Windows XP SP3.
AVG 8.5 (with the last & latest updates as per 31 Dec, obviously I can't tell now, since the remover removed most of the software, but it was the latest 8.5).
No other real time monitoring software.
No other AV previously installed.
All software and links at default locations.
The other day I tried to uninstall AVG 8.5 and thought I did everything right, but nope, the software can't behave, it seems.
Since I knew that the remover software would remove everything, or is supposed to, I took a last check at the virus vault and log files, if anything to save. Since I've rarely cleaned, i.e. deleted logs from inside the User Interface, I took the opportunity to test this. Everything worked OK.
I had downloaded the latest remover avg_remover_stf_x86_2011_1165.exe and read the instructions, quite simple, run it and eventually remove some folder after the restart. (I also have an older version that I never used, avgremover.exe, ver. 9.0, but I thought that the latest should be OK, though it would be looking for ver 9 and 2011 as well, and my version was as mentioned 8.5.)
Now I was prepared; I shut down the PC, disconnected from the net, started the PC and let it run idle for some 10 minutes so the PC was ready to run the AVG remover. I did not exit the AVG tray software (the quick link to the User Interface), since, after all, it was the AVG software that had put it there, so the remover would probably be capable of removing it, and that one is the easy one, to exit, compared to everything else.
After I started the remover I got a command prompt running the software, after a few seconds it paused, seemingly inactive, but I knew that it could take some minutes, after some minute there were some signs of activity again, it removed the Desktop shortcut and Windows put up a warning in the tray that "AVG anti-virus isn't activated". After that I got a count down dialogue box, and the PC restarted.
After the restart had finished I let the PC run idle for some minutes, you never know with these kinds of removers... but, it seemed like it had finished the job. If it wasn't for the red shield in the tray: I had expected that one, that Windows would tell me that I had no anti-virus. BUT NO, it told me, as I mentioned just before the restart "AVG anti-virus isn't activated". Oh, how come the OS knows about AVG, when AVG is supposed to be removed?
I went to the folder with the remover software and had a quick look at the log file. After that I followed the instructions and removed the folder:
C:\Documents and settings\All users\Application data\AVG8
All other AVG related folders seemed to be removed apart from some virus vault folder; no AVG services were running, but Windows XP complained that AVG wasn't activated. And if I looked at the Security Center (Windows Control Panel), it also mentioned a non-activated AVG (thus the shield in the tray).
What to do? I started Autoruns (Microsoft/Sysinternal) and did a quick search for "avg". It found one entry in the "startup-keys", though not the corresponding file.
In the key:
there was this entry: avgrsstarter but it could not find the file: avgrsstx.dll.
I did not delete the, now, obsolete entry but temporarily removed the check mark in Autoruns for that entry so that it wouldn't be used at next start (I use "used" loosely since the file isn't there).
A new restart of the PC, but I still get the warning:
"AVG anti-virus isn't activated" click here etc. and the same in the Security Center.
Now what? You all mention how important it is to remove other anti-virus software before installing AVG; how am I supposed to install something else when I can't uninstall AVG using dedicated software, a remover? If I do a search in the registry, it's full of references to AVG.
Now I have no AV installed, and I have to connect to the net just because this software can't do its job. And then I have to create an account at this forum, I had one earlier, but as we all know, when it moved to new software the old ones didn't work. (BTW after activation I restarted the browser and logged in, or so I thought, but it didn't work until I tried to create a thread, then I had to log in again.)
I'm not going to install a new AV before I know that AVG is removed, so, please, if anyone can help with some information.
I have previously used AVG Free, so with "No other AV previously installed" I meant no other brands. I have always uninstalled the previous version before installing a major upgrade, such as moving from 7.0 to 8.0, and from 8.0 to 8.5, using the latest install file. The only exception is the above-mentioned case, using the AVG remover.
I have some of the installation log files, and it seems like I moved to 8.0 with build 138, then I think I used build 224 to uninstall AVG 8, but I'm not sure, and then installed AVG 8.5 build 285.
As mentioned in the earlier post I can't remember the latest build, but it was the latest in the 44x branch, installed via the UI, and with the latest def. at the time.
I don't care if there are some old AVG 7 keys in the registry; but the Windows Security Center shouldn't present AVG Free as present, even if not "activated" (whatever the OS mean with that), after an uninstall using the AVG remover software. In my experience, using the install file as an uninstaller, previously, gave a much better result.
