PDA

View Full Version : AVG 8.0 - Carefull...



Mario F.
05-01-2008, 12:12 PM
Folks,

For those of you using AVG, I suggest you keep a copy of 7.5 around before doing the upgrade to 8.0. I've installed it on my windows machine today. And I must say I'm completely unimpressed. The memory footprint more than duplicated, the on-demand scan is even slower than before and worst... the tray icon error state now is much more aggressive.

This last one is actually the worst. Memory and performance issues are minor and you won't even probably notice the latter on a machine faster than mine. But the tray icon issue completely destroys the application usability. I have posted on their forums, so you may want to read that for a better understanding of what is involved before doing the update:

Background Info: 8.0 introduces anti-spyware features and the LinkScanner (blocks dangerous websites and checks links for threats)



Hello,

I've seen this issue mentioned on the forums already. But would like to give a little more insight why its is such an annoyance to the point of forcing me to go back to 7.5. I also propose a few solutions.

Problem:
Any service deactivation on the AVG Components window forces AVG tray icon into the error state.

Why is this a problem:
Some of us don't want certain services. Mostly because have specific 3rd party replacements which we like/prefer more. This is true, for instance of the new Anti-Spyware service. But also because we may feel we don't need/want them. The common example here being the new LinkScanner.

Discussion:
Its perfectly reasonable for you, good folks at Grisoft, to sustain the argument that within the context of AVG usage, disabling these services makes the user less secure. You just don't know if we are using 3rd party replacements or if we care about safe browsing techniques and habits. As such, at the surface, turning the program into an error state makes sense. This is particularly important to computer illiterate users and even the average user who still lacks some knowledge on these matters.

However, this introduces a problem; For any user who knows what they are doing by disabling some service (personally, I want LinkScanner, Anti-Spyware, and Schedules disabled) it is extremely annoying to be told by the software that not only we are not secured, when we know better, but also all the functionality of the tray icon is suddenly lost. The program enters into error state mode and is permanently left there.

Believe it or not, but for the most part of us, we only want to see the error state when there's a new update to the program databases or after a predetermined period has passed without any updates to the database.

It's important that on the part of Grisoft, these users are accounted for and you don't loose them over such a trivial aspect of AVG design. It's also important Grisoft understands more technical users don't like or want to become dependent on one tool alone to handle their security needs. It's almost their mantra to never do that (ironically enough, for security reasons). They pick the best of the bunch on those several areas they are concerned about. AVG has been installed on many of these users machines for some years now. But 8.0 is introducing a problem that may as well mean they won't again.

Proposed Solutions:
I cannot ignore the importance of this "feature". I have acknowledged that a few paragraphs above; in short, less technical users or users wanting to benefit only from AVG features shouldn't be ignored either. In that context, both worlds must be accounted for. I humbly propose two possible solutions for the problem.

1. Advanced Component Settings
By accessing Tools > Advanced Settings the user is allowed to enable or disable error state for each Disabled Components... within reason. That is, components like LinkScanner, Anti-Spyware and Update Manager have a checkbox that allows the program to ignore their state when evaluating the application general error state.

It's perhaps important this option is only made available through the Advanced Options so the average user doesn't unintentionally make the software behave in a way they don't understand.

2. Tray Icon Sets
The tray icon switches between different icons indicating disabled services but retaining database update status functionality. For instance, I envision the current tray icon with a tiny yellow exclamation mark on the upper left corner indicating some services are disabled and yet allowing it to retain information on whether the database is up-to-date.

Conclusion:
As far as I'm concerned, and voicing those few I have talked about over this issue among my friends, AVG 7.5 (and prior versions) feature that allowed us to disable all scheduler tasks and still be remembered -- within a predetermined period of time -- that we needed to update our AVG virus database, was a favorite feature. We also liked the fact AVG didn't try to outsmart us by unnecessarily decide for us if we are working on a secure or insecure environment.

Personally this single feature alone made me, and these fellas, switch back to 7.5 and, if left unchecked, soon enough choose another tool for our anti-virus needs when 7.5 database stops being updated. Personally I see no need to be forced to do that considering how trivial the solution can be.

