Author Topic: Inconsistent Scheduled "Scan: local disks"  (Read 5425 times)

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dallas7

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Inconsistent Scheduled "Scan: local disks"
« on: August 12, 2008, 08:17:20 PM »
I have scheduled tasks set for every Sunday, Tuesday and Friday using the default "Scan: local disks."

In the attached gif are represented four examples of the extremes I am seeing in the behavior of the scans.

Note that this morning, I had to cancel a scan that was still running for over eight hours.

No, I haven't made any changes to the "Scan: local disks" Task because it's the default scan and changes can't be made to the scan behavior.

I've sent the gif and a more detailed inquiry to support at avast! but I thought I'd post it up here, too, as an FYI as well as for any input/suggestions anyone may offer.

Thank you!
« Last Edit: August 12, 2008, 08:29:10 PM by dallas7 »

Offline igor

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Re: Inconsistent Scheduled "Scan: local disks"
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2008, 08:39:50 PM »
I agree it's strange, but I'm afraid nobody will be able to say anything about it without inspecting the full reports.
So, I suggest to enable the creation of the report file for the task - and let everything, even "OK files", be included.

Offline DavidR

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Re: Inconsistent Scheduled "Scan: local disks"
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2008, 08:42:08 PM »
Personally I feel the number of scans excessive, with the resident protection trying to keep malware outside your system the need for on-demand scans is lessened.

Though that doesn't address the problem.

Looking at the Run Time, Speed and Amount of tested data, your scans have been slowing from the first scan up to the point where it stalled on the last. Primarily the Speed in the second two are much less that the first whilst the data scanned has increased, it is still way slower than the first scan.

When was the last time you did a defrag of your HDD/Partitions ?
Though even with a badly defragmented HDD I can't see how it would go from 9 minutes 19 seconds for 20.3GB to 2 hours 18 minutes for 25.4GB in the second.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2008, 08:44:51 PM by DavidR »
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Offline Lisandro

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Re: Inconsistent Scheduled "Scan: local disks"
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2008, 08:57:24 PM »
Indeed strange, specially if you did not change the scanning settings (archives, etc.) ???
Are there the other computer conditions (programs running, etc.) the same?
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dallas7

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Re: Inconsistent Scheduled "Scan: local disks"
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2008, 01:56:48 AM »
I built the system in May of this year and except for Microsoft patches, program updates, email added to my Outlook PSTs and about 200 photos from my camera, there isn't much else that has changed.  A defrag is still a long way off.

I have three NTFS partitons on that hard drive: C: (25 GB) has Windows, Program Files and Documents and Settings; D: (465 MB) is My Documents; E: (10 GB) is where TEMP, Temporary Internet Files and pagefile.sys live.

Slop is handled with CCleaner and my own meticulous house keeping (i.e. Terminal Services and Google Earth caches, etc.)

Yes I know that my scan schedule might be overkill, but I'm new to avast! and working with it to find out more about it.  And in this case, how well it doesn't work.  I could live without the scheduled scans if it's that buggy.  Push updates and the additional controls in the Enhanced User Interface make the paid Pro version worthwhile.  But if the scheduled scans can be fixed, why not do it?

The behavior I observe is "all over the place" and the four scans I showed are only four examples pick from the many.

We'll see what support says about it.

Offline igor

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Re: Inconsistent Scheduled "Scan: local disks"
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2008, 08:13:26 AM »
There's no known issue about the scheduled scans (which are not that different from any other scans).

However, as I wrote, it's rather hard to say anything without the corresponding report files; so, if you can supply them (for the future scans, unless you had them already enabled - and if the future scans will behave the same), then we can check what's going on there.

dallas7

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Re: Inconsistent Scheduled "Scan: local disks"
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2008, 07:48:13 PM »
Well, things haven't been getting any better in the world of scheduled scans over here. 

