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  1. #1
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    That's a great idea Gregory. I just installed Avast 5 free home version Avast 5 Free Version and am already liking it ALOT~~!

    Hey Jude
    Maybe we should start a new thread about Avast 5.

    The installation went faster than previous upgrades, and rebooting got most things up and running in the program. A second reboot got the Avast Logs and Reports running. I like that the Reports are no longer XML, but Plain Text formats are offered. (The XML versions would always hang and never load in my IE8 browser.) I did not have to re-enter my license key.

    The program got a real overhaul, especially the interface, this year. For one thing, the Avast Tray Icon is no longer a Blue Ball. It changes colors to indicate how safe or secure your computer is. (My Avast Icon is orange, due to the fact that I do not do automatic updates.) Under the hood, there are a couple of new shields in the free edition, and there are new or improved advanced heuristics (0-day detection). I haven't tried the new Thorough Scans yet on my laptop, so I cannot say how fast or slow these deep scans are. They used to take a couple of hours on my laptop in Version 4.8. In the old version, I was using an alternative interface, so the new interface is not too much of a transition for me. As is to be expected, it took a few sessions in my administrator account to get Avast 5 configured and working happily with Comodo Firewall and Comodo Defense+. But all seems to be well. Boot time delays are reduced, and the current Avast learns which files do not need to be constantly rescanned, so after the first few scans, if you don't make too many changes, scan times should improve significantly. I have had no problems since the second or third reboot, and the new Avast updater is working just fine for me. Scheduling and scheduled boot-time scans are included with Avast 5 Free. Due to my use of Comodo Defense+, I almost never see any Avast pop-ups.

    There is a paid version, which promises to sandbox your browser, guard Outlook against spam, and a few other extra features. Not worth the money, I think. I have a very dim view of security programs which claim to be able to isolate IE processes from the Windows System Kernel -- the truth is that many Windows programs open Explorer windows and make browser calls which are completely unprotected by so-called "sandboxing" of IE. The sense of security in such programs is completely false, IMHO. And all of my e-mail comes down from Web Mail servers, which do their own spam filtering, as well as applying my own web mail filters. I think that additional spam filtering is totally redundant, especially if you're using Thunderbird or one of its skins. (I use Eudora 8, Beta 8, which is at the same development point as Thunderbird 3.0, Beta 3.)

    I'll post again if anything else comes up. And I will report on whether or not the new heuristics slow down Thorough Scans too much.

    Moderators, feel free to move this post to a new thread.
    -- Bob Primak --

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    I split these into their own thread to keep from diluting the original thread.

    Joe
    Joe

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    Bobprimak - you say '(My Avast Icon is orange, due to the fact that I do not do automatic updates.)'.

    I am not sure where you got that impression, as far as I know the icon is always orange and shows some additions if there is a fault, ie if the AV is disabled. The help file says nothing about changing the colour.

    I upgraded yesterday and it seems to work fine. The only problem I had is in the user interface that if you enable the 'shield traffic' display my computer grinds to a halt when this pane is displayed. And I am not sure I really like that orange icon, the old blue one was far less intrusive.

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    3 Star Lounger HeyJude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Sergeant View Post
    Bobprimak - you say '(My Avast Icon is orange, due to the fact that I do not do automatic updates.)'.

    I am not sure where you got that impression, as far as I know the icon is always orange and shows some additions if there is a fault, ie if the AV is disabled. The help file says nothing about changing the colour.
    I too have the orange icon and it says Warning your computer is unsecured. I never had that with 4.8. I checked and all resident options are checked--previously I didn't have to change the default settings.

    Another user from the Avast forums says this:
    " Hello. I'm running the free version of Avast 5, on XP Home/SP3. Every time I do a startup or restart, there's a red dot covering the tray icon, which then switches to a yellow triangle, then finally just the spinning tray icon. This all takes about 25 or 30 seconds before the spinning icon is doing its thing. The warning is that my computer is not protected because my real time protection is not on.

    Is this normal? I worry a little because I think my computer is not protected for this amount of time."


    So I read further and another user says the warning just means that all the resident shields aren't loaded so you aren't protected until that happens, and that can take 25-30 seconds.

