Avast Safe Zone went crazy in my registry

Discussion in 'other anti-virus software' started by nine9s, Apr 30, 2013.

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  1. nine9s

    nine9s Registered Member

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    I just went from thinking Avast Safe Zone was great to needing to restore my latest whole system image.

    Situation:

    I upgraded to Avast Pro to get Safe Zone. I started playing around with it and love it at first. It does a full screen view, so a keylogger screen capture could not get it - that was good. It had shortcuts for Word and Excel in it automatically - this was great because I like to manually copy banking and brokerage information to spreadsheets and I was worried I would have to toggle in and out of Safe ZOne to do that but both Word and Excel were there, so again I thought that was great.

    Then I opened an Excel file and added some text to bottom cells "test to see if Safe ZOnes saves to regular O/S" and saved it to a normal place. I left Safe Zone and opened the file but the extra text was not there (Safe Zone did not save it.) I then went to Safe ZOne and opened the file again, and the extra text was there as I viewed it in Safe ZOne but again, the same file was not the one in the regular O/S even though Safe Zone showed it to be saved to same place. I then tested to see if Safe ZOne would save a file to my regular O/S. I Downloaded a PDF file, and saved it to My DOwnloads. When I exited Safe Zone, I found that file but it was not a PDF, as it was when I saved it. Instead it was an HTML file with nothing in it when I opened it.

    So evidently Safe Zones saves file somewhere that only it can see access them and/or doesn't really save things - at least the same type and content of what you think you are saving. I searched in its directory and did an overall system search for a new file that I created and saved via Excel in Safe Zone - it showed up no where.This might be good security but it was not practical for what I wanted (I want manual control over my files.)

    So I went from thinking Safe Zone was great, to thinking it would still be good to access my banks and brokerages, but not as practical as it first appeared when I thought it had full access to Excel and Word and I could do all my updating and secure browsing in it.

    So so far, still good - just not great anymore. But then problems started.

    Problems:

    It did its dimming of everything (imagine turning brightness of your monitor all the way down.) This is some intended signal that Safe Zone is still open. But I had ended it and saw no way to re-enter its prior session, so I just restarted it and ended it again but dimness remained. I then rebooted, and dimness was gone (everything looked normal.) I then went back to Safe Zone to test it but could not recreate the dimness anymore, but now Safe Zone's browser was hanging and would not go to any websites. I then tried Excel and it hung, then I got some quick flash of a message that Microsoft Office was installing.

    I waited a while but saw no more messages about Microsoft Office installing and I then exited Safe Zone and restarted it again. But now neither Excel nor Word would open and browser would still not go to any web sites. Excel and Word both gave errors that they did not previously close or open files correctly and wanted me to restore copies. I did that, and now both seemed to work. The browser also worked okay now. I exited Safe Zone thinking it was just a random bug and everything was okay.

    I then decided to check Event Viewer to see if it showed anything. It had two or three related errors. One was stating Safe Zone had an application hang error (that makes sense with the hung browser and Excel and Word I saw.) Another one warned that the registry did not shut down okay or something (that concerned me.) And another warned of registry modifications (that really concerned me.) That last one was the longest error I had every seen, the page was almost non ending as you scrolled down. It seemed it listed pretty much my entire registry as it showed line by line what was modified. I keep my system very clean, and have few event errors (just initial ones from installing the system, so this one error was probably much greater than all my other event viewer errors combined - it was huge (I was then extremely concerned.)

    I did not even try to investigate it; I simply did a system image restore from my last one and I will stay with Avast Free but I am curious (see the three following questions please.)

    Questions:

    Anyone have any idea what Safe Zone did:

    1) where it put files I saved with it;
    2) what it was doing to Microsoft Office/Excel/Word;
    3) what did it do to pretty much my entire registry?
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2013
  2. Charyb

    Charyb Registered Member

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    Now that you have re-imaged, you will probably never know what happened.
     
  3. Charyb

    Charyb Registered Member

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    It hasn't been deleted.

    -http://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=122779.msg934219#msg934219
     
  4. nine9s

    nine9s Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2013
    Posts:
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    Location:
    USA
    Thanks. Sorry for the accusation. I looked over a few pages, and after not seeing it, I did a search for my name, and of the post results I did not see it, so I assumed it was deleted. (Note, I deleted my above message.)
     
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