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Avast Free Antivirus program question for Windows XP ?


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#1
dowsp

dowsp

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Hi,

 

Upon having been given some guidance to try to help my Laptop search for any malware or virus problems or to aid it to run better.

 

After following some instructions and upgrading my Windows XP software to SP3

 

It was initially suggested that I tried to then be able to  use Malwarebytes.AV program as my best choice to test for any probelsms.

 

On doing so... it found no problems..  and to be honest I have used malwarebytes in the past before its present more modern updated version

on and off over several years as its evolved.. and  at times it has helped find some viruses that other software had failed to find.. but in the more years..

It has not seemed to often find any malware on my system...At one time its seemed to take quite a long time to run it, or there may have been optional scans

that you could do with it that could take at least an hour or more to deep scan.

 

But more recently .. my impression is that the scans now are les deep and are a lot quicker to do.

 

Some AV programs I had used in the past also often could allow you to find certain folders or files say on ones "C Drive " to allow you to deep scan a certain part of ones system or files..

 

But now due to Windows XP stopping updates... some of those selectable deeper scan type AV programs no longer will work on Windows XP.

 

I was advised on one or two AV programs that still work with Windows XP or maybe better options to consider trying if Malwarebytes failed to find any problems do very much..

 

and one of those programs is AVAST..

 

 

I have just attempted to install and run  Avast.. anad again on doing so... it did not find any viruses or malware.. and it scanned quite quickly..say withn maybe 20 mins..

 

Maybe I am misled in how long scans take as I used to scan another laptop computer and that had a lot more files on it, so probably took a lot longer to scan than my present laptop.

I will have to also try running the same AV programs on my larger files older laptop and see how long a scan takes both using malwarebytes and Avast if nothing was initially found.

 

 

BUT upon using Avast on my present laptop... that I initially refer to... I will say that it has seemed to do other things and find other issues with my laptop , that so far no other program has seemed to detect or inform me about..

 

So the other things that it has informed me about are as follows.

 

It shows up as Performance issues that could be resolved using Clean up Premium..

 

I am not sure if that refers to the Free version or if I need to use another pay for version to fix such problems and I have seen some Free AV programs that claim to have found certain probelms in a free scan.. but you then need to subscribe to a paid version to actually fix the probems...rather than the free versions being able to fix them.

 

what it showed was

 

Broken registry items   287 issues

 

Sytem junk  12 GBs   (Win Temp about (8 gb) and Win back up  (3 gb) files being what seemed the main or largest list  )

 

Programs slowing down PC  : 6 programs  .... One file being one that I recently had downloaded as being more of a concern..but my problemshad seemed just as bad prior to this..

 

It also had PC Health problems and Junk Programs where it said no problems found under those sections.

 

So it seems AVAST has found or listed quite a lot of other issues that other AV programs that Ive tried in the past has not indicated.

 

I am not sure now if I should risk trying or clicking on a resolve option button or a skip option...If I select resolve.. I wonder if that may fix the problems that I appear to have..

 

which is that it often seems to freeze up or run very poorly when I have too many pages open or try to run and scroll on pages on sites like yahoo news article webpages...

 

Im still unsure if I think my probelms are a undetected virus or malware or maybe a broken regestry problem... like spybot used to do..

 

also another thing many a AV program always used to detect and list what  were more minor spyware an cookie issues...but it seems this is no longer the case on the more recent AV programs that I have used in more recent years..

 

I wonder if anyone could give me their thoughts on what I have described and if they think that opting on the Avast RESOLVE Option is likely to cure my problems..

 

or if they think maybe I could still have a undected virus that is still causing me my problems..where the laptop either often seems to freeze up or be very hard to scroll on certain websites like yahoo..

 

 

 

thank you

 

Dowsp


Edited by dowsp, 31 December 2017 - 12:34 AM.

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#2
DonnaB

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Hi dowsp,

How long ago did you install Avast? Did you allow the 30-day free trial? If it has been less than 30-days, I do believe that if you click to resolve the 287 broken registry items/issues they will be fixed.

