Author Topic: Avast Screensaver broken/missing after upgrade to 5.0  (Read 6087 times)

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Offline jrwatts

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Avast Screensaver broken/missing after upgrade to 5.0
« on: June 08, 2010, 11:37:05 AM »
O/S: Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit

I recently upgraded to version 5.0 of Avast (free version), and the screensaver stopped working.  The Screen Saver Settings control panel lists the Avast screensaver, but when I select it the preview window just shows a black screen.  If I click Settings... or Preview, nothing happens.  I turned on "Show Special Scans" in the Avast UI and tried altering settings there, but it didn't help.

I then tried uninstalling Avast, deleting the avastSS.scr file from Windows\System32, and reinstalling; it did not reinstall avastSS.scr, nor does the file appear to actually be anywhere on my system (Edit:  spoke too soon; found the file in the wrong folder--see below)!  Is the screensaver even included with the free version of Avast 5.0?

Edit:  Found the problem!  AvastSS.scr was placed in the SysWOW64 folder instead of System32.  After moving it to System32 everything works fine.  Looks like the installer has a bug for 64-bit installs.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2010, 11:44:27 AM by jrwatts »

Offline igor

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Re: Avast Screensaver broken/missing after upgrade to 5.0
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2010, 11:45:04 AM »
The file (AvastSS.scr) is supposed to be in SysWow64, not in System32.
On the other hand, I don't think it should make any difference... i.e. I don't understand why it works one way on your system, but not the other way.

Offline jrwatts

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Re: Avast Screensaver broken/missing after upgrade to 5.0
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2010, 12:29:21 PM »
Are you sure?  Anyway, it didn't appear on the screensaver list when it was in SysWOW64.  Even if it does belong there, I would think the upgrade should have deleted the old (4.8) version from System32....
Perhaps the installer mistakenly installed the 32-bit version instead of the 64-bit version (but put it in the 64-bit directory)?  Is there any way to tell which version I actually have?
« Last Edit: June 08, 2010, 12:32:31 PM by jrwatts »

Offline igor

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Re: Avast Screensaver broken/missing after upgrade to 5.0
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2010, 12:42:15 PM »
There is no 64bit version, the AvastSS.scr file is a 32bit executable (and that's why it's placed into SysWOW64, even though it seems to work in System32 as well) - and it works on 64bit Windows as well. I just tried on XP x64 and Win7 x64, and on both OSes it works both in SysWow64 and System32 folder; don't have Vista x64 at hand, so I didn't try it there.

So, you think that after the upgrade from avast! 4.x to avast! 5.0, there were two of those files installed - the old one in System32 and the new one in SysWow64?
I must say I don't know whether avast! 4.x installed the file into the 64bit folder (System32)... sounds a bit strange to me, I'd also expect it to be in SysWo64, but I'm not completely sure.

Offline jrwatts

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Re: Avast Screensaver broken/missing after upgrade to 5.0
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2010, 01:11:56 PM »
Right, it was definitely the old version in System32 (the version number was 4.8.something); presumably the 4.8 install put it there, because I never touched it before this problem appeared.  The new version was presumably sitting in SysWOW64 all along, but I didn't think to look there until after the reinstall.  FYI, I have a few other 3rd party screensavers (all 32-bit), and they are all in the System32 folder (and work just fine).  The built-in Microsoft screensavers seem to have both 32-bit and 64-bit versions (different files with the same name in SysWOW64 & System32); only one version shows up the Screen Saver control panel, but I can select either from the Avast SS setup dialog (the 32-bit versions have "*32" appended to their names).

I've just been doing some Googling, and it looks like this is a bug with Vista 64-bit (they should work from the SysWOW64 folder, but don't); haven't verified that with MS, though.