    Another cool feature from the Avast forums:

    "...No key is required…just register online:

    From another blog post:

    “Eliminated the email registration process. The free product still lasts for a year but now it only takes seconds online to register the product. All a person has to now do is to click a “register” button—no forms to fill out and no email information to provide.”
    Hey Jude
    Take a sad song and make it better

  5. #5
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    JoeP --

    Thanks for moving this to a new thread. There's a lot of interest in this topic, and I am glad to expand on my observations here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Sergeant View Post
    Bobprimak - you say '(My Avast Icon is orange, due to the fact that I do not do automatic updates.)'.

    I am not sure where you got that impression, as far as I know the icon is always orange and shows some additions if there is a fault, ie if the AV is disabled. The help file says nothing about changing the colour.

    I upgraded yesterday and it seems to work fine. The only problem I had is in the user interface that if you enable the 'shield traffic' display my computer grinds to a halt when this pane is displayed. And I am not sure I really like that orange icon, the old blue one was far less intrusive.

    The Avast Tray Icon actually is supposed to show orange (my bad from earlier version of this post). It shows a yellow triangle with a black exclamation point (again, my bad earlier) if there is a fault in your coverage, or if there's something seriously wrong (also my bad from earlier). Not like the Norton Antivirus tray icon, which changes colors if anything is not quite right (My bad from earlier). My Avast Tray Icon shows the triangle because I do not have automatic updates turned on. This action in Windows Security Center (turning off Automatic Updates) turns the MS shield in the tray red. You do not control the color or the triangle icon -- the program does it to tell you at a glance if anything is wrong. Hovering over the Avast Icon shows either "system secured" or "system not fully secured" pop-up messages, just like previous versions. (Edited from earlier post.)

    At log in to any active account there will be a delay, maybe a long one for some users (30 seconds is an underestimate on my older, single-core laptop), before all the Avast Shields start up and you are fully protected. The old Tray Icon would only show you this if you hovered the mouse over it, in which case you would see a pop-up saying "7 Shields -- 4 active" or something similar. Until all seven of the shields showed up as active, you were not fully protected. The new version shows this through the same sort of pop-up (my bad in earlier post), plus the yellow triangle. It's normal to have a delay. You need only worry if the shields never get going. This could indicate a conflict with something else on your computer, or just a bad log in. Log out and in again, and often these errors will resolve themselves.

    The first time you enable logging and reporting, including the Traffic Pages, Windows may hang badly. The solution is to close the Avast Program Main Window and reboot your computer. This gets the logging and reporting going, and system performance should return to normal.

    As I said in my First Impressions, my Registration went through automatically in seconds during the upgrade installation. No need to re-enter or apply for a new code. Great change!

    I had to edit this post due to revised observations. My Limited User Acount shows the same behaviors as my Administrator Account for what I have seen so far.

    What I have not yet seen is any indication that Avast is still building and maintaining a Recovery Database of critical system files. This may no longer be a feature of the program.
    -- Bob Primak --

  6. #6
    3 Star Lounger HeyJude's Avatar
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    My icon does not show green, but an orange with white revolving sphere. When I click the taskbar icon I see "Secured your system is fully protected" in green. So far today it has not changed to any other color. I have Avast automatic updates turned on which you can see by this screenshot http://screencast.com/t/ZmU0MDJmM
    When I turn my Avast automatic updates OFF I get a yellow alert which superimposes itself onto the taskbar icon as depicted by this screenshot http://screencast.com/t/Yjc4MTBiMjkt

    I do not have automatic updates checked in my Windows Security Center. I turned them off to check to see what happened to the tray icon. The only icon that changed to Red shield with x was the Windows Security Center icon.

    Mine went thru automatically on my Win 7 as I installed w/o removing 4.8 after reading on Avast forums that 4.8 was removed by the program. On my XP I chose to use revouninstaller Advanced mode and when I installed 5 then I got the register tab which I only had to enter my name and click "Register" and it went thru. I'm good for another year on this machine.

    I have seen nothing but orange since installing it today. I wonder if anyone else has the color changes that you depict.