Then again you need to stop and think about this...
  • What registry issues were detected?
  • Will any difference be noticed if the are fixed? (Usually what registry cleaners do clean up is so small that little or no advantages are noticed.)
  • Are they just keys/files "lying in wait" to be used by a program that has not been used for some time?
I have never been a big fan of registry cleaners. The damage they can cause from the user being uneducated in the registry or pro-longed use can be repairable.

If you click do not have the free trial running, if you click the option to fix, you will be asked to upgrade to the Premium version.
 

It also had PC Health problems and Junk Programs where it said no problems found under those sections.

So it seems AVAST has found or listed quite a lot of other issues that other AV programs that Ive tried in the past has not indicated.

That is one reason I got rid of Avast. Too many bells and whistles for me. I have my system set up to meet "my" needs and Avast felt otherwise.

The reason no other software found those "issues" is because they do not have the features built in to look for them. Now don't get me wrong but I do like Avast's ability in the way of protection, but it seems over the years that they have turned into a type of scareware program that tries to entice those who are easily influenced to pay for the premium version. You can see the comparisons for the Free as opposed to the aid versions here. As you can see, the free version has 3 features. The Advanced and Premium version features are those pop-ups you see that are telling you there are issues that need to be fixed and to fix them you have to pay the piper. ;)

Those little pop-ups in the lower right hand corner drove me nuts. You can change the settings in free Avast if you like. If you have the paid version leave them alone and fix if you like, otherwise if you prefer your setting the way they are, go in a configure the settings to meet your needs. See here.
 

Sytem junk 12 GBs (Win Temp about (8 gb) and Win back up (3 gb) files being what seemed the main or largest list)

That's an easy fix without purchasing the Premium version. It has been awhile since I used ATF Cleaner by Atribune but when I had my XP up and running, I used it faithfully. As you can see, it is no longer supported and was not updated for Vista and above. You could also use TFC Cleaner by OldTimer, but I would try ATF Cleaner first.

Microsoft built in utilities:

Using Disk Defragmenter
Using Disk Cleanup
 

Programs slowing down PC: 6 programs .... One file being one that I recently had downloaded as being more of a concern..but my problems had seemed just as bad prior to this..

That's another easy fix. You should be able to go into the User Interface (UI) of those programs and re-configure it to not run at Start up. You will have to manually start the program up from within the program folder but if you only use the program on occasion, no big deal!

I have worked with you before and seen a few diagnostic logs that you posted of your system and I must say that you are a very knowledgeable when it comes to safe computing. You said you updated to SP3. Did you also allow IE to update to IE8?

I don't think you are infected at all. What I am thinking is this..

How old is your computer(s)? You also have XP installed. Now, if this computer was a car you have had for years, would you expect it to run like it is showroom new? You have taken very good care of this computer which is why it runs as well as it does.

What other problems are you experiencing prior to all this?
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#3
dowsp

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Hi Donna,

 

Yes you did help me initially on  another connected related thread..

 

Unfortunately at the time I had my internet cut of for a while after some problem I had at that time. and was unable to continue and the thread got locked.

 

But since then, I did attempt to follow most of the things that you had suggested in ref to SP3.... but I have not as yet updated to IE 8as I wanted to see what happened if I still ran IE 6..before I reconsider it and to see how things ran..

 

I was able to download and use and try Malwarebytes... but it did not detect any viruses....but as I have said before.. I had used MWBs on and off over the years when the scans from AV programs seemed to take longer and appeared to maybe do more... and often I tried other AV programs that later found viruses that MWBs failed to find.. so I am not greatly too confident in its abilities to detect viruses..

 

I had often either used Avira or AVG or I think what was some other programs maybe trendmicro  that allowed me to select and  scan specific folders or files..so that I did not always need to do a full scan of the whole "C Drive" which I found often to be good... but now none of those programs work with Windows XP.. I am restricted..and maybe there is just no other way to obtain what maybe the better AV programs that may detect other types of virus that MWBs or avast just cannot detect...

 

Judging from how poorly my computer works when I go onto Yahoo... and some other certain websites... I do think its more than likely a virus problem..unfortunately rather than something else... or I am somehow being targeted maybe with something like  keylogger detection spyware.

 

As the computer laptop is 2nd hand..Im not sure how well it has been used, but it is a old computer being a Dell inspiron 1501....

