Author Topic: Repair or Delete. Difference?  (Read 4106 times)

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Hb_Kai

  • Guest
Repair or Delete. Difference?
« on: March 15, 2011, 07:28:51 PM »
Hey.

I've been using Avast for quite a while now but something has always bugged me. When scanning I usually like to know that the files are completely off my computers so I usually go with the delete option but I wonder what exactly is the repair option and how does it work?
I realise making source changes to executable files is not really an option so how does the repair option repair a virus? Or, if it's something like svchost that the virus attaches itself to how is svchost repaired from this? Is the latter the main reasoning for the repair option?

In the past I've done things like scripting with Perl and Python but when it comes down to the low-level mechanics of computers and software I honestly haven't a clue which is why I'm wondering. I checked with the help documentation and it doesn't include any of this information so I thought I'd come on and ask here. It's bugging me now and I really want to find out.


Also, think there could ever be an option in the boot-time scan to evaluate each found virus and decide what to do with them after the scan has complete rather than setting an option and letting Avast do it automatically for you?
There's nowhere to submit suggestions for the software.

Thanks
« Last Edit: March 15, 2011, 07:34:31 PM by Hb_Kai »

Gargamel360

  • Guest
Re: Repair or Delete. Difference?
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2011, 07:54:49 PM »
Repair is a very optimistic option.  It fails quite often.  Not in a way that makes you more vulnerable, just the repair will fail outright, or the file left after repair will be corrupt/unstable.

Delete is not the safe option, quite the contrary, it should be the last thing you try.  As you are aware by what you posted, legitimate system files (like svchost) can be infected, and deleting them can make thing go from bad to worse.  For this reason Quarantine is usually the recommended first option.  Once it is isolated in the virus chest, it is cut off from your system, but is recoverable even from safe mode, in case its removal causes problems (this is also a good countermeasure against false positives).  Delete is very final, and thus so is any damage it could cause. 
An oft-reffered to About.com article on this>>http://antivirus.about.com/b/2007/03/11/clean-quarantine-or-delete.htm

Also, think there could ever be an option in the boot-time scan to evaluate each found virus and decide what to do with them after the scan has complete rather than setting an option and letting Avast do it automatically for you?
Automated action where removed from Boot Scan for a users own safety, as it is a very powerful function, and each detection really should be reviewed before an action is taken.  A major PITA as a boot-scan is so long, but it is for users own safety first.
There's nowhere to submit suggestions for the software.
The wishlist was recently taken down (bloated beyond repair), but plans for a replacement are in motion.  Avast! does value user input, they are just between submission systems for ideas at the moment.

Hb_Kai

  • Guest
Re: Repair or Delete. Difference?
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2011, 08:04:34 PM »
Heya, thanks for your reply.
I'm confident with deleting viruses at the moment though because I usually check if they have any to do with the system files and if they do, they're slung into the chest. But I suppose I'm lucky so far that nothing has infected by computers so bad. :)
Repair is a very optimistic option.  It fails quite often.  Not in a way that makes you more vulnerable, just the repair will fail outright, or the file left after repair will be corrupt/unstable.

Delete is not the safe option, quite the contrary, it should be the last thing you try.  As you are aware by what you posted, legitimate system files (like svchost) can be infected, and deleting them can make thing go from bad to worse.  For this reason Quarantine is usually the recommended first option.  Once it is isolated in the virus chest, it is cut off from your system, but is recoverable even from safe mode, in case its removal causes problems (this is also a good countermeasure against false positives).  Delete is very final, and thus so is any damage it could cause. 
So it's just for fixing system files then, by like unattaching the virus executables from svchost.exe or something along those lines?



The wishlist was recently taken down (bloated beyond repair), but plans for a replacement are in motion.  Avast! does value user input, they are just between submission systems for ideas at the moment.
Okay, thanks for letting me know. Will keep an eye out in the future.

Gargamel360

  • Guest
Re: Repair or Delete. Difference?
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2011, 08:10:53 PM »
So it's just for fixing system files then, by like unattaching the virus executables from svchost.exe or something along those lines?

Yes, more or less it is for trying to scrub files your system (or perhaps yourself) can't live without.  It is great when it works, but go into it with fingers crossed.... ;)

Hb_Kai

  • Guest
Re: Repair or Delete. Difference?
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2011, 08:19:01 PM »
Ah, I see. Okay. Well thank you for your replies. They have helped much.

Daris

  • Guest
Re: Repair or Delete. Difference?
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2011, 08:19:53 PM »
In the 4.8 version of Avast....It use to download certain system files on your computer int its database, and keep them in case any important system files get infected and than find the appropriate file and replace it with the infected one if it's in its database...I remember it would usually download this when the screen saver is running....So I always thought that was the "Repair" Action.....I am not sure if Avast still downloads these files like it use to....But Sure would like to find out if an Avast Administrator would have time to explain this a little more.....In Any Case Mine settings are set to Repair > Move to chest > Ask.....where "ask" is available in the Shields section....
   Cheers and Safe Surfing!!!!

Gargamel360

  • Guest
Re: Repair or Delete. Difference?
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2011, 08:23:55 PM »
Ah, I see. Okay. Well thank you for your replies. They have helped much.

No problem, glad to help.