AVG 2011 Free – Problems Continue

Problems for those using AVG 2011 Free edition continue, with a update for the 64 bit version for Windows 7 totally bricking users computers. The last update from AVG 2011 Free edition causes the computer not to boot and displays error message c0000135. The problem has been attributed to database update 271.1.1/3292 (432/3292).

Here is how to fix the problem if your computer becomes the victim of the problematic update:

How to disable AVG when the operating system cannot be started properly

If you suspect that an AVG component is preventing your computer from starting properly, follow the steps below to verify the situation.

1. Use AVG Rescue CD to boot your computer.

2. When the AVG Rescue CD is launched, select the Utilities -> File Manager menu item.

3. Navigate to the mounted system drive. This will be /mnt/sda1/ in most cases.

4. Within this drive, navigate to the /Windows/system32/drivers/ folder.
– Rename (using the
F6 key) all files starting with avg (e.g. avgldx86.sys, avgtdix.sys, etc.) to back them up. You can change their extension from .sys to .bak, for example.

5. Press CTRL+ALT+DELETE and reboot the system (make sure to remove the AVG Rescue CD from your optical drive before doing so).
– Your system will boot without AVG being involved in the process.

On October 5, 2011 I wrote an article about some of the problems I personally experienced when upgrading from AVG Free 9 to AVG 2011 Free edition. In that article many people had posted their experience with the new version. It seems that the problems for AVG continue.

Comments welcome.

Original article dated October 5, 2010 is here.

Source – AVG


Will 32 Bit Become Obsolete In The Near Future?

There should be an image here!So 32 bit was heralded as the way for technology to come forward and, as time passes, technology evolves. As we all know, for applications to get better and better we need more powerful machines that are more advanced; so most new computers that are £700+ come with 64 bit instead of 32 bit, which is a godsend for us.

With speculation that a new 64 bit Mac/MacBook range will be released later this year, we’re all looking at what this increase can enable us to do that was not possible before. The point of the matter is that 128 bit will be the next evolution of computing, however would be too powerful with 340.3 undecillion bytes allowed. By this point, there is no doubt that Microsoft will discontinue 32 bit support for Windows, so many people with budget computers will be left with Windows 7 for rest of their computers’ lives. Windows 8 (code name), as well as software development companies such as Adobe, will most likely phase out 32 bit support in their new products in around 3/4 years’ time and will only support 64 bit natively. This will, I hope, kill off the low end computers that, I believe, are holding back development of new, amazing products.

What do you think?

My name is Scott James Bell; I’m a diverse person with a chaotic, funny, and exciting life that takes me to different places. I love having fun, going to conferences, and generally helping people. I can often be found in #chris and #scott on GeekShed.

I have developed Web sites for five years and run a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people with moral/social issues. I also work for interactive solutions company ALS.

[awsbullet:natural computing smart machines]

64-Bit Windows 7 Pros & Cons

Q: 64-bit Windows (7) is a must for me as I bought a quad core PC for its power, only to discover that this power is limited by having a 32 bit OS. Do I need to buy the full version, or can I buy the upgrade version since I have Vista 32 bit? — Jesse

A: Before you get too hyped up on the 64-bit revolution, let’s make sure you aren’t “buying a car based on the tachometer.”

Without question, the future of personal computing is in the 64-bit realm. 64-bit processors and operating systems have been out for quite a long time, but primarily only useful to very knowledgeable techies that had specific tasks they needed to address (such as video editing, computer aided design, graphic design or gaming).

Windows 7 is poised to change all of that for even casual users, but in my opinion, if you commit to it right now, you are on the back end of the ‘leading edge’ (which is often translates to the ‘bleeding edge’ because of the problems that come with new technologies).