 

but compared to another laptop that I have.... I have not used this one anywhere as much as my other one or put on anywhere as many files on it..

 

and I do think its a bit of a mystery why It seems infected as I have tried to be careful overall as to what type of sites I visit and  keep this machine reasonable as clean as I can...where I just used it for certain things..

 

As far as I know.. I selected the FREE Avast version and not a 30 day trial...  but I also thought that when I used MWbs and it ended up installing a 30 day trial..which since I tried it I have since also managed to delete.

 

Noting what you have said or I think  that you have indicated about Registry detectors / cleaners  and that it may not hardly make any difference... I dont think that I will opt to click the RESOLVE option to fix the 287 broken reg items..

 

IF I could have copied what it detected I could have posted some of the things, so you could see what sort of things it referred to....but  it does not seem to allow that..From the things I can see..where its lists some of them... I can make some ref to some items, but they seem similar...  and I dont really know much about registries to make much comment about it...

 

but I could recall what I think were some past AV programs that I think you thought were doing a free check and it listed numerous Registry  items... and I think it was mainly to scare people to purchase their software...

and what they were appearing to show on the screen was not a real check up...or I believe some can end up putting things on your computer that is spyware or something that most would prefer not to be on ones computer..

 

and Thats why I thought that I would ask for an experts opinion...! in which I appreciate your feedback and comments on it.

 

I think in the past I have used some of the other links like ATF and TFC  old timer that you listed and maybe wondered why  they are not always used any more or listed or recommended to use..as I think at the time id used them, they did work or find and cure things for me at sometime .but I can now see that they were used before Windows XP stopped doing updates...BUT I may / probably will try them to see what happens...if they can get rid of any unwated junk type files... Im amazed at how many gigs it suggested as junk..

 

I dont think that the slow down program is really an issue.. but I probably could either delete it or switch it off from operating...

 

 

I think I have used the laptop more regular for 3 to 5 yrs... and it may have had the problems I referred to over a year or more..

 

and Im not sure if it initially had the sound and audio working or if It just had not had the relevant files uploaded to it...but I did find a disc that contained certain files and installed it and it has since installed the relevant files

to operate the sound..

 

Overall it works ok on most websites I visit... but when i open several webpages it does freeze....and especially seems to have a real probem in opening yahoos news articles ... it can be very slow opening yahoo..

and often I struggle to open my yahoo emails...

 

its as if maybe yahoos website and email system is taking too much effort for my laptop to deal with...

 

BUT I can now at least play videos and hear sound ok and run most other things that I tend to use..

 

It may be also some sort of age issue....but my impression is over all my laptop had not used too greatly prior to the issue that I have obtained..

 

I think its either a virus that I am unabe to cure or maybe Im being monitored by security services....as I have thought that in the past when I had one of my websites that Id created destroyed some years ago..what ever was it destroyed numerous webpages that id held on my host site...as well as infecting my computer at the time that I was never able to cure back to normal  again, even on trying every AV program that I could try back then....I was only ever able to partly cure it to be able to use it o some degree... but could never get it to rerun as it had been before..

 

but that was a long story and a hard learning curve when learning about how bad viruses could be...

 

 

All the best to have a Happy New year for 2018 !


Edited by dowsp, 31 December 2017 - 02:36 PM.

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#4
DonnaB

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I do apologize for locking the thread you started in regards to the MBAM message stating that you need Service Pack 3 or later and by the time I saw this thread, azarl and Sleepydude had already jumped in to help. Knowing that you were in good hands, I left all as was and just followed the topic.

IF I could have copied what it detected I could have posted some of the things, so you could see what sort of things it referred to....but it does not seem to allow that..From the things I can see..where its lists some of them... I can make some ref to some items, but they seem similar... and I dont really know much about registries to make much comment about it...

That would have been nice. If I could see what was targeted I could share with you my knowledge as to what they refer to.

Judging from how poorly my computer works when I go onto Yahoo... and some other certain websites... I do think its more than likely a virus problem..unfortunately rather than something else... or I am somehow being targeted maybe with something like keylogger detection spyware.

Overall it works ok on most websites I visit... but when i open several webpages it does freeze....and especially seems to have a real probem in opening yahoos news articles ... it can be very slow opening yahoo..

and often I struggle to open my yahoo emails...

its as if maybe yahoos website and email system is taking too much effort for my laptop to deal with...