From the "Scan_local disks.txt" log file:
* avast! Report
* This file is generated automatically
*Task 'Scan: local disks' used
* Started on Friday, August 15, 2008 1:00:17 AM
* VPS: 080814-0, 08/14/2008
Infected files: 0
Total files: 76686
Total folders: 6252
Total size: 25.7 GB
* Task stopped: Friday, August 15, 2008 3:14:07 AM
* Run-time was 2 hour(s), 13 minute(s), 50 second(s)
*
* avast! Report
* This file is generated automatically
*Task 'Scan: local disks' used
* Started on Friday, August 22, 2008 1:00:16 AM
* VPS: 080821-0, 08/21/2008
Infected files: 0
Total files: 51488
Total folders: 5495
Total size: 11.4 GB
* Task stopped: Friday, August 22, 2008 9:17:35 AM
           Note: I manually ended this task at 60% completion.
* Run-time was 8 hour(s), 17 minute(s), 19 second(s)

There was no significant difference in my system's run-time environment for those two scans.  I did not update or patch the OS or update any apps.  The only difference here is the VPS version.

And, all of a sudden, without warning, another weirdness has been happening.

From a "____.txt" log file:
* avast! Report
* This file is generated automatically
** Task '? ? ? ?' used
* Started on Saturday, August 16, 2008 2:06:28 PM
* VPS: 080816-0, 08/16/2008
Infected files: 0
Total files: 147
Total folders: 12
Total size: 21.3 MB
* Task stopped: Saturday, August 16, 2008 2:06:36 PM
* Run-time was 8 second(s)
*
* avast! Report
* This file is generated automatically
* Task '? ? ? ?' used
* Started on Tuesday, August 19, 2008 1:00:06 AM
* VPS: 080818-0, 08/18/2008
Infected files: 0
Total files: 147
Total folders: 12
Total size: 21.3 MB
* Task stopped: Tuesday, August 19, 2008 1:00:16 AM
* Run-time was 10 second(s)

(The "task used" is actually four consecutive question marks which I have here space padded to suppress the smilie icon.)

If you paid me a zillion bucks, I couldn't come up with that on my own.  I hope I can figure out how to get it to go away.  There is no "? ? ? ?" present in the avast! task listing. 

The official response from avast! support is:
"The speed may vary with VPS (virus database) file. Also if there is some another program running in background the scanning speed may be affected."
So, a database can make the difference between a two hour scan and a fifteen hour scan.  ???

And:
"We have no massive reports on avast issues under Win XP."
I think this a subtle way of them telling me there's nothing wrong with avast and maybe I should stop sending them examples of the issues I experience.  I could also interpret that to mean there are massive reports on avast issues under Vista.  ;D

While I am satisfied with my purchase at its price point (and I'm not sure what other anti-virus I would rather run than avast!) I am certain that scheduled scan does not amount to a viable feature over the Home version.  Fortunately, other features and the Enhanced User Interface are still worth the move up to Pro.

I think I'm just going to forget about using scheduled scans.  :'(

Offline igor

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Re: Inconsistent Scheduled "Scan: local disks"
« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2008, 05:38:10 PM »
As I was already writing multiple times - can you please let everything (including "OK files") be written to the report file and send us the report files (where the difference appears) somehow (e.g. upload it to ftp://ftp.avast.com/incoming)?

Regarding the underscores - it was always the same task, i.e. "Scan local disks"?

Offline igor

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Re: Inconsistent Scheduled "Scan: local disks"
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2008, 02:41:18 PM »
Anything?

dallas7

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Re: Inconsistent Scheduled "Scan: local disks"
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2008, 06:58:30 AM »
Anything?
Sorry for not getting back sooner.  Generating the files you request is more work than I'm wanting to do. 

I'm going to pass on troubleshooting this and just give up on any kind of scheduled scan.  I've moved into the realm of opinion, as others have (like that upstart DavidR  ;) ), that real-time resident protection is sufficient and scheduled scans are old school.  Perhaps obsolete.  Especially with Avast! running concurrently with Threatfire.

Thanks again for your interest.  Despite the issues I see with scheduled scans, I am quite satisfied with Avast! Pro.

Offline DavidR

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Re: Inconsistent Scheduled "Scan: local disks"
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2008, 03:42:23 PM »
Your putting words into my mouth that I didn't say ;D I do a regular on-demand scan Standard without archives as a part of my regular weekly system maintenance.

I will have said the need for on-demand scans is lessened because of the resident scanners and recommend only standard sensitivity and no archives. This could hover up anything that was previously undetected, which has been added to the VPS updates in the course of the week or fortnight interval you, etc. that you choose.
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