Here is why I view 64-bit computing in the late stages of the leading edge:

  • 64-bit operating systems require 64-bit processors (which you have, but most older computers don’t)
  • In order to take full advantage of the 64-bit platform, you must also have 64-bit applications, which are few and far between for the casual computer user
  • You must have 64-bit drivers for all of your hardware and peripherals (forget about support for really old components, printers, scanners, etc.)
  • You must have 64-bit anti-virus software & other vital security software
  • You’re wasting your time if you don’t have more than 3 GB of RAM (and actually 4-8 GB to really make it worthwhile)
  • You must be willing to put up with companies that are still trying to get their drivers and software compatible with 64-bit operating systems (which, thanks to Vista, is becoming much less of an issue)

While having a 64-bit operating system can be viewed as ‘future-proofing,’ the question you have to ask yourself is: are you willing to take the chance of compatibility problems in order to be ready for the future? (iTunes seems to be a common configuration issue for many 64-bit converts on Internet forums.)

For most folks, seeing any appreciable difference between a 32-bit & 64-bit system while surfing the Internet, checking e-mail & writing letters is likely to be slim to none. Power users, hardcore gamers and vertical application business users are a different story, but that’s not who reads my column.

None of the ‘average user’ tasks really stress a properly configured 32-bit system. With all the 64-bit hype, too many users are improperly blaming the ’32-bit limitation’ as the reason why their computers are running so slow.

The reality is that most folks don’t properly maintain their computers and are inundated with unnecessary programs, hidden malware and cheap hardware (that wouldn’t have a prayer of running a 64-bit OS anyway!)

For those buying a new computer with lots of 64-bit friendly hardware and lots of RAM, you’re in a much better position to make the transition than those with older systems that have just barely enough hardware to run a 64-bit OS.

As to your upgrade question, you can purchase the upgrade version of Windows 7 64-bit, but you will have to do a ‘clean install’ (wipe everything out and start from scratch) as you cannot perform an ‘in-place’ upgrade going from Vista 32-bit to Win 7 64-bit.

In review, 64-bit is absolutely the way to go if you can verify your hardware, peripherals, drivers and programs are all compatible with a 64-bit environment.

If you are technically incapable of determining these things, too lazy to do the homework or don’t want to have to wipe out your existing Windows Vista installation, stick to the 32-bit version (or consult a knowledgeable professional).

If you are somewhere in-between, wait a little while so that more of the issues can be discovered and you can benefit from the learning curve forged by others.

Ken Colburn
Data Doctors Computer Services
Data Doctors Data Recovery Labs
Data Doctors Franchise Systems, Inc.
Weekly video tech contributor to CNN.com
Host of the award-winning “Computer Corner” radio show

Some Students Got Bitten By The 32bit To 64bit Windows 7 Upgrade

It seems that there is some confusion for students who chose to try the super cheap $29.95 edition of Windows 7. A misunderstanding by some has led some students to try upgrading from a 32 bit version of Vista to a 64 bit version of Windows 7. Unfortunately there is not an upgrade process and only a clean install similar to what Windows XP requires.

According to one article, Microsoft has responded to the mix up, and has taken action.

Microsoft plans to tweak the student discount to account for users who want to migrate from 32-bit Vista to 64-bit Windows 7. “We’re obviously seeing people who want to upgrade to 64-bit,” said Bennett. “That’s good feedback, so let’s respond.”

Bennett said Microsoft and Digital River would offer the option of downloading an .iso file, which customers can then burn to a DVD or copy to a USB flash drive for conducting a “clean” upgrade, the only type of upgrade possible from 32-bit to 64-bit. A clean upgrade, also the only one allowed for Windows XP users, requires users to back up data and settings, install Windows 7, then restore the data and settings before finally reinstalling all applications.

The student offer snafu has been one of the most heavily trafficked topics on Microsoft’s support forums. Over the weekend, Microsoft seemed to put the blame on users who mistakenly downloaded the 64-bit version of the upgrade. Previously, users had raged at both Microsoft and Digital River, for first not providing enough information, then for not accepting responsibility. Several said that they had reported Digital River to the Better Business Bureau.

Paul Aaron, a senior group manager for Windows supportability, said he understood users’ anger. “Customers are frustrated with issues that they’re having, but the longer they wait, the more they get frustrated,” he said. “Today we’re light years faster than with we were when Vista launched. But we need to respond faster.

