Author Topic: Issues updating Avast via the system tray.  (Read 8289 times)

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anubeon

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Issues updating Avast via the system tray.
« on: July 30, 2008, 01:52:52 PM »
Hello All,

I have been using Avast for several years now (about 6 months under Vista) and have had no issues with regards updating virus definitions and alike. However for the past week or so I have received the following error message whenever I attempted to initiate an update via the system tray icon (via the context menu and the blue/green toaster pop-ups):

Quote
C:\Program Files\Avast!\VisthUpd.exe
Windows cannot access the specified device, path, or file. You may not have the appropriate permissions to access this item.

I am able to successfully update Avast! (at least as far as I can see) by navigating to the avast program folder and manually initiating VisthUpd.exe. Furthermore Avast continues to announce the availability of new program updates (green toasters) even after an apparently successful update (manually via VisthUpd.exe) and of course when I endeavour to oblige avast by clicking the green toaster the aforementioned error message puts in another appearance.

The only software that I have installed in the past week (when this issue arose) was a network connection manager (avanquest connection manager) and NitroPDF Pro. I can't imagine the latter causing an conflicts and I would expect any conflict with the connection manager would yield a connection error as opposed to a permissions error.

Anyhow, all that remains is for me to inform you that I'm currently running Avast Home v4.8.1201 on a Windows Vista Home Premium machine and that I'm using Commode Firewall Pro.

Any assistance would be much appreciated, although I suspect I'll need to try a fresh re-install before this is resolved.

Regards,
Nubey. :)

ardvark

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Re: Issues updating Avast via the system tray.
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2008, 04:03:47 AM »
Hi...

Before you reinstall from scratch, try performing a repair installation and see if that helps. :)

Best Regards...

anubeon

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Re: Issues updating Avast via the system tray.
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2008, 02:26:11 PM »
Thanks for the response Ardvark.

If I'm entirely honest I wasn't aware that Avast! had a repair installation option since I've never really had call to uninstall it from the programs and features menu. I'll give it a go, I'll also try updating via the programs and features menu since the option is there also.

Regards,
Nubey.

P.S. Are you aware that you are missing an A; you missed a perfectly good opportunity to top the alphabetical forum users list. :P

P.P.S. I've attempted the repair install and it doesn't seem to have worked, looks like I'm going to have to run a clean reinstall. Unless that is anybody else has some insight into this issue? Please, anybody? :)


wyrmrider

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Re: Issues updating Avast via the system tray.
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2008, 06:00:38 PM »
Some guesses here
you are running vista
therefore this may be a new machine
did it come with an AV or Suite pre-installed?
If so go to PC Hell
for example
http://www.pchell.com/virus/uninstallmcafee.shtml
you can navigate to Norton and Panda from the bottom of the post
remove avast
reboot
follow the instructions
reinstall avast

ardvark

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Re: Issues updating Avast via the system tray.
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2008, 08:03:04 PM »
P.S. Are you aware that you are missing an A; you missed a perfectly good opportunity to top the alphabetical forum users list. :P

Hi...

Not in my case. :P

The "ard" are the initials of my name. ;D

Best Regards...

anubeon

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Re: Issues updating Avast via the system tray.
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2008, 04:40:18 PM »
Hello All,

I've attempted both a repair install and an update via the programs and features menu in the Vista control panel but neither seems to have solved the issue. Thus I conducted a clean(ish) install, that is to say I uninstalled avast, rebooted, installed avast and rebooted again. This again had had no apparent effect.

It's also worth noting that I am unable to input my license number as each time I attempt to (via the system tray) I receive the same error message as I do when attempting a manual update. It is worth noting that I was able (eventually) to input my license key via the avast virus scanner (i.e. not on access/system tray).

Could this issue be resolved by simply locating the executable responsible for avasts on-access functionality (i.e. its system tray icon) and setting it to start with administrator privileges? If so why has this only become an issue over the last few weeks (perhaps a vista update or even an avast program update)?

Please, any assistance would be appreciated.

Regards,
Nubey.

P.S. It also might be helpful to have access to a blow-by-blow account of how to conduct a truly clean install (i.e. deleting registry keys and left over files etc...) since that might be worth a try.

Offline DavidR

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Re: Issues updating Avast via the system tray.
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2008, 05:33:58 PM »
Download the latest version of avast http://www.avast.com/eng/download-avast-home.html and save it to your HDD, somewhere you can find it again. Use that when you reinstall.

Download the avast! Uninstall Utility, find it here and save it to your HDD.

