Author Topic: Avast slow to startup due to aswRdr.sys taking long time to load.  (Read 9265 times)

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This has been especially bad since updating to Avast 5. I get a lot of popups from my PC Tools firewall asking if I want to allow aswRdr, but there's no option to make the firewall remember it. I even added aswRdr.sys to the list of apps in the firewall and set it to allow, but it still hangs on startup. I then disabled the firewall completely and STILL Avast is hanging on startup.

I am on XP Home and using the latest (5.0.594) version of Avast! Free. I like the new Avast, it's more thorough and less intrusive for the most part stopping malicious ads on sites without losing complete access to them. However this aswRdr thing is annoying as hell. Do I need to set an exclusion in XP for it somehow?

I'm not sure the PC Tools firewall is the problem since Avast's startup problem persists even with it completely disabled in services.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2010, 11:22:13 PM by Name User »

Offline igor

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Re: Avast slow to startup due to aswRdr.sys taking long time to load.
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2010, 11:23:15 PM »
I'd say it's more a question for PC Tools authors... (why it doesn't remember your choice).

Name User

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Re: Avast slow to startup due to aswRdr.sys taking long time to load.
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2010, 12:27:05 AM »
I'd say it's more a question for PC Tools authors... (why it doesn't remember your choice).
Well obviously that one part is, mainly because PC Tool's program detection is based on .exe files, not .sys files, but the problem I'm talking about is aswRdr.sys itself being slow to load. I've just thoroughly uninstalled both PC Tools and Avast, and have so far only reinstalled Avast. Reboot times went from horrendous to 1 min 10 secs without either installed, and is up to about 1:24 now with just Avast installed. The aswRdr.sys driver doesn't hang as long now, but long enough to still show the /!\ warning on the tray icon for a good 10 seconds or more. I call that fairly inefficient startup. There's something about that driver that does not mesh well with XP or maybe even Windows in general.

Granted it's been over 6 months since I've done a fresh OS install, but aside from a bit slower startups, everything's running fine. All I have to say is if an XP reinstall doesn't fix this, I'll be looking at using a different AV and FW. Avast and AVG are rated the same at AV Comparatives right now.

SafeSurf

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Re: Avast slow to startup due to aswRdr.sys taking long time to load.
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2010, 06:00:54 AM »
Name User,

So that we can help you better, please go to PROFILE on the top of the main forum page > Modify Profile > Forum Profile Information > Signature.   Enter information about your system like the Operating System (OS), RAM, browser, security software, what version of Avast and firewall you use and other items you wish to mention.  See my signature or others as an example.  Thank you.

You mentioned that you had PC_Firewall_Tools and uninstalled it.  This FW is compatible and can be configured to work well with Avast should you want to reinstall it.  Once removed, you need to check in Safe Mode for remnants that are OFTEN left behind if you decide to install a different FW.  If you need assistance in how to do this, please ask me in your next post and I will give you instructions. 

A word of caution:  The XP FW is only a 1-way protection, so you really need a third-party FW for 2-way protection.  There are other FW's that are also compatible with Avast (Online Armor, Comodo (D+/no AV), Outpost), but you need to remove remnants of the prior FW first.  What are you using for a FW now if any?

As for Avast loading slowly, what else do you have loading on boot-up?  Can any of these items be deleted or are they absolutely necessary?  Many times, items are loaded on boot-up that we can delete and they often delay necessary things like AV or FW programs.  Please check what you have for start up and delete unnecessary items on boot-up.

Having the yellow "!" for 10 seconds is not uncommon, and actually is a pretty good compared to many other users. 

I would not advise a fresh OS install, but you can do some Spring Cleaning to see if this speeds things up besides making sure your MS Updates are current:

1. Many of us here use CCleaner http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner is a freeware system optimization, privacy and cleaning tool.  There is a Slim version available as well at http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner/builds.  CCleaner removes unused files (cache, temporary Internet files, etc.) from your system - allowing Windows to run faster and freeing up valuable hard disk space.  It also cleans traces of your online activities such as your Internet history.  Additionally it contains a fully featured registry cleaner.  Remember when installing to uncheck the Yahoo toolbar.

2. Use a good defrag program like Puran Defrag http://www.puransoftware.com/Puran-Defrag.html, which is for all OS's, and also does a boot-defrag and fills in blank spaces.  There are other software available too, but this is also free (no need to get the paid version).

3. Check if your software is up to date with free Secunia Software Inspector http://secunia.com/vulnerability_scanning/personal/.  This tool also gives you the link to do the actual update so you don't have do hunt it down.

After any installation with XP, you need to reboot your machine (I recommend rebooting twice) and let everything boot up completely prior to doing anything.

Please let me know in your next post regarding your start-up programs and checking for remnants of your recently uninstalled FW if you decide not to reinstall it.  Thank you.

Name User

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Re: Avast slow to startup due to aswRdr.sys taking long time to load.
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2010, 01:09:44 AM »
I mentioned above what OS and version of Avast I'm running. RAM is 2GB, browser Iron (which doesn't load at startup so shouldn't matter), PC Tools FW is the free version 6.0.0.88, and there's no security software running real time other than Avast and PC Tools. The only other startups I have are ATI Tool v0.26, Auslogics BoostSpeed v4.5.14.260, Logitech Mouseware for my MX500, and that's it.

