Author Topic: Glitched avast Uninstall [RESOLVED]  (Read 10252 times)

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Offline Chim

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Glitched avast Uninstall [RESOLVED]
« on: May 30, 2011, 02:48:56 AM »
Isn't the avast Uninstall Utility supposed to be the ultimate method for uninstalling avast?
I remember it even being mentioned that one shouldn't use Revo Uninstaller.

Anyway, so here's what transpired.
Everything was working fine.  Yeah, in hindsight I should have left things alone. DOH!
But, since I was a my sister's place, I decided to go ahead and use her High Speed Internet to download some programs.

My plan was that I wanted to uninstall avast, which had had a couple of Program Updates performed via the GUI.  I would then reinstall avast with the actual latest avast Install File.  I theorized that would probably get rid of some unnecessary Files and everything would run even better.

So, I booted up in Safe Mode.
I used the avast Uninstall Utility to uninstall avast.
After avast was uninstalled, I brought up CCleaner to get rid of any leftover Registry Entries.
I deleted several.
Before reinstalling avast, I decided to Defrag my Hard Drive with Auslogics Defrag.
As Auslogics Disk Defrag was doing its analyzing, I happened to catch that there were still some avast Files intact.  WHAT?  :o Not only that, but I even saw the visual indication of where I happen to know which Blocks are the usual avast Files Blocks that get defragged.  Those were still there.  I proceeded with the defrag.  

Well, other Files were defragged, but NOT the obvious leftover avast Files.
I rebooted and tried the defrag again.  Again, Auslogics Disk Defrag would NOT defrag those avast leftover Files.

I went ahead and reinstalled avast.  The install process was successful.
I tried the defrag again ... and again defrag unsuccessful on those avast Files.
I think most of those are that HUGE Cache. (Persistent Cache?)

I noticed that by hovering my cursor on those Blocks that don't want to get defragged, it'll tell me how many Files are in each Block AND they ALL just happen to have ONE fragmented File each.

By, now the avast GUI indicates my avast is up to date with the Virus Definitions and SECURED.
But, can someone shed some light on what happened?
Why did the avast Uninstall Utility NOT get rid of ALL the avast Files?
Why is Auslogics Disk Defrag now NOT able to defrag those Files?
WHERE would I be able to find those Files that can't be defragged, especially IF they ARE the persistent Cache?  The Alwil Folder in the Program Files Folder WAS cleared out.  Someone must know where all the Alwil / Avast Folders are in Windows XP Home Edition.  The Windows Search / Find function is probably out of the question since I've had the Index function disabled.

Anyway, I want to do another uninstall and reinstall avast properly ... with ALL avast Files having been wiped out properly as was the plan.

By any chance ... was the uninstall in Safe Mode supposed to have been done in Administrator Mode?  I used Owner Mode.  I've never done anything in Administrator Mode.  I wouldn't even know ... in Administrator Mode, will I be asked for a Password?  I wouldn't know what Password to use.  I was given this computer 2 or so years ago.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2011, 09:22:30 PM by Chim »
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Offline DavidR

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Re: Glitched avast Uninstall
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2011, 03:20:43 AM »
It isn't the ultimate method of uninstalling, it is essentially a tool that you use if there is a problem with the regular add remove programs uninstall. That is essentially what you should run in the first instance.

I would suggest that the regular add remove programs uninstall, should be run from the account that you installed it and that had to have been one with administrator privileges, not a limited user account.

Avast locations XP:
Old avast5 or update to avast6 - C:\Program Files\ALWIL Software\Avast5\
Or after clean install of avast 6:
- C:\Program Files\AVAST Software\Avast\

Old avast5 or update to avast6 - C:\Documents And Settings\All Users\Application Data\Alwil Software\Avast5\
Or after clean install of avast 6:
- C:\Documents And Settings\All Users\Application Data\Avast Software\Avast\

I don't know if the avast self-defence module would be stopping you defrag certain files, though I have never had that problem with PuranDefrag.
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Offline Chim

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Re: Glitched avast Uninstall
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2011, 05:07:15 AM »
Oooooooo!  Ahhh HAH!  Jackpot!
David, the first Folder you suggested had already been uninstalled properly.
But, the 2nd path you suggested:
Old avast5 or update to avast6 - C:\Documents And Settings\All Users\Application Data\Alwil Software\Avast5\

That one still has 11.6 MegaBytes of stuff in it.
Hopefully that's the entire culprit right there.
It's too late at night right now to engage in Take II of this Uninstall and Reinstall task.
I'll tackle it tomorrow.

