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May 2010
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More Antivirus Software Woes…

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 5:04 pm

You know, it’s getting to the point where anti-virus software is causing more problems than the viruses they protect us from…

My latest problem is with Avira AntiVir Personal. Yes, we all know their update nag advertising window is a pain in the rear end and relatively difficult for non-geeks to stop from appearing at every update, but there’s another “gotcha” in their defaults you really should know about before the next update. It seems the default when a system restart is required is to throw up a dialog box every two minutes to remind you to restart!

Seriously, what brain-damaged drone throught that was a good idea? Talk about becoming annoying really quickly…my computer is currently processing a video file (takes about eight hours to do a two-pass on these files), so I absolutely do not want to restart now, yet the d*mned thing just keeps popping up! It automatically updated, and then began this every-two-minutes nag to coerce me into restarting now, regardless of what my computer is doing at the time!

Gets worse…as I was typing this post into Wordpress a few moments ago, the dialog popped up and accepted a keystroke as “Restart Now” and began the process! I had to cancel out of it on a Windows level to keep from losing my work!

This is completely unacceptable, even in a free software package. To fix it if you are, like me, foolish enough to stick with this package a little while longer:

  • Enter Configure AntiVir. Right-clicking on the tray icon is probably the simplest way, although you can also Start AntiVir and select “Configuration” from the “Extras” menu.

  • Expert Mode Click the “Expert Mode” checkbox. Don’t worry, I’ll walk you through it.

  • Update:Product Update. Expand the “+” next to Update in the left pane, and select “Product Update.” Change the selection from the default, “Download and install product updates automatically” to “Download product updates. If a restart is necessary, install the update after the system restarts otherwise install it immediately.” This should be the default!!!

  • Update:Restart Settings. Change this from “Reminder message for ‘Restart’ all - 120″ to “Query whether computer should be restarted.” Instead of nagging you every two minutes, this will ask you once if it should restart now, and if you say no, will simply wait until you do. This should be the default, too!!! I mean seriously, what person would want to be annoyed every two minutes while working on something?

  • Apply the Settings. Click the “Apply” button, then close the window. Done.

With these changes, at least theoretically, Avira might be a tad less bothersome. But I swear, if any of you know of a good, free antivirus software, one that not only is efficient at protecting you from the nasties but one that doesn’t turn into a nasty itself because the programmers are so filled with hubris as to think they know what you should be doing with your computer when, please let me know. PCTools has become a resource-hog on my wife’s laptop, AVG has become so slow and bloated as to be completely worthless on any but the fastest machines, and now Avira is stepping hard on my last nerve, so I need something else, fast!

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