Edit:  I'm wondering if the problem only crops up if there are (other) 32-bit screensavers in System32 instead of SysWOW64; I tried to move all my 3rd party (32-bit) screensavers to SysWOW64, but the system wouldn't let me (no write access to the folder), so I wasn't able to test it (and I don't feel like messing with folder permissions to try!).
« Last Edit: June 08, 2010, 01:37:42 PM by jrwatts »

Offline jrwatts

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Re: Avast Screensaver broken/missing after upgrade to 5.0
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2010, 02:00:41 PM »
Eureka!  Figured out exactly what's going on.  Some posters with similar issues said that right-clicking the .scr file in SysWOW64 and selecting "Install" caused it to show up.  I also experimented with running the 32-bit version of the screen saver control panel (with "rundll32.exe c:\windows\SysWOW64\shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL desk.cpl,,1").  Interestingly, the 32-bit CP (control panel) was showing one of my 32-bit screensavers, which wasn't in either System32 or SysWOW64; it had been installed into the registry.  I also discovered I did have a 32-bit screensaver in SysWOW64, which showed up in the 32-bit CP but not the default 64-bit CP.  After right-clicking on that .scr file and selecting Install, it appeared in both control panels.  Also, the 32-bit screensavers that weren't installed in the registry but were in the System32 directory did not appear in the 32-bit CP.

It turns out the screen saver Control Panels will show anything properly installed via the registry, plus any *.scr files in System32 (if using the 64-bit version of the CP) or any *.scr files in SysWOW64 (if using the 32-bit version).  So, the "correct" solution is to leave the 32-bit screensavers in SysWOW64, but install them into the registry.  I'm sure there's a way to do the registry installation automatically during the Avast install....

Edit:  After doing some more research, I've determined that the above isn't quite correct.  Apparently, the "Install" option doesn't actually add anything to the registry (it just changes one entry).  What's actually happening is that "Install" sets the registry entry for the current screensaver to the selected file (and pops up the CP with the new entry selected).  Both versions of the control panel will list all *.scr files in the same directory as the currently selected screensaver, plus the System32 or SysWOW64 folder (depending on whether you ran the 64- or 32-bit version), plus (this is the bit I missed before) the Windows folder (this is where the aforementioned "32-bit screensaver that wasn't in either System32 or SysWOW64" actually was).

So, it looks like the best place to install *.scr files (if you want it to work properly for either 32-bit or 64-bit Windows and not have 32-bit code in the 64-bit folder) is actually the Windows folder, not the System32 or SysWOW64 folders!  ::)  (And Microsoft did not make it easy to figure this out!   >:( )
« Last Edit: June 08, 2010, 04:32:51 PM by jrwatts »

Offline igor

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Re: Avast Screensaver broken/missing after upgrade to 5.0
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2010, 12:17:44 PM »
OK, we'll try to move the screensaver executable into the Windows folder in the next program update.
Let's hope it won't cause other problems ;)

Offline Lisandro

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Re: Avast Screensaver broken/missing after upgrade to 5.0
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2010, 01:32:30 PM »
OK, we'll try to move the screensaver executable into the Windows folder in the next program update.
Thanks.
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Offline use4

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Re: Avast Screensaver broken/missing after upgrade to 5.0
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2010, 05:59:48 AM »
Hey,
did you change the folder to c:\windows in 5.0.677?  It broke the Screensaver in my WinXP SP3 machine.  Had to copy the avastss.scr file into System32 folder for it to work again.  Please put it back.
regards

Offline igor

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Re: Avast Screensaver broken/missing after upgrade to 5.0
« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2010, 09:52:16 AM »
Yes, the screensaver was moved to C:\Windows because in the system folder it didn't work on 64bit Vista.
In C:\Widows, it works on all operating systems - including XP SP3.

However, the change occurred in version 5.0.594 (back in June), not now in 5.0.677.

Offline oemtech

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Re: Avast Screensaver broken/missing after upgrade to 5.0
« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2010, 04:18:32 PM »
Although this is an older thread I just now had thime to invetiagte why Avast screen Saver quick woking on my Win7 HP system.

I looked in syswow64 and there was no avastss.scr there but there was one in C:\windows and one in C:\windows\system32. I renamed the one in system32 as it had a older date. That did not fix the problem even after I rebooted the system. But, when I copied the one from the c:\windows folder to the system32 folder it started working.

Offline igor

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Re: Avast Screensaver broken/missing after upgrade to 5.0
« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2010, 08:04:56 PM »
Did you try to refresh the setting of the current path?
I mean - to remove the file in system32 folder, set another screensaver to be used, and then set avast! screensaver back?