Author Topic: Avast 5 causes Windows XP to hang on start up, system tray doesn't load  (Read 12868 times)

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ijar

  • Guest
I've had earlier versions of Avast for a number of years and have updated to the latest versions in the past without issue.  Yesterday I got a message to upgrade from Avast 4.8 to Avast 5 which I did.  Installation appeared to complete okay until I restarted.  After running through the normal start up procedure windows loaded the desktop, and icons, but the icons / apps in the system tray did not load (the egg timer showed when hovering over the system tray) and the system appears to be in suspended animation.  Start menu could not be clicked to shutdown, nor could I click on any of the desktop icons.  Only option was to shutdown using the power button and restart.  Same problem occurred every time I subsequently booted up.

Started up in safe mode and did a system restore to undo the upgrade to Avast 5.  Restarted and booted up fine, no problems.  I downloaded the Avast Uninstall utility from the website to remove any remnants of Avast 5 or 4.8 that might be causing problems, and after restarting to complete the uninstallation downloaded Avast 5 again to install.  Installed and system appeared to run okay - scanned computer and no issues.  However on starting up pc today, same problem occurred as yesterday, ie system starts, but icons / apps in system tray don't load and computer can't be used.  Have used Uninstall utility to remove Avast 5 and system runs fine now.  Very disappointed as Avast has always been a good and reliable system that I've recommended to other members of my family.  Will now have to go back to v4.8 and will be very wary of any further messages to update to v5.  Any ideas why these problems might be occurring ? Grateful for any advice you can offer.

I have Windows XP sp 3 and run Zone Alarm firewall.  No other antivirus.  As I say no previous issues before updating.


walshi

  • Guest
I'm having EXACTLY the same problem. Same system and I even tried the same uninstall/install steps and I get the identical symptoms.

I love Avast but may well have to look elsewhere unless this gets resolved...

Any help anyone?

Offline Gandalf1369

  • Sr. Member
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  • Posts: 234
What I would try first is to take a look at ZoneAlarm.  Make sure that ZA is allowing avast! access to the internet and not blocking it.  If there is no entry for avast! in the list of allowed programs in ZA then create one.  If there IS an entry I would delete it and then create a new one.  If that doesn't help I would search the forum for messages pertaining to ZoneAlarm and possible problems pertaining to it.

Good luck . . .
Windows 10 (64bit); 8GB RAM; Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Pro; avast Free (latest version)

scout321x

  • Guest
I am inclined to agree with Gandalf1369 that ZA is a good place to look.

I went from v4.8 to v5 but I used the v4.8 removal tool first and then went with a clean install of v5. I run XP Pro SP3 but use COMODO CIS (firewall only) and have not had any problems. I run this combo on both my desktop and an MSi U123 netbook too. I also installed v5 on a buddy's MSi U120 XP Home netbook with the COMODO firewall as well. Again no problems. So I cannot see where the issue would likely be with XP.

ijar

  • Guest
Many thanks Gandalf1369 and Scout321x for your suggestions and for taking the time to help.  I've followed your advice and checked Zone Alarm; Avast was listed in the program access area - I cleared this and then installed Avast 5.  Restarted and same problem as before, so then restarted in safe mode, removed Zone Alarm and tried again, success, windows booted and the system tray loaded. 

Only problem now is that I have a Climate Change Experiment running on my computer (BOINC BBC Climate Change Experiment) which runs at start up.  This now takes a long time to initiate and appear in system tray (whereas didn't before), though when it finishes I find that the progress of the experiment my machine is running resets to zero (had been on 40% after several thousand hours of running) - fortunately I have a backup so this isn't too bad, but on copying over the backup data and restarting my pc same thing happens, experiment is reset and progress is zero.  Avast appears to try and start during Climate Change Experiment initialisation which may be the problem ?

Also initially I get a cross, then warning triangle on the orange Avast 5 icon in the system tray which says mail and web shields are disabled, this changes after a bit to fully protected, but is this normal - didn't happen with v4.8 ?

Though I liked Zone Alarm I could have lived without it and used windows defender if it meant Avast 5 worked, but Avast now appears to be interfering with the climate change experiment which I've been running for some years and don't want to give up on.  I can't be having it reset every time I start my machine - never happened before with Avast 4.8.   As it no longer seems possible to download v4.8 from any sources I trust I'm probably going to have to use different anti virus software from now which is a shame as I loved Avast, but I can't be doing with sequential failures of operating system and applications.

bo.elam

  • Guest
ijar you can get 4.8 from FileHippo, a safe source.

http://www.filehippo.com/download_avast_antivirus/


Bo

ijar

  • Guest
Not heard of that site before, so thanks for the recommendation Bo, i'll try downloading v4.8 from there.