As to whether I installed avast with Administrator Privileges or a Limited Account?
I don't really even know how to tell that.
I just know that I didn't do anything special.
I just simply installed it from the Desktop.  If I did it with Administrator Privileges, I did it unknowingly.  ;D

So as to be prepared for tomorrow:
IF I do select the Administrator Privileges prompt when I boot up in Safe Mode ... WILL I be prompted for a Password?  Cuz as I mentioned before, I wouldn't have the slightest clue what that Password would be as I got this computer used.

As for Auslogics Disk Defrag NOT defragging those Blocks with the avast Files possibly because of the avast Defense Module?  The thing with that is that I never had trouble before.  Before today, I had performed many Disk Defrags with Auslogics Disk Defrag successfully ... including ALL the avast Files.

It's only after today's failed avast uninstall attempt that suddenly that chunk of avast Files cannot be defragged.

I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow now that you have given me some extra ammunition that looks promising.
Thanks, David!
« Last Edit: May 30, 2011, 05:14:13 AM by Chim »
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SafeSurf

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Re: Glitched avast Uninstall
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2011, 09:54:29 AM »
You should be able to go into Safe Mode under Admin. (or Safe Mode with Networking under the owner's account) without a password in XP.  Use the Avast Uninstaller Tool there to get rid of remnants.  I found that to uninstall each version left on the machine using the new Avast 6 Uninstaller Tool on XP's, you need to reboot after each uninstall.   So if the machine has more than one version on it (example 4.0, 5.0, etc.), you may need to reboot in between.

You can always then go into Safe Mode and do an Advanced search to look for remnants, but Avast is pretty good at getting rid of these with their Uninstaller tool. ;)

Run a cleaner, like CCleaner to clean up the system.

Then try the defrag after getting rid of these remnants and reboot.   Install the newest version of Avast and reboot.  Let us know how this works for you.  Thanks.

Offline Chim

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Re: Glitched avast Uninstall
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2011, 07:17:59 PM »
I couldn't wait until this morning.
So, I performed Take II of my reinstall last night.
VERDICT?
Nnnnggg, well, I made progress.  But, the issue is still NOT 100% cleared up.

I first uninstalled avast 6 via the Windows Add / Remove function.
I performed that under Administrator privileges.
Then I rebooted in Safe Mode again and under Administrator privileges attempted to delete the 11.6 MegaBytes of avast 5 Files at that path location as per your suggestion, David.  However, I couldn't find the Folder under Administrator privileges.  I wound up having to use Owner privileges to be able to see the Folder.  Nevertheless, that worked.  I wiped out those old avast 5 Files that didn't get uninstalled the first time around.

I was sure that would have fixed everything.  But, nope ... not entirely anyway.
I went to run another Auslogics Disk Defrag.
There were now less Blocks that didn't want to defrag, but still the main big chunk of them was still there. :o What the heck?!  That did improve some though.  Now when I hover my cursor on those Blocks, they no longer have 100 or 200 Files in there in addition to the 1 Fragmented File each that was the case before.  Now only the 1 Fragmented File exists in each Block.

I guess maybe I should install Puran Defrag and see if it will defrag those stubborn Blocks.
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SafeSurf

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Re: Glitched avast Uninstall
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2011, 09:58:17 AM »
Chim,

Did the machine ever have Avast v.4.0 on it?  If so, you should uninstall that as well like you did the other versions, then reboot.

Before you defrag, use something like CCleaner to clean up the machine and registry errors (you can back up the registry if you want prior to any fix).

Than do a defrag.  Run free Puran defrag normally, then do a Boot-time defrag (Restart-Defrag-Restart+Disk Check) -> third option down.  This will thoroughly defrag the machine.  http://www.puransoftware.com/Puran-Defrag.html

Offline Chim

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Re: Glitched avast Uninstall
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2011, 06:30:44 PM »
SafeSurf, yes, my computer did at one time have avast 4.x.
I can't remember whether on the switchover to avast 5.0, I did a clean install or if I just did the switchover via the GUI.

Either way, wouldn't any avast 4.x remnants have disappeared yesterday when I uninstalled avast 6.0 via the Windows Add / Remove function AND had earlier uninstalled avast 5.x via the avast Uninstall Utility AND manually deleted that avast 5.x Folder with 11.6 MegaBytes of Files?

