I'm using a legacy XP SP3 computer. Tried to uninstall Avast Premier that I installed on Dec17, 2017 by going into safe mode

geekilku

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I am using Windows XP SP3 and downloaded the free version of Avast. I was offered the Avast Premier trial version for 60 days to try so I accepted and downloaded this as well. As soon as Avast was installed, it took ages to load, it would freeze on boot up 3-4 times on the same day. It would unexpectedly lock up while working on a task or suddenly turn off and reboot. Some days it would work perfectly although slower than normal. I used Avast to scan the 'C' Drive and found nothing. All Clean. I waited until the trial period ended and expected Avast to provide instructions how to un-install Avast but nothing. On their Website the instructions said to go into safe mode and execute the Avast cleanup.exe file. But when I went into Safe Mode and rebooted, the Hard drive, the CD/DVD drive and 'any other' external drive were ALL disabled. I can only access the Boot menu, Bios Settings and the Wndows Advanced Options menu. Selecting any of the options in BIOS, Boot Menu or in the Advanced Options Menu had no effect. Nothing worked. It looks like I will have to do a complete new windows install unless there is a way to enable the HDD and disable the Avast self protect feature from the program Or disable Avast completely.
Appreciate any help
 

Avast-Team

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geekilku -- you should be able to remove Avast with no issues via the Add/Remove programs option in your Control Panel. You would only use the Avast Clear uninstall utility if, for some reason, it cannot be uninstalled via the normal methods.

I'm also concerned about the issues you had, as Avast is compatible with Windows XP SP3 (and is one of the few solutions that still is!) Does your CPU support the SSE2 instruction set? Did you or do you have any other active scanning antivirus or firewall programs active on the machine (other than Windows default?)
 

geekilku

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I didn't get to uninstall it. I went into Safe Mode by pressing F8 key when Windows was booting up, selected Safe Mode and then restarted the computer. It went through the procedure of loading the drivers on a black screen, but there was no sign of any hard drive being engaged or enabled.
After about a minute, the computer shut down without anything being loaded and nothing on the screen.
 

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator


Why Safe Mode? XP has a normal Add/Remove programs feature https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/307895/how-to-change-or-remove-a-program-in-windows-xp

Go there, look for Avast, remove it.
 

geekilku

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Using the XP add/Remove utility does not do a clean uninstall. The Avast website recommend going into Safe Mode and then use their AvastClear.exe file to completely remove their program. I followed their instructions.
 

Avast-Team

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geekilku -- you should be able to remove Avast with no issues via the Add/Remove programs option in your Control Panel. You would only use the Avast Clear uninstall utility if, for some reason, it cannot be uninstalled via the normal methods.

I'm also concerned about the issues you had, as Avast is compatible with Windows XP SP3 (and is one of the few solutions that still is!) Does your CPU support the SSE2 instruction set? Did you or do you have any other active scanning antivirus or firewall programs active on the machine (other than Windows default?)
 

geekilku

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Thank you for your reply. The other security software on the Xp are Malwarebytes, adware cleaner, and CCleaner. Avast had issues with Malwarebytes by disabling it on install but it remained active. All the drives were disabled when I went into Safe Mode .
 

gilku

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Thanks for your response Avast-Team. Since I got no useful response from anyone in the Forum, I took the computer to a data recovery specialist company who charged me $55 to come to the conclusion that the only way was to wipe the Hard Drive and start everything afresh and reinstalling Windows and the saved data from the disk, at considerable cost. I don't know if they used any Live USB or LiveCD programs, but they said there was no other way of getting inside the Hard drive, other than reformatting and reinstalling Windows after recovering whatever data they could.