Elysia
05-01-2008, 12:32 PM
Wow, this sounds like a new Outpost. The new version completely destroyed years of hard work.
Hope they fix it, even though I don't use AVG.

cboard_member
05-01-2008, 12:51 PM
I upgraded yesterday and rolled back this morning. AVG isn't "doing it" for me anymore - what is everyone else using (free / open source only please). I'm going to start looking for myself like right now, but figured I'd ask here too.

Mario F.
05-01-2008, 12:54 PM
Yup. I'm curious too. Feel will have to change soon enough when they stop updating 7.5 virus database. Fire away what you suggest...

jEssYcAt
05-01-2008, 01:05 PM
Ouch. My primary machine is a PIII-500Mhz computer that barely cuts it when I'm only running Firefox. I use AVG and this sounds like it would cripple my machine. Definitely glad I haven't updated to 8.0 yet, and sounds like I may need to find something else. I certainly don't need anything slowing my web browsing down any more than the slow processor does already.

Geez, and I remember browsing via Netscape Navigator 2.0 on my 486-66DX machine, and most places it was smoother than most pages I visit today on my PIII-500. Too much flash and pomp and not enough content anymore. News sites that give 3 paragraphs of a story and 27 flash ads/banners are ridiculous, plus leaving landmines where if I accidentally scroll over one of the "highlighted keywords" in one of those 3 paragraphs, my computer comes to a halt until that stupid "key-word add" pops up... sorry, I'll stop ranting now.

Elysia
05-01-2008, 01:09 PM
Ah, maybe the Adblock plugin for FF can help. It blocks flash by default. You can simply click on them if you want to see them.
I love it. No more flash ads.
Add that to Adblock Plus and you got a great way of protecting your bandwidth from those pesky ads.

cboard_member
05-01-2008, 01:14 PM
Hmm. Another reason for me to abandon Opera and join the cult of the roaming FireFox users. But I :wub: Opera. But at the same time, FireFox seems better.

I only :wub: Opera because I'm so used to it, though. Even though I wind one of my good friends up by saying "opera > firefox" occasionally, I have a needling feeling that FireFox is the better of the two. Think I'll google for a comparison review and see if I can't convince myself to switch.

whiteflags
05-01-2008, 01:17 PM
I use avast! It's free. (http://www.avast.com)

I don't like the interface very much though, the people who built this went out of the way to make it look cute and futuristic, lots of bells and whistles when you click stuff. It gets very annoying. So there might be something simpler out there. Since I (purposefully) don't use the interface that much, it sort of stays out of the way. I just let the protection services run and do a boot scan every couple of months. That's my idea of virus and malware protection, anyway.

cboard_member
05-01-2008, 01:19 PM
I use avast! It's free. (http://www.avast.com)

I don't like the interface very much though, the people who built this went out of the way to make it look cute and futuristic, lots of bells and whistles. So there might be something simpler out there. Since I (purposefully) don't use the interface that much, it sort of stays out of the way. I just let the protection services run and do a boot scan every couple of months. That's my idea of virus or malware protection, anyway.

Mine too. I run an actual scan about once every half a year...

I think I'll give that a try for now, I was in the middle of considering it as you posted :)

psychopath
05-01-2008, 02:36 PM
I used to use AVG, but over the last few 6-8 months, I haven't been running any AV software, or any firewall beyond what my router offers. Installed it the other day to do a scan after plugging in my friends harddrive; no viruses.

IMHO, as long as your smart about what you do (don't open anything sketchy, use a secure browser, etc), there's really no way to get a virus or any other malware these days.

whiteflags
05-01-2008, 02:57 PM
The first defense is always yourself, I agree. But code wants to be broken. The last Adobe Reader update was to diffuse a security problem that originated in Windows, because the method of infection was through a munged PDF. I wish I had a similar, recent example for browsers, but I see a similar problem. Once my sister was shopping for clothes, and avast! blew up because it detected something awry trying to download.

You are caught with your pants down between patches or versions of software. You have to trust the source. I think that's why some people prefer to insulate themselves further with AV software, especially if you get something capable that has heuristics detection and so forth.

abachler
05-01-2008, 04:44 PM
Ill have to check the new 8.0 out, a lot of our customers buy AVG based on my recommendation which is based on my using 7.5 at home. If they truly made it a pile of garbage Ill have to rethink my recommendation, but i will reserve judgeent until I can make a definitive decision.