PapaSmurf

  • Guest
Many thanks Gandalf1369 and Scout321x for your suggestions and for taking the time to help.  I've followed your advice and checked Zone Alarm; Avast was listed in the program access area - I cleared this and then installed Avast 5.  Restarted and same problem as before, so then restarted in safe mode, removed Zone Alarm and tried again, success, windows booted and the system tray loaded. 

I too use to run Zone Alarm until it turned into a system cow. They loaded it with their own anti-virus
software and anti-spam control, (trying to become an "all around" suite), and even if you just run the free firewall, all of that other stuff is STILL installed into your system. I had to completely remove ZA, and yes before that I liked it, in order to avoid all the conflicts that kept popping up.

Only problem now is that I have a Climate Change Experiment running on my computer (BOINC BBC Climate Change Experiment) which runs at start up.  This now takes a long time to initiate and appear in system tray (whereas didn't before), though when it finishes I find that the progress of the experiment my machine is running resets to zero (had been on 40% after several thousand hours of running) - fortunately I have a backup so this isn't too bad, but on copying over the backup data and restarting my pc same thing happens, experiment is reset and progress is zero.  Avast appears to try and start during Climate Change Experiment initialisation which may be the problem ?

!avast should be the first thing that starts on your system. If not, put your other program on a delayed start up to give avast time to start. Once this is done, !avast should detect the program correctly, and then you will be able to configure the permissions, assuming it blocks it. This may require a little trial and error on your part, but you should not experience conflicts once you get the permissions set. I believe you can set this program into the exclusion list found in the settings area. If you are confident about this program, doing this will tell !avast to basically ignore it all together.
That is what I would try anyway. Hope this helps.  8)

Dch48

  • Guest
I would do just the opposite and check the option within Avast! to delay it's startup until other Windows processes have loaded. There is a well known problem in XP where tray icons will not show if too many things try to load at the same time during startup. I had a problem with the Avast! icon not showing up at all until I checked that option.

Offline -Genesis-

  • Sr. Member
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  • Posts: 286
@ijar.

Can you give us your PC specs? I think this is the issue for slow start up loading.
Windows 11 Pro / Windows Defender/
Ryzen 5 1600/ Aorus Gtx 1080Ti Xtreme/ Gskill Trident Z RGB 3000/ Samsung Evo 250GB/ Western Digital Black 1 TB

steen

  • Guest
I would do just the opposite and check the option within Avast! to delay it's startup until other Windows processes have loaded. There is a well known problem in XP where tray icons will not show if too many things try to load at the same time during startup. I had a problem with the Avast! icon not showing up at all until I checked that option.
I had a similar quirk with the Avast tray icon not auto-loading after adjusting partition sizes on a boot drive. Starting the Avast app launched the icon & functionality was fine. Select/de-select of show icon animation did not help & neither did delayed startup. The resolution was to select the repair option from the installer in the control panel.

PapaSmurf

  • Guest
Well, as I say, to each his own. :)

Personally, I want my anti-virus software to be the first load.
The whole idea being that it is suppose to protect me from start up.
But, whatever floats your boat. ;)

ijar

  • Guest
Hi Guys,

thanks for providing your thoughts, my system information is

Compaq Presario
Windows XP Home Edition Service Pack 3
Pentium 4  3.07 GHz, 1.00 GB RAM
Firefox 3.6.3
Avast Home Edition 4.8.1368 (now reinstalled)
Zone Alarm 9.1.007.002 (now reinstalled)
BOINC BBC Climate Change Experiment 5.3.19

Problems arose after installing  Avast Free 5.0.545.0

Dch48

  • Guest
Well, as I say, to each his own. :)

Personally, I want my anti-virus software to be the first load.
The whole idea being that it is suppose to protect me from start up.
But, whatever floats your boat. ;)
You're not going to be exposed to anything until startup has completed and you take your first actions anyway so the order is really irrelevant.

PapaSmurf

  • Guest
Well, as I say, to each his own. :)

Personally, I want my anti-virus software to be the first load.
The whole idea being that it is suppose to protect me from start up.
But, whatever floats your boat. ;)
You're not going to be exposed to anything until startup has completed and you take your first actions anyway so the order is really irrelevant.

Well, I disagree with this statement, and there are plenty of "boot scans" that would also disagree, but like
I said, whatever you feel comfortable with.