AfterDawn: Tech news

AVG update accidentally cripples Windows XP

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 12 Nov 2008 4:18 User comments (23)

AVG update accidentally cripples Windows XP A recent update to AVG 8 has caused massive headaches for its owner and for many users who ended up with a crippled Windows XP operating system. At the core of the problem is a false positive of user32.dll, a vital Windows Operating System file, which the updated AVG 8 reported as a trojan horse. Upon the false detection, the AVG update prompted the user to delete the file to fix the problem, which in turn could result in Windows XP endlessly rebooting.
The problem affected the Windows XP operating system with SP2 or SP3 installed. It didn't affect systems using Windows XP in the English language, but affected Windows installations using the Dutch, French, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish languages. Upon noticing the problem, an update to fix it was immediately pushed out.

"AVG is actively working to remedy the problem some users are experiencing related to the most recent update to commercial and free versions of AVG 7.5 and AVG 8.0 in some languages. A number of users who installed the update mistakenly received a warning that the Windows system file user32.dll product version 5.1.2600.3099 was infected with a Trojan virus and were prompted to delete a file essential to the operation of Windows XP." a company representative said.

The Czech anti-virus company has posted a fix tool and further details on its website. For users who are unable to boot Windows after updating to the latest version, they have been told to, "contact their AVG reseller or ask a friend to download the information and fix tool for them." This latest problem comes after a recent update identified elements of the ZoneAlarm security software as a threat.

Previous Next  

23 user comments

112.11.2008 5:31

i smell lawsuits in the air...

212.11.2008 6:53

Originally posted by jackalguy:
i smell lawsuits in the air...
Its free so got no chance that’s why always read the small print

312.11.2008 6:58
onya
Inactive

This episode would hardly tarnish their reputation amongst the faithful. It's not exactly on the same scale as our beloved M$...is it?

412.11.2008 9:33

Originally posted by onya:
This episode would hardly tarnish their reputation amongst the faithful. It's not exactly on the same scale as our beloved M$...is it?
AVG is crap compared to the alternatives out there, such as AntiVir.

512.11.2008 9:54
varnull
Inactive

hahahahahahaha.. antivir.. yeah.. faulty.. 7600 trojans and other malware removed by avg from a initially non booting machine equipped with antivir.

another annoyance with that stupid (and inadequate program) is this.. ANYTHING like zlob which interferes with your internet connection will result in a dead system frozen at the antivir splash screen... solution for that?.. use a live linux disk to remove the offending program.

AVG 8 is ok.. certainly better than the norton and kaspersky chocolate fireguards. Avast is now out of the frame because it's too much of a resource hog at normal paranioa settings.. so it gets turned down to the point it's ineffective.

Anyway.. for all you "click don't think" xp users.. That's another system file which can be modified by malware processes.. there are a few.. csrss.exe.. is modified by p@rite so maybe this isn't so much of a "false positive" as people are crying about.

612.11.2008 10:09

I quite like avg8, seems to run fine for me.

I found norton and symantec far too big and slow.

712.11.2008 10:58

I've long ditched Norton, McAfee, AVG and Avast! for Avira free personal edition....

http://www.av-comparatives.org/seiten/ergebnisse/report18.pdf



812.11.2008 11:00

Originally posted by varnull:
hahahahahahaha.. antivir.. yeah.. faulty.. 7600 trojans and other malware removed by avg from a initially non booting machine equipped with antivir.

AVG 8 is ok.. certainly better than the norton and kaspersky chocolate fireguards. Avast is now out of the frame because it's too much of a resource hog at normal paranioa settings.. so it gets turned down to the point it's ineffective.
Are we talking about the same AntiVir, which is up to date? I'm certainly no slouch with PC security, but I've been running AntiVir with SpySweeper for years with no issues.

I recently built a system for a friend, using AVG 8 Free and SpySweeper, and the system was infected within 2 weeks. Installed AntiVir and not a problem since.

AVG was always a headache for me because of false positives. I have to deal with McAfee Enterprise here at work, and it's ALWAYS finding false positives, not to mention the program has memory leaks and I find myself rebooting some user systems several times a day because they "run out of virtual memory".

I've never tried Kaspersky, but Norton is a resource hog. The more recent versions look more streamlined, but they like to package the whole suite, including Norton Firewall, which is a pain in the butt.

Avast! is incredibly annoying, and a hog. I couldn't avoid security pop-ups when trying to get on the net.

Nod32 is a light app with a quick scanner, but it leaves much to be desired in terms of detection.

Varnull, which app do you use? I hear Bit Defender is a decent one, but I've had no experience with it.

For my money though, AntiVir (free) works particularly well when packaged with a good antispyware app (which has a real-time scanner.) I've bundled it on my latest Bart disc and I tend to remove more trash with it and/or McAfee command line than I do with AVG IMHO.