I believe that the upgrade path is confusing for some. Also the average consumer may not know the difference between a 32 bit version or a 64 bit version. They might not even know that their system may not be able to support 64 bit without the proper hardware.

I am sure we will see more horror stories as time passes. The next group of complaints will be when those who purchased Vista systems during the past four months or so get their promised Windows 7 disks. :-)

Comments as always are welcome.


Phil Peery On The Powers And Pitfalls Of 64 Bit Operating Systems

In this RunAs Radio podcast, Richard and I talk to Phil Peery of Microsoft’s Premier Field Engineering team about 64 bit operating systems. Phil also talks extensively about the /3GB switch for 32 bit operating systems — a tricky switch that has to be handled carefully. The discussion also digs into running 32 bit apps on 64 bit operating systems.

Phil Peery is a member of the Microsoft Premier Field Engineering group’s New York Metro area team, and has been with the company for 5 1/2 years. Phil is an Active Directory, Windows Platforms, and Performance engineer, and provides Microsoft customers with services such as ADRAP’s, and teaches a number of Workshops including Active Directory Troubleshooting and Windows 2008 Networking. Passionate about delivering the message on 64 bit Windows and Windows 2008, Phil has been instrumental in driving the development of Windows 2008 Chalk Talks, delivering the talks to many customers in the NY Area, showing the value and new features of the Windows 2008 server platform.


Will We Be Stuck With 32 Bit Apps For The Next Decade?

I was over at InformationWeek reading an article about Windows 7 to boost Hyper-Threading support. A senior VP for Windows development stated the following:

“The work that we’ve done in Windows 7 in the scheduler and the core of the system to take full advantage of those capabilities, ultimately we think we can deliver a great and better experience for you,” said Veghte, speaking earlier this week at Microsoft’s TechEd conference in Los Angeles.

Windows 7’s improved hyper-threading support could be good news for users of processor-intensive applications, such as 3-D games and graphics programs.

Sounds good on paper. But there is just one small problem. The article goes on to state that:

The catch is that the applications themselves must be written in such a way as to take advantage of hyper-threading. To date, only a small percentage of apps include that capability.

Which made me think. Isn’t this the same problem with 64 bit? 64 bit has been around since 2003 for personal computers. Yet we have seen little enthusiasim for consumer applications to take advantage of 64 bit.

So what do you think? Is it time for full hyper-threading support and full 64 bit support?

Comments welcome.


64 bit or 32 bit Windows – Which Do You Use?

Last evening I was at a social event and during the course of the conversation a question came up about 64 bit vs 32 bit Windows and other software. The question involved in what direction were consumers leaning and what was Microsoft doing to implement 64 bit computing? Good question. To which I did not have a definitive answer.

As many of you already know, I bought a new laptop computer. The CPU is 64 bit but the OS that came with the system was 32 bit Windows Vista. I am guessing that the 32 bit version of Windows was included to keep the price down. I saw some units advertised that came with 64 bit Windows Vista and the pricing was significantly higher than for 32 bit Windows.

But I haven’t seen a huge push by Microsoft for using 64 bit anything. It seems that Microsoft got to involved trying to convince the world how good Vista is. To much energy on silly commercials that no one understands. Now Ballmer says it is OK to skip Vista and go on to Windows 7. Which begs one to ask. What is going on with 64 bit Windows and other 64 bit programs?

Share your knowledge with us and let us know if you use 64 bit anything and what your experience has been.

Comments welcome.

Time For A 64bit OS?

Despite reservations early on, there is something to be said about rolling with a 64bit operating system. Sure, there have been issues with both Windows XP 64bit and Linux 64bit. But now that software is becoming available for both platforms along with the benefit of extra RAM capacity, things are looking much brighter.

One of the biggest complaints from the past, is compatibility with Flash on 64 bit systems. But some of you might be surprised to find that own Windows XP 64 bit and Ubuntu (Linux) 64 bit, the solution is an easy one. Because I run a with a notebook that benefits from the 64 bit option (dual core here), my Ubuntu install handles Flash for me when I first browse to a Flash enabled Website. For XP 64 bit users, it is nearly as simple – just install Firefox for 32 bit systems on your Windows box, then as with Ubuntu, browse to a Flash enabled page – simple.