Let me put it this way.  At one point there yesterday, as far as I could tell, I no longer had ANY avast / Alwil Folders in the Program Files Folder and in the C:\Documents And Settings\All Users\Application Data\Alwil Software PATH that David brought up.

And yeah, I did run CCleaner yesterday on the Registry and deleted all of the avast items that came up.  And I ran a CCleaner Scan and got rid of all the usual stuff.

Then I did download and install Puran Defrag yesterday.
I ran a Defrag with it.
It did put on a big Defrag Show for about 50 minutes.  ;D
It made wholesale changes.  It was worrying me there as it did its thing.
I was going, "Day-Um!  With all those massive changes, either my computer is now gonna be blazing FAST ... or it's no longer going to work." Doh!

Well, nothing got FUBARed.  Whew!  I don't sense my computer being any faster after all those changes.

Sooo ... that Puran Defrag Boot Time Defrag is pretty SAFE?

What about that PIOZR or whatever it's called File Optimizer?
Would you recommend THAT?  Puran claims it will increase system speed.
I think in the past, the guys at Geeks to Go have advised AGAINST File Optimizers like that one and Auslogics Disk Defrag one.
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DarkMasters

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Re: Glitched avast Uninstall
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2011, 11:40:15 PM »
What about that PIOZR or whatever it's called File Optimizer?
Would you recommend THAT?  Puran claims it will increase system speed.
I think in the past, the guys at Geeks to Go have advised AGAINST File Optimizers like that one and Auslogics Disk Defrag one.

I've tried Puran 7.3 full defrag with PIOZR option checked. It seems quite safe but I got a few of my movie files (with flv and mkv extension) got copied/doubled into another folder. I didn't really notice the difference in system speed (I do full defrag in my 12% fragmented system drive).

I don't really like Puran and revert back to Auslogics. I used to do a full defrag in Auslogics with it's optimizer option checked in the past, and I can say that it's safe to do so. I'd rather use Auslogics because it has the VSS compatible defrag mode, so it wouldn't mess with my system restore.

ady4um

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Re: Glitched avast Uninstall
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2011, 07:15:58 AM »
I don't have the full facts clear, so I may be completely wrong, but I thought that it could be worth mentioning/commenting about this.

First, about CCleaner. CCleaner includes an "Avast" item to "clean" some files from the HDD. Most, if not all of the files listed by the default CCleaner are Avast's logs. Depending on the settings (either of the current Avast installation, or of previous versions), the logs can be "big". Could they sum up 11.6MB? Rare, but possible.

So, maybe you should run CCleaner with the "Avast" item checked (and with all the others unchecked). The simplest way to do this is to boot in Windows Safe Mode, open CCleaner, right-click over the "Avast" item in CCleaner and select "Analyze". Check the results (right-click -> "View details results"), and if you decide to actually delete the files, then repeat the action but with "Clean" instead of "Analyze". Do NOT forget to REBOOT before anything else.

My second observation relates to Avast's "cache". If Avast is indeed using those 11MB for cache, then there is no point on defragging them, nor deleting them. Avast will keep creating and renewing the cache files, so no real gain could be achieved from defragging the cache files, or from deleting them (except if you select the appropriate setting so Avast would stop using the cache).

Could you report here the complete path to the folder where those 11MB files are located? Maybe I missed this info from your previous posts?

Those files could be part of VSS or some other system area. Even if you run some defrag function on those type of files, the normal tendency is for those type of files to "re-fragment", so you would be actually wasting more time in trying to defrag them, than the real time you would be gaining.

For example, if those files are part of some "restore points" or something similar, they would eventually disappear, being replaced by other files. So, while you currently see some "avast" related files, they are not actually related. They will be changed after some new "restore points" are created. This is just a very general example. I'm not saying that this is your particular case. But, for this kind of situations, defragging or deleting is useless, and you should not worry about those 11MB.

You also mentioned you ran the clean uninstall process more than once. For any (un)install process, while you are troubleshooting, you should always reboot between EACH step, and also after the final step. The same goes to defragmenting. Even though most current defraggers will tell you that you don't need to reboot, while you are troubleshooting you should run the defragger in Windows Safe Mode (con: VERY slow) and reboot.

Even when you plan to, say, run some uninstaller in safe mode, and then defrag in safe mode, you should REBOOT between those 2 operations.

