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Saturday, October 11, 2008

Installing Avast

Besides AVG, Avast! is the other free AV out there, so I've created a tutorial about installing it too. I don't have as long experience as with AVG, so feedback is welcome and I'll update this guide when I receive it. The premise is: you are installing this for a friend / relative / family member for personal use and the person isn't an expert computer user, so you want to set it up such that s/he is bothered as little as possible.

Warning! The setup might ask you to close applications, and it will ask you to reboot the computer, so be prepared to do so (close programs, save documents, etc).

Download the install kit from the website.

Install kits are offered in many languages. If the user of the computer you are installing for isn't a native English speaker, you might consider installing the language s/he speaks the best.

If you are using Internet Explorer 6.0, the download might be blocked and you will have to unblock it by clicking on the yellow advertisement bar.

Select custom install. Deselect all the options from "Resident protection" except "Standard Shield" and maybe "Network Shield". I had negative experience with the "Internet Mail" option some time ago (it was basically blocking all the email).

Answer no to the following question and finish the setup.

After finishing the installation (and rebooting the computer) it's time to configure some options so that the software isn't as distracting. First the scanner should be put in silent mode.

Then disable the animated icon.

You might want disable the confirmation messages, depending on the experience level of the user.

Definitely disable the sound alert :-)

Set it to update automatically both the signatures (set by default) and the software (not set by default).

Finally, you might or might not wish to disable the VRDB feature. This saves a backup copy of the (executable) files and can restore it in case it is infected. If you want to keep it active, change the setting such that it only shows one icon in the taskbar.

To sum it up:

  1. Download the install kit from the website. Be ready to reboot the computer during the setup.
  2. Select custom install
  3. Disable all the options from "Resident protection" except "Standard Shield" (and maybe "Network Shield")
  4. Don't scan the disk on restart
  5. Put the scanner in silent mode
  6. Disable the animated icon (in "Apperance")
  7. Consider disabling the confirmation messages
  8. Disable the sounds
  9. Make sure that both the signature files and the software is update automatically
  10. Decide what to do with the VRDB feature. Disable it entirely, or just set it so that only a single icon is displayed in the taskbar


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