912.11.2008 11:10

Thanks for the post LOCOENG. I would like to "amend" my comment about Eset Nod32 to state that the "default/quick" scanner leaves much to be desired. The "deep/in depth" scanner worked well in my experience, but alas, the "quick" scan is what Eset advertises as an advantage to going with their software.

I'm also surprised that the study did not include Trend Micro PC-Cillin, which seemed to be an okay app too. Any thoughts?

1012.11.2008 12:19

Varnull is a Linux user...no need for A/V there.

I didn't mean to side track this article turning it into "the best A/V" software debate.



1112.11.2008 12:37

Originally posted by LOCOENG:
Varnull is a Linux user...no need for A/V there.

I didn't mean to side track this article turning it into "the best A/V" software debate.
Just a quick comment like you said before we get into a debate on which program is the best a resent UK computer shopper article listed AVG just as good if not better as the paid for versions I’ve been using it now for 2 years or more with no problems the thing people need to remember that with any software that scans your system and deletes files is to stick them in the vault so if the shit hits the fan you can start in safe mode and recover what ever was deleted

1212.11.2008 14:58

AVG has also been falsly reporting GoldWave as a virus. But, they don't seem too interested in fixing problems that affect a small number of GoldWave users.

1312.11.2008 15:36

Malwarebytes has served me well for a free AV tool.
AVG has been, and will remain a popular program because it is free, and quite good. Great? No, but good. I use it without their stupid Link Scanner installed and have been quite happy.
Norton and Mcafee are the sorriest paid AV programs I have ever used, due to their inexcusably poor allocation of resources and, worse, oppressive marketing.

1412.11.2008 21:10

This discussion =/= debate is actually perfect timing for me. Recently reinstalled after an upgrade and have been lazy on reasearching a good av program. I had used Macaffe as I had it free from either my ISP or Dell, I don't remember. Lasted for 2.5 years for some reason.

1512.11.2008 21:30

Originally posted by pyrite:
I quite like avg8, seems to run fine for me.

I found norton and symantec far too big and slow.
me too

1612.11.2008 21:37

Screw PC security. It's unnefective a lot of the time, can slow your 4GHz computer down to Pentium I speeds and is just plain useless. I'm only somewhat cautious to the sites I visit, and haven't gotten a single virus in a year. The only sort of protection I've used in that year was Spybot- Search and Destroy to remove some adware. Using Linux for a good amount of that time also helped...



1713.11.2008 13:19

Originally posted by rvinkebob:
Screw PC security. It's unnefective a lot of the time, can slow your 4GHz computer down to Pentium I speeds and is just plain useless. I'm only somewhat cautious to the sites I visit, and haven't gotten a single virus in a year. The only sort of protection I've used in that year was Spybot- Search and Destroy to remove some adware. Using Linux for a good amount of that time also helped...
Mate i think your operating system helps u out more than anything. Computer security is an important thing and threats are not only virus based these days. So recommend u have computer security of any kind to some level is better than none.

1813.11.2008 15:23

All you need:

1) Good Antivirus protection
2) Good Firewall protection
3) Great Backup System

and #3 has saved my butt many times.


Plus, (Back on topic), #3 would help in this situation also. You install a program and then your computer doesn't act right..simply restore it back from your backups.


Know how to drive a person CRAZY? <<Click Here>>

1913.11.2008 19:04

Originally posted by borhan9:
Mate i think your operating system helps u out more than anything. Computer security is an important thing and threats are not only virus based these days. So recommend u have computer security of any kind to some level is better than none.


I didn't mean to say screw PC Security, I meant screw anti-virus programs. Firewall's, pop-up blockers, and adware programs are crucial for me to keep my PC going. But anti-virus applications are what are completely useless.


2013.11.2008 22:47

I've used AVG for a couple of years now. The free version has beaten commercial anti-virus programs. False positives will occur repeatedly but all the compilers can do is fix and debug. Consider this, when has a program ever been 100% bug free? Never. I do have one complaint about AVG, huge memory consumption and leaks. I have a 3G processor running with 2GB of RAM and while the program is disabled my PC runs lighting fast, but when the program monitors my system in real-time my PC will occasionally studder.

2117.11.2008 15:21

I have to agree big time with locobrown, my avg works the same way with the same problem.

2217.11.2008 18:05

I have used a few Antivirus's, Norton try's to take over your machine, McAfee ate my memory something scandelous, AVG has been the only reliable one for me even though it has in the past told me my modem driver and my ISP are both virus's, best thing to do is read what it is telling you before you delete.

2317.11.2008 22:42

I use Trend Micro antivirus only because it is free to me. It does a great job but this program is very greedy on the system.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 17 Nov 2008 @ 22:43

Comments have been disabled for this article.

News archive