Laptop: Uninstalled AVG Free 2012 (23rd September 2012)

For over 10 years I’ve had good service out of the free version of this software. Many business I work at use the professional one because AVG just works, without hogging the whole machine.

After tuning a lot of settings, it only checks for things which aren’t use error. Being careful about downloads and e-mail attachments removes the main routes for serious viruses to get onto an up-to-date machine. Windows Update in Windows 7 helps with that.)

Startup times are OK but the HDD thrashes for minutes after I’ve logged into the desktop. Resource Monitor says it’s due to Windows Live Mail, which makes sense. But I’d like to be sure it’s just that and not some interaction between the two.

Also, I keep reading that Microsoft Security Essentials with the Windows Firewall and a hardware router is adequate protection.

Life Without AVG

After uninstalling the system tray popped up a balloon telling my Windows Defender was out of date. So I let it update, which took about a minute.

The updater lead me to the normal interface for Defender. The default settings make it scan daily but only when the computer is not being used. Hmm, that could prove to be a resource hog.

Also, the Action Center icon in the system tray has a critical error icon on it. Clicking it says I must Find an antivirus program online (Important). Thought I already had that in Windows.

This was a late night decision. I’ll see how it goes tomorrow and come back to it if necessary.

Action Center also said Windows Defender needs to run a scan, or words to that affect. So I decided to click the item before sleeping the laptop. Windows Defender opened and was 20% through a quick scan and the was moving fast. So I let it continue and the bar crawled down to a less magical speed. It was still churning through lots of files, obviously the bar is designed to appear it’s a fast process and uses that illusion to compell the user into allowing the scan to finish.

It took 6 minutes and 12 seconds to do the scan. That seemed to be all it needed to do so I slept the laptop at this point.

Downloading an Anti-Virus Program

Clicking the link took me to the plain-English Microsoft’s list of anti-virus software. Politely nestled far below the fold, in the bottom right corner, is Microsoft Security Essentials. I thought I already had that. Clearly I don’t after all.

I followed the link and the product is introduced delightfully:

The anti-annoying, anti-expensive, anti-virus program

Informal, relevant and easy to understand. Windows tone of voice being pushed to it’s limits in the right direction.

This is right next to the download button. But I had to choose between 32-bit and 64-bit which is a question most users won’t be able to answer! The Firefox UA string contains WOW64 so I would think that could be used, at least to select a default option.

The download was 12MB and I ran it from the Downloads list.

Microsoft Security Essentials Installer

Very grey and with unnecessary gradients. Apart from that it asked me some questions and required clicking Next a few times.

When it finished it asked to scan my computer. Windows Defender already did that, so does this mean I now have 2 anti-virus programs which will conflict?

At the end of the installer the Action Center icon told me Security Essentials was needed to be updated! But I only just downloaded it!

The final page of the installer has a long checkbox which says: Scan my computer for potential threats after getting the latest updates.

So clicking Finish in the installer should solve the issue about it being out of date. And then will let it do a first scan. So I’ll ignore the Action Center for now.

First Scan Complete

Took about 17 minutes and made the fan blow pretty hard most of the time.

A quick look through the various tabs and all seemed sensible. Closed the window and it made Firefox load a web page telling me:

Upgrade to Internet Explorer 9 enhanced with Bing™ & MSN® and enjoy a more beautiful web.

Hmm. No, thanks.

See How It Goes

Action Center says: No current issues detected. So I guess the experiment has begun!

CCleaner Helps Again

After letting it check for updates, I downloaded the new version and installed it.

Removed just over 1GB in just under 1 minute. Lots of boxes to confirm will keep the things I want each time but it’s the fastest way to clean up lots of separate fiddly aspects of the machine.

Moved to the Registry tab and clicked Scan for Issues. It found 114 minor things so I clicked Fix selected issues. Most were leftovers from uninstalling programs. Quite a few were FTP locations I had browsed in Windows Explorer.

Finally I removed all but the most recent System Restore point. That saved another 8GB. Easy as pie doing it from CCleaner after cleaning those other areas.

Will shut the laptop down now. It will have a fresh boot at work tomorrow so I can see how long the HDD thrashes for when Windows Live Mail is loading.