immediately. I have tried turning off the Outlook/Exchange and Internet mail resident providers, first by unchecking all the boxes relating to inbound and outbound mail and, when that made no difference, by terminating them. That also had no effect whatsoever.

I have been advised elsewhere to reinstall Avast without the email scanning option as this is a redundant layer of protection. Can anyone explain what is going on here and what are the implications of removing the email scanning?
Regards,

Mike.

Offline DavidR

  • Avast Überevangelist
  • Certainly Bot
  • *****
  • Posts: 83574
  • No support PMs thanks
Re: Avast takes 17 seconds to scan first email
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2008, 02:53:05 PM »
I'm not sure what it is you are doing or asking.

I have OE6 and avast scans emails as they are downloaded, not when you open them, so I'm not exactly sure what is happening on your system.

The Outlook/Exchange if for MS Outlook (not express) or MS Exchange email clients, so unless you have one of those the Outlook/Exchange provider should be Terminated (which it should be by default if you haven't got MS Outlook).

Whoever, said email scanning is redundant is doing you a disservice as there are still a high number of viruses, etc. spread by email.

Not to mention that disabling or not installing email scanning on a custom install also throws out the scanning of outbound emails. This may be the first indication that you have an undetected trojan spambot on your system as set to High the email scanner will detect multiple identical emails being sent.

So you have basically confirmed avast isn't at fault as having terminated the email scanners the problem is still there.

I assume that this happens in your inbox ?
Also that that inbox is quite large (lots of emails) ?

You should keep OE mailboxes small as the larger they get the longer it takes for them to load when you open it. Opening a single email isn't just a single email contained in a file but all the email in that mailbox is contained in a .dbx file (database containing all the emails for that folder), so OE has to extract that email from the database to be able to display it.
WinXP ProSP3/ Core2Duo E8300/ 4GB Ram/ avast! free 18.5.2342/ Firefox ESR, uBlock Origin, uMatrix/ MailWasher Pro7.11.0/ DropMyRights/ WinPatrol+/ Drive Image 7.1/ SnagIt 10.0/ avast! mobile security
Windows 10 Home 1909 64bit/ Acer Aspire F15/ Intel Core i5 7200U 2.5GHz, 8GB DDR4 memory, 256GB SSD, 1TB HDD/ avast! free 20.6.2420 (build 20.6.5495.561) UI-1.0.544/ WinPatrol+/ Firefox, uBlock Origin, uMatrix/ MailWasher Pro

Offline mjt

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 23
Re: Avast takes 17 seconds to scan first email
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2008, 03:45:49 PM »
Ok, I'll try to be clearer.

After the system has been booted if I open any mailbox and single-left-click on a message there is 17 seconds-worth of disk activity before the contents are displayed in the message pane. This does not just apply to messages in 'Inbox' (which is kept empty, see below) but to old messages in other folders.

I never leave read messages in my Inbox. They are moved to either 'Deleted Items' or to my self-created 'Read Mail' folder.

This only happens on the first attempt to display a message. After that all other messages open without delay.

I did not confirm that Avast was not at fault. I said that if I select "Stop On-Access Protection"  (from the Systray icon's pop-up menu) before trying to open the first message then the 17-second delay doesn't happen. If I just terminate the Outlook/Exchange and Internet Mail resident providers before opening the message the delay does happen. To me this shows that the problem is related to Avast.

I recently backed up all my mail system using OEQuickBackup then drastically pruned the contents of my mail folders. This made no difference whatsoever to the length of time it takes to display the first message,
« Last Edit: February 02, 2008, 03:50:27 PM by mjt »
Regards,

Mike.

Offline DavidR

  • Avast Überevangelist
  • Certainly Bot
  • *****
  • Posts: 83574
  • No support PMs thanks
Re: Avast takes 17 seconds to scan first email
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2008, 04:36:47 PM »
What is the sensitivity of the Standard Shield (Normal is the default) as if you select "Stop On-Access Protection" the only other provider that could be involved in any scan would be the Standard Shield.