    Hey Jude
    Take a sad song and make it better

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    This is a great thread.....every bit of added information helps. Thanks all.

    I, also, have Automatic Updates disabled and the Avast icon in my tray is orange, with the white circular line in the middle. When I hover the mouse over the Avast icon in the tray, the message is "avast! Antivirus: Your system is secured."

  8. #8
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Folks, I was wrong about the Avast Tray Icon colors. I have revised my earlier post.
    -- Bob Primak --

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    Hi all :

    Perhaps it would be wise to read through the "Quick Start Guides - Version 5.0"
    which are available at http://www.avast.com/download-documentation
    which I just finished reading for the "Free" Version !?
    For the BEST in what counts in Life :

    http://www.ctftoronto.com

  10. #10
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    I had Avast 4.8 which always worked beautifully for me so decided I'd better do the upgrade to version 5. As has been recommended on other forums, a complete uninstall of the old version was done first. I then used Regseeker to ferret out stray files, following up with Everything to ensure there was nothing left anywhere.

    Did the install of version 5 and duly registered. All seemed to be well for a while then the screen froze. Couldn't even bring Task Manager up to check what was happening. The only way out was a re-boot. All went well again for a few hours and then the freeze scenario hit in again.

    Completely uninstalled and reinstalled version 5. Absolutely the same thing kept happening which, after two days, was driving me nuts, especially if you were in the middle of something important.

    The Avast forum is full of similar complaints so I know it isn't just my p.c. Eventually found a thread which gave me a link to downloading 4.8 again. Installed that and all is well with my pc world again.
    Economical to run but not cheap to acquire

  11. #11
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    What a Registry Seeker does not see, is old Registration Data, which is actually a hidden file on your hard drive. I recommend using RevoUninstaller to ferret out ALL the residues of the old version, then start fresh if possible. Under Vista and Windows 7, there is a kernel lockout, especially in the 64-bit versions. Avast is a 32/64 bit hybrid antivirus system, and does not really have full access to the Vista or Windows 7 kernel. So its inside the kernel protections may not be able to install properly on some computers running Vista or Windows 7, and hence the freeze during installation. The same thing can happen if you are using a third-party firewall and do not disable it during the upgrade. (Voice of experience here, even under Windows XP Pro!) My Avast 4.8 to 5.0 upgrade went smoothly, but I have mercilessly reigned in my Comodo Firewall previously, so it "trusts" and "learns" Avast rather than block it. Under Vista or Windows 7, this technique may or may not help.
    -- Bob Primak --

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    The Avast forums are full of problems with 5.0 - it seems to have been released slightly before it was ready for prime time - I had used 4.8 for years and was quite happy with it - it ran well on Win 7 - the upgrade to 5.0 seemed to go fine - for a day - then suddenly blue screened 2x on me in an hour - then right clicking on a file brought up " virus in memory - do a boot time scan" - boot time scan froze - required hard reset - scanned with downloadable NOD32 - nothing - uninstalled Avast, installed MSE, scanned - nothing....it looks like it will actually be quite a nice free package *WHEN* they get the bugs out - I would give it at least another month or 2 before trying it again....that said I may not, as I am also quite impressed by MSE - it does use more memory,(about 55MB) - (Avast 5.0 really cut down memory usage - it was using only about 12 MB on my 4GB system) but runs very smoothly and quietly so far...I did like the Avast boot time scan option though - wish MSE had a similar option. Guess time will tell if the "new and improved" concept works out for Avast - hope it does sooner rather than later.

  13. #13
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    My Avast 5.0 upgrade went without a hitch on Wndows XP Pro on a 32-bit computer. On line forums are always full of complaints when a program undergoes a major appearance or functionality change. Both things happened with this Avast upgrade. Most likely, the vast majority of complainers would rather fight with Version 5 than learn how to use it. Kinda like the Office 2007 Ribbon or the Windows 7 Superbar. Get used to the changes, folks, 'cause things are not going to to go back to yesterday!

    This is not to say there are not a few isolated upgrade bugs. But I have yet to see a verifiable report of one with this upgrade. It's almost all configuration and user issues.
    -- Bob Primak --

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