Author Topic: Can AVAST be installed on an SD card?  (Read 12837 times)

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Tiger-Heli

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Can AVAST be installed on an SD card?
« on: October 10, 2011, 01:07:38 PM »
I recently installed AVAST on my desktop computer and I really like the way the program works.  On the desktop computer, I installed AVAST to the G:\ partition of my hard drive, even though the OS is on my C:\ partition.

Against my better judgement, my wife purchased a Dell Mini netbook with an 8GB SDD HD for primary storage.  I recently installed a 16GB SD card to triple the storage capacity.  However, AVAST says it can only install to the C:\drive, not the D:\ drive, which is the SD card.

She previously ran Microsoft Security Essentials from C:\ and it often didn't have space to update its files and had to be removed and re-installed, and AVAST has a larger footprint, so I don't want to put it on C:\.

I was wondering if it was possible to install it to C:\ and then move some files to D:\ and change the registry - or if any other options were available.

Thanks in advance and thanks for a great program.

Offline DavidR

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Re: Can AVAST be installed on an SD card?
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2011, 01:30:16 PM »
I would say that is because the drive is considered removable as it is.

I guess you can install it on any drive/partition. provided that drive is internal. I don't see that there would be much in the way of files that could be moved, not that there is a huge amount of space taken up by avast.

Currently on my HDD Program Files, avast software folder is 160MB, which isn't excessive (even on an 8GB SSD), whilst this figure will fluctuate after updates, avast does its house keeping and cleans old virus definition update folders. So it should stay at a level over time.
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Tiger-Heli

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Re: Can AVAST be installed on an SD card?
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2011, 01:42:56 PM »
I would say that is because the drive is considered removable as it is.

Agreed - Is there any way to mark the SD card as "non-removable" to "trick" the installer into installing on it?

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I don't see that there would be much in the way of files that could be moved,

Not sure if I was clear on what I was referring to.  If the installer cannot be tricked to install AVAST to D:\, I was wanting to know if I could install it to C:\, then copy all the files from (maybe) C:\Program Files\AVAST to D:\Program Files\AVAST - then edit the registry so all entries point to D:\ rather than C:\, so it will run from and update to D:\ rather than C:\ ?

Quote
Currently on my HDD Program Files, avast software folder is 160MB, which isn't excessive (even on an 8GB SSD)

You obviously have not owned one of these Netbooks.  I have WinXP on it.  Free space (with AntiVir installed on D:\), fluctuates between maybe 200 and maybe 20 MB - depending on how long it's been since I have run CCleaner on it (several times a week).  Most Windows updates fail to install from insufficient drive space.  I'm hoping I could free up 160MB or so for the temporary install - but I might need to transfer the files from the desktop PC instead.

Thanks again for helping me.

Tiger-Heli

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Re: Can AVAST be installed on an SD card?
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2011, 02:02:55 PM »
Found a partial answer here ...

The non-removable SD card fix is for an ASUS EEE and I'm not sure it works, but the other fixes (moving I386, temp folders, etc.) are things I should do and that might free up enough space to run AVAST from C:\.

But I'd still rather have it installed to D:\.

Thanks again!!!


Offline DavidR

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Re: Can AVAST be installed on an SD card?
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2011, 02:07:37 PM »
It isn't the installer you have to trick it is the OS as that is what determines what are fixed and what are removable drives I believe. So if mounting the SD Card option you found would work that could save a lot of grief, otherwise you are left with trying a move.

Before even trying this you would obviously have to disable the avast self-defence module as that would block any attempt to do this. Though I don't think it is a simple matter of moving the avast software folder to another location and changing the registry references for any instances of C:\Program Files\AVAST Software\ to G:\Program Files\AVAST Software\. I don't know if there are any internal references to locations.

Is this actually an SSD drive inside or just Flash Memory, If a very small SDD I don't know if these could be upgraded and how much it is likely to cost.
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Offline Pondus

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Re: Can AVAST be installed on an SD card?
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2011, 02:13:06 PM »
There are smaller free AV....  if that will help ?