Now I have mine pretty much on the default settings and if I open a folder and then open an email, I see no change to the last file scanned and no increase in the scanned count of the Standard Shield provider. So I see zero impact on using avast with OE.

You do pretty much what I do in keeping my mailboxes clutter free and generally my inbox is empty also. OE even when you move/delete emails from a folder the .dbx file still has that email in there just no reference to it, so I also regularly compact the folders in OE, this fully removes those emails. I don't know if that is what you do also ?

Do you have any other security software installed, if so what ?
Because if that also monitors opened mail folders .dbx files, when it tries to open the file the standard shield would jump in and scan the file first before allowing something else to open it.
WinXP ProSP3/ Core2Duo E8300/ 4GB Ram/ avast! free 18.5.2342/ Firefox ESR, uBlock Origin, uMatrix/ MailWasher Pro7.11.0/ DropMyRights/ WinPatrol+/ Drive Image 7.1/ SnagIt 10.0/ avast! mobile security
Windows 10 Home 1909 64bit/ Acer Aspire F15/ Intel Core i5 7200U 2.5GHz, 8GB DDR4 memory, 256GB SSD, 1TB HDD/ avast! free 20.6.2420 (build 20.6.5495.561) UI-1.0.544/ WinPatrol+/ Firefox, uBlock Origin, uMatrix/ MailWasher Pro

Offline mjt

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 23
Re: Avast takes 17 seconds to scan first email
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2008, 06:24:58 PM »
The Standard Shield sensitivity is Normal, and I have now discovered that if I terminate that provider before opening the mail there is a much smaller delay (I'd estimate about 3-5 seconds), which is the same as I observe if I stop all On-Access protection, so Standard Shield appears to be the one causing the problem.

Curiously, though, there is no change in the last file scanned or scan count on mine either after the message has opened and that is the only provider that has recorded any activity at all up to that point.

Yes, I have compacted all my folders since the clean-up.

The only other security software I have installed is the ZoneAlarm firewall and my Windows firewall is turned off.

Incidentally, within the last few weeks I set Avast to do a thorough scan of all my hard drive partitions and nothing nasty was found.

One other thing I forgot to mention is that I'm running XP Home SP2 and Outlook Express 6.00.2900.2180.
Regards,

Mike.

Offline DavidR

  • Avast Überevangelist
  • Certainly Bot
  • *****
  • Posts: 83574
  • No support PMs thanks
Re: Avast takes 17 seconds to scan first email
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2008, 09:38:25 PM »
If there is no change in the scanned count or last file scanned then it isn't the standard shield.

If you had already terminated the Internet Mail (and Outlook/Exchange, which you don't need) and there is no activity recorded on the standard shield I'm at a loss as to what it might be.
Is the avast icon rotating whilst this delay is experienced ?
During the delay, check the task manager, Process tab and see if there is any CPU activity on either ashServ.exe (Standard Shield) or ashMaiSv.exe (Internet Mail) ?

You could enable the, 'Show detailed info on performed actions' option, this will show all files scanned by avast's standard shield (you can disable again after testing). This function is also on the Internet Mail provider so you could also enable that to see if it is scanning anything.

WinXP ProSP3/ Core2Duo E8300/ 4GB Ram/ avast! free 18.5.2342/ Firefox ESR, uBlock Origin, uMatrix/ MailWasher Pro7.11.0/ DropMyRights/ WinPatrol+/ Drive Image 7.1/ SnagIt 10.0/ avast! mobile security
Windows 10 Home 1909 64bit/ Acer Aspire F15/ Intel Core i5 7200U 2.5GHz, 8GB DDR4 memory, 256GB SSD, 1TB HDD/ avast! free 20.6.2420 (build 20.6.5495.561) UI-1.0.544/ WinPatrol+/ Firefox, uBlock Origin, uMatrix/ MailWasher Pro

Offline mjt

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 23
Re: Avast takes 17 seconds to scan first email
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2008, 11:11:36 AM »
If there is no change in the scanned count or last file scanned then it isn't the standard shield.