I am also interested in seeing where Windows gaming is going to end up as a number of people have pointed out that future games may indeed require more than a mere four gigs of RAM.

Is 64 bit Linux ready for your home? To best answer that would require a close examination of what you use your PC for I suppose. For Windows users, I would say here soon gaming and video editing will yield favorable conditions. For Linux users, I would say anyone looking to get more out of their Intel dual-core or AMD 64 bit systems would benefit. Am I nuts? Hit the comments and set me straight.

Vista 64-Bit Gaining Steam

Over at the Windows Vista Team Blog, seems that their statistics are showing that Vista 64 bit is gaining users. According to Chris Flores, Microsoft has noticed an increase in 64 bit machines connecting to Windows update. In fact the number of machines using 64 bit has tripled in the US during the past 3 months. On the blog it also states:

64-bit PCs running 64-bit editions of Windows Vista typically have 4GB of memory or more. Compared to 32-bit systems, which top out at around 3GB of memory, 64-bit PCs can offer added responsiveness when running a lot of applications at the same time and have the potential for greater performance and new experiences as next-generations applications are written to take advantage of this new platform.

What started out as a gradual (some would say “glacial”) movement toward 64-bit PCs, driven primarily by technology enthusiasts, seems to have turned into a swift transition, likely fueled by the falling cost of memory and consumers’ desire to get the most out of their PCs.

This change begs a few questions:

Is the 64 bit market ready to go mainstream?

Will consumers realize the benefits from larger chips and 4GB or more of memory?

The answer to both of these questions is yes – but a qualified yes.

Preconfigured 64-bit PCs obtained from retailers or PC manufacturers should work quite well.  This is in stark contrast to the experience of many technology enthusiasts who built their 64-bit PC from scratch and may have had to scour the Web looking for drivers.  So, unless you really love to tinker with your PC, we suggest you buy a pre-built 64-bit PC at retail or directly from a PC manufacturer.

The hardware requirements, more RAM, is higher than even for the 32 bit systems. This seems to indicate that 4G, maybe even more, is needed to run 64 bit applications. So how much RAM is enough for consumer systems?

What do you think? Is going 64 bit worth the added cost of more RAM?

Comments welcome.


5 Misunderstood Features Of Vista Yanked By Microsoft

In a now you see it, now you don’t, Microsoft pulled a Houdini when they yanked from their web site, 5 misunderstood features of Windows Vista. According to some sources UAC [User Account Control] has been a thorn in peoples side and along with a lack of software compatibility, has been one reason some businesses have not adopted Vista. There are other reasons that have added fuel to the fire of non adopters.

When you have millions of folks running around posting all over the internet, telling friends, family, whoever, that Vista sucks, that is hard for any company to overcome. Second you have Microsoft itself with Ballmer saying Vista is a work in progress. Who wants something that hasn’t been completed yet? Third is those PC vs Apple computers. If Apple wasn’t seeing an increase in sales, they wouldn’t still be running the ads. Have you noticed that there are no Vista commercials?

So since Microsoft has pulled the document that contained the 5 misunderstood features that Vista uses, we have no idea as to what they exactly were [UAC was one of them], or what the document said in its entirety. Oops! I did find this over at the Vista blog. The features were:

  • User Account Control (UAC)
  • Image Management
  • Display Driver Model
  • Windows Search
  • 64-bit architecture

But the link to the article to be downloaded is dead there as well. Oh well. We will just have to wait and see if it gets reposted again.

What do you think? Comments are welcome.

Vista blog site is here.

[tags]microsoft, vista, windows, uac, search, 64 bit, display driver, image management, features, document, internet, removed,  [/tags]

6 Core Chips Coming Soon – Should We Wait for 8 or More?

Intel has announced that a 6 core central processor unit will hit stores in mid-2008. Which begs one to ask…..should we wait for 8 cores or more?  I would. After all, you don’t want to buy a CPU that is going to be replaced with a higher core count in a month or two. Of course you could settle for AMD’s puny 3 core unit, for those who are on a limited budget.

