AVG AV Free Edition 9.0 Review

Discussion in 'other anti-virus software' started by JRViejo, Oct 17, 2009.

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  1. JRViejo

    JRViejo Super Moderator

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    DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT update to version 9.0.790 just yet. If you have done so already, you probably can't connect out to tell anyone about your problems.

    I manually updated this morning and had nothing but issues, similar to this AVG Free Forum Post: Cannot Connect To Websites After AVG Update. I spent many hours trying to diagnose the problem, to no avail. I'll detail what happened in the next several posts.

    In the end, I had to revert back to AVG Free Edition 9.0.730 (FileHippo file in case you need it and remember to update the virus definitions ONLY) in order to connect out.
     
  2. JRViejo

    JRViejo Super Moderator

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    As one can see from my previous post's screen capture, this 9.0.790 version update was a huge 6.8 MB, with a lengthy number of fixes and improvements.

    The installation went fine, prompting a reboot at the end, which I did. Afterward, I went looking for any changes. Under Tools > Advanced Settings, Version AVG Free 9.0.790 has a new process called Cache Server and although the AVG Free User Manual has not been updated yet, the recent AVG Paid Anti-Virus User Manual 9.0.23 details this process as (screen capture is mine):

    I decided to test this Cache Server process, detailed in the next 2 posts.
     
  3. JRViejo

    JRViejo Super Moderator

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    Using the same parameters described earlier at the beginning of this thread, Fast Scan Whole Computer took 1 hour and 23 minutes to scan 512,485 objects.

    avg90790scan1.gif

    My CPU fan kicked in 6 times during the above test, while scanning these areas:

    OpenOffice Portable, VLC Player Portable, Adobe/Macromedia (Studio MX 2004 & Dreamweaver CS4), Common Files (mainly Microsoft Office 2003 and the aforementioned Adobe/Macromedia), Program Files (Java and Microsoft Office 2003).

    I guess-estimate that the CPU Usage averaged 85% during this first test. The completed scan found 8 (known by me) False Positives, which were moved to the Virus Vault:

    avg90790scan1results.gif

    Afterward, I checked Task Manager to see if the AVG processes had quieted down and indeed they had (you can check these results against the first ones I published at the beginning of this thread):

    avg90790scan1TM.gif

    Next post: final test.
     
  4. JRViejo

    JRViejo Super Moderator

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    Before initiating the second test, I restored the False Positives back to their proper places so the test would be the same. Fast Scan Whole Computer took about 31 minutes to scan 417,769 objects, about 95,000+ objects less than the first scan.

    avg90790scan2results.gif

    My CPU fan never once kicked in during the second test and I guess-estimate that the CPU Usage was an average of 55% during this test. The completed scan found the same 8 (known by me) False Positives, which were moved to the Virus Vault. Here's the Task Manager after the second test.

    avg90790scan2TM.gif

    Conclusion: Based on these results, the Cache Server process not only cut a subsequent scan's time by 52 minutes but also reduced CPU Usage by 30%, without the need for the CPU fan to ever kick in. Finally, progress in an area that AVG users have complained the most.

    Alas, I wished this story had a happy ending, but trouble was brewing ahead without my knowledge. Next post.
     
  5. JRViejo

    JRViejo Super Moderator

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    Giddy with excitement and ready to post my findings here, I start Firefox 3.6 and it does not connect, just like the fellow in the AVG Forum thread. I kept reloading the Home page and once in awhile, it would partially render, but never finish. I try my seldom used IE 6 and experienced the same thing.

    At first, I thought it was my ISP, because I was even having issues downloading emails (time outs), so I go to my laptop (Win 7, IE 8, MSE, Win FW, Wireless) and no problem whatsoever connecting out. I double check the AVG Advanced Settings and every checked item is the same as before.

    I decide to do an AVG Repair Installation, thinking that something went wrong with the initial install, and afterward, same issue, except that Firefox would connect to some sites, fully, but not others.

    Remembering the previous issue with Zone Alarm, I unchecked the Load at Startup box and reboot the PC, confirming that ZA is not running in the Task Manager. Same thing, no outbound connections and when available, partial Web site rendering.

    Decided to do an AVG Add & Remove Component install, thinking that maybe some remnants of the LinkScanner or Web Shields were installed without my knowledge. Everything checks out and still with ZA not running, the same issue continues. That's when I checked the AVG Free Forum and saw that post. Finally, having had enough testing, I revert back to AVG Free Edition 9.0.730 and my connection problems disappear. Enabled ZA and no issues since.

    Note: Be aware that the Optimize Scanning feature will be enabled, after the 9.0.730 installation, for a few minutes.

