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Latest Avast deleting Firefox add-ons

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* Does the problem persist after rebooting?
* Do they show up in an alternative uninstaller? (e.g. Revo, or MyUninstaller from nirsoft)-tomos (November 18, 2014, 09:00 AM)
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I can't reboot just now but MyUninstaller is not showing the missing apps (Scrivener, Dragon, PDF-Xchange Viewer) either, even though they are installed and functioning. Maybe it's not a massive number of apps missing, but it's hard to tell how many. I will probably discover as I go along.

What may be common to those 3 apps is that they have all been upgraded at one point or a related product was added, e.g. Dragon from 12 to 12.5 or Xchange Viewer to Editor. Just speculating...

Unfortunatly many programs have episodes of complete failure causing the user major grief and heartache, Avast, MS, even AVG has done this. Many moons ago I was a happy AVG user, had it setup to only list files it deemed suspicious, leave everything alone, simply present me with a list, this worked great for a long time until that one fateful update. I was complacent, didn't pay attention and failed to notice that the most recent update AVG applied had reset my settings to default which was to simply delete files it deemed were malicious.

I'd spent years creating my own self-extracting exes, archives with all sorts of important data, AVG swept thru my drive deleting every one of them without word one. I didn't even notice for a few days. I have a habit of creating a .sha1 file for each archive, it was a day or 2 later I noticed I had folders with nothing but a .sha1 checksum - where's the associated archive - gone. I really wanted to cry when I opened the AVG log and saw the long list of suspicious files deleted.

I'm the only one to blame I suppose, I guess I could have tried to retrieve the files with software, I didn't. I'm kinda of the opinion I need one computer that has internet access, and one that never leaves the house - no firewall turned on, no Avast, no AVG, no modem, no wireless, only those needed OS updates manually installed, all files installed are fully vetted from the source PC before they're moved. I had a WinXP multimedia workstation I built solely for digital recording, ripping audio/video from CD/DVD, etc. This box lasted about 89000 hours, about 9 1/2 yrs actually - virtually no issues, never a virus, blue screen, mostly at times I pushed it beyond the ability of the very modest AMD processor.

I'm building a modest (for our modern times) mATX box now for a similiar purpose, my new laptop will be the only PC connecting to the outside world. I do realize this isn't ideal for many folks, especially for online gamers and so on, but it can work for some people, it does for me. Oh, I don't share, there is only one(1) PC that everyone in my family can use, and they each have their own, my workstation and my laptop are just that - mine :P


I might be wrong because this is so long since then, but I wonder if the old Norton GoBack could have fixed this. I vaguely remember it could be set "hard" to recover darn near everything, certainly files. I had that on a Win2000 comp back in the day.

Then I think I recall that when I tried to put it on WinXP, MS's own "restore" function fought Norton, leaving the "grass of the comp" basically hosed when the elephants were done fighting. I think it almost failed to boot at all except I think I weaseled around it in safe mode.

I thought Anti-Virus programs were supposed to "quarantine" programs and you could restore them later. I don't recall ever using one that randomly deleted important stuff I had without issuing a report of "The following X files were tagged to take action. Do A, B, or C."

Here's what the Avast folks had to say for themselves in a comment at gHacks Tech News

lukor (Avast team):
Hi guys,
thanks to all for the information posted. We have been able to identify the problem now. Browser Cleanup is responsible for this issue. A bug in the component calculating hashes of the extension packages cause (only in some rare cases) deletion of the wrong file - the original instead the packed one.

Sorry for that and thanks again for your help obtaining the repro steps for us.

The Browser Cleanup team is now working on a fix, which will be delivered via a VPS update shortly (tomorrow).
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Sadly that's a bit too late for me.

That was one of the first tools I made sure didn't exist as soon as it came out.  So that's why I didn't have the issue...


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