So, what to do?.... Try and do a retro fix using a 1.44 MB Floppy drive and a Windows ME start up disk. Most CD-ROM drives can be made to work in DOS. I chose the Floppy route as the CD/DVD drive was disabled and would not accept any boot up disk or the windows set up disk that came with the computer.
Link : Making your CD-ROM drive available from DOS
lateblt.tripod.com/proc1.htm
There are four (4) of them, and their file names are ASPICD.SYS, OAKCDROM.SYS, BTCDROM.SYS, and FLASHPT.SYS. Most CD-ROM drives from the DOS era can be made to work in DOS with one of these drivers. Once you've gotten your CD-ROM drive working in DOS, you may find that the device driver plus MSCDEX

This was done on a MSI G31M3V2 motherboard which had provision for a 1.44 MB FDD, but no floppy. Luckily I kept my start up disk from my Win ME days. Also I had my old Win ME computer with a Floppy drive in it.
First I removed all the external connections, power, internet etc to the Win XP computer. Removed the CMOS battery from the MSI motherboard and pressed the start button in the front to reboot the bios to default settings and to remove any latent static electricity from the motherboard.
I installed the Floppy drive with the cable that came with the floppy and used a 4 pin power cable from the Win XP to the Floppy drive. Replaced the CMOS Battery, connected the power cable to the back of the computer, the mouse, keyboard and monitor.
Started the computer and the floppy started whirring and the CD/DVD drive came alive. I put my Win XP installation disk in the CD drive and the recovery console came up. From here it was a matter of following the the recovery options. If I made a mistake and the computer turned off, I would restart the computer, go back to the recovery console software and try something else. This website helped in this part of the recovery process.
https://forums.techguy.org/threads/stuck-in-boot-screen-after-changing-options-at-msconfig.879227/
After five days of reading articles on the internet and trying this and trying that, the only thing that worked to crack the disabled drives that were throttled by the security software were by using the retro DOS recovery disc.

Now I am back to square one, where I still have the Avast Premier trial and Avastclear free programs which will not uninstall no matter what I try.
from the Avast-Team:"geekilku -- you should be able to remove Avast with no issues via the Add/Remove programs option in your Control Panel. You would only use the Avast Clear uninstall utility if, for some reason, it cannot be uninstalled via the normal methods."
Using this method came up with "You do not have sufficient access to uninstall a program. Please contact your system administrator" Could not get past this unless I went into the registry. Did not want to go there.
When I tried using the AvastClear.exe, uninstall utility, it first showed a box recomending to restart the computer in "Safe Mode" or to proceed without going to Safe Mode. I clicked without safe mode, as starting in 'Safe Mode' caused the whole problem in the first place by disabling all the drives in the computer at the start of this whole mess. The uninstall exe file then proceeded with uninstalling the Avast files until it got to a point where it showed a screen with - Warning ! "Incompatible antivirus detected: Malwarebytes. We strongly recommend uninstalling it so your computer's performance is not affected." and the only options were to click on a [Restart Computer] button OR [Restart Later] button.
Clicking on [Restart Computer] button, restarts the computer and leaves the Avast program still intact. Pressing [Restart Later] button takes you back to where you were previously, again with Avast intact. There is no other option available.. I did this a few times in case I missed something and looked for any other options to remove Avast, but ended up where I was Five days ago, trying to uninstall Avast.
Before I start downloading and trying uninstall programs, appreciate any suggestions. Avast are you there?
 

Ralston18

Dignified
Moderator
@geekilku/@gilku?

Agree with the previous suggestions that the removal/uninstall of Avast should just be a routine matter.

Try removing the other anti-virus/security software applications first. Malwarebytes to start with.

Do so "offline" if you fear some possible infection while unprotected.....

Maybe Malwarebytes believes the removal attempt is being done by a virus and is preventing the removal of Avast....

And you not having access to uninstall a program (i.e., no admin rights) indicates some other issue has been encountered or created during the posted removal/uninstall attempts.

And you might consider trying Linux. Going out of my comfort zone somewhat but you may be able to do some sort recovery/repair via a Linux.

Just need to get into the drive enough to delete "shared" Avast related folders and files perhaps....

Starter link:

https://www.howtogeek.com/176471/how-to-share-files-between-windows-and-linux/

Perhaps a Linux Member can add comment or further suggestions. Even if I am completely off track - so be it. No harm in knowing either way.

Again not sure about the full extent you are willing to go to.

But there are still some options as I understand it all.







 

gilku

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Jan 30, 2018
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Ralston18
Thank you for you post. I managed to uninstall Malwarebytes by downloading their uninstall exe file mb-clean-3.1.0.1031 from their official website and this allowed me to uninstall Avast Premier and AvastClear Free version.
A lesson learnt not to install security software without checking if it is compatible with the OS and other security software in use.
 
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