Tiger-Heli

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Re: Can AVAST be installed on an SD card?
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2011, 02:29:11 PM »
@ DavidR:

The system came with an 8GB SSD internal drive.  Dell offerred a 16GB SSD drive for I think around $60-$120 - but then I have the hassle of transferring the data from the 8GB drive to the 16GB drive and hoping that works.

Instead I purchased a 16GB SD card which I installed in the card reader and figured I could install programs to that and remove them from the C:\ Drive and save space.

@ Pondus:

I'm open to suggestions - although I like AVAST.  What would you recommend?  I was running Microsoft Security Essentials, but it would only install to the OS partition.  I'm currently using AntiVir - which installed on the SD card fine, but I'm not crazy about it.

Offline DavidR

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Re: Can AVAST be installed on an SD card?
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2011, 02:55:15 PM »
I understand the hassle of changing drives, especially when you don't have a DVD drive when you can use cloning software to image the old drive and clone to the new one. I have a nice little acer netbook no optical drive, but has a reasonably large drive, 250GB Drive.

It has been a very, very long time since I have had a system with less than a 10GB drive. With today's software, like you there is no way I would have recommended getting a system with only 8GB either.
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Tiger-Heli

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Re: Can AVAST be installed on an SD card?
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2011, 05:26:21 PM »
So if mounting the SD Card option you found would work that could save a lot of grief, otherwise you are left with trying a move.

David,

I am pretty sure I tried the "Microdrivers" idea earlier (I was trying to create two partitions on a USB flash drive at the time) and it did not work.

Do you understand the first option "Recommended Fix - Mounting Your SD/SDHC Card" enough to explain it to me?

For example, I have the SD card set up as Drive D:\ now, and have a bunch of programs installed to it.

Now - I understand that if I had a blank drive, I would mount it as C:\SDHC\Program Files and install ALL my programs there.

As it is - I suspect I could mount the drive that way and maybe install AVAST, but Word would not work, b/c Windows is looking for D:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Winword and that doesn't exist.

And if I change the drive letter back to D:\, then AVAST won't work because it's supposed to be installed on C:\SDHC\Program Files.

So what I think it is saying I would need to do (and might be a good idea), would be to uninstall all programs that are currently in D:\Program Files - then Mount the drive as C:\SDHC\ - then re-install all the programs and AVAST and the other programs should still work.

Are you understanding the fix the same way I am.

(And that fix should work for Microsoft Security Essentials also - although I'm pretty happy with AVAST.)

Thanks again!!!

ady4um

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Re: Can AVAST be installed on an SD card?
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2011, 05:49:17 PM »
If I may, I think the "approach" to the problem is not "the best".

Installation of programs such as Avast should be done to the normal "programs" folder, usually in the system/boot drive C:.

You can change the "programs" folder location to another drive, but that's for *all* programs, not just for Avast.

I doubt the 8GB C: drive is a problem with a "normal" XP installation. Several other issues might possibly be around. For example, is that 8GB disk also partitioned ( so C: doesn't get all those 8GB)? Do you have a "Factory Restore" partition (do NOT delete it)?

Do you have "too many" programs installed?

It is "only" a netbook, so "too many" resource-hungry programs shouldn't be installed anyway.

I would try to take out of the way "other things", and let your antivirus (Avast or any other) to be installed "the traditional way".

For example, do you have programs that could be used as "portable"? Those are easier to move to other locations.

Do you have documents/pictures/videos? Those are easier to move than "programs".

Do you have older programs that you are not really using (or using once a year)? Can't you uninstall them? Some portable alternative could be enough to have somewhere around for those "once a year" programs.

Do you use backups? Are those saved in "C:"? Change their destination location.

Do you use Restore points? They tend to use *many* resources (including space). The "real" use / usefulness of Restore points depends on the user, so I'm not able to suggest to stop their use or not.

In addition, if I think about the security aspect, I would tend to think that a drive that is so clearly "removable" (even by "accident") is not the best option for a security tool. And even for any other non-portable tool, if you were to disconnect the removable disk, I would expect "a real mess" with all sort of problems (Windows would be looking for executable files, and some very frequently used folders, and they won't be there).

