23 June 2015

Hot Issue: Windows 7 & AVG Updates

Over the past week or so, we've been receiving a very large number of support cases from customers who have found themselves with Windows 7 computers that suddenly no longer boot Windows - and this seems to mostly affect Windows 7 computers.

What's happened?

It looks like some update to AVG - the Anti-Virus software many of our customers use has caused a problem for some types of computer. This largely seems to be on computers running Windows 7 - although we believe there is a small chance that other operating systems - including server operating systems may be affected in some isolated cases - as yet we're unable to prove this.

Does AVG know about the issue?

Yes - they certainly do and we - as partners have been discussing with them, and we're aware of other IT companies elsewhere complaining of similar issues - and there does seem to be a common thread that in most cases the systems are running Windows 7. AVG however do not yet have an answer for the issue, they've simply admitted there is a problem with the software.

** UPDATE 24/05/2015 **

AVG have confirmed that they've identified this issue as specific to computers with AVG, running Windows 7, which received an update for the Trusteer Endpoint (Trusteer Rapport) - this is installed on a lot of computers - mostly at the requirement (or mostly "suggestion") of banks, but in our experience is always fairly troubled - this issue aside, we've seen countless problems with computers where it is installed, especially with strange internet behaviour, but also considerably reduced PC performance and speed. We don't suggest you use this software unless you need to and it doesn't - in our view - add additional protection or capability not found in other software for security.

** UPDATE 25/05/2015 **

Separately we have seen OTHER suggestions - not confirmed - that some machines running Trusteer, but not AVG (such as Microsoft Security Essentials) have this issue, although to date have not seen any formal confirmation of this.

My computer isn't starting, what can I do?

If you've got a Windows 7 computer and it sits at the "Starting Windows" screen without progress, we recommend you contact our Technical Support Team so we can help you resolve it - you can alternatively drop it into our office if you've got a current support plan with us if this is preferable for you. We'll get the system up and running and make a few changes which should - when combined with other advice let you work for now - but you should be aware currently there is no full fix for this issue.

If you're not using Windows 7, you may just have a different issue, but equally we're happy to hear from you and we will investigate of course - we have seen some issues that make us suspect there could be a wider issue in some cases, and our internal review is still on-going.

When will the issue be fixed?

AVG haven't yet advised of a fix but we're in contact with them regularly.

How do I know if the issue is related?

If you're using:

  • AVG - especially the Business 2013 Edition (the latest version for Business available)
  • Windows 7

and your computer no longer boots but sits at "Starting Windows" for a long time, it's likely to be this issue if the problem has started in the past few days. If not, it may well be a different issue. We can advise in all cases.

What can I do to minimise the chance of an issue?

If you've had the issue already, our team are strongly recommending that you leave the computer switched on, and do not reboot it until we let you know otherwise - right now this should prevent your computer refusing to start. As always we recommend you ensure you have good backups of your data - and if you don't, now is a good time to get this issue fixed because you're vulnerable to many issues and not just this one.

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