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I have Avast Free antivirus installed on Windows 7.

I just noticed that Windows Action Center (the white flag icon in task bar) warns me about activating Avast antivirus, and even if I click activate it will just continue to ask for that.

But Avast reports being OK. I didn't turn off antivirus when I installed all my software since last format a couple of weeks ago, and I'm behind a NAT.

The only thing that makes me a little worried is that yesterday I used a "SKIDROW" (no further comments on that) installer, but that application is popular and months and months old, so Avast team would have had the time to add it to dangerous software if it was so. I understand I granted UAC permission, but I find hard to believe I could have been infected, even if I recently read that SKIDROW himself (again, no comment) placed a Trojan forged with Themida in a more and more popular patch.

My question is: Is it normal that Windows says Avast is not running? Avast behaves normally. I even downloaded a virus from eMule (zipped, of course, so I wouldn't be running it) and had Avast scan it, and it found the threat!!

Could there be a relationship with yesterday's installation? Wouldn't Avast detect an exploitation attempt? I set its heuristics to a higher level, so it would have detected attempts to overwrite its files, system files, boot sector, startup programs, etc... (it even complained about Office 2010 installation)

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4 Answers 4

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Reinstalling Avast tends to fix this issue. I've seen it before where it happened after an AVAST update.

As for AVs in general. They are not an invincible shell. They are more like a bulletproof vest. They stop some fatal shots but not all; you still have to avoid firefights.

You should probably check your computer with standalone tools such as Malware Bytes.

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+1 for having reminded me about the update!! I'll try it right away :D –  djechelon Feb 1 '11 at 21:06
1  
+1: for the analogy - nice. –  Umber Ferrule Feb 1 '11 at 21:09

Having looked on several forums, all suggesting re-installing Avast etc, I came here. I saw the suggestion above to try disabling permanently all the shields and then re-enabling them.

Gave it a go, and it worked a treat - only took about 30 seconds - couldn't have been easier.

Just to be on the safe side I disconnected from the internet first, went to avast - settings - active protection - and did the deed.

I was a little concerned about disabling permanently, but that is totally misleading as it's not permanent at all - you just click ON and they start again again.

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You might try scanning with these 2 scanners to be sure you have no infection.

2.) Install free MBAM, run the program and go to the Update tab and update it, then go to the Scanner Tab and do a quick scan, select and remove anything it finds.

http://download.cnet.com/Malwarebytes-Anti-Malware/3000-8022_4-10804572.html

3.) When MBAM is done install SAS free version, run a quick scan, remove what it automatically selects. http://www.superantispyware.com/download.html

These 2 are not AV softwares like Avast, they are on demand scanners that only scan for nasties when you run the program and will not interfere with your installed AV, these can be run once a day or week to ensure you are not infected. Be sure you update them before each daily-weekly scan.

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My solution was to simply disable all of the shields permanently and then re-enable them. Could save you the time and trouble of uninstalling, re-installing, new av program, etc.

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Doesn't work for me. :/ –  endolith Oct 1 '13 at 23:48

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