I have Avast set up for manual program and definition updates only. It must ask my permission to connect to the Internet for all reasons. I am not participating in the "avast! community", and thus, under all of this, Avast should not be attempting to connect to the Internet for any reason unless I specifically request it to update.
However, silly me trusted Avast to not connect without asking me first, and I set up ZoneAlarm to allow Avast access to the Internet.
This morning I found my computer slowed to a crawl. The Windows XP Task Manager reported AvastSvc.exe using from 100MB to 200MB under Mem Usage and around 470MB under VM Size, which is abnormal for idle operations - the respective values should be 25MB and 10MB. I double checked the Avast graphs, which reported no activity at the time.
I have since denied Avast access to the Internet, requiring ZoneAlarm ask me first. Right now, the ZoneAlarm logs report 13 attempts by AvastSvc.exe and four attempts by AvastUI.exe to make outgoing connections today. It's not supposed to be making connections to the Internet for any reason, and yet it continues trying.
I had to cold boot my computer to stop it from making its outgoing connections and using this extreme amount of memory, as restarting through the Start menu wouldn't restart until AvastSvc.exe was finished doing whatever it wasn't supposed to be doing. Ever since, memory usage has returned back to normality.
I won't be allowing Avast to access the Internet for any reason (which should only be program and definition updates) until this is resolved.
1) Why does Avast need to connect when I don't want to update right now?
2) Why would it be using insane amounts of memory when it's supposed to be idling?