To be clear, I am NOT actually recommending that you should defrag in Windows Safe Mode. I am saying that if you are still interested in troubleshooting this particular case, and if you get to the point where you have actually eliminated those files, you should defrag using Safe Mode to confirm. For troubleshooting purposes, the defraggers function of "Analyze" before actually "defragmenting" is not suppose to be so slow as the defrag itself, so you should run it under Windows Safe Mode during this troubleshooting period; and that function is actually recommended over the actual defrag function for the troubleshooting goal. (Please do NOT confuse the defragger's "analyze" function with CCleaner's "Analyze" function.)

For more specific (and shorter) comments, I think that the actual real path to those 11MB of files would be useful.

SafeSurf

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Re: Glitched avast Uninstall
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2011, 07:56:56 AM »
CCleaner includes an "Avast" item to "clean" some files from the HDD.
The new versions of CCleaner does not include Avast anymore.  I usually download the Slim Version (no toolbars since toolbars often contain adware).  Here is the download link for the different CCleaner versions: http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner/builds

As for using Puran Boot-time defrag, this is also what Essexboy recommends as well after doing malware removal and keeping users safe.  I've been using it a long time after trying others, and find this to be more efficient on several different OS's, and I have not lost any data.

ady4um

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Re: Glitched avast Uninstall
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2011, 09:22:59 AM »
The new versions of CCleaner does not include Avast anymore.
Using the portable version, after I download the updated exe I always copy it over the older one (with CCleaner completely closed). I don't know if "clean" installing newer versions of CCleaner doesn't add the "Avast" item. I use the latest portable CCleaner, and I still have the "Avast" item ("Cleaner" -> "Applications" tab -> "Utilities" section).

Anyway, I only commented about it because it was mentioned in a previous post. I don't have any way to know if the Avast's logs (that can be potentially deleted by CCleaner) are part of the problem of the OP, except if he comes back here to post the actual complete path to those 11MB of files that are the issue of the topic.

If some defragger (Puran, Auslogic, or whichever) can defrag those files should be a second goal. CCleaner should also be in a second level discussion.

The main issue, IMO, is to confirm if those "Avast-related" files should still be there, or they should had been deleted by the uninstaller. Let's find out *that* first; and we can only do that if we get actual feedback from the OP.

SafeSurf

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Re: Glitched avast Uninstall
« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2011, 09:49:12 AM »
@ ady4um,

If you are upgrading CCleaner and still getting Avast on your new versions, then I would uninstall and do a clean install.  I'm not getting Avast on the new versions of CCleaner for quite some time now on clean installs.  You are correct in that there was previous discussions in older threads quite a while ago.

CCleaner does not delete Avast logs unless they are using a version like yours that has Avast in it and Avast is checked off; you would need to make sure Avast is unchecked.

Any defragger will defrag the files you mentioned.  However the OP posted that the machine is running the same, but did not do a boot-time defrag yet.

The OP posted that he does not see any Awil file folder remnants.  Awil folders pertain to v.4.0 -5.0, while Avast folders pertain to v.6.0, so this problem seems resolved (NOTE name change).

@ Chim,

At one point there yesterday, as far as I could tell, I no longer had ANY avast / Alwil Folders in the Program Files Folder and in the C:\Documents And Settings\All Users\Application Data\Alwil Software PATH.

Then I did download and install Puran Defrag yesterday.
I ran a Defrag with it.
It did put on a big Defrag Show for about 50 minutes.  ;D
It made wholesale changes.

Sooo ... that Puran Defrag Boot Time Defrag is pretty SAFE?
What about that PIOZR or whatever it's called File Optimizer?
Would you recommend THAT?  Puran claims it will increase system speed.
I suggest that you run the Puran Boot-time defrag.  Also make sure you have the latest version of the CCleaner (see the beginning of this post for more information).


ady4um

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Re: Glitched avast Uninstall
« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2011, 10:34:45 AM »
@SafeSurf, I don't understand what exactly is the problem with CCleaner and Avast.

I don't use CCleaner to clean Avast logs. I just mentioned that CCleaner has it listed in the portable version I used. I have it always UNchecked, but if I use it to analyze the available "Avast" items, the correct list of Avast logs is displayed.

I use the portable version, so no (un)install should be needed. I could try to unzip the latest version in a different folder, just to compare it. Maybe I will.

