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default.pif causes AVG scan to hang

By Lou3 ยท 11 replies
Oct 5, 2008
  1. Any idea why AVG 8.0 would hang when trying to scan _default.pif (c:\windows\_default.pif) I recently reinstalled XP Home SP3, and everything was fine at first. Then yesterday, I noticed that an automatic AVG scan had been running for seven hours and was hung on _default.pif. I canceled the scan, did some research on it, and found that others had the same problem (unclear solutions). I ran Trend Micro's House Call, and it found no viruses. The AVG automatic scan hung again today, and now it seems I can't even cancel the scan (tried the program's cancel button, and also Task Manager's End Task). I'm not sure what my next step is and would appreciate any help you can offer. Thanks.
  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

  3. Lou3

    Lou3 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 66

    Thanks for the link. I went through all the steps except posting log files. CCleaner found a bit of registry clutter as usual, and Malbytes found "hijack.startmenu." I had Malbytes delete it, then found something about it being a nonissue that sometimes comes up with XP. Deleting hasn't caused any problems with my start menu or anything else that I can see. Whether it was that or the registry clutter that CCleaner deleted, AVG's system scan runs fine now.
  4. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    Good result. Recommend you do a malware scan from Malbytes (and others), from time to time, as no single AV can be expected to catch everything.
  5. CCT

    CCT TS Evangelist Posts: 2,653   +6

  6. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Anyway, the idea was to remove the file, not add it
  7. CCT

    CCT TS Evangelist Posts: 2,653   +6

    The link was provided as info.

    It seems it applies as well to 98 and XP - I just used it.

    And it does seem to be a useful .pif as the article says.

    But, hey, I have only a few posts! What do I know!

  8. Lou3

    Lou3 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 66

    I got on my PC this morning and saw that, yet again, an AVG scan was running for five hours and was stuck on _default.pif. Since I had run online scans with TrendMicro Housecall and Kapersky, I started wondering if the problem was with AVG. I uninstalled it and replaced it with NOD32. The NOD32 scan ran fine and even found and deleted two browser add-ons that the other scanners had missed.

    I'll send e-mail to AVG about the scan hanging on default.pif, but I'll probably stay with NOD32 regardless. I liked having a free scanner, but NOD32 seems to be worth the cost.
  9. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Put it this way
    Millions of users are happy with AVG
    So it must have been something to do with your computer (and possibly a file that AVG could not remove)

    Try Free Antivirus like Avast or Avira
  10. Lou3

    Lou3 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 66

    According to AVG's forum (should have thought to check there first :eek: ), something with ZoneAlarm is causing this to happen (other posters have had the same problem). Apparently, completely uninstalling and reinstalling ZA typically corrects it. Between uninstall and reinstall, they recommend running CCleaner, CheckDisk, and defragmenting. The other posters said AVG hung on default.pif only during the automatic scan, which explains why the manual scan I ran was okay. I'll do the ZA uninstall, system maintenance, and reinstall, but I think I'll still stick with NOD32 for a while. I've read so many good things about it and have been wanting to try it.
  11. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Me too

    Also, with AVG gone it should be quicker

    And ZA huh ! There's always something happening with ZA (lots of threads here with issues)

    Here's an idea, use Windows firewall (I know I know) just try it
  12. Lou3

    Lou3 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 66

    I've seen some of those threads, but this is the first issue I've had with ZA (that I know of). I did some research and found that ZA isn't as highly regarded as it once was. It still does a great job of stealthing ports, but apparently its outbound protection could be better. I suspect it's adequate if you couple it with a good virus scanner and surf safely, but I'd like to check out alternatives.

    [Sucking air through teeth] I can't quite bring myself to do that. The firewall comparisons I've read unanimously give it a poor rating, and I don't take online security lightly. This weekend I'm going to install Online Armor, which is very highly rated, and see how that works out.
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