Author Topic: Problem with Outlook and Avast  (Read 9190 times)

Offline Le Boule

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Problem with Outlook and Avast
« on: May 09, 2010, 05:27:57 PM »
Uninstalled Avast 4.8, then deleted Alwil folder and installed Avast 5.  Have now uninstalled Avast 5 and have no AV program pending resolution of this issue.  On one of my user accounts (my wife's) I get the following message when I try to open Outlook (and Outlook will not open):

The add in C:\Program Files\Alwill Software|Avast4\ashOutxt.dll could not be installed or loaded.  This problem may be resolved by Using Detect and Repair on the Help Menu.  I'm concerned if I go to default settings (which is an option) all her messages in Outlook will be lost.

Suggestions?

Offline DavidR

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Re: Problem with Outlook and Avast
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2010, 05:30:24 PM »
Delete that plug-in in MS Outlook as it is referring to the one from avast 4.8 which it won't find.

- Outlook plugin relates to avast4 so won't work in avast5 -either deleting the avast4 plug-in (or changing the path to point at the avast5 folder may work). Sometimes the Extend.dat file of Outlook, etc. can get messed up, see this topic to see how this problem was resolved, http://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=56625.0
- This particular post in that topic from one of the Alwil team, http://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=56625.msg494023#msg494023.
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Offline Le Boule

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Re: Problem with Outlook and Avast
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2010, 07:13:18 PM »
Thanks for the reply, David.

ashOutXt.dll is not in the Alwil folder and a search fails to locate it in the computer anywhere.  Any idea where to get the file - would like to just put it in the newly created Avast 4 folder  folder like was suggested in the other thread??

Outlook says there are no plugins on either login.

I'm using Avast 5.0.545....believe posters in other thread were using a different version of Avast 5.

Thanks....

P.S. I agree with the posters who previously discussed this problem - sound like a strange "bug."   :P

Offline DavidR

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Re: Problem with Outlook and Avast
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2010, 07:42:12 PM »
It won't be in the reported folder avast4 as that was for the old avast 4.8 version which is removed on installation of 4.8. Your problem is getting rid of the reference to the old avast plug-in in MS Outlook, not anything outside that.

The version of avast5 isn't an issue as the location of avast5 files remain the same.

I don't know if it is a bug or not, since this reference is inside MS Outlook and you have to remove the old avast4 plug-in (why it hasn't been replaced I don't know (I don't know what version of Outlook you are using either). If it were a bug then I would expect this to be consistent across all installations of 5.0 (over 4.8) and using MS Outlook, but we aren't seeing that in the forums.

If there are no instances of avast4 plug-in in the plug-ins area (active or disabled) of Outlook then the reference is likely to be in the extend.dat file of Outlook.

I can't be any practical help as I don't use Outlook.
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Offline jdhatpha

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Re: Problem with Outlook and Avast
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2010, 08:46:00 PM »
@Le Boule

I know this sounds weird but the easiest way to fix this problem is doing the following:

In directory C:\Program Files\Alwil Software create a new folder Avast4 and the copy file ashOutXt.dll from directory C:\Program Files\Alwil Software\Avast5 to directory C:\Program Files\Alwil Software\Avast4.

Bet you Outlook will be so happy  ;D

Offline Le Boule

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Re: Problem with Outlook and Avast
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2010, 09:31:02 PM »
I had the "mail" scans installed but disabled on Avast 4.8 (Microsoft did not recommend scanning e-mail so I followed the recommendations of MS and I've read where some computer gurus think scanning e-mail sometimes corrupt the e-mail programs).

When I installed Avast 5.0.545 I did not install the mail module.  I added the mail module (which I did not want to do) and that did not eliminate the issue.  I did locate the needed file (ashOutXt.dll) in the Alwil folder (guess it was part of the mail module) and copied it per your suggestions in my newly created Avast 4 folder (in the Alwil folder).

Issue resolved!   ;D

Now if I disable the mail module I do not have an issue opening Outlook with either user account but I get the little exclamation mark over the icon in the tray and the warning that the "system is not fully protected."  So I'll leave the module enabled and perhaps turn off the settings in the mail module and I ought to be okay.

I'm running Outlook 2003 on WIN XP Pro if anybody needed to know. 

David R and jdhatpha, I really appreciate your help.

I'm curious...what are your thoughts on scanning e-mail?

Offline jdhatpha

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Re: Problem with Outlook and Avast
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2010, 12:39:01 AM »
Quote
I'm curious...what are your thoughts on scanning email?

I have been using Avast Free for about 4 years (before that I have used Norton and McAfee), I've always had the mail scanner on and have never had any corrupt emails or problems in email program (I've used Thunderbird, Outlook Express and Outlook 2003/2007).

In all the years I've used email I might have had perhaps 1-2 emails (having an attachment) with a possible virus and those emails where clearly SPAM in the first place. So using email scanning has not saved me from many problems. But then (and I feel this is more important) it has not hurt either!

For two years I've been responsible for a commercial PC environment of 20-40 people (they let the real PC guy go to save money - because I installed Operating Systems on other platforms they felt I could do PC's also - of course two years later everyone had to leave - all outsourced) I can say that in that environment email scanning was very useful and saved me a number of times the hassle of a full system recovery.

So I leave email scanning on, just because it's better to be save then sorry.