Mario F.
05-01-2008, 05:47 PM
This is a lovely article at IBM Research site that will bring a tear into some of you eyes, as you remember such disparate long forgotten names like Jerusalem, Suriv, Dark Avenger, Eugene Kaspersky, Frodo, the Whale hoax, Fish Virus, the incredibly awesome VxBBS that had me fill floppies with virus just for fun, Certus, Vaccine, McAfee VirusScan, Dr Solomon's, F-Prot, Tequilla,...

A little bit of-topic but quite a fun read as you go through the history of virus and antivirus since 86 till 96.

Worth saving: http://www.research.ibm.com/antivirus/timeline.htm

PING
05-02-2008, 11:01 AM
Hmm. Another reason for me to abandon Opera and join the cult of the roaming FireFox users. But I :wub: Opera. But at the same time, FireFox seems better.

I only :wub: Opera because I'm so used to it, though. Even though I wind one of my good friends up by saying "opera > firefox" occasionally, I have a needling feeling that FireFox is the better of the two. Think I'll google for a comparison review and see if I can't convince myself to switch.

Don't waste more time, switch.. This comes from an ex Opera lover.

abachler
05-02-2008, 01:10 PM
Don't waste more time, switch.. This comes from an ex Opera lover.

definition of an endless loop -


while(IE > (Opera + Firefox));

Elysia
05-02-2008, 01:23 PM
Only, that loop will never happen since IE < Opera && IE < Firefox ;)

Codeplug
05-02-2008, 01:35 PM
I upgraded to 8.0.
Found this in the FAQ: http://free.grisoft.com/ww.faq.num-1338#faq_1338
Searched the setup image for more "feature strings".
Ended up using this command line to install AVG:


/REMOVE_FEATURE fea_AVG_SafeSurf /REMOVE_FEATURE fea_AVG_SafeSearch /REMOVE_FEATURE fea_AVG_HttpScanner /REMOVE_FEATURE fea_AVG_Firewall /REMOVE_FEATURE fea_AVG_AntiRootkit /REMOVE_FEATURE fea_AVG_Antispam avgrsx.exe now hangs around 15MB mem usage.

Verified basic virus detection still works: http://www.eicar.org/anti_virus_test_file.htm

gg

Mario F.
05-02-2008, 02:17 PM
Thanks codeplug. I'm downloading 8.01 again and see how happy I become with those suggestions.

For now, the following is version 7.5.524a1293 reported memory footprint on my machine. That version is the last of the 7.5 versions that didn't have the UI redesigned, and my favorite.

Highlighted is the command control which I usually have turned off.

Codeplug
05-02-2008, 02:54 PM
Another thing that's intresting, is if you open Help -> Contents -> Advanced Settings, there is a page called "Ignore Faulty Components Conditions". Only problem is that there's no real UI for what that help page covers....
I could only find it mentioned in their forums here:
http://forum.grisoft.cz/freeforum/read.php?12,121100,121296#msg-121296

gg

Mario F.
05-02-2008, 03:36 PM
Where did you find the command line arguments? I'm trying to find the one to remove the anti-spyware component, but can't even locate the others. I'm using stud_PE

EDIT:
>> Only problem is that there's no real UI for what that help page covers....

Yup. That was a feature of 7.5 and my main beef with 8.0 since it was removed.

Codeplug
05-02-2008, 04:13 PM
I used process explorer on the running setup at first. Or you can unpack the main download using WinRar and look at all the "fea_AVG" strings in avgsetup.exe.

I never got the "anit-spyware" component not to show up in the UI - but I don't know that it's doing anything more than using the same scan engine that the "anti-virus" component uses. May just be a logical seperation of definations.

gg

Mario F.
05-02-2008, 05:53 PM
I was being dumb. Didn't think looking at the downloaded file as an archive.

Yes, probably the anti-spam component is part of the anti-virus one. I've looked through fet_ strings and there's nothing there indicating its presence. Mostly the ones you found, plus some plugins and such. The only cryptic one was "fea_AVG_Cl". But won't bother with it. Probably some command line mode.