Yes, I am being sarcastic. So while I am in a sarcastic mood, what the heck happen to 64 bit anyway? The unfortunate facts are that software has not kept up with the faster multi-core CPU’s nor has it even made a dent in the 64 bit field. Which also brings up another point. Are these new and faster multi-core processors really making our lives easier for the average computer user?

Will using a 4,6 or 8 core processor make your fingers type faster? Will the Internet work faster?  Will you be able to receive more email messages with a faster processor?

What do you think? How many cores will be enough for Joe and Sally average?

Comments welcome.

[tags]intel, amd, processors, speed, 64 bit, software, performance,  [/tags]

MediaSmart Home Server 64-Bit Client Coming Soon

I wrote before about my new HP MediaSmart Home Server, as well as the fact that there is no 64-bit client support available yet. In the end, it seems the Microsoft Vista team had to make a change to the OS to fix an unrelated issue, and the cascading effect of that change was that certain native backup capabilities on 64-bit Windows clients (upon which Home Server relied) got broken. All that happened while Home Server was in development.

Well anyhow, looks like the CES show will be the place where HP will announce a soon-available client for 64-bit Vista. I’m happy, because Windows Home Server and the HP MediaSmart hardware and software are pretty darned great stuff, if you ask me.

So – thank you in advance, HP. The AV software from McAfee (note that Avast! also recently released an AV package for WHS), enhanced media streaming and other features will be nice to take a look at, as well. Good deal!

News and some detail can be found here:

Overview of Windows XP Professional x64 Edition

The main benefit of Windows XP Professional x64 Edition is the increase in the maximum allocatable system memory. Windows XP 32-bit is limited to a total of 4 GB, which is equally divided between applications and kernel. Windows XP Professional x64 Edition can support much more memory up to a current level of 128 GB, but this limitation could go even higher. This version of Windows will support large databases of information, will enhance productivity for those who use their systems for videos and other types of applications, that require large blocks of memory.

And Windows Vista will also be offered in a 64-bit version.

Side note: In order to take advantage of the 64-bit version, your CPU must support 64-bit. Both AMD and Intel offer 64-bit CPUs.

“More memory, improved performance

The expanding data and performance needs of business, academic, engineering, and scientific organizations have pushed the limits and capabilities of existing information technology (IT) platforms. Millions of people worldwide need to access gigabytes or even terabytes of data in real time. The increasingly sophisticated demands for making home movies, working with digital photographs, using digital media, and playing 3-D games is also stretching the capabilities of existing 32-bit PCs.

Advances in processor technology that extend the capabilities of x86 architecture have brought the power of 64-bit computing to you. Now, you can use a 64-bit operating system to seamlessly run 32-bit and cutting-edge 64-bit applications. Windows XP Professional x64 Edition takes full advantage of this new architecture.” [Source: Microsoft]

[tags]Windows, XP, 64 bit, memory, performance, operating, system, application, power[/tags]

My Windows Vista Expectations

When Microsoft announced that they were pushing the release of their new operating system (Windows Vista) back into Q1 of 2007 (almost a full year away), I wasn’t shocked. They’ve been working on this OS for what – over five years now? I’ve lost all hope and excitement for Windows Vista, sadly. Same holds true for the next version of Microsoft Office. I’ve seen very recent builds of both products, and I’m completely underwhelmed. Will I upgrade? Sure, but I already know I’ll be overwhelmed with annoyances. I look at all the things others seem to ignore – font faces, font sizes, errant pixels, alignment, general user interface snafus, etc. I see far too many inconsistencies in pre-beta 2 builds to be impressed. Some people are already running Windows Vista as their primary operating system, but I wouldn’t consider doing that until release candidates (which may not be released until much later this year). Even then, I’m going to be keeping a critical eye on Windows Vista’s flaws – making sure the right people put spit and polish on the elements that need it most.
Continue reading “My Windows Vista Expectations”