UPDATE 16th May: My friends at Avira have now confirmed the ProActiv application blocking issue has now been resolved – they had to disable the ProActiv behaviour recognition module. In the past 24 hours, paid versions of Avira Professional security Version 2012; Antivirus Premium 2012 and Internet Security 2012 have been crashing (and preventing Windows from booting) Windows PCs due to a bug in a new update. It appears millions of users have been affected.
The AntiVirProActiv component (which isn’t present in the freemium versions) has been erroneously detecting critical Windows processes (cmd.exe, rundll32.exe, taskeng.exe, wuauclt.exe, dllhost.exe, iexplore.exe, notepad.exe and regedit.exe) as malware and then terminating them. It also blocks some Microsoft and third-party software.
Avira is working on an update, but right now they advise users to temporarily disable the ProActiv Realtime Protection engine component or to add an exception for every blocked app. The latter will just take too long and we all know users will not do this. 🙁
I suggest you follow the procedure below to disable the ProActiv component if you haven’t updated, or can only boot in safe mode:
- Open Task Manager (CTRL+ALT-DELETE)
- Click New Task (Run…) and type “c:\program files\avira\antivirdesktop\avconfig.exe” then run it
- Avira Antivirus configuration windows opens in Expert Mode
- Uncheck “Enable ProActiv” option
- Apply the change and restart your PC
Avira’s forums are under siege from users complaining about Windows systems crashing and failing to boot. For further information on this issue, I suggest you visit the Avira support website.
Safe surfing folks!
Bootnote: Open the Avira Antivirus configuration window and click on ‘Extras’ > ‘Configuration’ > ‘Update’ > Product Update and check “Notify user when new product updates are available”. This means you can control when you install the update rather than have Avira automatically download and install for you. 🙂