I can understand why you say that. The Avast icon rotates once when I select the message but doesn't move during the 17+ seconds of disk activity. The Standard Shield doesn't report any files scanned and ashServ.exe has zero CPU activity (I now have Internet Mail and Outlook/Exchange permanently terminated). The only processes which show any CPU activity during the disk activity are explorer.exe (briefly) and msimn.exe (continuously, varying between 02% and 08%).

The fact still remains, however, that if I terminate Standard Shield before selecting the message I only get a five-second delay (I can then restart Standard shield without getting any further delays).

Baffling, isn't it?
Regards,

Mike.

Offline DavidR

  • Avast Überevangelist
  • Certainly Bot
  • *****
  • Posts: 83574
  • No support PMs thanks
Re: Avast takes 17 seconds to scan first email
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2008, 01:48:37 PM »
If there is no activity recorded in the standard shield detailed view then it isn't scanning, as you are basically indicating when you say "The Avast icon rotates once when I select the message but doesn't move during the 17+ seconds of disk activity."

msimn (MicroSoft Internet Mail and News, OE) CPU activity has nothing to do with avast the CPU activity would be on either ashMaiSv.exe or ashServ.exe if it was avast scanning.

Baffling is right - Facts differ, for me I have absolutely no delay with OE6 and avast, if this were the case that there was a delay with OE and avast there would be many posts on the forums and yours is the first I have seen in nearly 4 years.

So I'm at a loss as to why you have. You said that you have ZA you didn't say what version, might this have an email module (I haven't used ZA in many, many years, so I'm not familiar with the latest versions).

That is the only thing I can think of is conflict with something else and when one half of a conflict is removed, no conflict, but doesn't say what is responsible for the conflict.
WinXP ProSP3/ Core2Duo E8300/ 4GB Ram/ avast! free 18.5.2342/ Firefox ESR, uBlock Origin, uMatrix/ MailWasher Pro7.11.0/ DropMyRights/ WinPatrol+/ Drive Image 7.1/ SnagIt 10.0/ avast! mobile security
Windows 10 Home 1909 64bit/ Acer Aspire F15/ Intel Core i5 7200U 2.5GHz, 8GB DDR4 memory, 256GB SSD, 1TB HDD/ avast! free 20.6.2420 (build 20.6.5495.561) UI-1.0.544/ WinPatrol+/ Firefox, uBlock Origin, uMatrix/ MailWasher Pro

Offline mjt

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 23
Re: Avast takes 17 seconds to scan first email
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2008, 06:25:36 PM »
The version of ZoneAlarm is:-
ZoneAlarm version:7.0.462.000
TrueVector version:7.0.462.000
Driver version:7.0.462.000

It does have an email module called MailSafe which was enabled and I have now disabled. This still hasn't made any difference though.

The delay in opening the first message is actually longer than I first said. When I timed it I got a result of 21 seconds.

It does look like some weird conflict but I've never installed any other security software since I rebuilt my XP system from scratch last year. I tend to be a bit circumspect about installing new software willy-nilly because I've had system instability problems in the past and the (IMO) crap architecture of the OS means that a lot of junk can get left behind to cause problems after stuff has been de-installed (which is why I had to do the rebuild).

I have just de-installed Avast, then re-installed it without the email protection modules but this has made no difference either.


Regards,

Mike.

Offline DavidR

  • Avast Überevangelist
  • Certainly Bot
  • *****
  • Posts: 83574
  • No support PMs thanks
Re: Avast takes 17 seconds to scan first email
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2008, 06:40:17 PM »
I was more interested in if it was the pro version of ZA as that has many other modules. You could try doing a custom re-install of ZA and don't install the mail-safe. I don't know how the mail-safe works, but I would have thought it would require some form of virus scanning also and if so that could be a possible area of conflict.

