Author Topic: Avast and Symantec  (Read 15239 times)

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maiki

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Avast and Symantec
« on: July 29, 2008, 09:55:20 PM »
I have just downloaded and installed Avast, to try it out, a few days ago.

Previously I was using Symantec Corporate AntiVirus.

I did not uninstall SAV, as I am not sure this change is permanent. I did, however, set it not to do any background scanning, as I know one can not have two different antivirus programs scanning in the background at once. In other words, set not to provide any realtime protection at all, as I will have Avast do that now.

I made doubly sure, that no Symantec background processes are started up with Windows, services are disabled, etc.

Therefore, there should not be a problem with Avast being the background real-time anti-virus scanner, as Symantec real-time has been completely disabled.

Yet, whenever I start up Windows, an Avast error message appears on my screen, telling me that Symantec is running, therefore the Avast background protection will not start up. I do CTRL-ALT-DEL, look at processes, and see no Symantec processes there. I look in Services, and see no Symantec services running. What is going on?

Does Avast check what programs are installed on the computer, see that Symantec AntiVirus is installed, and therefore assume that its background scanning is running, so Avast's can not run? If so, I think that's pretty stupid, which you should fix in the program immediately. When someone tries out a new antivirus program, they might not want to uninstall their prior one right away, but just disable its background scanning. There should be no problem to Avast, if SAV is installed on the computer, but not running in the background.

Please fix this problem right away, so that I can give Avast a try. Thank you.


P.S. The exact wording of the Avast error message, that occurs with every Windows startup, is as follows:

--------------------

avast: Incompatible AV Software Running

avast detected that the following program is running:
Norton Antivirus/Symantec Antivirus

The on-access scanner module of this program and the on-access scanner of avast! CANNOT be active at the same time.

As a result, the avast! main access scanners-Standard Shield, P2P Shield, and Instant Messaging Shield-were disabled.

---------------------------

My comment--although it says that SAV is running, it isn't. I checked and double-checked that. It is not running, in any way at all. Avast should not assume that SAV is running, just because it is installed on the computer.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2008, 10:00:53 PM by maiki »

Happy-Dude

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Re: Avast and Symantec
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2008, 10:05:15 PM »
Erm ... I'm not sure that doing what you're doing is the best way to test an Antivirus program.

I'm pretty sure that Avast! will have conflicts with Symantec even with processes disabled (that's why when Symantec isn't properly uninstalled even though it's no longer in theprograms list, Avast! has problems).

If you want to continue keeping Symantec and test Avast!, I guess you should virtualize? NOTE--- This, of course, is not the best method of trying out a software. But, it's probably the best for testing it. There are other and better ways to try out Avast!.

If you're happy with Symantec now, stay with it for however long the product registration lasts. Afterwards, that same day or week, uninstall Symantec and install Avast!. That's how I would do it.

Does anyone know a better way?

maiki

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Re: Avast and Symantec
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2008, 10:21:10 PM »
Erm ... I'm not sure that doing what you're doing is the best way to test an Antivirus program.

I'm pretty sure that Avast! will have conflicts with Symantec even with processes disabled (that's why when Symantec isn't properly uninstalled even though it's no longer in theprograms list, Avast! has problems).

If you want to continue keeping Symantec and test Avast!, I guess you should virtualize? NOTE--- This, of course, is not the best method of trying out a software. But, it's probably the best for testing it. There are other and better ways to try out Avast!.

If you're happy with Symantec now, stay with it for however long the product registration lasts. Afterwards, that same day or week, uninstall Symantec and install Avast!. That's how I would do it.

Does anyone know a better way?

I don't agree with you. Why should the fact that Symantec is installed on a computer, that files are present on a computer, with no background processes or services running at all, make any difference to Avast? That is not logical at all.

No, not interested in virtualizing.

I didn't say I was happy with Symantec. And, my registration for it will not run out, as my employer has a permanent Symantec license. So, it is free for me, forever. Yet, I would like to see if avast works better for me. No reason that having Symantec files on the computer, not running at all, should be a problem for Avast. Avast should fix the problem that it seems to disable itself, if it sees that Symantec is installed, even though totally disabled and not running.

