Author Topic: Avast.setup process system hog  (Read 26005 times)

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DaneBrooke

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Avast.setup process system hog
« on: February 06, 2008, 12:17:16 AM »
I have been running Avast! for a couple of weeks and usually task manager (Win 2000 Pro + SP4 + all security updates to date) just shows the standard processes. Today I noticed things a little slow and a process I never saw before (avast.setup) is running and using about 30% of the CPU.  Can anyone shed light on this for me?

Offline Tarq57

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Re: Avast.setup process system hog
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2008, 12:35:54 AM »
Yep, I'd asked about this one, too. (The sys tray red and green arrows?) It slows mine right down for a minute or two while it's doing its thing. CPU fluctuates between ~ 20-32 during this time. It's normal.
I would like to know why some updates do it, and some don't.
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Offline DavidR

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Re: Avast.setup process system hog
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2008, 03:11:47 PM »
avast.setup is the auto update process downloading VPS updates, it is set to a lower than normal priority, so as not to be a system resources hog, if it is only taking 30% of CPU, what is using the rest. Unlike other AV updates, the avast VPS updates are incremental so should be smaller and take less time.

I do notice a little slowing when the update process is running, but the problem may be that it happens very close to your boot activity (once an Internet connection is detected), so that time could be quite busy for the system and to have 30% taken up would be noticeable.

I take it that this happens shortly after boot ?
If so I would suggest you delay the avast auto update check.
You could edit the avast4.ini file, [InetWD] section, add the following line if it isn't present (or edit if present), AlwaysConnectedWaitSeconds=120 and AssumeAlwaysConnected=1 (for broadband connections) or RASWaitSeconds=120 and UseRAS=1 (for dial-up connections).

See example below, both these values wouldn't be present at the same time obviously. The figure is in seconds and you can set your own duration to wait before checking for updates. This allows time for a connection to be fully established.
Quote
[InetWD]
AssumeAlwaysConnected=1
AlwaysConnectedWaitSeconds=120
OR
UseRAS=1
RASWaitSeconds=120
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DaneBrooke

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Re: Avast.setup process system hog
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2008, 08:37:49 PM »
Thank you for the info in your reply. VERY useful!  But not exactly the issue most updates *are* small and harmless, but once in a while my system starts acting like its running on mud instead of electricity; this can last up to 20 minutes. avast.setup is always an active process when this occurs, and when the system speeds back up to normal avast.setup is always gone from the process list.  So some updates are taking as long as 20 minutes... can I arrange for the updates to take place at night, for example?

Offline Lisandro

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Re: Avast.setup process system hog
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2008, 08:53:55 PM »
So some updates are taking as long as 20 minutes...
Even on dial-up it shouldn't take more than 1-2 minutes.
On permanent connections, some seconds.
Something is crashing your update process.
Please, post the last 200-250 lines of avast log: C:\Program Files\Alwil Software\Avast4\DATA\log\Setup.log

can I arrange for the updates to take place at night, for example?
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Offline DavidR

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Re: Avast.setup process system hog
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2008, 09:00:43 PM »
If the update is going on for 20 minutes then avast.setup has stalled or something is most certainly wrong, exactly what is the 64,000 dollar question.

Now if avast.setup were truly a system hog it would be happening every time and not 'once in a while,' does this happen to coincide with the window update Patch Tuesday ?

This has been known to happen (many instances in the forums) as windows update can get in the way of many auto updates as it would appear to have a higher priority. If this is the case then delaying the avast update may stop the two getting in each others way as they try to check for updates.

As far as the Home version is concerned there is no way to schedule updates, I don't know if there is an option to do this in the Pro version. Edit, Pro scheduled update option confirmed by Tech.
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Offline alanrf

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Re: Avast.setup process system hog
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2008, 09:32:39 PM »
The comments about dial-up are really a red herring in this discussion. 

The avast update consists of two parts, the first is the download of the update file - this is usually a few kilobytes and rarely more than a few tens of kilobytes in size.  Dial up or broadband will have no problems with this.

The second and much more resource intensive phase is the integration of the update file into the main VPS file of avast.  It is this that is CPU intensive and can be very time consuming.  I notice on my old XP machine that I only turn on maybe one a week that the accumulated avast updates may only total say 50Kb but avast itself reports in the update summary that the download took 1 second and the total update time is often in excess of 5 minutes during which avast is consuming 30% of the CPU.

On an old laptop I have running Windows Me and only brought up say once a month or less then the total time taken for the integration of the avast updates can easily be in excess of 20 minutes.