I beg to differ, dowsp. The laptop is 10+ years old. The life expectancy for a laptop is five or six years if well taken care of. Hardware begins to age after 2-3 years and needs to be maintained/replaced as needed, whereas a desktop PC can have an extended life of up to 10 years or more if well maintained.

Are you still using Firefox as your default browser? Not many sites support IE6 and sites like Yahoo does not support any browser unless it is the latest version. For the record, the newest version of FF (Firefox Quantum) is not compatible with Yahoo Basic mail. See here.

I saw your logs that you posted. There is no indication of infection at all. The reason you got differing results from different scanners is that each scanner has a different database. Think of it this way.... if you bought a can of corn at one store and scanned it at the check out it will be found in their database, but you take that same can of corn to another store and scan it at their checkout it will not be found in their database.

If you would like, I could post instructions for you go to the ESET online virus scan site so you can scan your computer to see what might be found. ESET uses numerous AV's/databases to scan the system so if one AV does have a specific malicious file in it's database one of the others might.

Also, some files that are targeted by scanners could just be cookies and not malicious at all. If you don't know the difference they could be construed as malicious.
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#5
dowsp

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No need to aplogise Donna,  It was partly my fault for not finding a way to further inform you at the time, I know you tend to only leave threads open for so long if lacks activity within a set time frame.

But thanks for your comment on it..

 

 

I do apologize for locking the thread you started in regards to the MBAM message stating that you need Service Pack 3 or later and by the time I saw this thread, azarl and Sleepydude had already jumped in to help. Knowing that you were in good hands, I left all as was and just followed the topic.

 

Yes it is unfortunate that Avast does not allow you to either copy and paste or scan the list... or offer say a list via note pad txt file or something.

 

I maybe be able to post some of the files that I can see listed to give you some idea, but it may seem hard to copy the full details as there seems a lot of words letters etc on each one listed...

 

 

That would have been nice. If I could see what was targeted I could share with you my knowledge as to what they refer to.

 

 

I think it depends on how much its been used in the past..some people have laptops and dont use them that much and then replace them and sell their olds ones or get rid of them..

 

but I agree if it was used a lot, then the hardrive may well have had its day within a few years...  but for me at the moment it seems mainly a couple of sites that I tend to use a lot where its just seeming slow or taking the laptop a lot of time and effort to open up the page... maybe its because the url files are just too big for older or less advanced chips to deal with their file size..

 

 

 

I beg to differ, dowsp. The laptop is 10+ years old. The life expectancy for a laptop is five or six years if well taken care of. Hardware begins to age after 2-3 years and needs to be maintained/replaced as needed, whereas a desktop PC can have an extended life of up to 10 years or more if well maintained.

 

I have firefox, google chrome and IE 6... but thanks for educating me that FF is not compatable with yahoo mail... I did not know that...

 

After uploadng to SP3... I just wanted to see how IE6 may still perform...I may soon reconsider updating to IE8..if once I may decide that I needed to consider using IE as opposed to either FF or GC..

 

 

Are you still using Firefox as your default browser? Not many sites support IE6 and sites like Yahoo does not support any browser unless it is the latest version. For the record, the newest version of FF (Firefox Quantum) is not compatible with Yahoo Basic mail. See here.


Its very hard for me to consider how AV designer / companies or their products may work in comparision to other similar ones... With so many viruses being around, I initially thought that they may copy each other in the files that they put on their system for what maybe seen as the most serious or known viruses...but for them all to each contain every AV file on offer.. that is probably highly unlikley..

 

but sometimes there are certain viruses that occur then may seem to fade.... but I dont know if over time the main AV companies try to update on old type AV files that they may not have included or missed adding to their

data base from the past...so may at times even a lesser known virus from years ago could still be an issue if that particular company had not added the AV file solution on their system..

 

 

I have used ESET on my other laptop on a 30 day trial..it was a few ears ago and maybe one of the last AVs that I ever used on my old laptop... and I can not recall exactly how it performed for certain..BUT I sem to recall that it did find something other AVs had failed to find..