Offline igor

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Re: Avast and Symantec
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2008, 10:33:47 PM »
The conflict occurs on a very low level. There may not be any background process or service running (even though I really doubt that, if we're talking about Symantec) - but its drivers are loaded. So even if no real background scanning occurs, the antivirus drivers may still conflict with each other and cause your computer to freeze or crash.

wyrmrider

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Re: Avast and Symantec
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2008, 10:38:23 PM »
there is a reason that Symantec offers a program removal tool in addition to add remove programs
Norton, McAfee, Panda etc AV or Suites installed with any other AV can/(useally IMHO) caus hard to diagnose problems with updates, connectivity scans not running etc
Anyone browsing these or any other forum will pick this tendency up on their own
Some AV work well as "on demand" and some do not
good luck

maiki

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Re: Avast and Symantec
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2008, 11:08:35 PM »
The conflict occurs on a very low level. There may not be any background process or service running (even though I really doubt that, if we're talking about Symantec) - but its drivers are loaded. So even if no real background scanning occurs, the antivirus drivers may still conflict with each other and cause your computer to freeze or crash.


I checked carefully, and made sure that no background process or service is running, so that is the fact, whether you doubt it or not. I didn't only disable background scanning from the Symantec interface, I checked with services.msc, startup program managers, etc., and made absolutely sure that nothing from Symantec is running. So, I was not only counting on the app to disable everything, I checked everything manually.

I will check on drivers as well.

I'll still say though--if avast is doing this, just because it detects that SAV is installed, without anything from SAV running at all, then I think that is a problem with Avast, which should be fixed.

maiki

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Re: Avast and Symantec
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2008, 11:53:23 PM »
OK, I just checked carefully for drivers, using both a program called Serviwin (very nice freeware program for displaying both services and drivers, and changing their startup type, etc., from Nirsoft), and Autoruns.

I looked very carefully for any driver that could possibly be from Symantec (I'm not using any other Symantec products), anything with sym, sav, or nav, in the title, or anything about Norton. I did see a few Symantec drivers, that although not running, had their startup type set to Manual. To make absolutely sure that they wouldn't start up on system startup, I changed them to Disabled.

Rebooted the computer, and again got the error message.

So, I can only assume that--Avast, on system startup, scans to see if any other AV program is installed at all, regardless of whether it is running. If the answer is yes, one sees that error message, and the avast background scanning is reduced.

If someone has another suggestion for where I might look for some kind of Symantec driver, service, or process running, let me know. But it sure looks to me like it is not running at all.

Therefore, I would suggest that the Avast developers fix this problem, and not disable avast, just because another AV is installed on the computer, although not running at all.

Offline DavidR

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Re: Avast and Symantec
« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2008, 12:43:01 AM »
<snip>
I'll still say though--if avast is doing this, just because it detects that SAV is installed, without anything from SAV running at all, then I think that is a problem with Avast, which should be fixed.

At that point in time there might not be running but who is to say it won't happen after avast has loaded and as Igor said it is the low level drivers that can cause this without services running.

Would you rather avast ran regardless and your system could have a conflict with a low level driver which might cause your system to crash or lock up ???

Somehow I doubt that, and I know who would be blamed for the crash or lock-up, the program you have just installed and not the fact you the user didn't uninstall the previous AV. avast! is airing on the side of caution to ensure you have usable functioning system that hasn't crashed or locked up (something that happen on boot leaving a problem to get into your system to rectify the problem) has to be a consideration.
Windows 10 Home 64bit/ Acer Aspire F15/ Intel Core i5 7200U 2.5GHz, 8GB DDR4 memory, 256GB SSD, 1TB HDD/ avast! free 24.5.6116 (build 24.5.9153.762) UI 1.0.808/ Firefox, uBlock Origin, uMatrix/ MailWasher Pro/ Avast! Mobile Security

PapaSmurf

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Re: Avast and Symantec
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2008, 03:03:03 AM »
there is a reason that Symantec offers a program removal tool in addition to add remove programs
Norton, McAfee, Panda etc AV or Suites installed with any other AV can/(useally IMHO) caus hard to diagnose problems with updates, connectivity scans not running etc
Anyone browsing these or any other forum will pick this tendency up on their own
Some AV work well as "on demand" and some do not
good luck
I have to agree with this statement. It seems to me, by reading your posts, that you wish to "have your cake and eat it too"...while this may work with other types of programs, it DOES NOT work with anti-virus software. There is a reason that any anti-virus program, (including Symantec), warns against having any other scanner installed. This is due to severe conflicts that can occur, (some can result in the blue screen of death), by having two scanners active at once. As a result, I believe most scanners worth anything would actively search for this possibility to occur and prevent it from happening.
You should be gratefull that Avast saw thru your flimsy attempts to hide another scanner from it. It chose not to become active so as not to have any possibility of system damage.
I happen to applaud this "error" as you put it. I prefer to call it a well coded program.  ::)

wyrmrider

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Re: Avast and Symantec
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2008, 04:47:31 AM »
Let's take this from the top
Norton/Symantic is a suite of unrelated programs purchased from unrelated vendors and kludged together with a shell, updatet etc
The put registry entries all over the place
Even when disabled or not running and no services running they are still there
Even if Removed there are leftovers/ fragments/ mouse tracks etc

