Saturday, May 10, 2008

AVG 8.0: A Warning

UPDATE: I've seen posts on user forums that have the same problem as outlined below- some of the posts date back to 2005, so I doubt AVG is the culprit. Still, you might wanna leaf through some of these forums before updating.

Do you use AVG 7.5 anti-virus software? If so, good. I used to use AVAST!, but after losing my entire hard drive to a Trojan that AVAST! missed, I switched to AVG and I have been quite happy with when they offered a new version- 8.0- I was like, hell, yeah! Sign me up!


First, I noticed it includes a toolbar. Toolbars tend to be viral as fuck-all, they are to be avoided whenever possible...I also saw that it includes a 'safe search' feature, which is supposed to alert you before you visit a web-site that is infected with drive-by download.
This feature, according to user comments on the AVG forum, works by temporarily downloading and scanning all the pages returned by your Google search. I have a very old PC and it sloooowed waaaaay down as a result. Blogs and sites with photos and/or video took forever to load, often missing elements...aaargh!
My CPU usage went from 0%- 3% up to 15%-25%
Note:You can see your CPU usage by opening Taskmanager, (clt+alt+delete)

It got worse. When I tried to do a Google search (for song lyrics), I received a 403 Forbidden Error Message- Google accused me of being an automated spambot program and/or a virus and I was forced to enter a CAPTCHA (word verification) before conducting the search...I followed all the instructions- I ran scans (all clean!), deleted my cookies and my browser cache, re-installed Firefox, cleaned my Temp files...and I STILL got that goddamned 403 Error.

Ah-ha...I read a forum post where a user speculated that the program AVG uses to scan your search results is seen as 'mass-spambot activity' by the Google engine; this makes sense- it IS scanning 10 or more sites at one time, after all.

So I looked all over the web for a reliable download of AVG 7.5 in order to switch back. Not to be found- the links for 7.5 all led to 8.0.

Ah-ha! I had sent the 7.5 installer to my Recycle Bin way back in March! I disconnected from the Web, deleted 8.0 and re-installed 7.5, then re-connected my DSL and updated AVG.

Google has re-opened it's gates to me! My PC is smooth again!

So, if you are considering updating, I strongly suggest that you save 7.5 before you do so.

I hope a patch or new version is coming soon, but for now, I'm sticking with 7.5. I also hope AVG keeps updating it.


Today is the debut of my newest Radio Program: Elastic Rock.
I'm now on Saturday afternoons at 1 pm EST, a truly prime-time spot!
Stream it here, if you wish. Two-hours of diverse musical excellence and oddities , played for you, ,my beloved Oddience.

(Tip o' the scalp to the redoubtable Donn for the term 'Oddience'...I can certainly use that word! Thanks Donn!)


yinyang said...

Ah, it's too late. We have AVG 8.0.1. Then again, we have a computer that can handle it, unlike yours, so... it really doesn't make much difference. And Google has never messed with us, either. Strange.

Allan said...

Oh, you kids and your fancy and my UNIVAC will have to make do with moats and razor wire.

Seriously, I found threads running back to 2005, which was way before AVG one knows why it happens.

yellowdog granny said...

i like the 7.5 and going to keep far they keep updating it..they said they wouldn't but they do...thanks for the warning..