Moreover, if the removable disk is not there in one boot, there is a chance the assigned drive letters would change (and that is, essentially, the first reason for Windows not liking the "removable" drive for software installations).

A "simpler" XP system should be fine with 8GB, so maybe you could try to get to that "simpler" situation.

Tiger-Heli

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Re: Can AVAST be installed on an SD card?
« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2011, 06:14:00 PM »
At ady4um - I understand where you are coming from, but I disagree with a fair amount of your comments.

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You can change the "programs" folder location to another drive, but that's for *all* programs, not just for Avast.

Somewhat.  On my desktop, the default programs file is G:\Program Files and AVAST is installed there.

On the netbook, the initial default programs file was C:\Program Files.  I installed the SD card as drive D, and set new programs to install to D:\Program Files, but I had to re-install a lot of my programs to D:\Program files, b/c I didn't do that originally and now the registry entries are incorrect.

From the other page, it implies that all my programs should have probably been installed to C:\SDHC\Program Files with the SD card mounted there to allow programs like AVAST to install.

Quote
I doubt the 8GB C: drive is a problem with a "normal" XP installation. Several other issues might possibly be around. For example, is that 8GB disk also partitioned ( so C: doesn't get all those 8GB)? Do you have a "Factory Restore" partition (do NOT delete it)?

There is only an 8GB partition and it is an 8GB SSD and is setup as C:\.  There might be a restore folder on the C:\Drive, but there is no restore partition.  There is virtually nothing on the netbook except Windows, Firefox, Microsoft Word 2003, Crap Cleaner, Powerpoint Viewer, Foxit PDF viewer - and it is basically full.

(However - I realized from the other page that there might be an i386 folder and the Windows software updates downloads folders, etc. taking up space on the drive.)

I'll try to check on restore points.

Agreed on removing the SD card causing all sorts of problems - that was never the intent, the card was purchased solely for use as basically a supplemental hard drive and removing it was never intended.

Quote
In addition, if I think about the security aspect, I would tend to think that a drive that is so clearly "removable" (even by "accident") is not the best option for a security tool.

Brings up an interesting point, though.  I don't see a huge issue with AVAST being installed to the SD card - but I think I saw that the default config for AVAST was to not check removable media - so in this setup - if I installed AVAST on the C:\ SSD drive, would it not scan or check files loaded to the D:\ SD card?

Offline Pondus

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Re: Can AVAST be installed on an SD card?
« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2011, 06:41:57 PM »
Quote
@ Pondus:

I'm open to suggestions - although I like AVAST.  What would you recommend?  I was running Microsoft Security Essentials, but it would only install to the OS partition.  I'm currently using AntiVir - which installed on the SD card fine, but I'm not crazy about it.
Well there is Panda Cloud FREE....only a 33mb installer and i guess if you dont install the security toolbar then it will be smaller

Offline DavidR

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Re: Can AVAST be installed on an SD card?
« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2011, 07:15:29 PM »
It would be nice to know what changes were made to get the improvements.
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Tiger-Heli

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Re: Can AVAST be installed on an SD card?
« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2011, 07:56:52 PM »
It would be nice to know what changes were made to get the improvements.

Changes to what and improvements to what?

If you mean Panda - it is cloud-based, so it runs off web-servers and doesn't need to have the definition files on the installed PC.

I'm not sure I like the concept, but I haven't tried it or heard of any real issues with it.

(It's a bad solution if the PC were offline and you were installing software from a CD or USB key, but most users rarely do that anymore ...)

Offline DavidR

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Re: Can AVAST be installed on an SD card?
« Reply #14 on: October 10, 2011, 08:07:15 PM »
Well for me Panda, considering it is meant to be a cloud based AV solution, it used to be a larger download/installation file than avast. As far as I'm aware it installs a full AV as such, which requires all the normal elements. I don't know how big a footprint that would be.

I too am not convinced on the cloud AV concept as to how effective it would be if you haven't got a connection.
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