If you want to run Symantec/ Norton run Symantec/ Norton
you can also use other "on demand" AV and Antispyware products for a second opinion
BUT
If you are going to install any other AV or Suite you Have to completly clean up from the Symantec installation- as I posted above  - add remove programs AND use thier removal tool
Remove also any other AV such as Avast
reboot
then get a second opinion
http://dl.antivir.de/down/windows/registrycleaner_en.zip
will remove additional Symantec/ Norton entries

some of these registry entries locations will want to be used by your new anti-virus
and if they are already occupied or in an unknown state unpredictable bad things happen

post back what the Antivir tool finds
you will now have a stable platform to install your new anti-virus

as I said before

Good luck

If your Norton is paid for or came with your computer and you do not want to change post back

maiki

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Re: Avast and Symantec
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2008, 09:20:23 AM »
Let's take this from the top
Norton/Symantic is a suite of unrelated programs purchased from unrelated vendors and kludged together with a shell, updatet etc
The put registry entries all over the place
Even when disabled or not running and no services running they are still there
Even if Removed there are leftovers/ fragments/ mouse tracks etc

If you want to run Symantec/ Norton run Symantec/ Norton
you can also use other "on demand" AV and Antispyware products for a second opinion
BUT
If you are going to install any other AV or Suite you Have to completly clean up from the Symantec installation- as I posted above  - add remove programs AND use thier removal tool
Remove also any other AV such as Avast
reboot
then get a second opinion
http://dl.antivir.de/down/windows/registrycleaner_en.zip
will remove additional Symantec/ Norton entries

some of these registry entries locations will want to be used by your new anti-virus
and if they are already occupied or in an unknown state unpredictable bad things happen

post back what the Antivir tool finds
you will now have a stable platform to install your new anti-virus

as I said before

Good luck

If your Norton is paid for or came with your computer and you do not want to change post back


I think I already took it from the top quite clearly.

As I already wrote, my employer has a license for Symantec AntiVirus. I don't pay a cent to use it, don't need any subscription for virus definitions, etc. 

No, I have absolutely no other Symantec or Norton products running, other than SAV. No suite at all. Got it?

You write "you do not want to change". It isn't a question of wanting to change or not wanting to change. Yes, if I hated SAV, couldn't stand it, or my subscription ran out, and now I wanted to use a free one, I would uninstall it, to try something out in its place, like Avast.

I don't hate it, and do not have a subscription that will run out. Do I love it, think it's perfect? No, not at all. Things aren't black and white like that. So, I wanted to see if I might like Avast better. So, I installed Avast, and completely disabled SAV, checking manually to be sure nothing was running in the background from SAV--no drivers, no services, not processes, nada, zilch, zero. You can write all you want about "something from Symantec must be running", but I checked it carefully, and nothing is.

Are there leftovers and fragments of Symantec on my system? Sure there are. There are files there, for instance. Why would files of one program stop another one from running? Yes, there may be registry entries, but if none of them allow anything from the Symantec app to run in the background, what difference should that make? If I have Microsoft Word installed on my computer, then install a different word processor, say openoffice, no problem for both to have files and registry entries on my computer, no? Yes, different with AV programs, in that one cannot have more than one running in the background. Well, SAV is not running in the background, in no way, shape, or form. So I don't see why "fragments"  of SAV, files, etc., could cause a problem with Avast.

Not really worth my time, to spend a lot of time trying to thoroughly uninstall SAV, just to try out a different AV. That doesn't mean I am completely satisfied with SAV, and wouldn't like to try a different one. I would. But it's not worth a lot of time and trouble to me. (And I really shouldn't be spending so much time writing here either.)

So, IMO., it is really a poor business decision of Avast, to not let its background scanner run, if it detects any trace of a different AV app on the system. Detecting a trace, does not mean that the other app is running. And there are probably a lot of people like me, who might like to try Avast, to see if they might want to switch to it, but do not want to have to completely uninstall their current AV app first. If it becomes too much of a hassle just to try out Avast, why bother?