Since CCleaner was already mentioned before in this same topic, but the particular "Avast" item was not specifically referred to, I just thought that the specific item could add some INFO to the OP. As I said before, I am NOT recommending to use CCleaner to delete the logs. Moreover, probably those 11MB are not the Avast logs. Still possible? Yes.

About the OP and the original problem, I have NOT understood that the problem was solved, and I still think it hasn't.

Yes, the OP mentioned that Alwil/Avast folders are not there anymore, but if I understood correctly, the same files are still being listed in his defragger tool, and he originally thought that they shouldn't be there. Again, if I understood correctly the original posts, defragmenting those files is not the real issue, but the fact that those files are still listed (present, not deleted), while the OP thought that they should had been gone (completely uninstalled).

If the problem now is that the OP wants to defrag those files (whatever they are), then I would agree that from Avast point of view the topic is solved.

If the problem is still the same as the original (why those "Avast-related" files are listed in the defragger tool), then I only suggested to the OP to provide here the complete path, so we can help him decide if those files are indeed "Avast-related", or they are remnants of some system tool (like "restore points"), and there is nothing to take care of, nor to worry about.

@Chim, please correct me if I'm wrong.

Offline Chim

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Re: Glitched avast Uninstall
« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2011, 03:50:42 PM »
ady4m ... to recap:

My original plan was to wipe out every atom of any and all of avast's existence on my computer so that I could then install the latest avast 6.0.xxxx straight from the Install File instead of having my current avast be a product of several GUI Upgrades since the 4.8 days.  I just figured this would make for better organization of all the Files & Folders behind the scenes ... and possibly get rid of any Files that were no longer needed IF those happened to exist.

So, anyway, my Auslogics Disk Defrags used to ALWAYS be completed 100% in their entirety.
For whatever reason, after the avast 5.x Uninstall via the avast Uninstall Utility, suddenly a chunk of Blocks could no longer be defragged.  The thing is though, never mind why those Blocks couldn't be defragged.  The better question at that point was --- WHY did those Blocks even still exist after the avast Uninstall?  I knew those Blocks were avast-related because during all my Auslogics Defrags, those Blocks were indicated as being avast Cache or something along those lines.

At that point, I could ascertain that there were no longer any avast / Alwil Folders in the Program Files Folder.  That's when I asked if anyone knew of any other possible place that more avast / Alwil Folders could exist.  David informed me of the C:\Documents And Settings\All Users\Application Data\Alwil Software PATH.  That is where I found the additional 11.6 MegaBytes of assorted avast 5 stuff ... NOT just Cache.  I manually deleted those 11.6 MegaBytes of avast 5 stuff.  So yes, those 11.6 MegaBytes of avast stuff no longer exist.

NOW ... after deleting those 11.6 MegaBytes, as per Auslogics Disk Defrag, the number of Files in those undefraggable Blocks did get reduced a lot.  But, each Block STILL had ONE File each that couldn't be defragged for whatever reason.

At that point I downloaded, installed and ran Puran Defrag.  I figured maybe or logically, Puran Defrag would rearrange Files in its own way and in the process defrag the mysterious undefraggable Files.  But, Nope.  After the 50 minute Puran Defrag, it too indicated some undefraggable Files.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2011, 03:52:16 PM by Chim »
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Offline Chim

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Re: Glitched avast Uninstall
« Reply #14 on: June 01, 2011, 04:06:16 PM »
If the problem now is that the OP wants to defrag those files (whatever they are), then I would agree that from Avast point of view the topic is solved.

If the problem is still the same as the original (why those "Avast-related" files are listed in the defragger tool), then I only suggested to the OP to provide here the complete path, so we can help him decide if those files are indeed "Avast-related", or they are remnants of some system tool (like "restore points"), and there is nothing to take care of, nor to worry about.

@Chim, please correct me if I'm wrong.

ady4um ... I don't want to waste you all's time that could be used more productively on other people's more solid problems.

To a large extent, I guess you COULD say the problem is solved ... NOT entirely, but probably mostly.  My avast indicates my system is SECURE.  I have the latest Virus Definitions.  As far as I can tell, my avast is working fine and doing its job.

Something obviously got glitched during the avast Uninstall as evidenced by the existence of the now out of the blue undefraggable Files.  But, so far, nothing in my system's operation seems to be suffering.

So, for now, I guess we can drop this issue so that you all can help other people that have problems where their systems ARE more seriously affected.  I'll let you all know if my system does act up.  For now I'll live with those undefraggable Files.  ;D

Thanks, Guys!  :)
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