    Something is amiss with this new AVG 9.0.790 version and ZA (or at least my old version of it), is not at fault. Better keep your current version updated with virus definitions, until AVG figures out what's wrong. If an AVG user has found this connection issue, with the same or different firewall, please do post for the benefit of others who might be reading this.
     
  6. Brocke

    Brocke Registered Member

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    wow Thank you for letting AVG users know.
     
  7. ski123

    ski123 Registered Member

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  8. JRViejo

    JRViejo Super Moderator

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    ski123, you are correct. The only difference (from my previous screen shot) is the Language Files:

    avg90791.gif

    I still have not upgraded to this version. There are more users beginning to post their problems (Cannot Connect To Websites After AVG Update) and one even stated that without using ZA, they still can't connect. Some have only enabled the LinkScanner, and others have only disabled the Email Scanner, eliminating the connection issue. However, AVG is insisting that the current predicament is a ZA problem.
     
  9. Satyre

    Satyre Registered Member

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    I got bit by the 9.0.971 update also and after finding your comment reverted to the 9.0.7 version. How do I limit AVG to only updating the virus and spyware databases? TIA
     
  10. JRViejo

    JRViejo Super Moderator

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    Satyre, first, welcome to Wilders!

    Unfortunately, if you have AVG set to do an Automatic Update, whatever is in the pipeline (whether it's virus definitions, spyware db and/or program upgrades) will be downloaded and installed. The way to limit the download is to do a Manual Update, after disabling the Update Manager via the GUI and also Advanced Settings, un-checking what you don't want.

    Before attempting this, download and read the User Manual to familiarize yourself with the procedure. Afterward, you can keep up with all daily AVG Updates by visiting Wilders' Update Alerts forum. The Updates Team (ourstanley and roddy32) do an excellent job of keeping current with all updates.

    Should you have any more questions, don't hesitate to post back.
     
  11. Brocke

    Brocke Registered Member

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    @JRViejo


    just curious with all the issues and rootkit limitations, how come you use AVG is still when there is Avast and MSE out there?

    thanks
     
  12. JRViejo

    JRViejo Super Moderator

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    Brocke, if you read my post #130, I do use MSE in my Win 7 laptop. I keep up with AVG, and have it in my Win XP SP2 rig, because quite a few non-techie family members use AVG. Sincerely, as AVG has gotten more difficult to handle for them, I have slowly moved some members to MSE. Eventually, they will all get there. In the meantime, I keep posting for those AVG users (family members included) who might benefit from my experience.
     
  13. Brocke

    Brocke Registered Member

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    yeah understandable, im more or less in the same boat and have moved my family members to Avast 5 free.
     
  14. bloomcounty

    bloomcounty Registered Member

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    JRViejo -- Does this mean that AVG Free AV 9.0.x is just not going to work with the older versions of ZA that you and I use at any point in the future ever?

    If AVG is waiting for ZA to fix the issue, obviously the fix isn't going to be for our older ZA Free versions. In the past, it was our older versions that weren't effected by the last time there was a ZA incompatibility (it was with Microsoft something or other, I believe). But this time we're not so "lucky"... :doubt:

    As stated by others, there are people who are having this issue who don't use ZA, so doesn't that imply the issue isn't with ZA solely, but something else more general that AVG should fix on their end? o_O

    Glad I'm still running AVG Free 8.5.x -- and here's hoping they continue to provide definition updates for that, maybe even longer now that they're having so many issues with 9.0.x.

    Maybe people should chime in here if they are having this issue and *don't* use ZA -- more proof that it's not a ZA issue, right?
     
  15. JRViejo

    JRViejo Super Moderator

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    BC, I don't have the answer to that question and only time will tell whether old ZA versions will be affected.

    The fact that some AVG users (who don't utilize ZA) are having problems tells me, that there's more to this story than AVG is letting out at the moment. Version 9.0.733 works perfectly and 9.0.791 does not, so there has been a major change somewhere.

    The whole thing is a shame because AVG finally was able to cut down the scan time and CPU usage with its new Cache Server component, as detailed in my posts above.

    Until this issue is resolved, IMO I don't think AVG will end 8.5's support. My advice to you is to keep using 8.5 and update it daily.
     
  16. robinb9

    robinb9 Registered Member

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    i have not seen thi sparticular issue with AVG myself and i have it on many clients computers but NONE of them are running Zone Alarm. But I will tell you I had to move a few clients to MSE and or AVAST because AVG did not play nice after the last update and slowed down 3 of my client's computers. I myself used to be a big advocate of AVG Free but since the program has limited rootkit findings and have been plagued with other new problems, any new computers I sell now have MSE for those who are beginner users and the more advanced user will be getting AVAST free.
    IF AVG doesn't get their act together soon, I will wind up removing the Pro version I have if i see anymore problems with it. and I will drop my Reseller license for it.