1. Now uninstall (using add remove programs, if you can't do that start from the next step), reboot.
2. run the avast! Uninstall Utility, reboot.
3. install the latest version, reboot.
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anubeon

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Re: Issues updating Avast via the system tray.
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2008, 06:39:45 PM »
Thank you for responding DavidR, I appreciate you assistance. :)

I've done what you suggested, I even went so far as to conduct both stages (the uninstall utility and the installation) under safe mode conditions. Unfortunately this doesn't seem to have resolved those pesky error messages.

It did however shed further light on the issues in question (possibly). Upon rebooting after completing the installation Vista blocked the start-up of the Avast! GUI component. The help item associated with the pop-up that informed me that Avast! had been blocked at start-up listed no means of removing Avast! from any block list, only a means of starting Avast! manually.

I'd like to make it clear at this point that Windows Defender is and has always been disabled on my system (as has UAC) and that I'm almost certain that this issue of Avast! being blocked at start-up was not present the last time I installed Avast! on this Vista machine.

It seems to be that a recent update to either Windows Vista and/or Avast! has made Vista rather suspicious of Avast! Not knowing much about how vista decided that Avast! was uncouth and generally unworthy of start-up privileges I cannot say which is the culprit (Vista or Avast!). The only thing that concerns me is that if this was the case surely others have noticed this issue?

This is rather confusing to say the least although your suggestion (DavidR) has at the very least yielded yet another tid-bit of information to mull over. If anybody has any ideas of whet the hell is going on with Avast! or indeed why and under what criteria Vista blocked Avast! I would appreciate hearing them.

Regards,
Nubey.

Offline DavidR

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Re: Issues updating Avast via the system tray.
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2008, 06:51:36 PM »
Unfortunately I don't use Vista so I can't be much practical help, hopefully someone with Vista can jump it.

I should have mentioned safe mode, but if stage one the add remove programs works and followed by a reboot it shouldn't really be necessary to run the uninstall utility from safe mode.

Although if you read the info on the page where my link said it gives advice to start windows in safe mode. This is because the normal reason for needing to use the uninstall utility is because the add remove programs has failed so avast and the self-defence module would be running (and block the uninstall utility).

avast! icon missing - As a temporary measure until this is resolved you can create a desktop shortcut for this file C:\Program Files\Alwil Software\Avast4\ashDisp.exe (the avast icon and interface to the providers).  Right click on the file and select Send To, Desktop (create shortcut). You will need to run this after each boot until the problem is resolved.

What other security based software do you have that might block new startup entries, e.g. Spybot S&D (TeaTimer), AdAware (AdWatch), SpySweeper, Spyware Doctor (StartUpGuard or OnGuard), PrevX, WinPatrol, ProcessGuard, etc. ?

Check the option in the Appearance tab of Program Settings. Or Make a link to ashdisp.exe in your startup folder.

Or Add the path to ashDisp.exe into a value named avast! in the Windows Registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run (see c:\avast-startup.reg if help needed)
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anubeon

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Re: Issues updating Avast via the system tray.
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2008, 07:17:20 PM »
Thanks again for responding DavidR.

I do have COMODO Firewall Pro installed (which incidentally has failed to start with windows a few times now, although no pop-up appeared telling me so). However it does appear, based on the pop-up message (and information icon in the system tray) that appears when Avast! is blocked, that Vista is doing the blocking.

Furthermore there is a context menu item (in relation to the system tray icon) that links to Windows Defenders Software Explorer. This I though a little odd since Windows Defender is completely and utterly disabled on my system (I double check just now, IT IS DISABLED). Avasts! status is listed as unclassified or not yet classified (I can't quite recall the exact wordage) and while there are options to manually enable (and if need be disable) a start-up program in the Software Explorer interface the enable option is greyed out for Avast! (and indeed many other programs).

I'll have to sneak another peak at Software Explorer when I have the time as it seemed that a good number of programs were listed as unclassified and while there was not pop-up message informing me that COMODO Firewall had been blocked I wonder whether the same thing is responsible here (COMODO) as is for Avast!.

Anywho, this all remains an odity to me. Not the least because Windows Defender (judging by the appearance of Software Explorer) seems to be pissing about with my system settings even though I've switched the bloody thing off completely.

Again, I'd appreciate any advice and/or information anyone might have relating to this matter.

Kind Regards,
Nubey.

anubeon

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Re: Issues updating Avast via the system tray.
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2008, 08:13:44 PM »
Oh and now the Avast! Scanner keeps crashing after it finishes the initial memory scan. Me thinks either Vista has been toyed with a little too much by the microsoft boys or I have a virus that escape Avasts net.

I think I'll conduct a few system scans with avast in safe-mode and/or boot-time just to be safe.

Offline DavidR

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Re: Issues updating Avast via the system tray.
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2008, 09:15:13 PM »
In Comodo config options. Advanced Attack Detection and Prevention. - To get there, open program, click Security", "advanced attack detection and prevention", and click "configure," Block all outgoing connections while booting.

