JackHughs

OA and Avast! - Again

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This is related to my earlier post regarding OA / Avast! conflicts.

I currently have OA 4.5.1.431 and Avast! 5.1.864 installed on a new XP SP3 computer. When I first updated to Avast! 864, the system crashed - hard.

There are known issues with Avast! build 864 and Avast! has made available a pre-release 874 build that supposedly cures many of the issues arising under build 864.

I'm not going to update to Avast 874 until it is in general release.

However, I've been able to make OA 431 and Avast! 864 play nice once again by turning off all of OA's HIPS features and running the firewall only.

So, I'm thinkin' "Ya know, OA is feature rich and Avast! is also feature rich. Could it be that some of these features are bumping into each other - becoming irritated, and taking it out on my OS?"

Has anyone thought about about an optimal OA / Avast! configuation set?

Immediately obvious is the fact that OA has a web shield and Avast! has a web shield. I'm pretty sure that only web shield is necessary or desireable.

Less obvious is that some of Avast!'s "File System Shield's" functionality appears similar to OA's "Program Guard" features.

I'm not a security expert. In fact, I'm not particularly competent in any of this stuff. I'd just like to have a stable system that doesn't require constant tinkering.

Thanks.

JackHughs

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The best way to make security programs co-exist nicely is to exclude them from each other :) You can do this in OA under Options -> Exclusions. In Avast you can then exclude OA.

The Web Shield in OA works completely differently to the ones in Antivirus programs so there shouldn't be any conflicts. The only thing you might notice is a slowdown in browsing speed with both enabled (only some people notice this however). I'm not familar with Avast's File Shield however I would imagine that it's just scanning files for viruses rather than being similar to how OA's HIPS operates.

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I run OA++ all up with the latest Avast! Pro prebeta .874 all up with no problems, Windows 7x64. But I have run various versions of both together for about a year on W7 and before that on Vista all up with no problems. I do exclude Avast5 folder from OA but otherwise nothing special. If you want to improve your chances that the next Avast! release will fix your problems, you really should try .874 and report back to Avast! if you have further problems. The other item of concern to some in Avast! is the Behavior Shield, which acts kind of like a simplified HIPS (Program Guard), and some fixes for problems there are in .874. Vlk also has suggested to some to turn off Behavior Shield pending further investigations, so if you have problems with .874 you can report them and then see if turning off behavior shield fixes them. That would help Avast! and hopefully you also. ;) Avast! claims 141M users, so chasing down all the issues can certainly use a bit of help.

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Has anyone thought about about an optimal OA / Avast! configuation set?

Win XP Pro SP3

OA Free (latest stable release)

Avast! AV Free (latest stable release)

All shield and protections enabled (except OA Web Shield) with no problems.

First it's important to exclude Avast! in OA.

Then I would suggest to be sure that both OA folder and subfolders are excluded in Avast! AV, adding them to the exclusions list you can find in the File System Shield settings (real-time protection).

Several users tend to simply add OA to the exclusions list you can find in the general settings/options. Actually those exclusions will only be applied to on-demand/scheduled personal scans and not to the Avast! AV real-time protection, as far as I know.

With regard to the latest version of Avast!, it would be also a good idea to add all the OA executables to the trust list of the Behaviour Shield, just to save system resources.

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This is related to my earlier post regarding OA / Avast! conflicts.

I currently have OA 4.5.1.431 and Avast! 5.1.864 installed on a new XP SP3 computer. When I first updated to Avast! 864, the system crashed - hard.

There are known issues with Avast! build 864 and Avast! has made available a pre-release 874 build that supposedly cures many of the issues arising under build 864.

I'm not going to update to Avast 874 until it is in general release.

However, I've been able to make OA 431 and Avast! 864 play nice once again by turning off all of OA's HIPS features and running the firewall only.

So, I'm thinkin' "Ya know, OA is feature rich and Avast! is also feature rich. Could it be that some of these features are bumping into each other - becoming irritated, and taking it out on my OS?"

Has anyone thought about about an optimal OA / Avast! configuation set?

Immediately obvious is the fact that OA has a web shield and Avast! has a web shield. I'm pretty sure that only web shield is necessary or desireable.

Less obvious is that some of Avast!'s "File System Shield's" functionality appears similar to OA's "Program Guard" features.

I'm not a security expert. In fact, I'm not particularly competent in any of this stuff. I'd just like to have a stable system that doesn't require constant tinkering.

Thanks.

JackHughs

I would recommend installing latest prerelease version of Avast 5.1.864 as it has many fixes of known problems in .864

Also the exclusions suggestion is very much a good idea. I run both OA++ and Avast(latest)and have no issues at all.

I also have them mutually excluded.

First post BTW.

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Win XP Pro SP3

OA Free (latest stable release)

Avast! AV Free (latest stable release)

All shield and protections enabled (except OA Web Shield) with no problems.

First it's important to exclude Avast! in OA.

Then I would suggest to be sure that both OA folder and subfolders are excluded in Avast! AV, adding them to the exclusions list you can find in the File System Shield settings (real-time protection).