    I like JRViejo will have no choice but to move my clients off AVG if more problems arise.

    I have tried Avira but i find it has too many false positives and now that I know that Avast can do a scheduled scan for the more advanced users I will use that since I have it on 2 of my test computers (one windows 7 home premium and one XP Pro) and is doing well there. My laptop running windows 7 home and my netbook running Windows 7 Starter both have MSE on them.

    robin
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2010
  17. progress

    progress Guest

    The latest version of AVG is very ressource hungry on my laptop, I don't know what happened. I think it's time to remove it temporarily :rolleyes:
     
  18. bloomcounty

    bloomcounty Registered Member

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    That's definitely my plan... thanks! But related to that (hope it's okay to post this here -- it's tangentially related to AVG Free 9.0 issue), I was wondering:

    I've avoided the last two AVG Free 8.5 program updates because of the issues that the 9.0 program updates were causing everyone (fearful that the 8.5 updates could cause a similar problem). The first update was for some minor interface bug fixes that I never noticed, so I ignored that one. The next/newest update has a little more to it. I am currently running 8.5.436.

    Here is the info on the two updates:

    Program update AVG Free 8.5.436 ................... March 8, 2010
    Fixes & Improvements
    User Interface: Minor bugfixes in the user interface.

    Program update AVG Free 8.5.437 ................... March 18, 2010
    Fixes & Improvements
    AvgSys: Fixed issue with new certificate check.
    Core: Polymorphic malware detection methods have been improved.


    As you can see, the first one didn't really look like anything. I'm leary of the "Fixed issue with new certificate check" in the second one as I don't know what the means (and never noticed any issue). The "polymorphic malware detection" part is something that seems to get updated regularly, but I'm fearful there's something bundled in here that is going to cause the same issues as 9.0 is having. :(

    Any thoughts? Avoid doing program updates for now and stick with virus definitions?

    Thanks! :thumb:
     
  19. Ibrad

    Ibrad Registered Member

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    When I last used AVG the new polymorphic malware method updates never messed up the machine. I never knew why they did not separate Engine Updates and App Updates so I did not have to update the program version just to get those changes.

    I think the worse thing I ever went through with AVG was when the buggy update caused to UI to not appear. They was fixed after 10 reboots.
     
  20. JRViejo

    JRViejo Super Moderator

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    BC, with your version 8.5, I would do both program and virus defs. That's what I have instructed some family members (who have not upgraded to version 9.0) to do.

    As I understand it, the Certificate Check insures that a program has a valid, digital certificate and if it doesn't, it flags the program as a PUP (Potentially Unwanted Programs). The Polymorphic Detection improvement would help catch newer malware, so to skip this update would place your PC at risk.

    I know you always hesitate in updating AVG, however, all you have to do is create a Restore Point before doing so and if you encounter any issues, just go back to that point.

    Ibrad, in version 9.0, AVG has done a better job of separating virus defs from program updates yet I agree that sometimes AVG creates a mess of confusion with their updates! :ouch:
     
  21. robinb

    robinb Registered Member

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    fyi- i just received an offer to test avg 9.0 beta- seems they are working on trying to fix the problems at hand. I hope so because i really liked AVG 9.0 up until 3mths ago, oh and my understanding is that 8.5 will not be supported prior to the end of this year. They would not commit to me when, though

    robin
     
  22. JRViejo

    JRViejo Super Moderator

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    robin, thanks for the heads-up! :thumb:

    I really liked that Cache Server feature, so let's hope they can quickly find what's behind the connection issues.
     
  23. Ibrad

    Ibrad Registered Member

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    I am trying to help my friend solve a AVG problem. After getting a AVG update (we think) and then rebooting the PC won't boot. Safemode won't load, system restore won't work.

    He was running: AVG 9, Norton, Spybot Tea Timer, and MSE. His OS is Windows 7 64bit.
     
  24. JRViejo

    JRViejo Super Moderator

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    Ibrad, if this is on the level, there are 3 AVs competing for attention, never mind S&D's TeaTimer, so an update from any of these programs could turn that PC into a brick. Hopefully, your friend has a recovery disk or at the very least, created a backup disc when that PC was new, for times like this.
     
  25. Ibrad

    Ibrad Registered Member

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    I don't know about a recovery disk I will ask him. I think only Norton had real time on AVG and MSE had real time off but automatic updates on. He told he if we can get back into the PC he will take of al but one AV.
     
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