 

If I recall after the 30 day trial... it still held on my harddrive and still shows up when I switch it on to maybe suggest that I update to the paid version... and what ever it is that does that ...I was unable to delete it...

and it can be a bit of a pain when I am trying to use my old laptop...

 

Unfortunately There was a few other things that occurred on my old laptop... that now it hard to use.. and I cant recall if I have referred to it direct to you so far...but I think I posted a thread on a problem that I was having with it.... in which I was unable to use it on FF or GC browsers as the date is shown still at 2005... and when I was with my previous ISP provider.. I was able to still use it ok..even the difference in date being shown.

 

BUT when I recently changed my ISP provider... IT will no long work with FF or GC browsers.. as I get a message that tells me I need to alter the date on my laptop..

and I didnt really want to have to do that.. as I have a LOT of cookies and history urls that I did not want to loose..

 

I think I did ask was there anyway that I could somehow save those cookies etc and then change my date and maybe later add back the old cookies into my system..

 

I think there may had been a possible solution to consider to do that...but I think it was not easy to do or you realy ned to know what your doing and it maybe too advanced for me to do myself.

 

BUT YES... It maybe worth retrying ESET again on my present laptop ...if you think that maybe one of the ultimate AV programs...

 

 

I saw your logs that you posted. There is no indication of infection at all. The reason you got differing results from different scanners is that each scanner has a different database. Think of it this way.... if you bought a can of corn at one store and scanned it at the check out it will be found in their database, but you take that same can of corn to another store and scan it at their checkout it will not be found in their database.

If you would like, I could post instructions for you go to the ESET online virus scan site so you can scan your computer to see what might be found. ESET uses numerous AV's/databases to scan the system so if one AV does have a specific malicious file in it's database one of the others might.

Also, some files that are targeted by scanners could just be cookies and not malicious at all. If you don't know the difference they could be construed as malicious.

 

Not sure if you have seen this before..

 

 

I have not as yet studied or absorbed this link that I found the other day ...on very quick partial read...Im not sure if this is suggesting that there may still be some updates available for some XP type of files..that Micosoft had continued to update but under a similar Operating system to Xp more for corporate use rather than home use.. but that there seems a way that you can obtain these updates and use them on ones home edition if you know how to go about it and as long as your create a backup file first as a restore point before you try it..incase something goes wrong or they ater stop the updates..

 

http://www.expertrev...a-registry-hack

How to get new Windows XP updates for free until 2019 with a Registry hack

 Support might be over for the home user, but with a simple Registry hack XP users can get the downloads destined for the embedded version

While most of us have long since consigned Windows XP to the Recycle Bin of history, there are still plenty of PCs out there running Microsoft's long-since-defunct operating system. But if the recent swathe of ransomware attacks which have brought the NHS and companies across the globe to a standstill tell us anything, it's that Windows XP has become something of a liability.

As many companies have found to their cost, installing security updates can be the difference between a working PC and a desk-sized paperweight. Thankfully, although Microsoft has long since abandoned support for the operating system, Microsoft is still continuing to develop updates, even if they aren't strictly intended for Windows XP users. Rather, Microsoft is continuing to support Windows Embedded Industry for another five years until April 2019. Previously called Windows Embedded POSReady, this OS is a special version of Windows XP designed for use in industrial systems, such as cash registers and ATMs.

The beauty of the two systems being so interlinked is that updates designed for one system should work on the other. As discovered on BetaNews, tricking your home edition of XP into thinking its Windows Embedded POSReady means you get updates for the next five years.

We'll show you how to do that in this article, but first a couple of words of warning. First, there's no guarantee that this trick will keep working and the loophole could be shut down. Seconly, Microsoft has stated that using this trick may not work as expected, and updates could in fact break the home edition of XP. Of course, the company has a vested interest in that, but that doesn't mean you should ignore what it's saying. For safety, then, we recommend that you back-up your computer, so you can restore data in the event of a problem.
How to get new Windows XP updates for free

