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  1. #1
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    LANGALIST PLUS

    Run multiple antivirus applications on one PC


    By Fred Langa

    Conventional wisdom says antivirus tools don't work well together — so, you should have just one installed on a PC at a time.

    In most cases, that wisdom is still correct — but if you pick the right kind of software, there are ways to clean a PC with multiple AV tools.

    The full text of this column is posted at WindowsSecrets.com/2010/04/15/05 (paid content, opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.


    Last edited by revia; 2011-01-20 at 16:01.

  2. #2
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    Fred -

    Clarification please.

    From your article, "Full-time AV apps don't work well together..." and "It's also important to reiterate that, in most cases, running two or more full-time AV tools is bad idea..." and "Disabling an AV tool's top-level, user-controllable elements is not enough. Its low-level components remain in place — in some cases, still active and still able to interfere with other AV software you might install."

    I've always thought there's a distinct difference between "full-time" and "real-time" as in real-time monitoring. Having an AV tool installed on a computer full-time doesn't necessarily mean it's scanning or monitoring the system full-time. In fact, most AV programs have the ability to turn off real-time monitoring for that very reason... avoiding conflicts between two or more AV programs running real-time monitoring. In Microsoft Security Essentials, for example, one can go to Settings tab > Real-time protection and uncheck the box to turn real-time monitoring off. Similar setting controls exist in every AV program I've ever used.

    Am I really heading for trouble if I have two or more AV programs installed on my machine but have the real-time monitoring turned off on all but one?

  3. #3
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    Based on the original question to "Too Much RAM", I would first ask the question, are you running a 64 bit version of Windows? I would not assume that, and that would explain why only 2GB are in use.

  4. #4
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    I attempted to run the Microsoft scan product mentioned in this article on a Windows XP Pro machine with IE8 with no luck. no matter what I did IE8 kept bocking the scanner as malicious. is the problem with IE8 or with my Symantec EPP?
    Ellen Rosenbaum
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    www.healthimperatives.org

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mar Smi-Mar View Post
    Am I really heading for trouble if I have two or more AV programs installed on my machine but have the real-time monitoring turned off on all but one?
    If you have only one active protection (aka "real time") AV program, and supplement that with one or more AV programs that do not incorporate active protection capability (also called "on demand" scanners), then you should be safe from conflicts.
    Deadeye81

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    Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Houser View Post
    Based on the original question to "Too Much RAM", I would first ask the question, are you running a 64 bit version of Windows? I would not assume that, and that would explain why only 2GB are in use.
    Brad, that is a good question. The individual asking for advice said his new computer had a 64 bit processor (which is the norm nowadays); he never indicated that his Windows 7 was a 64 bit edition. However, it would be odd indeed for a vendor to couple a 32 bit OS with 12 GB of ram.

    Inquiring minds want to know.
    Deadeye81

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    Just wanted to add my 2 cents that I replied to the editor *its been a while since i was published*

    I seriously doubt this user is using his own pc to do these cleanings, atleast I hope not. I would assume he is using a dummy machine that can be easily wiped and reinstalled on the fly should something happen, although its unlikely unless he goes around running files from the infected drive. Its not likely that the computer should lookup or cause serious problems while running more than one antivirus engine, just don’t accept the auto-protect or real-time protection to function at all, in fact they should be disabled.. As for just using them to run scans, it will work totally fine aslong as you did disable real-time protection and don’t run more than 1 scanner at a time. Of course, antivirus programs are not the 100% solution to completely clean computers. You’ll have more luck with freely available antispyware scanners to get systems clean. Antivirus programs do an “ok” job at cleaning but they are not near compared to the likes of lets say…malware bytes or spyware doctor….and the majority of infections these days are not “traditional viruses”.

    I would like to mention that, if possible, run the anti-virus/spyware scanners on the host pc itself. The reason for this is that the scanners will not only pick up infected files but will pick up infections running in memory aswell as the registry where as a scanner running on a 2nd drive will not. This will help eliminate a lot more problems then just infected files themselves…sometimes a file may not appear to be malicious to a scanner until its actually running in memory and doing its thing…and the registry is a huge place for malware to hide which a scanner would not pick up on a 2nd drive.

    I recommend the following free no-real-time-protection scanners (or atleast realtime protection that is easily turned off or doesn’t interfere with eachother)
    Spyware doctor, malware bytes, counterspy, spybot, adaware, spyware begone, super antispyware and combofix. Keep in mind that these are free for non-commercial use for home use only so if you’re using this in a business to make money, you need to seek professional licenses for these products.

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  8. #8
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    I just realized as I write this that he may be working on these other computer's remotely, in which case I've got nothing to add. If he's doing this cleaning in person, however, wouldn't it be safer and easier to use portable apps on a pendrive? there's some great portable antvirus/antimalware apps here: http://www.pendriveapps.com/ I've found Remove Fake Antivirus, and IObit Security 360. easy and effective restoring a friends machine recently. Although IObit constantly tries to set itself to run @ startup (I only allow 4 apps to run @ startup one of which is the absolutely essential StartupMonitor, and I never allow real time monitoring), it will very easily set up a portable version of itself for you, and I've come to like it a little better than AVG for the occasional scans I do on my own machine

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    I also run multiple anti-malware programs to keep my system safe. My primary program is Vipre by Sunbelt Software, but I also have SuperAdBlocker, Ad-Aware, SpyBot S & D, and two link checking programs. I also help others clean and maintain their systems, and I refuse to allow any malware to remain.
    A former Soggy Sysop from Seattle!
    If it isn't broken by now, give me 5 more minutes!

  10. #10
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Am I really heading for trouble if I have two or more AV programs installed on my machine but have the real-time monitoring turned off on all but one?
    I can see this working nicely if all but one is running in "real time". Configure the others for on demand only
    and turn off background file and startup processes.
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  11. #11
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    Re: "Too much RAM": Windows 7 is much better at using extra RAM to enhance performance by caching. And this use may not show up in the usual report of memory usage. But Win7 also has a greatly enhanced task manager, which can show a lot more information about memory usage. In Task Manager, click the Performance tab, then, at the bottom, click "performance Monitor".

    I also have 12 GB RAM in my Win7x64 machine, and when I checked just now, 10.4 GB is in use (including the cache). The traditional Task Manager display excludes the cache and only shows 6 GB in use. Here's my current memory usage:

    [img]file:///E:/ScreenShot.jpg[/img]
    Note that hovering over any of those use categories will pop up a brief explanation: "standby" is cached code and date that is not currently being used (but might be soon).

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by william wesley View Post
    <...>and IObit Security 360. easy and effective restoring a friends machine recently. Although IObit constantly tries to set itself to run @ startup (I only allow 4 apps to run @ startup one of which is the absolutely essential StartupMonitor, and I never allow real time monitoring), it will very easily set up a portable version of itself for you, and I've come to like it a little better than AVG for the occasional scans I do on my own machine
    Absolutely agree on the necessity of using "StartupMonitor" although IObit Security 360 never asked again after I had configured it and it even drops off my SysTray after its Scan is finished. (RealPlayer never seems to give up on StartUp.)

    I depend on Avira's AntiVir Premium Suite which is excellent, as long as you make it wait to update new Program Version Releases until other users have reported that all the bugs are gone.

    MalWareBytes has never found a spec of malware, but io360 removes a few tracking cookies a month, AntiVir never bothers with Tracking Cookies, but it takes care of all the rest.

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