Oops! AVG Virus Scanner Crashes Computers

Many techs will agree: antivirus programs can be a hassle. Mostly, the issues tend to stem from slower performance and similar issues that result from using an antivirus program. Still, it’s a bit of a lesser of two evils deal: you can risk getting a virus, or you can deal with lags in performance. Usually, you can count on well-known antivirus programs to only touch malicious files, but this isn’t always the case.

AVG, a free antivirus scanner, recently created problems for some of its users when it mistook user32.dll, a critical Windows component, for a container for the Trojan Horses PSW.Banker4.APSA or Generic9TBN. When the scanner activated, it assumed this critical file was a virus and deleted it, causing users’ systems to crash. 

The problem stemmed from a new virus definition file. As a result, AVG recommended that its users who receive updated definitions automatically disable this auto-update feature and cancel any scans that are currently running. 

The problem originally appeared limited to Windows XP systems, though some Vista users have also reported issues. Computers that are affected will either stop booting entirely or will go through an endless reboot loop. To resolve the issue, affected users must carry out a bothersome repair process, which includes reinstalling Windows, repairing the OS with a Windows disk, or using a boot disc to grab the files you need from the C:\Windows\System32\dllcache directory. 

Both AVG 7.5 and AVG 8.0 were affected by the faulty definition file. The good news is that the file has since been updated to remove the error. 

We’re not trying to dog on AVG here. After all, the company does protect many a computer from harm. It just goes to show that it’s a scary digital world from which no computer is safe. Alternatives to AVG exist, as well. Some are free, some are paid, but no antivirus seems to be perfect.