AVG, how do I loathe thee? Let me count the ways…

If I had to pick the most irritating consequence of the egregious budget cut we suffered this year, not being able to rid ourselves of AVG would be a strong contender. I don’t have much time for antivirus products of any persuasion, but AVG has been winding me up for several reasons spanning a period of time starting several months ago, and continuing all the way up to this afternoon:

  1. The AVG 8.5 auto-update a few months ago caused all of our Windows XP SP2 machines to become unbootable. XP SP3 and Vista were unaffected, but we hadn’t deployed SP3 on a wide scale at that point due to problems applying our 802.1x supplicant settings after the update. AVG support took three days to get back to my initial support request, and then only to give me instructions I had already told them did not work.
  2. The AVG 8 network deployment tool has never bloody worked properly. The version 7 one worked fine, but the version 8 one stubbornly refuses to play ball. This made worse the already shoddy situation of version 7 not being able to auto-update to version 8, which meant we still had 77 machines running AVG 7.5 when…
  3. … last week, AVG 7.5 finally time-bombed after AVG stopped supporting it. It started nagging even non-admin users to upgrade to 8.5, directing them to an online tool that doesn’t work for the network edition even if you are an administrator.
  4. When either installing or uninstalling AVG, it insists on scanning the AppData directory of every user that has ever logged onto the workstation, even if that folder is redirected to a network share. This means not only must you login as a network administrator that can access all of these files, but also makes the process a lot slower than is necessary.
  5. Roughly 1/3 of the AVG 7.5 uninstalls I did today failed first time around when the uninstaller proved unable to stop one of its own services. They all worked fine after a reboot, thus demonstrating there was nothing actually wrong with the machines in question.

Overall, I have had enough of AVG, and I can no longer recommend it. A sorry example of how a great product (AVG 7.5) can be ruined by changes made in later versions (AVG 8 and 8.5).

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About The Angry Technician

The Angry Technician is an experienced IT professional in the UK education sector. Normally found in various states of annoyance on his blog. All views are those of his imaginary pet dog, Howard.

12 responses to “AVG, how do I loathe thee? Let me count the ways…”

  1. ryanmitchellgames says :

    Total AGREEMENT… part 3 has been such a fun experience.

  2. AngryTechnician says :

    Yes, and #4 has made the pain drag out even longer. I got so fed up with the AppData checking in the end that I wrote a tool to trick AVG into thinking there were no cached domain logons on the workstation. Sped things up a LOT.

  3. Kristof says :

    I feel the same! I switched to Symantec Endpoint Protection a while ago! That works just fine!

  4. AngryTechnician says :

    Ironically, we switched to AVG to get away from Symantec Corporate Edition (the predecessor to Endpoint Protection) for much, much, more serious problems than AVG ever caused us.

  5. BM says :

    I have been tasked with finding an alternative to Panda AV over the past few months and have tried lots of different products inc Trend, Sophos, GData, and ESET. ESET being the only one I have thought to be any good. I even went to InfoSec to speak to the companies and get demos. It seems now that you have to find the best of a bad bunch when it comes to AntiVirus protection.

  6. AngryTechnician says :

    We most recently trialled ESET and Kapersky. I favoured Kapersky as it was much easier to set up and administer on the central server; ESET’s documentation was poor and involved a lot of guesswork. Sadly both were more expensive than AVG, and with our budget being slashed at the last minute, we simply couldn’t find the money any more.

  7. BM says :

    For my trials I have just installed Symantec Endpoint Protection. Out of interest what serious problems did you have with the previous version of it?

  8. TheCrust says :

    We moved to AVG last summer and apart from v8.5 causing the occasional tdx.sys bluescreen on the Windows 7 beta PCs we played with, we’ve had no problems with it.

    Yet.

  9. AngryTechnician says :

    BM: Our problems with Symantec began when auto-update stopped working after a particular update and we had to manually update a few hundred machines to kick-start it again.

    A few months later we ran into a problem with a particular version corrupting roaming profile registry hives such that the workstation would BSOD as soon as the affected user logged in. That affected about 800-900 users, all of whom had to have new profiles, and we had to clear their cached profiles from all of our desktop workstations.

    When we came to remove it after having had enough, about 2/3 of the uninstalls failed, requiring us to remove all the services manually, or in some cases, rebuild the workstation.

    All in all, it was pretty horrendous.

  10. windup says :

    avg are cuffing funts, sort out an msi that works already you munchtards

  11. BM says :

    That sounds pretty worrying especially as I quite like the suite. Will load and uninstall it on a few PCs before we take the plunge.

    Thanks for the tips.

  12. ABC says :

    I tried AVG 8.5 on our servers and first of all it blocked our DHCP service,as well as not performing the supposed remote install it claimed to have. Not on 1 system. I was really pissed, because I had been a firm follower! Trying Symantec End Point and I hope it turns out better.