charlesthaman

Complete system scan very very fast

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Hello,

I installed the trial version of Emisosft Anti-Malware x64 yesterday, and I was really surprised that a full scan of my computer with no exclusion only took 11min 40sec or so.

Even with the direct disk access option checked, which is supposed to be much more slower, the scan only lasted 2 minutes more.

The reason why I'm inquiring about this is because with other programs I'm using/have used in the past, a complete system scan would typically take much more time :

  • Avira Pro and MBAM - many folders excluded : 20 to 30 minutes
  • NOD32 - no exclusion : 1 hour
  • Windows 10's MRT - no exclusion : 40-45 minutes

 

What also surprises me is how fast EAM went through my entire collection of game mods, which amounts to about 60Go of compressed archives, some of them quite big.

These usually take forever to scan, why I'm normally only scanning them once before adding them to the exclusion list.

 

My apologies if it's a silly question, but how is EAM so fast? Is the scan really thorough?

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13 hours ago, charlesthaman said:

What also surprises me is how fast EAM went through my entire collection of game mods, which amounts to about 60Go of compressed archives, some of them quite big.

There's a size limit on extracting archives (I would believe about 100 MB). There's also a size limit on scanning files, which I should be around 100 MB as well.

 

As for the speed of the scan, it is heavily impacted by hard drive speed and CPU performance. Our scanner will automatically use every available CPU core while scanning in order to process scanned files as quickly as possible. If you were scanning an SSD with a sufficiently fast processor, then the scan time would actually be relatively short.

Also note that if you did a scan by right-clicking on something in Windows Explorer and selecting to scan with Emsisoft Anti-Malware, that this overrides the Custom Scan settings, and they will remain that way until you reconfigure them or restart your computer. Make sure that every drive you want to scan is specified in the Custom Scan settings (you can add them like they're a folder if they don't appear in the list above the settings).

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Thank you for your answer.

9 hours ago, GT500 said:

There's a size limit on extracting archives (I would believe about 100 MB). There's also a size limit on scanning files, which I should be around 100 MB as well.

Is there any way to manually bypass these limits, and have EAM do a scan of absolutely everything on my computer?

Call me parano, but I like to do such a scan once in a while, usually when I'm afk so the time it takes doesn't matter anyway.

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10 hours ago, charlesthaman said:

Is there any way to manually bypass these limits, and have EAM do a scan of absolutely everything on my computer?

No, the limits are hard coded, and are based on the size of files we see containing malicious code "in the wild".

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As much as I like EAM so far, this limitation is kind of a deal breaker for me to be honest, as it goes against the purpose of an on-demand scanner in my humble opinion.

I expect from an on-demand scanner to analyse files based on user's requests, even if it means going through each and every single file/archive on a computer.

I hope you guys will consider giving more control to the user over this matter in the future.

The ability to choose if and how to exclude files based on size/depth is very common in AVs, and something I personally believe should be expected.

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Pretty much all AVs have some sort of hard limit when it comes to file sizes. Main reason is that you want to avoid that your storage devices gets filled up or that you run out of memory during a scan, which both can have very ugly side effects. 

It's just not economical in terms of expected benefits vs. cost of time and performance, to extract huge files. Especially not if you consider that cleaning inside archives is mostly impossible and the entire file gets quarantined, combined with the fact that it's relatively irrelevant in terms of overall security to know that there is an inactive malware file wrapped inside some archive file.

As long as the file doesn't get unpacked, it doesn't mean any harm. But when you extract it in the future, it will be scanned and detected by the real-time monitoring anyway. So all you would gain by scanning inside of archives is an 'earlier' knowledge that there is something in there, but your PC doesn't get any safer at the end of the day. In our opinion that benefit is not large enough to rectify a potentially overloaded computer for hours and a system crash because of a full disk.

 

 

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Thank you for the clear explanation, I can totally see your point and agree.

It is true that a piece of malware inside an archive will remain harmless until extraction.

And if the files are automatically scanned upon unpacking, well then not scanning inside the archive is not detrimental to the overall computer's security.

I still think that the user should at least have the choice in that regard (as there's already other less time/resource intensive scan options available) but I guess this whole thing wasn't as big of a deal as I originally thought it was, and certainly not a deal breaker for me anymore.

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8 hours ago, charlesthaman said:

... I guess this whole thing wasn't as big of a deal as I originally thought it was, and certainly not a deal breaker for me anymore.

We're glad to hear that.

If there's anything else you need, then please feel free to let us know.

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