Offline Pedro Hin

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Re: Problem with Outlook and Avast
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2010, 12:58:20 AM »
@Le Boule

I know this sounds weird but the easiest way to fix this problem is doing the following:

In directory C:\Program Files\Alwil Software create a new folder Avast4 and the copy file ashOutXt.dll from directory C:\Program Files\Alwil Software\Avast5 to directory C:\Program Files\Alwil Software\Avast4.

Bet you Outlook will be so happy  ;D

That sounds like you will just delay the headache. I used to do stuff like that many years ago when personal computing was a hobby. Then I got a job where I supported 120 desktop PCs, and then I learned to appreciated standardisation :).

The potential problem I see here is when the Avast application updates, there might be a change in that ashOutXt.dll eventually. Once the new application and it's related libraries are updated, Avast or Outlook might behave in an undesireable way, or even crash one or the other. This will be very difficult to troubleshoot.

I have a couple of customers who do things like this, and then wonder why it takes me so long to find their problems :D.
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Offline Le Boule

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Re: Problem with Outlook and Avast
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2010, 02:47:41 AM »
Thanks for the advice re e-mail scanning, jdhatpha!   :)

Pedro, you raised a valid concern.  Do you have a better idea than what was done to fix the problem?
 ???  Bear in mind I'm not near the "guru" that you, jdhatpha or DavidR are...I know just enough to be dangerous!   ;D

Offline k.u.r.t

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Re: Problem with Outlook and Avast
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2010, 09:37:44 AM »
You need to modify the registry so that Outlook looks for the correct dll.

1. Run regedit and go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Exchange\Client\Extensions
2. In there you should have a string type key called "avast! 5" (without quotes) Create it if need be. If you see avast! 4 there, then rename it to avast! 5
3. Make sure it has this value:

4.0;C:\Program Files\Alwil Software\Avast5\ashOutXt.dll;1;10000111111000

Doing so should point Outlook to the correct dll.

Offline Le Boule

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Re: Problem with Outlook and Avast
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2010, 06:05:51 PM »
Glad you have the knowledge to work in the registry, K.U.R.T.  However, I avoid doing anything in the registry whenever possible...with my luck I'll need an eraser and I don't think they work  good in there.   ;D 

The fix discussed in this thread (and previous thread referred to by DavidR) worked for me and I should leave well enough alone and I really do appreciate the advice and assistance.  But I still have a problem in that something within Avast has intermingled with Outlook 2003 (or vice versa) and now Outlook 2003 needs an Avast file associated with it when it opens.  And that occurs without Avast installed (or without any AV program installed) so I have a problem if I wish to uninstall Avast and use another AV program on this particular computer.   I find it strange that this occurred on my desktop (Dell 8400) when changing to Avast 5 (from Avast 4.8) because within the past six months I’ve changed another computer (Dell Inspiron 5100 laptop also running XP Pro with Outlook 2003) from Avast 4.8 to Antivir to MSE and then to Avast 5 and I did not have this issue involving Outlook.  There were some posters in the earlier thread

http://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=56625.0

using different versions of Outlook so it must not be unique to a certain version of Outlook.  Avast is a popular antivirus program and Outlook is a popular e-mail program - I am surprised there have not been more complaints of this glitch and therefore presume this must be an anomaly that affects only certain configurations.  I would hope the Avast techs might review these threads to determine if there is any way to correct this problem within future Avast installation files.

Thanks for the help, folks!

Offline Le Boule

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Re: Problem with Outlook and Avast
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2010, 09:52:24 PM »
I just did a SEARCH of the forums and it appears this issue was more prevalent than I realized.

DavidR, would it be appropriate for you to call this to the attention of Vlk or some of the other techs, please?

Thanks!

Offline DavidR

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Re: Problem with Outlook and Avast
« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2010, 10:47:26 PM »
Well k.u.r.t. is one of the developers and I have no more sway than any other avast user like myself. Though I will try something.
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Offline jdhatpha

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Re: Problem with Outlook and Avast
« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2010, 11:34:51 PM »
The suggestion by k.u.r.t, does not work for Outlook 2003/2007, even if the registry key exists Outlook still fails!

There is an other way to solve the problem without copying the dll to the Avast4 directory, and 'coolsilver' gets the credit. If you have no other Outlook plugins and only use the Avast Outlook plug-in then delete/rename the file 'Extend.dat' in directory:
C:\Documents and Settings\<user id>\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook
(Put the correct username in the <user id> place!)

A third option is to use a hex editor and modify the 'Extend.dat' file changing .......\Alwil Software\Avast4\ashOutXt.dll to .......\Alwil Software\Avast5\ashOutXt.dll.

What would be really cool is for Avast to supply a utility to correct the 'Extend.dat' file. See the problem is indeed more complicated! If a PC is used by more the one user, only the user who installs Avast will get the Outlook plug-in updated to the new version. Other users, that also use Outlook on the same PC are not updated and they will get the:
"The add in C:\Program Files\Alwill Software|Avast4\ashOutxt.dll could not be installed or loaded."
message.


Offline Pedro Hin

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Re: Problem with Outlook and Avast
« Reply #14 on: May 11, 2010, 12:27:13 AM »
jdhatpha, I am going to say that your earlier suggestion ( create C:\Program Files\Alwil Software\Avast4 )
could work in a pinch, at least to get Outlook up and running again.

Then the O.P. can at least launch outlook and hopefully correct the plug in pointing to an obsolete path.

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