Before you start following any of the instructions here, or perform an update using this trick, back-up the Registry. Go to Start, All programs, System tools and run System Restore. Click Create a restore point, click Next, enter a description and click Create. Important system files and the Registry will be backed up.
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    Windows 10 Will Now Download Automatically...
    Windows 10 Will Now Download Automatically for Users With Automatic Updates Enabled
    Intel’s Upcoming Skylake Processors Will Be the Last CPUs to Support Older Version of Windows
    video playing
    Full Version Of Microsoft Office About To Arrive In...
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    Hacked NSA Put Windows Users at Risk
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    Windows Updates Will Cover Limited...
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System Restore

System Restore will back up important system files and the Windows Registry

You can restore them by restoring the Restore Point you created either in the normal Windows version of System Restore or by starting your computer in Safe Mode if it won't boot into normal Windows. To start in Safe Mode restart your computer and hit F8 during the initial Power On Self Test (POST) screens. Select Safe Mode from the menu and your computer will boot into a cut-down version of the OS. Select your username from the boot screen and you'll boot into Windows, where you can run System Restore from the Start Menu as normal. With that done you're ready to install the Registry hack and get installing the new updates.
Windows XP Safe Mode

If you can't boot into regular Windows, you can run System Restore using Safe Mode
Step 1: Create registry file

To enable the hack you need to create a Registry file. These are special files that, when you double-click them, create Registry entries. To create the file, you'll need to be able to view file extensions, so open Windows Explorer (the file browser) click Tools, Folder Options. Click the View tab and remove the tick from the 'Hide extensions for known file types' box.

Next, right-click the Desktop and select New, Text Document. Enter the name of the file as xp.reg. If you've got the right file extension, the icon image will change from one of a document to one with a blue cube.
Windows XP Icons

Make sure you've got the right icon type (right) for .reg files
Step 2: Enter information into the file

Next, right-click xp.reg and select Edit. This will open the blank file up in Notepad. Enter or copy and paste the following information:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMWPAPosReady]
"Installed"=dword:00000001

Save the file and shut down Notepad.
Creating a .reg file

A .reg file is just a text file that contains instructions on how to modify the Registry
Step 3: Integrate file into the Registry

Double-click xp.reg and click Yes when you're asked if you want to include this information in the Registry. Click OK when you get the confirmation message and you're done. Now run Windows Update from the Start Menu and you'll see that you've got extra, new updates to download and install.
New Windows XP updates

Once you've integrated the hack into the Registry, you'll get access to new updates
Read more


Edited by dowsp, 03 January 2018 - 10:53 AM.

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#6
dowsp

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Can I ask, in ref to ESET Anti Virus....

 

when I looked at it.... there are two options to use it for free.... as I think that I understand ..

 

one being a one off scan, that I think can be done direct in connection to their website...

 

and another option to have a free 30 day trail...

 

The 30 day trial seems a much better option...no doubt, but I think or if I recall from a past prior trial...I had on another computer ... that you have download the software..

 

and after I had used it.... what I found was that I was unable to delete complete files and it left something perminently on my lower right hand side icons.. that kept showing up when I as online..

 

I have never been able to get rid of it and it can be a pain and may be creating some problems when I now use my old laptop..

 

but if I recall.. it did do a very good job when I used it in finding viruses other Anti virus programs could not find..

 

 

I am not sure how the one off online scan may compare...I suspect it will help find viruses ok... and at least you wont wont have it left on ones Computer...

 

and which you use... I suspect that maybe if you have used either option before in your name or from your ISP... that it wont allow you to try it again...for free..

 

OR maybe it will allow you to use one of the other options out of the two that you have not tried before...

 

I just wondeed if anyone has any advice or thoughts on what maybe the best option to consider or if there is any other way to sign up for a 2nd free trial...if you have say used it with another computer in the past..

or maybe that only prevent a 2nd trial for a set period of time... for eg say 5 yrs ago... then they may allow you to use it again... or if you have changed yourISP since..

I think that they do require your real name and address details etc...

 

Also has anyone else found that they could not fully delete or remove ESET after the 30 day trial... or is there a way to do so later if one finds how to do it...

 

Thank you

 

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  • Real-time, continuous protection
  • Automatic — runs in the background

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you would like, I could post instructions for you go to the ESET online virus scan site so you can scan your computer to see what might be found. ESET uses numerous AV's/databases to scan the system so if one AV does have a specific malicious file in it's database one of the others might.


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