I believe avast uses an industry standard database management method for the database and this does appear more resource intensive in the database update, presumably giving greater returns in the efficiency of normal runtime use as avast is protecting our systems realtime.

 

kubecj

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Re: Avast.setup process system hog
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2008, 12:55:17 PM »
Nope, avast uses quite a low level routines for working with the diff updates.
But they're memory intensive (and if there is not enough memory, it swaps, which is slow) and cpu intensive - compression, md5 verification, digital signature verification.

In new 4.8 this should be somewhat lighter.

epp

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Re: Avast.setup process system hog
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2008, 01:47:37 AM »
So some updates are taking as long as 20 minutes...
Even on dial-up it shouldn't take more than 1-2 minutes.
On permanent connections, some seconds.
Something is crashing your update process.
Please, post the last 200-250 lines of avast log: C:\Program Files\Alwil Software\Avast4\DATA\log\Setup.log

can I arrange for the updates to take place at night, for example?
Only in professional version.

SECONDS on a permanent connection?  You're joking, right?

How about HOURS!

I have a 6 Mb connection with the cable company.  After installing avast Home Edition a month ago, it ALWAYS took at least ONE HOUR to update itself each day.  It would download bits and pieces, do nothing for 5 minutes, download a little more, do nothing for 5 minutes and this repeats itself.

I decided to uninstall it and reinstall it to see if that would fix the problem.  It would NOT uninstall normally, I had to reboot into Safe Mode (Windows XP Home) in order to uninstall it.  It kept displaying some sort of face-something error.

I reinstalled it, only to see the same thing.  I reinstalled it ONE HOUR AGO, the screen shows 248,000 bytes out of 1 million bytes complete.

I realize that it is free software, but for this software to take one hour to update itself every day, is unacceptable. 

FWIW, the CPU is am AMD K6-2 at 500 MHz, system has 1/2 Gb of memory.


Offline Tarq57

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Re: Avast.setup process system hog
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2008, 01:58:59 AM »
Yep, epp, something is definitely wrong with your installation. I know not what, but mine typically takes 12-14 seconds to update.
At a guess I would say you've had another AV (Norton) installed in the past, and it needs a bit of cleaning. If that was the case, download the Norton Removal Tool http://service1.symantec.com/SUPPORT/tsgeninfo.nsf/docid/2005033108162039, disconnect, uninstall Avast (again) (avast has a uninstall tool available,too, if required), run the Norton removal tool, reboot as prompted, but at least once now, try re-installing Avast.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2008, 02:02:58 AM by Tarq57 »
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epp

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Re: Avast.setup process system hog
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2008, 02:09:20 AM »
Quote
Information about current update:
Total time: 59:19

- Vps: Updated
  (previous version: 080214-0, updated version: 080314-0)

Server: (removed for posting purposes)
Downloaded files: 31 (1,042.23 KB)
Download time: 12:04

It's been a few years since I had Norton on it, you'd think uninstalling it would remove everything???   ::)
« Last Edit: March 15, 2008, 02:12:43 AM by epp »

Offline Lisandro

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Re: Avast.setup process system hog
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2008, 02:14:39 AM »
It's been a few years since I had Norton on it, you'd think uninstalling it would remove everything???   ::)
Use the tool to get rid of the remains of Norton... files and registry left behind.
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Offline Tarq57

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Re: Avast.setup process system hog
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2008, 02:20:16 AM »
You would think so, wouldn't you. But it doesn't. A lot of applications tend to leave stuff behind after uninstalling (they shouldn't, but do) it's just that what Norton leaves behind tends to be more disruptive.
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epp

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Re: Avast.setup process system hog
« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2008, 02:50:29 AM »
Done all this, reinstalled avast and I am no better off.

I opened the simple user interface, selected to update database and program automatically, clicked Details, program hung, non-responsive.  Had to ALT-F4 to close it.

Also right-clicked the "a" globe in the systray, selected Updating/iAVS Update, it does nothing.  Been running 16 minutes now.

EDIT:  Opened the interface again, clicked "On" for updates, same screen as above, this time I clicked "Update now..."  What happened?  Nothing.  Program hangs again (ALT-F4).

The only way to be safe online is not to use Windows, period.



« Last Edit: March 15, 2008, 02:58:53 AM by epp »

Offline Tarq57

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Re: Avast.setup process system hog
« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2008, 03:19:04 AM »
Hmmm. Bit tricky.
Your cpu might not be up to the job, especially if you have a lot of programs running at start.
How many programs are set to run at startup under msconfig?
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