Ok. I have it installed and running. The memory footprint below is dismaying. It's AV bloatware on my poor 500MB. Maybe it's not an issue with someone with 1GB or more of RAM. But AVG is not for me anymore.

8115

I'm not going to carry around a antivirus on my machine that went from 3MB to 45MB in idle mode. Not to mention the Resident Shield is very aggressive with a noticeable slowdown on my machine even when I navigate through the Start Menu. It takes around 1 minute to open my C/C++ Menu.

Thanks again for the tips Codeplug. For others it may be useful. Since I expect most people are running 1GB and other machines. Hope they are still paying attention to the thread.

Codeplug
05-03-2008, 09:07 AM
Hmmm, well I've got a PC with 512MB total ram - avgrsx.exe is hanging around at 15MB mem usage.
My other PC with 1GB ram looks exactly like yours - 31,640K mem usage.

Looks like AVG scales it's "idle" memory usage based on available resources. Peak mem usage is ~ 46MB on both.

gg

Mario F.
05-03-2008, 02:59 PM
Hmm... I have 500Mb and that is what I had. Granted I didn't wait for long, or rebooted, before uninstalling. So maybe that's it. Still 15Mb, plus everything else that will come with the other avg related processes is too much for a simple AV.

Currently looking at other options; I've downloaded and will be taking a look at BitDefender, ClamWin, Avira and Avast. From what I've read ClamWin seems to be a real contender. It lacks a "Resident Shield" feature, but I don't need it anyways. The only worry is how reliable the virus definitions file is...

Elysia
05-03-2008, 03:09 PM
I think you're arguing over sticks and stones. 15-30 MB for AV is OK I think. Up tp 50 MB is excessive, and above is unacceptable.
But then again, I may be up-to-date on RAM. But seriously, it's so cheap... what's the harm? Everything will run smoother.

Mario F.
05-03-2008, 03:17 PM
My Toshiba is the Satellite Pro SP 6000. Maximum memory is 1GB. It has two banks. Bank 1 is damaged and maximum SODIMM available for it is 512MB.

Elysia
05-03-2008, 03:19 PM
I see... So it's because of hardware limitation (or maybe hardware damage?).

indigo0086
05-03-2008, 03:23 PM
anyone know where to download 7.5?

Mario F.
05-03-2008, 03:28 PM
There's one still available here. Get it quick http://www.brothersoft.com/avg-anti-virus-free-edition-60620.html

>> I see... So it's because of hardware limitation (or maybe hardware damage?).

Well both. Limitation because the sticks for it are maxed at 512Mb. I could have had 1GB if they weren't. Hardware damage because I could have two 512MB sticks.

drumsticks
06-01-2008, 03:05 PM
I have installed 8.0 on my xp pro and 2000 w/ FAT32 machines, and I'm uninstalling it from both machines for the following reasons:

1) XP Pro
- It destroyed my FTP program because some of the files were in a long batched list of harmful viruses and spyware. I could not check which ones needed to be vaulted or deleted compared to the ones that AVG deemed dangerous, but was not. I was EXTREMELY frustrated over this, because now I have to go and reinstall the FTP program. I even put the FTP installation directory under the exceptions list, and it seems to ignore it as it keeps adding it within the batched list of harmful files.

2) Win 2000 Pro
It doesn't update win 2000 because it's FAT32 now. This is not helpful by any means. The machine is limited with memory already, and it has now become a resource hog, to boot.

I'm all ears for any other free anti-virus program suggestions.

Thanks for listening,
Drumsticks

Mario F.
06-01-2008, 03:59 PM
Well... I'm getting used to BoClean (http://www.comodo.com/boclean/boclean.html), drumsticks.

It doesn't call itself an anti-virus. And I'm glad it doesn't. It's an anti-malware and that's precisely what we are trying to defend ourselves from, these days. Viruses are... ermm... dead.

It's also an heck of a rootkit killer.

VirtualAce
06-01-2008, 09:08 PM
Closed. Last post prior to today was nearly a month ago.

VirtualAce
06-01-2008, 09:09 PM
Closed. Last post before drumsticks was nearly a month ago. Please don't bump old threads.