Offline igor

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Re: Avast and Symantec
« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2008, 12:07:26 PM »
It's basically as DavidR suggested; the (Symantec) drivers are installed - and they can be activated at any moment. avast! doesn't know, and has hardly any way to find out, whether the other background processes won't be loaded a second later, activating the drivers and causing an immediate freeze of the system.

You are right that it's a problem in your case - but I'm afraid there isn't really "a lot of people like you". There are only very few people (you're the very first one to come up with that) who really try to keep an existing installation of Symantec AV, no matter how much disabled, and install avast! an addition. On the other hand, there are a lot of people with Symantec AV on their computers which they even don't know about (preinstalled), or they do know but forgot to uninstall it, or they "uninstalled" it but same (dangerous) remnants are still left in the system - and they are trying to install avast!.
Now, all these people would be very unhappy if their computer freezed dead on the very next boot - and most of them would blaim avast! for killing their system (I can assure you that we've seen many such reports before this check was implemented).

So, the business decision has been taken to favour the (big) majority.

Btw, it's not about "any traces of different AV" - only those scenarios we know would result in crash/freeze are checked (and only on affected OSes - you wouldn't see this message on Vista, for example, where the two antiviruses should be able to coexist).

wyrmrider

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Re: Avast and Symantec
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2008, 05:05:40 PM »
OP
OK you have to keep Symantic
NO big deal
lots of folks have Symantic or Mcaffee and are happier than pigs in ....
BTW do you have the fine "Corporate Edition" or the crippled consumer version?

Just do not run Avast
try Kaspersky or Bitdefender or Panda on line scans- work good in your situation as on demand scanners, and with Symantec's detection rate you will need one

You could also install Trojan Hunter and Sunbelt's Counterspy,or Webroot Spysweeper or Spyware Doctor

How did you ever get admin password on this corporate machine?

maiki

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Re: Avast and Symantec
« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2008, 06:51:22 PM »
OP
OK you have to keep Symantic
NO big deal
lots of folks have Symantic or Mcaffee and are happier than pigs in ....
BTW do you have the fine "Corporate Edition" or the crippled consumer version?

Just do not run Avast
try Kaspersky or Bitdefender or Panda on line scans- work good in your situation as on demand scanners, and with Symantec's detection rate you will need one

You could also install Trojan Hunter and Sunbelt's Counterspy,or Webroot Spysweeper or Spyware Doctor

How did you ever get admin password on this corporate machine?

I have Symantec corporate. It is not part of a Norton consumer package at all. (If I bought a computer that had one of those 3 month trials on it, of any AV, I would uninstall it immediately, not keep it for 3 months.) Again, my employer (LAUSD) has a permanent license with them.

No, this is not a corporate machine, but my own computer. When connected to the LAUSD network,from work (school), or via dial-up from home, an employee can download and install Symantec corporate. Never expires.

Again, didn't say I was completely happy with it. Curious to try different AVs. But not willing to go to a lot of trouble to do so. I don't know if you are part of the Avast company, or if anyone from there reads here, but they should make it easier for people to try out their product, without having to first uninstall the AV they already have on their system. (Just disabling the realtime scanning of their current product.)

Spyware scanners? I've tried both Spyware Sweeper and Spyware Doctor, and found them to be real resource hogs, noticeably slowing down my computer. I have Spyware Blaster, Spyware Search and Destroy (including immunization), Windows Defender, and Malwarebytes. (The free version of the latter. Considering purchasing it for the background scanning, and dropping Windows Defender.)

Interesting though, there seems to be no conflict with having more than one anti-spyware product on the system. No problem at all. And although Avast also does spyware, it did not report any problem with having other anti-spyware apps on the system. There is overlap too, in what an AV app and antispy app does--both look for trojans, for instance. Why is it a problem to have more than one AV app installed, but not a problem to have multiple antispyware apps?

I think Avast makes it a problem, if it detects any traces of Symantec (perhaps the same with any AV) on the system. That is mistaken IMO, not good for getting new users.

Offline igor

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Re: Avast and Symantec
« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2008, 08:10:56 PM »
I think Avast makes it a problem, if it detects any traces of Symantec (perhaps the same with any AV) on the system. That is mistaken IMO, not good for getting new users.

As I was trying to explain in the previous post, the reality is quite the opposite actually.