I guess I could run the remover once again (after having put back the check mark for the registry value mentioned above); or, I could try using the latest install file 8.5.423 and install AVG with the old settings (custom installation); restart and finally try using the install file's uninstall option.
Not much else to do, can’t wait until someone comes around with a suggestion or two, with no AV installed.
As usual when I post a question in an Internet forum it ends with me finding the solution myself.
I tried the second option mentioned in my post above; installing 8.5 again, using build 423. Even though the setup file told me that it might be outdated, since it's old, it's the latest 8.5 build around. After a restart of the PC and with no updates applied I ran the install file again, as in the old days, and selected "Uninstall product" as Setup type, including the options to remove user settings and the content in the Virus vault (the Virus vault folders were empty since before the previous uninstall attempt with the remover, apart from one small file; more about that below).
During uninstall I could see that the Windows Security message shield changed from "AVG Free Anti-Virus may be outdated ...", or similar, to "It seems like you have no AV installed".
When uninstall had finished, and I had restarted the PC, I noticed that:
- This time Windows could not find any Anti-Virus software on the PC; this was what I expected after an uninstall, though it didn't work with AVG remover.
- The registry entry, mentioned in my first post, the one AVG remover did not remove, the avgrsstarter (AVG Resident Shield Starter) had been removed (together with all the other AVG entries in the startup keys that the AVG remover did remove the first time).
- All, hidden, Virus vault folders (several since more than one partition) had been removed. Even though it's a simple task to remove them, the AVG remover should do it. They were emptied before running AVG remover, but it didn't remove the folder(s).
- The folder (and subfolders): C:\Documents and settings\All users\Application data\AVG8 had been removed. The AVG remover had not done this, and it's mentioned in the install/uninstall instructions, that one has to remove this folder after using AVG remover. No need for that if using the setup file. Though in my first attempt, using the AVG remover, there were some folders "created by the user", sort of, using the email scanner's advanced options, so there were some subfolders in the queue folder for the email scanner. Not so the last time around, and as we know, some uninstall software do not touch user created folders, so I can't say if the setup file would have removed them, but I think it did during earlier upgrades.
To conclude: the setup file's uninstall option did everything the AVG remover did not. I do not know how it will work using the 8.5 build 423 file on an 8.5 build 44x installation; previously the recommendation has been to use the latest setup file. As it is now, the only file around is the 423 build. It worked in my case, doing it in two steps, first the AVG remover then the setup file.
Since so many users have used the setup file during the years as an uninstall tool, I think AVG should provide the latest 8.5 build. Especially since the do-it-all AVG remover for version 2011, 9, and 8 doesn't seem to be working all OK. If they don't want people to use the latest 8.5, and the 8.5 is in end-of-support anyhow, it's very simple: do not provide upgrades within the 8.5 branch and definition updates for that version. That has been mentioned for such a long time now that it shouldn't come as a surprise.
BTW, you seem to be accepting BBCode, and I have it enabled in the profile, but I can't create a simple list using standard BB Code tags, and I can't find any help around this site, ah well.
I do understand that the activity in the forum is lower during weekends, not to mention holidays.
As for the uninstall; I have log files, screen shots etc.
The reason for my initial post was that the remover somehow did not complete the task, or did not remove all vital registry entries etc. with the result that the OS complained that the installed AV, AVG, had been inactivated. Usually there are two cases: you always use dedicated removal software, or use it only when something goes wrong with the standard uninstall procedure.
During the last year, or so, I've seen different versions of removal software added at the AVG site, and mentioned in the forum. As most of us know, it has previously been possible to use the setup file to uninstall AVG. The reason why I did not do that at the first attempt was that my latest setup file was the 8.5 build 374, and as mentioned my installed software was updated to 44x; I had also noticed that the recommendation was to use the AVG remover.
But as we know, it is sometimes possible to repair or reinstall software and then try to remove it a second time. In this case I installed an old build after using the remover, and some restarts, then uninstalled it using the same setup file.
I don't know how many there are now moving from 8.5 to newer versions; I also don't know if there are potential problems installing later versions if the previously one isn't removed completely with the remover, but if there are, one solution could be to use the latest setup file for version 8.5.
BTW, my "log in issue", mentioned in the first post, was a cookie-thing; hadn't allowed cookies for all avg.com.