So if it fails to run then it could block all connections and especially the avast update process, avast.setup.

There is certainly something else going on, it may be worthwhile to reinstall Comodo.

If you haven't already got this software (freeware), download, install, update and run it, preferably in safe mode and report the findings (it should product a log file).
SUPERantispyware On-Demand only in free version.

Also try MalwareBytes Anti-Malware freeware version http://www.softpedia.com/get/Antivirus/Malwarebytes-Anti-Malware.shtml
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anubeon

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Re: Issues updating Avast via the system tray.
« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2008, 05:36:36 PM »
Hi Again DavidR,

I installed  Malwarebytes' under safemode and ran a full scan and it turned up the following:

Code: [Select]
Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware 1.24
Database version: 1012
Windows 6.0.6001 Service Pack 1

10:29:39 03/08/2008
mbam-log-8-3-2008 (10-29-39).txt

Scan type: Full Scan (C:\|)
Objects scanned: 168263
Time elapsed: 38 minute(s), 51 second(s)

Memory Processes Infected: 0
Memory Modules Infected: 0
Registry Keys Infected: 2
Registry Values Infected: 0
Registry Data Items Infected: 1
Folders Infected: 0
Files Infected: 0

Memory Processes Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Memory Modules Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Registry Keys Infected:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\affri (Malware.Trace) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\rdfa (Trojan.Vundo) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.

Registry Values Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Registry Data Items Infected:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced\Start_ShowSearch (Hijack.StartMenu) -> Bad: (0) Good: (1) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.

Folders Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Files Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

I allowed Malwarebytes' to remove whatever it found. I then proceeded to install SUPERantispyware as you instructed and run a scan but it only found a number (admittedly large number; 33) of tracking cookies which again I allowed SUPERantispyware to delete. The log file follows:

Code: [Select]
SUPERAntiSpyware Scan Log
http://www.superantispyware.com

Generated 08/03/2008 at 02:40 PM

Application Version : 4.15.1000

Core Rules Database Version : 3524
Trace Rules Database Version: 1514

Scan type       : Complete Scan
Total Scan Time : 01:14:37

Memory items scanned      : 720
Memory threats detected   : 0
Registry items scanned    : 9573
Registry threats detected : 0
File items scanned        : 43953
File threats detected     : 33

Adware.Tracking Cookie
C:\Users\ch2lah\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\ch2lah@atdmt[2].txt
C:\Users\ch2lah\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\ch2lah@www.burstnet[2].txt
C:\Users\ch2lah\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\ch2lah@mediaplex[1].txt
C:\Users\ch2lah\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\ch2lah@bluestreak[1].txt
C:\Users\ch2lah\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\ch2lah@atoc.112.2o7[1].txt
C:\Users\ch2lah\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\ch2lah@ad.yieldmanager[1].txt
C:\Users\ch2lah\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\ch2lah@burstnet[2].txt
C:\Users\ch2lah\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\ch2lah@sonyeurope.112.2o7[1].txt
C:\Users\ch2lah\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\ch2lah@imrworldwide[2].txt
C:\Users\ch2lah\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\ch2lah@serving-sys[2].txt
C:\Users\ch2lah\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\ch2lah@tribalfusion[2].txt
C:\Users\ch2lah\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\ch2lah@zedo[1].txt
C:\Users\ch2lah\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\ch2lah@ads.revsci[1].txt
C:\Users\ch2lah\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\ch2lah@bs.serving-sys[1].txt
C:\Users\ch2lah\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\ch2lah@tacoda[1].txt
C:\Users\ch2lah\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\ch2lah@www.burstbeacon[2].txt
C:\Users\ch2lah\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\ch2lah@advertising[1].txt
C:\Users\ch2lah\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\ch2lah@82.98.235[1].txt
C:\Users\ch2lah\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\ch2lah@www.googleadservices[1].txt
C:\Users\ch2lah\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\ch2lah@apmebf[1].txt
C:\Users\ch2lah\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\ch2lah@fastclick[1].txt
C:\Users\ch2lah\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\ch2lah@doubleclick[1].txt
C:\Users\ch2lah\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\ch2lah@adtech[1].txt
C:\Users\ch2lah\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\ch2lah@collective-media[2].txt
C:\Users\ch2lah\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\ch2lah@www.usenext[2].txt
C:\Users\ch2lah\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\Low\ch2lah@ads.sun[2].txt
C:\Users\ch2lah\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\Low\ch2lah@apmebf[1].txt
C:\Users\ch2lah\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\Low\ch2lah@ehg-avanquest.hitbox[1].txt
C:\Users\ch2lah\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\Low\ch2lah@hitbox[2].txt
C:\Users\ch2lah\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\Low\ch2lah@kontera[2].txt
C:\Users\ch2lah\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\Low\ch2lah@media.adrevolver[3].txt
C:\Users\ch2lah\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\Low\ch2lah@mediaplex[1].txt
C:\Users\ch2lah\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\Low\ch2lah@statse.webtrendslive[1].txt

Neither of these actions seemed to have rectified anything with regards to the original permissions error or the blocking of Avast! at start up.

