How can I uninstall AVG 8 antivirus software, when normal uninstall doesn't work?
August 22, 2008 10:34 AM   Subscribe

Botched AVG 8 install on Windows XP machine, now setup program (uninstall/repair/install) hangs. The partial install is causing problems. How can we get AVG off the machine when normal uninstall won't work? Details inside on the many things we've tried.

Been working with AVG help forum, but they don't seem to be addressing the specific problems I'm having.

The machine is running XP with SP2, have ZoneAlarm firewall and AdAware running.

What happened with the original installation (and subsequent attempts using the setup program):
After going through the initial menu choices, the program attempts to create or back up a bunch of files. When it gets to setup.cfg, updatecomps.cfg, or avgmwdef_us.mht (depending on the situation), the setup program stops responding, and then the computer then stops responding to the mouse or keyboard.

The Email Scanner portion of AVG8 never installs, and the anti-virus scans never complete successfully.

What we have tried unsuccessfully:
I've cleaned up the registry, checked permissions, checked for file or system errors, tried running the setup program under various conditions including turning ZA firewall and AdAware off.

It's worth noting that for a time, the setup program would finish, but fail, giving me the message "Action failed for file _AVG7_avg7rsxp.sys". I haven't been able to replicate this for a couple days, though.

Ran Revo uninstaller, but since it runs the same AVG setup program, ran into the same problem.
posted by LobsterMitten to Computers & Internet (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Do you have System Restore turned on?

You could restore the system to a date and time before this all went down. Try Start -> All Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools -> System Restore.
posted by kbanas at 10:42 AM on August 22, 2008

Is the installer an msi file? If so run it like so from the command line:

Msiexec /uninstall Application.msi

replacing Application with whatever the real name is.

If not I'd do what kbanas recommends.
posted by damn dirty ape at 10:47 AM on August 22, 2008

If system restore doesn't work for whatever reason, run the Windows Installer Cleanup Tool.

Turn off and disable all AVG-related services by using the tool accessible at Run > Services.msc. Launch the Task Manager to kill any currently running processes or services associated with AVG.

Then delete all directories referencing AVG or AVG8 or Grisoft from C:\Program Files\, C:\Program Files\Common Files, C:\Documents and Settings\\Application Data\, C:\Documents and Settings\\Local Settings\, etc.

Finally, run regedit and manually delete any remaining references to AVG, AVG8, or Grisoft.

posted by Inspector.Gadget at 11:06 AM on August 22, 2008 [1 favorite]

It's pretty odd that it's failling at just the point when the installer should be starting. It's probably trying to shut down a process (like AVG 7) and failing. I would make sure you have no AVG 7 executables laying around causing interference.

One thing that you could try is running the installer from a different user profile such as the built-in Administrator. (Security experts recommend you do this normally anyway, and limit your daily account to guest privileges -- but few people actually do that.) It shouldn't really be affected by profiles, but the Windows architecture ... has such behaviors anyway.
posted by dhartung at 11:08 AM on August 22, 2008

ZoneAlarm seems to be a source of a number of problems on one of my machines. I see you tried turning it off, but you might try uninstalling it. You can always reinstall it if it turns out to be innocent.
posted by sageleaf at 11:27 AM on August 22, 2008

You could also try restarting in Safe Mode and uninstalling, then redoing the install from scratch.
posted by The Bellman at 12:16 PM on August 22, 2008

Delete the files, search the registry for AVG/Grisoft and delete the keys you find.
FYI: I'm not responsible if you trash your registry.
posted by IronLizard at 12:25 PM on August 22, 2008

Response by poster: Tried System Restore; it failed (computer wouldn't let me do it).
posted by LobsterMitten at 2:26 PM on August 22, 2008

Response by poster: Thank you for the good suggestions, though - will keep trying things and update. If anyone has more, I'm eager to hear them!
posted by LobsterMitten at 2:27 PM on August 22, 2008

I had problems trying to install AVG 8 (free version) on an XP SP2 machine running Zone Alarm Pro. In the end I had to do a system restore and then switched to Avast (again the free version) and have had no problem with it at all since then.
posted by essexjan at 2:50 PM on August 22, 2008

Piriform CCleaner (see has a good uninstaller; likewise Glary Utilities ( They'll both help with registry issues too.
posted by davemack at 2:53 PM on August 22, 2008

Bellman's right about safe mode - that will quite often fix problems like this.
posted by Neiltupper at 3:46 PM on August 22, 2008

Seconding the suggestion to try CCleaner. Once you nuke regi entries associated with AVG, the install should take. Shut off any firewalls/other antivirus stuff you may have running when you retry. Do not nuke your registry. It is not fun.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 4:07 PM on August 22, 2008

Revo Uninstaller
posted by deezil at 4:13 PM on August 22, 2008

Add another voice to the chorus: System Restore, CCleaner, reinstall AVG. (Backup the registry first -- CCleaner will ask you if you want to. You do.

BTW, a recent Windows XP update (SP3?) really effed up Zone Alarm free. I had to uninstall it and use something else for a few weeks. I just reinstalled the latest version and so far it's playing nice with XP.
posted by wordwhiz at 5:41 PM on August 22, 2008

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