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24 B Dick St, Cambridge

Windows Update Conflict with Avast, Avira, Sophos

Following some recent Windows updates, some Users have complained that they are experiencing problems such as freezing on start up. This has been attributed to a conflict with some anti-virus programs including Avast, Avira and Sophos. It’s a particular issue, apparently, for computers which are still on Windows 7. The three companies which provide the above antivirus software have all released guidance for consumers on which of their programs are affected, which Windows updates in particular are problematic, and how to deal with this problem. The basic advice at this stage seems to be to roll back the updates until a patch is released to solve the problem. In fact Microsoft have already blocked the installation of the updates on systems in which Sophos is detected. They have not done so as yet with Avast or Avira.

This article from Bleeping Computer provides a pretty detailed run down for those who are computer savvy on which updates are causing the issues and how to fix it but for those novices among us, the important part is this: If you have Avast, Avira or Sophos on your computer and it’s been freezing up recently, particularly on start up, this could be the problem and if so, we can fix it.

Windows 7

Windows 7 is currently undergoing a slow death – I’ve written about this before. Microsoft will no longer provide support for Windows 7 from the start of 2020, so frankly, I doubt whether they will be putting much effort into making it continue to work between now and then. When updates cause problems for it, or when hackers or scammers find holes in it, Microsoft will not be producing patches as they have done in the past. Clinging onto it at this stage is going to cause more headaches than it’s worth. We recommend that now is the time to upgrade to Windows 10.

Anti-virus Software

Free anti-virus programs sound great in theory but you do get what you pay for. I know some people may be wary of programs like Norton for example, which have been guilty in the past of renewing annual subscriptions based on fine-print clauses and charging credit cards automatically but not all anti-virus software is untrustworthy. We recommend ESET anti-virus software which we manage for our customers, usually on an annual basis. We email our ESET clients when their renewal is due and then invoice them for it only if they decide to renew – no credit card sign ups required. And we provide any assistance requested to add or remove extra computers from the license, or help to install it on a new computer, for example.