I also have been using CCLeaner for some time along with Glary Utilities & Auslogics BoostSpeed's reg cleaners along with follow ups in Search Assistant searches and manual reg editing after ANY uninstall. For defragging I use Auslogics Disk Defrag and in between Perfect Disk by Raxco, which is MS certified and the best at boot time system file defragmentation I find. I don't typically trust universal driver detection and/or program update tools. I'm pretty good at maintaining my sys manually for the most part.

That 1:10 reboot time was with all those other startups running minus Avast and PC Tools. It's usually closer to 1:00 after a fresh format of the drive. I have reinstalled PC Tools and the only time the startup is slower than with just Avast and not PC Tools installed is when PC Tools asks if I want to allow aswRdr, which it does quite often anymore and the option to have PC Tools remember the setting is greyed out for some reason. I think it's because it only recognizes exe files for this purpose.

I noticed PC Tools has an option to set it to disable enhanced security verification while keeping the firewall activated. I seem to recall having tried that setting though and it still kept asking if I wanted to allow aswRdr. As I said aswRdr is not an exe, so it isn't listed in the list of PC Tools applications, but I DID add aswRdr.sys and set it to allow and still it asks if I want to allow it.

You say PC Tools works well with Avast, for the most part I'd have to agree. On startup however in my experience it does not. It's bad enough Avast hangs with the /!\ warning while aswRdr loads, let alone having to click on PC Tools to allow it each time it asks. It means I have to be there watching every reboot to avoid extra delay, which is a nuisance.

If there is in fact a way to set PC Tools to allow aswRdr without having to manually tell it to every reboot, please elaborate if you know how to do so.

Thank you
« Last Edit: August 14, 2010, 01:29:00 AM by Name User »

SafeSurf

  • Guest
Re: Avast slow to startup due to aswRdr.sys taking long time to load.
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2010, 09:19:40 AM »
I have reinstalled PC Tools and the only time the startup is slower than with just Avast and not PC Tools installed is when PC Tools asks if I want to allow aswRdr, which it does quite often anymore and the option to have PC Tools remember the setting is greyed out for some reason.

As I said aswRdr is not an exe, so it isn't listed in the list of PC Tools applications, but I DID add aswRdr.sys and set it to allow and still it asks if I want to allow it.

If there is in fact a way to set PC Tools to allow aswRdr without having to manually tell it to every reboot, please elaborate if you know how to do so.
How I resolved this problem was to install PCT FW prior to Avast, then the greyed out box was white and I was able to check it off under Expert User.  If you install PCT then Avast, you get the greyed out box and the constant reminders.  I did this a while ago, so I don't know if this still holds true, but you may want to try it.  I personally think it's a bug with PCT in their programming since everything you mentioned is true and you should be able to click on the box to enable it without having the constant reminders.  I retested it to see how it would work in reverse, and I see your frustration.  Therefore, you may want to bring this up in the PCT forum and perhaps they can eventually fix it (programming issue). 

Otherwise, I'd give something like OA a try.  After setting your settings for Avast and making it trusted (for both software), you won't get the alerts.


Name User

  • Guest
Re: Avast slow to startup due to aswRdr.sys taking long time to load.
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2010, 09:15:38 PM »
Funny you should mention that because I had a feeling order of install might have something to do with it. I typically install an AV first, as it's the most necessary part of any security arsenal. I've never run PC Tools in Expert User mode and not sure I want to, it may just ask more questions that way.

So the only thing I'm hesitant about at this point is whether the remember box was white for you due to Expert mode or having installed it before Avast. What I find odd is that it doesn't always ask. Yesterday after getting both installed, it did not ask. Just now when starting up my PC for the day it did ask.

Anyways, thanks for the help Surf. I think I will stop by the PC Tools forum and see what they say about it. I just thought it might be due to aswRdr since it's the only thing I have that problem with and it hangs a bit even without PC Tools installed. I get the feeling this is one of those things where one developer blames another until they finally decide to get together and fix the problem.

SafeSurf

  • Guest
Re: Avast slow to startup due to aswRdr.sys taking long time to load.
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2010, 10:43:48 PM »
Just to let you know, since my last post, I did another test; I have several machines but use one as a test machine.  I uninstalled PCT FW, then reinstalled it first, then reinstalled Avast to see what would happen.  No change, but I always use Expert Mode in FW.  However, I decided to leave the FW pop-up alone to see what would happen...and it disappeared and allowed Avast to continue working properly.  Upon checking the FW settings, all Avast settings are allowed and worked properly.  So perhaps you don't need to wait around for this pop-up to click on it.  See if it goes away on it's own.

I agree that install order does make a difference as well, and I usually install an AV first for security reasons as well...smart choice.  ;)

Besides doing the usual uninstall for this FW, you WILL have to go into Safe Mode to look for remnants as they are often left behind.  You have to get a little creative in your search:  PC Tools, PCT, etc.  You may find more info. on their FW forum on this as well.

If you feel that your issue is now resolved/fixed, please go back to the open post in this topic, click the modify button in that Post and change the title/subject, add [Resolved] to the beginning of the title so this thread can be closed.  You can always reopen it (just delete "resolved" in the title) and we can continue at any time.  Thank you for letting me assist you.   :)