I had a hunch that the start up issue might have something to do with Vista UAC (in spite of the fact that I had previously verified it as having been deactivated). Thus I manually reactivated UAC, rebooted, deactivated UAC and rebooted again. This seems to have resolved the start up issue however it hasn't rectified the original issue; I still receive permission errors when attempted to update or view the log file via the system tray.

I haven't yet tried a clean install of COMODO Firewall, I'll give that a go sometime during the week. I was however wondering whether there was any way to completely purge/reset COMODOs settings, I figure it might be worth trying that first if possible. Please note I've already deleted the COMODO configuration file and set COMODO to training mode (although it's not as nagish as I expected it to be which concerns me). I am sceptical as to whether COMODO is the issue here, the issues with UAC and Avast! suggest to me that there might be a wider issue with permissions in relation with Avast! but then again I'm no expert and I wouldn't have the first clue where to start diagnosing such a monumental balls up in Vista. ;)

Oh and I'm not sure whether I mentioned this earlier but Outlook 2007 keeps crashing at random intervals. I've checked the event log and the crashes has all thus far been attributed to ntdll.dll which points to an conflicting plugin. I think this may be due to the Avast Outlook OAP provider, although this is only based on a few hours with the plugin disabled so I can't be certain. Anyhow I just thought I mention that as it might be a clue of sorts.

Kindest Regards,
Nubey.

P.S. Oh and thanks everybody for all the assistance!

P.P.S. Is it wise to have Malwarebytes' running while Avast! is installed and running? Will they conflict?
« Last Edit: August 03, 2008, 05:41:42 PM by anubeon »

Offline DavidR

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Re: Issues updating Avast via the system tray.
« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2008, 06:57:31 PM »
The reason for suggesting these other applications was because of what you already have not being what I would call top rank, to see what if any thing might be found not detected by your existing software and to more or less confirm your system is clean (not specifically to remedy the existing problem).

Tracking cookies are more a minor privacy issue rather than a security issue and I have that scan disabled in my preferences.

I'm at a loss as to what the problem might be since you have don a clean reinstall...
Are you installing avast in the default location or a custom one ?
Are you installing avast from an account with Administrator privileges ?

Perhaps you need to do something like run as administrator under Vista with UAC, clutching at straws as I don't use Vista so can't really be much help in that regard.
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anubeon

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Re: Issues updating Avast via the system tray.
« Reply #14 on: August 03, 2008, 07:34:13 PM »
Hi Again... Again. ;)

I have installed Avast! to a custom location on the system drive (specifically to C:\Software\Security\Avast!) I can't imagine that this would have caused the problem at hand though since I've always installed to that custom location on every machine that I use.

I did indeed install avast whilst logged in under an administrator account (my default user account is a member of the administrator class) and I have even gone so far as to manually configure the 'run as administrator' option in the properties box of the various executables in the avast programme folder. This still doesn't go so far as to explain the sudden occurrence of these permission errors since I do not recall needing to go to such extremes when I first installed Avast!

All this points to (in my laymans opinion) to a broken or incompatible update (probably a Vista update given Microsofts tainted history) perhaps the recent Windows Search 4.0 update. I do hope someone else has some idea what might be causing this since it is rather annoying when one can't be entirely confident that my virus definitions/programme is up-to-date.

As for my 'not top rank' software it was my understanding that Avast! and COMODO Firewall Pro were quite reputable. Am I mistaken? I suppose there's no such thing as a catch-all security solution but I was under the impression I was adequately protected. If that's not the case I would appreciate recommendations for good (preferably free) Anti-Virus, Anti-Spyware/Malware and Firewall applications. I've dabbled with AVGs various offerings in the past but they tended to torch my CPU when on-access protection was active (I grew to despise guard.exe). I was also looking at Sunbelts VIPRE but it's still only in development (not that I'm averse to playing around with beta software) and there's not much by way of reliable reviews.

Anyhow, as I said I'll have a play around with COMODO Firewall during the week but I doubt it would cause a permissions error like this without producing one of its (rather characteristic) pop-ups.

Kindest Regards,
Nubey.

P.S. Windows Vista UAC (User Account Control) is pure crud, and ineffective crud at that. I've never had enough patience to deal with it's incessant confirmation pop-ups hence it's always been deactivated on my laptop (which results in an aesthetically displeasing red bar in Vista Security Centre; damn Microsoft to hell!).