I wouldn't have expected that re-installing avast without the email protection modules would have had any impact as you had already established there is in interaction with the Internet Mail scanner, but some sort of conflict/interaction with the standard shield, weird.
WinXP ProSP3/ Core2Duo E8300/ 4GB Ram/ avast! free 18.5.2342/ Firefox ESR, uBlock Origin, uMatrix/ MailWasher Pro7.11.0/ DropMyRights/ WinPatrol+/ Drive Image 7.1/ SnagIt 10.0/ avast! mobile security
Windows 10 Home 1909 64bit/ Acer Aspire F15/ Intel Core i5 7200U 2.5GHz, 8GB DDR4 memory, 256GB SSD, 1TB HDD/ avast! free 20.6.2420 (build 20.6.5495.561) UI-1.0.544/ WinPatrol+/ Firefox, uBlock Origin, uMatrix/ MailWasher Pro

Offline mjt

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 23
Re: Avast takes 17 seconds to scan first email
« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2008, 11:13:39 PM »
According to the ZoneAlarm help the MailSafe works by checking the extensions of attachment files against a list which specifies the action to take and "quarantines" selected ones, such as .exe's, by changing the extension so they won't run automatically when opened.

I've tried de-installing ZoneAlarm and reinstalled the latest version but the install process doesn't offer the choice to exclude MailSafe so I've simply disabled it again.

I've also tried shutting down ZoneAlarm completely before opening the first mail message but this makes no difference to the problem so it doesn't look like it's conflicting with Avast.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2008, 11:20:11 PM by mjt »
Regards,

Mike.

Offline DavidR

  • Avast Überevangelist
  • Certainly Bot
  • *****
  • Posts: 83574
  • No support PMs thanks
Re: Avast takes 17 seconds to scan first email
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2008, 12:41:33 AM »
Something is conflicting what is the question, unfortunately I haven't any other ideas as to what it might be as I haven't come across this before, sorry.
WinXP ProSP3/ Core2Duo E8300/ 4GB Ram/ avast! free 18.5.2342/ Firefox ESR, uBlock Origin, uMatrix/ MailWasher Pro7.11.0/ DropMyRights/ WinPatrol+/ Drive Image 7.1/ SnagIt 10.0/ avast! mobile security
Windows 10 Home 1909 64bit/ Acer Aspire F15/ Intel Core i5 7200U 2.5GHz, 8GB DDR4 memory, 256GB SSD, 1TB HDD/ avast! free 20.6.2420 (build 20.6.5495.561) UI-1.0.544/ WinPatrol+/ Firefox, uBlock Origin, uMatrix/ MailWasher Pro

Offline mjt

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 23
Re: Avast takes 17 seconds to scan first email
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2008, 09:48:04 AM »
I understand and I appreciate your efforts to help.
Regards,

Mike.

Offline DavidR

  • Avast Überevangelist
  • Certainly Bot
  • *****
  • Posts: 83574
  • No support PMs thanks
Re: Avast takes 17 seconds to scan first email
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2008, 04:26:38 PM »
Your welcome.
WinXP ProSP3/ Core2Duo E8300/ 4GB Ram/ avast! free 18.5.2342/ Firefox ESR, uBlock Origin, uMatrix/ MailWasher Pro7.11.0/ DropMyRights/ WinPatrol+/ Drive Image 7.1/ SnagIt 10.0/ avast! mobile security
Windows 10 Home 1909 64bit/ Acer Aspire F15/ Intel Core i5 7200U 2.5GHz, 8GB DDR4 memory, 256GB SSD, 1TB HDD/ avast! free 20.6.2420 (build 20.6.5495.561) UI-1.0.544/ WinPatrol+/ Firefox, uBlock Origin, uMatrix/ MailWasher Pro