Several users tend to simply add OA to the exclusions list you can find in the general settings/options. Actually those exclusions will only be applied to on-demand/scheduled personal scans and not to the Avast! AV real-time protection, as far as I know.

With regard to the latest version of Avast!, it would be also a good idea to add all the OA executables to the trust list of the Behaviour Shield, just to save system resources.

Hi - and thanks to all who have offered suggestions.

I'm going to get out the old HP laptop that I used in earlier tests. It's a low power XP Home SP3 machine and it developed some startup problems when OA 4.5 was installed.

I'll update Avast! to 874, exclude the entire Avast! folder from OA, exclude the entire OA folder from the Avast! File System Shield settings, and "trust" the OA executables in the Avast! Behavior Shield. And then...and then, see how well OA and Avast! coexist and see if the slow startup problem has been solved - or at least mitigated.

JackHughs

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Perhaps at this point you may also consider to install the pre-release suggested by Wilpower2k3 from the scratch instead of simply updating your current version...

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My appologies, in my original post there was a typo. I meant the prelease version 5.1.874 has many issues fixed that were experienced in .864.

Having clarified that, the newest prerelease version is now 5.1.884 which it is said will be a very short prerelease as the release candidate is expected in 24 hrs, given there are not any issues not previously recognised....extremely unlikely! :D

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Hi.

I didn't do the full test because other activities are imposing on my time.

The HP laptop has Avast! version 5.0.667 and OA version 431 installed. I excluded the entire Avast! folder in OA, excluded the entire OA folder in Avast!'s File System Shield's setting tab, and turned off OA's webshield. The Behavior Shield in Avast! 5.0.667 does not appear to provide for trusted processes.

The major startup problems appear to be resolved. It does take more time to start both Avast! and OA but that's to be expected and the delay is reasonable.

If Avast! is going to make a new stable release in the next day or so, I'll wait for that and do this test on the equally old IBM desktop.

Things are looking good right now and I'll post the results of the next test when it's done.

JackHughs

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The Behavior Shield in Avast! 5.0.667 does not appear to provide for trusted processes.

Hi, my directions refer to Avast! Free 5.1.864 (latest stable).

In previous versions you cannot add executable files to the trust list of the Behaviour Shield because there are no options/customizable settings for that protection.

Anyway, imho the most important thing is the exclusion of OA folder/subfolders (adding "\*" to the folder's location) in the File System Shield's setting tab.

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When you say "add executable files to the trusted list of the Behaviour Shield" do you mean individually, every one that is an application i.e. oacat, oadump, oahlp, oamine, oasrv, oascan, oaui, oaview. I've done all the other exclusions.

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When you say "add executable files to the trusted list of the Behaviour Shield" do you mean individually, every one that is an application i.e. oacat, oadump, oahlp, oamine, oasrv, oascan, oaui, oaview. I've done all the other exclusions.

Yeas I do mean individually: every one that is an executable ".exe" file - sorry for my English by the way.

The only purpose of this specific exclusion for the moment is to save some system resources, IMHO.

Actually the brand new Behaviour Shield has not been turned completely on yet.

As far as I know it won't stop any attacks as default - unless you manually change the settings I suppose. It silently works in passive mode reporting attacks to the Avast "Home" in order to collect enough data before fully enabling the protective shield in 2011 (See this post on the Avast Forum)

Hope this helps,

N.

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Thanks Nick that's most helpful, I will add all of them. After the recent Avast prog update, I've had so many problems with conflicts between OA & Avast at startup (which was taking up to 20 minutes!). Deactivating HIPS in OA worked, but then you don't get the benefit of Program Guard, Web Shield & Keyloggers. Then I had a breakthrough, I had already in Avast set exculsions up in Real Time Shield, then File System Shield, then Expert Settings, then Exclusions and added C:\Programs\Online Armor\* but I had only ticked Read & Write, I still had problems. But then I ticked (E)xecute and my system now boots up perfectly. I had already excluded Avast in OA under Options, Exclusions, but I think the real key to these conflicts is the Exclusion in Avast's Files System Shield.

Thanks again

Geoff

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Thanks Nick that's most helpful, I will add all of them. After the recent Avast prog update, I've had so many problems with conflicts between OA & Avast at startup (which was taking up to 20 minutes!). Deactivating HIPS in OA worked, but then you don't get the benefit of Program Guard, Web Shield & Keyloggers. Then I had a breakthrough, I had already in Avast set exculsions up in Real Time Shield, then File System Shield, then Expert Settings, then Exclusions and added C:\Programs\Online Armor\* but I had only ticked Read & Write, I still had problems. But then I ticked (E)xecute and my system now boots up perfectly. I had already excluded Avast in OA under Options, Exclusions, but I think the real key to these conflicts is the Exclusion in Avast's Files System Shield.

Thanks again

Geoff

You're welcome, Geoff.

You should definitely exclude also "(E)xecute" in the File System Shield. Sorry, I thought it was implied but next time I'll be more specific.

Glad your system now boots up perfectly ;)

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